Good morning my friends, hope you have all had a good week and have great plans for the weekend!
As they say, no rest for the wicked! I’ll be assisting another wedding planner this Saturday, which I’m very excited about as she is one of the planners I’ve been admiring for a long time, so despite the 6am alarm, you can bet I’ll be skipping around in excitement!
Today I’d like to introduce you to a lovely lady whom I’ve virtually met on the London Wedding Club Facebook group some time ago. Her name is Maggie Sawkins and is an expert in coaching, public speaking and mediation. Among her services, Maggie coaches brides, grooms and anyone who is due to give a wedding speech, in order to help them deliver it effectively and with confidence. I think this is a great service that perhaps more grooms, best men or fathers of the bride should take up. Giving a wedding speech is not something that should be left to the last minute or not properly prepared. Those who have no real experience in speaking in front of an audience will probably find it daunting and unnerving, so a few session with a public speech coach might be just what they need.
Maggie has given us her top tips for delivering an effective wedding speech; I’ll feature them next week in an other instalment of Top Wedding Tips from the Experts, but for now, here’s an interview with Maggie to give you a bit more insights into what Maggie does and how she can help you with her services.
How did you get into public speaking coaching for weddings? Knowing that I train groups in public speaking skills, a friend asked me to help out with his speech for his daughter’s wedding. We talked it through over dinner: the stories he planned to tell about her childhood, the ups & downs in both their lives, and a particularly special holiday they’d had in Italy… It was such a lovely way to share the skills I can teach – I realized what a great difference it made to him.
How do you think your services can be useful for those who are due to give a speech at a wedding? If they’re anything like me at my own wedding, I’d left the speech preparation last on the list and did it on a wing and a prayer. I wish I’d put a bit more time and attention towards it – it’s a one off opportunity to speak from the heart to your closest friends and family and deserves as much quality attention as the flowers and the food.
How is your service unique or different from other companies offering similar services? The quality of attention to their words and needs is unique. I’m practiced at listening and will draw out what it is they want to say. There is no need for me to impose anything: by offering some tools and coaching on the words already planned, they will find they easily and effortlessly become stronger, more confident speakers, connecting with the audience and standing out for the professional, yet natural performance they give.
What mistakes would you tell someone delivering a wedding speech to avoid? Avoid the classics: ‘I won’t make this very long…’ or ‘Most of you know that I’m…’ Every word needs to count. Use cards with large key words instead of sheets of typescript: you won’t be able to follow it in the heat of the moment. And lastly, leave the alcohol until after you’ve spoken!
Who is your dream client? Good question… anyone who is brilliant in their field, yet happens to put people off when they speak. I’m told some academics could do with a few coaching sessions. Anyone who collects an Olivier, BAFTA, TV award and hasn’t prepared something interesting to say (mentioning no names!). And I’d love to coach the participants on talent shows so that they might come up with something other than ‘…if I don’t get through, I’ll be devastated’.
Thank you Maggie for your time in answering our questions!
Please, if you are planning to give a wedding speech, don’t put it off. Get in touch with Maggie or a public speaking coach who can help you develop a memorable speech that you can deliver with a confident and relaxed manner.
Have great day everyone!
For more information you can visit Maggie Sawkins’ website: www.maggiesawkins.co.uk; call her on 07960 371574, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.