Speak clearly, if you speak at all; carve every word before you let it fall. –Oliver Wendell Holmes
You have the ring, picked the day, planned the venue…and your partners in crime know how and when to get your girlfriend there. The rest is up to you, my man. The “rest” being what you say when you pop the question: your proposal speech.
I’m sentimental by nature, and old-fashioned enough to think that actually speaking your proposal has more impact than a billboard…or skywriting…or a video mash up. “Carving” your words and combining them with the outward symbol of an engagement ring is one of the most valuable gifts a man can bestow on a woman. (In my opinion at least.)
With that in mind, here are 8 simple tips to help you on your way to nailing the most important speech of your life; your proposal speech.
1 – Speak from your heart.
This is cliche as all get out…but I’m telling you it’s always the right thing to do. Take some real time to separate yourself from the noise of your day-to-day life and write down what you hear in that heart of yours.
2 – Count the ways.
I mean this literally. Make a list of the reasons you want her to be your wife. An exhaustive logbook isn’t necessary…just pick the highlights…even if the most important one is how she grabs your arm as you walk down the street.
3 – Memorize it.
Your mind is going to go completely blank as soon as you drop down on that knee so memorize what you’re going to say.
4 – Say it out loud…100 times.
I got this from an ad guy I know who told me to rehearse my radio spots at least 100 times before I got in front of the microphone. It’s amazing how much you have to practice something before you sound like yourself.
5 – Short is Sweet.
My friend Robin told me that women go into a “zone” whenthe moment of truth arrives…and they barely hear what you’re saying. Maybe it’s because guys try to go all Shakespeare and drone on about limpid pools and endless summer nights. That may work in the movies…but in real life…short and sweet wins.
6 – Speak only to her.
These days it seems that proposals need to be broadcast to the world…but ultimately what you say is meant for HER. Speak to her…and only her…even if the cameras are rolling.
7 – Be Confident.
This is no time to be timid…and if you follow the preceding 6 steps there is no reason to be anything but confident.
8 – Be YOU.
She’s loves the guy that you are…so be YOU when you pop the question. Leave the Daniel Tosh/Sean Connery imitations for afterwards.
Popping the question is a rite of passage reserved for the fortunate. It’s monumental…life altering…and unforgettable. Take some time to carve out your words…and then go for it. Good luck…and let me know how it goes.
Andy Koehn is the owner of Koehn & Koehn Jewelers, author of the Buy Like a Guy blog, and as he puts it, “The only woman/mom without a vagina.”
Photo Credit: Jen and Jed, Karra Tipton, Karra Leigh Photography, @karraleighphoto