Writing a best man’s speech is a bit like building a house; even if you have all the right material, you have to know not just how to put it together, but in what order. And it’s only at the very last moment – when the metaphorical walls have been painted and carpets have been laid – that it is fit for purpose.
Every best man’s speech will be different. There are however, five crucial stages that every best man speech needs to have:
Stage 1 – Introduce yourself and your relationship to the groom
How did you meet the groom? What were your first impressions? This section may only be a of sentence or two long, but it’s important as many of the guests may not know you and it also establishes your authority with the audience as being qualified to talk about the groom.
Stage 2 – Investigate but don’t assassinate the groom’s character
This is the main part of the speech, and it’s the most difficult to get right. The common misapprehension about the best man’s speech is that its purpose is to assassinate the groom’s character. This is not why you have been chosen to be best man. You have been chosen to commend the groom to the guests and as his best friend you are uniquely qualified to do this. Talk about what makes him who he is. What does he like? What are his defining habits or traits? What are his most noble qualities? Your speech should highlight his foibles but the over-riding message of the speech, like the day itself, should be all about love.
Stage 3 – Talk about how wonderful the bride is
Your friend is a lucky guy; he has convinced this amazing woman to marry him. What makes her so special? What has he said to you about her? What (positive) changes have you noticed in him since they got together?
Stage 4 – Say how pleased you are that the bride and groom have found each other
This is the conclusion of the speech. It will be very short, but it needs to be heartfelt. As well as saying how pleased you are that the couple have married, you might also add what an honour it is for you to have been best man.
Stage 5 – Propose a toast
You have already made the speech; the toast should be short and sweet, something along the lines of: “Ladies and gentlemen: the bride and groom!”
This is the blueprint for how to build your best man’s speech from the ground up. Even if you are a confident and experienced public speaker, you could save a lot of time by having a helping hand with the gathering or editing of material or the delivery of the speech.
The next step
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