160614_nervous guyA while ago I came across a link commenting on an article of mine about fear. While there’s no such thing as bad publicity, I do feel that I have to respond to this.

Essentially the comment was that they were not quite sure what there is to be afraid of in doing a wedding speech.

I couldn’t disagree more.

Anyone who’s been asked to say a few words in public will, however fleetingly, feel that little twinge of fear: What if I say something wrong? What if I make a fool of myself?

I know: I’ve been there. A few years ago, the joy at getting married and being asked to be best man at another wedding a few months later was replaced with the fear of standing up in front of all those people and entertaining them, having to be funny.

It’s fine to be afraid of these sorts of things, it’s normal. When you feel that fear, you have a choice: you can give in to your fear, be a gibbering wreck, run away and refuse to do the speech. Or you could stand up to your fear, refuse to let it beat you, do the speech and find out it’s not half as bad as you thought it would be.

No prizes for guessing what option I recommend you take.

Again, fear is only natural. People who say they feel no fear at all, ever, are either lying or maybe aren’t totally sane. Harnessed properly, the fear is what will prompt you to do the best job you can, to prepare properly, it will give you the energy to perform.

In my previous article on fear I mentioned the mnemonic for fear. Here’s another quote to think about:

“Fear has its use but cowardice has none.”

-Mahatma Ghandhi




Peter D Oxley
Pete Oxley is a freelance writer and business manager who lives in the English Home Counties. He enjoys reading and writing in a wide range of areas but his main passions are sci-fi, fantasy, historical fiction and Steampunk. Influences include HG Wells, Charles Dickens, Neil Gaiman, KW Jeter, Scott Lynch, Clive Barker and Joss Whedon. Author of the non-fiction book "The Wedding Speech Manual" and the historical fantasy series "The Infernal Aether". He lives with his wife, two young sons and a slowly growing guitar collection. Probably a masochist: aside from writing and willingly speaking in front of large crowds of strangers, Pete spends his spare time playing music badly and supporting football teams that play badly.

Leave a Reply Text