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Think of this speech as an exam for your friendship; it’s an opportunity to really show how well you know the groom. Unlike some of your college exams, it’s time to put some real effort into preparing for it. Start writing the speech weeks in advance to allow yourself time to revise and practice giving it. While you can carry a few prompt cards, you should know the speech well enough by the wedding to give it from your heart.
Even if you wrote the greatest speech ever made, you can’t deliver it well if you’re stinking drunk. Many guys get nervous before a big speech and use alcohol to loosen up. It’s fine to have a drink or two, but know your limits and stay on the safe side. This is something you should want to remember anyways.
It’s hard to upset people when you’re thanking them. Start by thanking any important family who had a hand in planning the wedding, gesturing for a quick applause or toast before you continue. Finally, thank all the guests in attendance before carrying on with your speech.
There are very few weddings where all the guests in attendance know the best man. After the opening thank-yous, quickly explain where your friendship with the groom (and bride, if applicable) began. Keep in mind that guests unfamiliar with you won’t understand any inside jokes, so keep them out of your speech and appreciate them in private.
It’s easy to lather on compliments, but a great speech always consists of stories. Think of the best qualities that the wedding couple personifies and brainstorm some stories or funny pranks from your past that are entertaining. They should be funny or emotional in a positive way; don’t try to embarrass your friend on his big day. Finally, keep it PG, as there are likely a lot of family members and children in attendance.
While great speeches from leaders in history are often about controversial topics, this isn’t an aspect of a good best man’s speech. Your goal isn’t to inspire change in the world, but to share some stories and connect the guests to the wedding couple. This might seem like common sense, but run your speech by another friend to double-check. Keep religion, politics, and illegal activities out of your speech while also not embarrassing anyone in attendance.
A speech isn’t a conversation with your friends; it’s a one-sided dialogue with a large audience. No matter how awesome your stories are, your speech is just one small part of the wedding and shouldn’t take too long. Unless otherwise instructed, most speeches are about five minutes, but error on the shorter side. Throw out any mediocre parts of your speech and keep the most memorable parts if you’re having trouble sticking to this time limit.
The best man’s speech is usually one of the final speeches of the wedding, which allows you to wrap things up nicely. Add a touch of class to the end of your speech with a touching quote about marriage before asking everyone to raise a glass and toast the couple. As a general rule, your speech should start light and funny before moving onto more sentimental and heartwarming topics.
The groom showed a lot of trust in you by asking you to be his best man. Show your appreciation by nailing your speech with the eight tips in this article.