7 Top Tips for writing a best man's speech
The vows have been said, the confetti has been thrown and you didn't lose the wedding rings. Now it’s time to deliver the best man’s speech.
Writing a best man’s speech can be a daunting experience. For some the fear factor of standing up in front of your best friend’s loved ones and delivering a speech might be the scary part. For others, writer's block, or simply not knowing where to start might be the main hurdle.
We’ve heard a number of best men speak over the years at weddings here at Bath Function Rooms. We often invite the best man to visit the venue before the wedding day to become familiar with the space. This allows him to see where he will speak from and become familiar with the function room and how his voice will sound.
1. Don’t go it alone
You’ll no doubt have many anecdotes and insights to your best friend’s life - comedic errors, embarrassing antics or some genuinely nice things you might have to say. Speaking with close friends and family will also fuel the content of your speech - you might find out some interesting insights from brothers and sisters or even grandparents. Ask around for any interesting stories or tales others might have - surprising the best man with stories he didn’t think would come up is often a nice way to open your best man’s wedding speech.
2. Get creative
Animate a story you’re telling with a prop or illustration. This is a great way to engage your audience - if you’re speaking to a large group why not pass around those props or pictures from relevant stories around the wedding venue. Proving context with creative ideas will really help the room (particularly those who might not know the groom so well) get a grasp of the tale.
3. Speak to the groom
Giving your best friend a good send off on his stag is a good opportunity to raise the question of speech content - especially after a few drinks. Understand what type of content he would appreciate - and that he would not appreciate. While you’re his best man, sparing a thought for how the speech will sound to Grandma is worth considering.
4. Be proud
When a groom selects his best man he is making a statement. The groom is singling out the one person that he wants by his side throughout the day to ensure the smooth running of the wedding and to organise and help plan for the day. This is after all, one of the biggest days of his life. He is instilling a huge amount of trust in his best man and delivering a speech that the groom can be proud of should be a key priority of delivering your words. Don’t be afraid to show some love.
5. Don’t wing it it
There’s nothing more painful than a best man’s speech where the speaker thinks they can turn up and blag it without having a decent outline or body of content. Not only does this reflect badly on you and your relationship with the groom - but also the groom himself. Who picks an unprepared best man? Plan in advance, practice multiple times, and most importantly make sure you play to the crowd. Is the audience a fan of more crude or blue jokes, or is a straight bat the best way to play it?
Like any good speech, practice makes perfect - especially if you’re not used to public speaking. Know when you want to deliver humorous elements and how you want to punctuate more emotional or poignant moments of your speech. Timing your delivery and breathing is very important, but don’t get overly caught up in it - if you’re a more nervous speaker, relax into the speech with an early toast; audience participation will certainly give you confidence.
7. Take your time
One of the most common problems with public speaking is speakers who rush their lines. Remember that this a celebration and that everyone in the room is here to enjoy the day - you’re not presenting to the board or an interview panel. Speak slowly, consider each word and you will enjoy yourself. If the wedding party see you relaxed, smiling and enjoying giving your speech, they too will be exactly that.