A wedding speech veteran with over 25 years of public speaking experience, Peter Oxley has drawn on extensive experience presenting in a variety of situations, as well as the secrets of the professionals, to write a book which is relevant to all wedding speakers - father of the bride, mother of the bride, groom, bride, best man, maid of honour and bridesmaids.
An author of fiction as well as non-fiction, with The Infernal Aether, the first in a series about demons in Victorian London, now for sale at online retailers.
What motivated you to write a "how to" book about wedding speeches?
It all started when I had a hectic year in which I got married and then (less than three months later) was best man at another wedding. I remember talking to the other speechmakers and comparing notes - about being nervous, not knowing what to say or how to say it...
I've always been a sucker for "how to" books and I set about trying to find one that would help us all, but couldn't find one which did what I was looking for - something practical, covering all of the concerns we had, and not just a glorified joke book. Having wasted forever scouring the bookshops and websites, I finally admitted defeat - there was a book in my head which didn't seem to exist! The final straw was when I read the foreword to one book where the author spoke about how it's not unusual to feel nervous before doing a speech and that he'd been so nervous that he'd not done a speech at his own wedding! If someone like that can write a book, I thought, then I certainly can - and The Wedding Speech Manual was born!
I've always enjoyed helping people and this has been a great way for me to do so - when I get feedback from people saying how the book has helped them (as I did the other day, on Twitter), it really does make my day!
What's your worst public speaking experience?
I remember it well - too well! It was at High School and I'd agreed to go into a class to talk to them about Equal Opps. I was incredibly nervous and it showed - and during the course of those ten minutes or so (which felt like about ten hours) I committed every public speaking sin there is. Looking down, not making eye contact, telling them that I'd understand if they were bored because (gulp) it was all a bit boring...!
My initial response to that experience was to run and hide from any other opportunities to speak in front of people, but a few years later I was sent on a presentation skills course, which finally boosted up my confidence - and I've not looked back since!
The Wedding Speech Manual is the complete, practical, step-by-step guide showing you how to write and confidently perform your own personalised wedding speech. Includes practical exercises to guide you through the process of researching, writing and performing your wedding speech, as well as a "Troubleshooting" section which contains answers to the most common issues and questions.