First of all, congratulations, not just on being asked to be best man, but for taking the task seriously. Best men who turn up on the wedding day with a few vague ideas about some funny things that happened on the stag do don’t tend to produce speeches that linger in the memory – or at least, not for the right reasons.
Once you realise that there is work to be done, you’re over the biggest hurdle. Delivering a brilliant best man’s speech is the best wedding present you could give your friend. It’s also something that you will cherish for the rest of your life.
Have a look at the tips below, then get in touch to discuss how I can help you produce a speech that will do you and your friend proud.
- 1 It’s not about you
Remember that you are in a supporting role. You’re there to shine a light on the groom and his new bride, and make use of your privileged information about the groom to help the audience get to know him better – this includes laughing at his foibles, of course!
- 2 Plan, prepare and practise
- Begin working on the speech as soon as you can.
- 3 Keep it short
- Leave them wanting more and aim for five minutes. You’re aiming for flavour, not chapter and verse.
- 4 Cast your net wide
- The more people you can consult about material the better. Use the stag night to collect stories and insights from others who might know a different side to the groom. If at all possible, talk to the bride and some of her friends too. It will enrich what you say and give more people a vested interest in the success of your speech.
- 5 No points for cruelty
- Guys from the stag party may dare you to include dreadful tales from the groom’s past. Don’t. It won’t be them who has to deal with a tearful bride and furious groom. This is a celebration, of your relationship with the groom as well as the bride and groom’s marriage. Keep it positive.
- 6 Work the room
- Use the time before the speeches to talk to the guests you don’t know. It’s good to look up at friendly faces when you stand to make your speech, and if they’ve met you they’ll get behind you all the more. You may also get some gems of last-minute material.
- 7 Keep the bride on-side
- Even though your speech is ostensibly about the groom, the day belongs to the bride. Make sure this is reflected in your speech. Do not, under any circumstances, embarrass her in any way.
- 8 Be the MC
- The best man’s speech is usually the last of the day, top of the bill. See if you can act as Master of Ceremonies, introducing the other speakers. This will allow you to see how your voice sounds in the room, and establish your authority before you even give your speech
- 9 Don’t try to be funny, be truthful
- The legendary US comedian, Richard Pryor, used to give the following advice to young stand-ups, “Don’t try to be funny; be truthful and funny will come”. It’s the truths you can reveal about the groom that people will recognise and respond to with laughter.
- 10 Don’t get drunk
- Having any more than one or two drinks won’t impress anyone and will seriously impair your ability to deliver the speech. In the words of Bob Monkhouse: “Never accept a drink before your speech. And never refuse one after it!”
The next step
Look at the best man speech template
If you would like some help with the writing, editing or delivery of your best man’s speech, book your free telephone consultation on your speech via the contact form, get in touch via email or just give me a call. Together we will assess your needs and make a plan.
email – email@example.com
phone – +44 (0)7985919856