How to Deliver a Flawless Proposal

"Happy wife, happy life."

Around the time I would propose to my wife she mentioned to me, several times, that she did NOT want a big, public display with hooplah and fanfare. I do a lot of things wrong as a husband (perhaps Ray Barone as a role model was a questionable choice), but one thing I try to do right is listen when my wife insists I do something a certain way for her. This takes effort as my first instinct tends to be the opposite of what she wants. Men are from Mars, women are from Venus - you know the deal. So for our proposal I heeded her request and proposed in a fairly private place with a minimum of theatrics.

This went against the grain of what I had heard about from my friends and the ever-escalating "look how amazing and cool and original my proposal was" on YouTube extravaganzas. One thing I wonder about those is whether the actual proposal, the spoken words, are given the same amount of attention and preparation so that they are delivered with the maximum effect.

So if you are like me and you won't be hypnotizing your partner with a mini Michael Bay-style production and will rely more on your words, here are a few EZPZ steps you can take to deliver a flawless marriage proposal.

  1. Take a first stab and jot down the main points. (10 min)
  2. Read it out loud several times.
  3. Make small tweaks until you have the main points in there. (No more than 5 min)
  4. Use a voice recorder on your phone and without reading, just go for it. You will stumble. You will leave important things out. That is okay and part of the process.
  5. Listen to it.
  6. Read your notes again and think about what you would like to add, remove or change.
  7. Repeat steps 4 through 6, making any changes you would like along the way.
  8. When you are 80% happy with your last recording, it's time for fun.
  9. Now mix it up by doing your proposal in several different modes. For example:
  • Character voices - Terminator, Batman, Stitch.
  • Sing it - Lionel Richie, John Mayer, Bon Jovi.
  • Do it with your eyes closed. On one foot. Do it upside down.

By the end of this process, your message will be sharper and you will have internalized what it is you want to say.

Finally, Step 10. Leap of faith.

Throw away your notes and every recording except the last one. You are ready, grasshopper. Anything you will forget is not that important. You now have the confidence through your practice and training. Go forth, make that perfect EZPZ proposal and live happily every after!