Take a deep breath, stand up straight with your weight on both feet and look around at your audience for a few seconds. Yes, it is difficult especially when your legs feel like jelly and you have the most dreadful knot in your stomach. If you have a good friend in the audience, look at them and smile. Be aware of the importance of your body language right from the start.
If you are using notes, make sure they are at hand before you stand to make your speech. There is no excuse for frantically searching your pockets or your handbag at the last minute.
Take your time. If you have practiced the speech, you will know what to say. You may want to take a few seconds to glance at the headings or opening line to give you confidence. After that, look at your audience and make eye contact with them. If you can smile as well, it will make them feel all the more part of your proceedings. As you speak, try to spend more time looking at the guests than at your notes. Pause to gather your thoughts and glance at your notes.
If you forget something, don’t get flustered.
Just remember to breathe, smile, and look at the audience and all will be well.