Contrary to urban myth, imagining a crowd in their underwear is not the best way to kick the public speaking jitters, specially if most of your audience consists of members of your family!
To avoid from reverting to the possibly traumatic vision of your Tío Pepe in his underwear, follow these few steps to help you prepare for a heartfelt and well-delivered quinceañera thank-you speech.
Breathe: The ambulance may have difficulties pulling into your venue parking lot, so for the sake of your party, do yourself a favor and don’t forget to breathe! You won’t be timed or graded on your quinceañera thank-you speech, so you might as well take your time and have fun with it. Revert back to your grammar school days and remember that a comma means a slight pause, and a period means an even longer pause. Rushing through your speech would only leave your guests wondering what you’re saying.
Show your personality: If you try to act like someone that you’re not, your family will make sure to be the first ones to call you out on it. So when giving your speech, be yourself and show off your own personality. Don’t try to impersonate, act or speak like no one else other than your fabulous self. This day is all about you, and there is no reason to hide behind an act to be someone that you’re not.
Speak from the heart: Your quince guests are cheering you on and want you to give a great quinceañera thank-you speech, so let go of the nerves and let your words speak for themselves. Although you may have a speech written out, don’t rely on it to the point where you’re making more eye contact with your paper than with your guests. Speak fluently and loudly, and keep in mind that it is ok to get carried away in the moment and stray from your pre-written speech every now and then. Speak from your heart and, no matter how tongue-twisted you get, your guests will know that you’re genuinely thankful for your quinceañera celebration.
Body language: Shoulders back and stomach in. I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but truer words for good posture have never been spoken. Your body language communicates how you’re feeling, and if you’re caught slouching or jittering, your audience may become completely distracted from your quinceañera thank-you speech by your awkward stance. So when it comes to taking the mic, remember to stand up straight, don’t jitter around.
If you got it, flaunt it! … The ability to speak more than one language, that is. If you’re bi-, tri- or multilingual (fluent in a handful of languages), and if you have guests who understand them, why not flaunt your skills?
Keep your quinceañera thank-you speech short, brief and sassy so as not to bore your guests to death, and simply translate your words from one language to another.
Your guests will be more than impressed and will appreciate the kind words spoken in their native language. Buona fortuna!