best man speech guide and advice

This page contains some advice taken from my downloadable guide . The advice below can be broken down into 2 areas - namely:

  1. writing the speech - collecting the content
  2. delivering the speech - public speaking techniques / dealing with hecklers etc.

If you get the content and the delivery working together, you will deliver a great speech!

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What sort of wedding will it be?

Writing a best man's speech can be daunting and confusing, especially if you haven't done it before. The key is to find out what kind of guests are coming, so you can tailor the humour to everyone's taste.

Before writing the speech, you need to gauge what sort of wedding it will be - formal or relaxed? Will the audience be just a select group of friends or a mix of families from young children to old grannies? Ask the groom for information on how many will be attending and who they'll be. You will have to tailor your speech to the type of audience.

Collect ideas - on paper

It's really important to write down any ideas as and when you think of them. You'll often think of an idea at unexpected times and it's important to get them down on paper or you'll forget them. My guide contains some ideas to help you get the content for your speech.

Etiquette - what you should cover

If it is a traditional ceremony, then the Best Man speaks on behalf of the Bridesmaids (and other helpers - ushers etc), and thanks the Groom for his toast.

You should toast the Parents / organizers and show your appreciation for the amount of work they’ve put into the day.

You should thank the Groom for asking you to be Best man.

Praise the appearance of the Bride.

Tell some funny appropriate stories about the groom (see below)

Read out any telegrams, cards and emails from people who were not able to attend such as relatives or close friends.

finish with a toast

Make your speech personal and try an use humour

Make sure that your speech doesn't just contain a bunch of one liners copied from other websites. Think of stories which involve the groom's past but don't be offensive or inappropriate - see 'what NOT to do'

Structure your speech - it should be no longer than 10 minutes

Just like those essays you had to do at school, your speech must have a 'beginning', 'middle' and an 'end'. At the beginning, you can break the ice by complimenting the bridesmaids and thanking the bride's parents (or whoever paid for the wedding). The middle part should be the stories about the groom and the end a summing up and toast.

Watch some best man speeches for free

I've put some links to speeches on youtube which you can watch for free. I've also commented on the best man's speech and performance.

Practice the speech

Make sure you practice the speech ... again and again and again ... Use body language to good effect - smile alot, speak slowly and try to change the expression in your voice. You should also try not to read the speech from a piece of paper - use short notes if possible. This will only be possible if you practice the speech to death. This guy should have practiced his speech a little more - the content is generally good but it would have been better if he had practiced it more.

Extra Credit - turn a good speech into a great speech

If you are willing to put into a little extra effort, then you can use props and even use film interviews during the speech which will really 'wow' the audience. I explore these options in more detail in my guide.

Speech examples

My guide has a number of examples which you can use in your own speech.

Coping with nerves

My comprehensive£4.99 guide also explores how to deal with the nerves which may otherwise ruin your speech.