April 9, 2013 | By Rachel Hankey |
My name is Molly. I am 29, I am a teacher and I live in London. When I was 25, I met Chris, now 32 at my brother’s birthday BBQ. That was four years ago.
Chris and I have recently come back from our honeymoon in Italy. We had a magical time. We took more photographs than we’ll ever have time to look and ate so much neither of us have dared step on the bathroom scales. More than that, almost every day, we talked about our wedding and how brilliant it was. I am a details girl and had meticulously gone over every inch of planning like a military leader. While excited to be getting hitched, Chris wasn’t quite as concerned with the detail.
It didn’t surprise me when Chris said he wanted Pete as his best man. They were already good friends then over the recent years Chris’s inclusion in all our family events brought them even closer. Having my brother as my husband’s best man was wonderful. My whole family was over the moon.
In the months leading up to the wedding, Pete and Chris would often casually discuss parts of the wedding plans. One night, I overheard a conversation they were having in the kitchen about the Best Man’s Speech. ‘I don’t think I can do it, I am seriously having trouble sleeping. I lay there at night next to Gemma while she’s snoring away and all I can envisage is a room full of people sneering at me. I can hear booing, embarrassed coughs, laughter. You might have to find someone else mate.’
I knew my brother could be a bit socially shy but I had no idea things were this bad! Worse was to come. Chris said, ‘you have no idea how much I hate being looked at. Saying my vows is going to be hard enough but making a speech in front of a hundred odd people in a big marquee makes me feel sick. I am not sure how the hell I am going to do it’
I didn’t say anything there and then but I felt absolutely gutted. If anything, I thought, the Best Man should be helping the Groom with his confidence, not having issues of his own!
The next day I phoned Gemma. Gemma got together with Pete a couple of years ago. She’s a lovely girl and someone who I now consider a good friend. I shared with her what I’d heard. ‘What am I going to do with them?’ I asked. Gemma is confident and gregarious and in fairness to Pete he’s not a complete introvert, in fact in a situation with people he knows well, he can be the life and soul. I wasn’t dreading being the centre of attention on my wedding day, I was dreaming about lustfully. The last thing I wanted though was my fiancée and my brother to be miserable about it.
Gemma works in advertising and seems to know someone in almost every walk of life. ‘You need Rachel’ she said. She explained that Rachel is a Public Speaking Consultant who provides a wide range of services designed to help people communicate effectively and with confidence. She explained that if Chris and Pete had some coaching, not only would they benefit from massively improved confidence but they would learn techniques to make their speeches memorable for all the right reasons.
Rachel spoke to Pete on the phone and discussed various options. Rachel suggested she could work with Pete and Chris together so they could provide on-going encouragement and support to each other. The first session took place over Skype. I was able to see Rachel and chat to her myself. She was very positive, friendly and easy to talk to. She reassured me she could help Chris and Pete and had lots of techniques to teach them to give them the confidence the needed. For some reason I assumed I would be party to this, but no! I was banned from the living room and sent over to Gemma’s instead!
The next two sessions took place at my house and I agreed to not be part of it. (Letting go of that control was a learning curve!)
Ultimately, what I will say is that my brother delivered his speech like a pro. He said that while he had butterflies, it was more a nervous excitement than a feeling of dread. When my husband stood up, he was beaming and I know it was because he was no longer feeling imprisoned by his lack of self-confidence. Just before the wedding Rachel phoned both Pete and Chris to wish them good luck and remind them of key points to focus on. For me, knowing they both felt so much better took a huge weight of my mind and I was so happy for them.
Before my wedding I had no idea this type of service even existed and I am SO pleased we used it. It really was the icing on my wedding cake.
Rachel will be at Cliffs Pavilion Wedding Fair on Sunday 14thApril 2013 if you would like to see how SureSpeech can help you with your weeding speeches.