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Checklist for Overcoming Pre-Speech Jitters

microphone-298587_640Public speaking is one of those things that leaves some people weak in the knees. With wedding season and graduation on the horizon it may be time to start preparing that special speech. I know how stressful it can be to give a speech packed with humor, excitement and memories, all while shaking in your own heels. I was a maid of honor once and I wrote and rewrote my speech over and over again.  I even practiced in front of the mirror!  In the end it was fine but what an ordeal!

If you are tasked with giving a speech at a wedding, at work or even in front of the PTA — do not fear.  Bill McGowan, author of “Pitch Perfect: How to Say It Right the First Time, Every time” has created this checklist just for us to help calm nerves and deliver a stellar speech. Read more

4 Etiquette Rules You Never Knew

etiquetteFor some reason, I’m always the “go to” girl for etiquette questions at the office. Etiquette extends far beyond the rules of holding doors and proper forks. I actually rather like etiquette but there is so much I don’t know! Experts like Emily Post, author of Etiquette in Society, in Business, in Politics, and at Home, know much more than I do so I checked out their advice on these interesting etiquette questions.

1. Ladies first, right?  Nope — not when we’re talking about a revolving door. Men should actually go through a revolving door first so they can push it for a woman. Don’t believe me? Lizzie Post has become my go-to for etiquette questions on twitter. Check out what she has to say!

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2. To drink or not to drink:  If you bring wine to a dinner party, it is considered a gift and the host does not have to open it. Experts recommend that if you want the bottle you brought to be opened that night, you should offer to be the one bringing wine to the party in advance.

3. While there are major disagreements about this, most experts say that you do not have to give a gift if you are not attending a wedding. As a matter of fact, some experts say that it is not required to give a gift even if you are attending. The gift is traditionally meant to support the marriage, not the wedding itself. But if you ask me — I say go with the gift no matter what.

4. You don’t have to stop wearing white after Labor Day. Lizzie Post recommends switching over to winter white when it starts to get chilly!

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What etiquette questions have you always wondered about?

A List for Writing Wedding Vows

New York became the sixth state in the United States to legalize same-sex marriage last week. I couldn’t be happier for my gay friends — it’s about time! This historic vote makes me think of my own marriage and one of the most important parts of the day– the vows.

Jay and I wrote our own vows when we got married in Puerto Rico because we wanted our ceremony to be very personal. I’m Catholic and Jay’s Jewish so we blended a bit of both backgrounds into the ceremony along with poems that really spoke to us.

The producer in me knew I should get to work on the vows early. I visited several wedding websites and took a trip to the bookstore to see what I could find out about writing a marriage ceremony script. I write scripts at work all the time – so I tackled this task in a similar way. Research, research, research.

Here’s a list of things to remember when writing your own vows:

1. Be Yourself: As you plan your wedding you will learn that it’s actually not all about you! Your family, friends and other guests will come first in a lot of circumstances. You’re throwing the biggest party of your life – you want to make sure they have a good time! But when it comes to the vows be true to yourself – make it all about you and your partner. If something doesn’t feel right – don’t do it or say it. Read more