22 Feb How to write a memorable best man’s speech
The best man’s speech is often a high point of a wedding – in most parts for the right reasons! However, it’s a big responsibility, and penning the perfect best man’s speech can be tricky, especially if you’re not a natural wordsmith, or indeed public speaker. We’ve compiled some tips and tricks that will inspire even the most nervous best man, whilst keeping the bride and groom happy.
If you don’t know where to begin when writing your speech, don’t worry. It’s completely normal to feel out of your comfort zone. After all, you’re being asked to pick out a few magical moments from a friendship to share with an eager audience. Start by asking yourself some key questions:
– How did you meet the groom?
– What’s your fondest memory with the groom?
– What’s a fact about the groom that most people won’t know?
Jotting down some rough responses to these questions should give you some material to work with. Question one helps you establish your relationship to the groom, the second should connect you to the audience, and the third should raise an eyebrow and perhaps even get a laugh!
On the subject of humour, many people worry about finding the right balance. The crux here is to know your audience. It’s all well and good making the groom’s friends laugh, but if your story will make the bride’s grandma uncomfortable, you may wish to reconsider. Remember – no jokes about the bride, as funny as your anecdote may be. It’s her day, and embarrassing her is an absolute no-go.
In terms of the order of your speech, this simple template will give you a solid structure:
– Introduction – who you are, how you know the groom
– Anecdote one (an earlier memory of the groom)
– Anecdote two (a memory from later in your relationship)
– Anecdote about how the bride and groom met/dated
– Heart-warming anecdote
– Toast to finish
Once you’ve picked your anecdotes, try them out on a partner or friend. Tell them as if you were at the wedding – work your timing, and notice which bits make them smile or laugh. After you’ve got to grips with the basics, you can start to exaggerate on these focal points – it’s a wedding speech after all, no one’s going to pull you up on the particulars.
In terms of the length of your speech, you want to aim for around three to four minutes long. That’s only around 420 to 550 words, so make each word count. Don’t ramble – you want to keep your audience engaged and, ideally, captivated. However good your script is, keep it under five minutes. People love speeches, but they also want to get on with their evening, so keep it snappy. When practicing your speech, ask your stand-in audience to time you – running over it will also help with your pacing and should build your confidence.
We’ll leave you with one key fact that will put you at ease: everyone wants you to succeed. The best man’s speech is the last speech of the day – the guests have already been through the emotions, and now they’re ready to laugh. You’re kicking off the party, so take a deep breath, smile and enjoy the moment. You’ve got this!