I have been tasked with giving the speech at a friend’s wedding soon and although I am very used to public speaking, specifically at weddings, being the Wedding Celebrant and being the person who deliver’s ‘The Best Man’ speech are two very different things. You want to be entertaining but not at the expense of being sincere, you want to be funny but not crude or vulgar, you want to be inclusive but you may only know a small portion of the guests personally. So, the more I thought about it the more I began to see why so many guys get stressed out about this one small element of the wedding day.
When I think back to my own wedding, my best man did an amazing job, he was articulate, warm, hilariously funny, inclusive, complimentary and with only the most gentle of ribbing. In terms of how to write and deliver a great best man speech this guy gave a masterclass. So, if it is something that you need to be thinking about in the next little while what advice can I give you.
1. Start early, I know you might be dreading it but if you leave it until the last minute it will only stress you out even more and the speech will end up not being as good as it could be.
2. Talk to the groom about it – ask him what you would like to mention and maybe what he would not like you to mention. Remember he chose you to be his best man because he wants you up there with him on the biggest day of his life and NOT for your speech writing skills.
3. Have a look at samples online and on youtube – but try not to copy or stick rigidly to these formats. The best speech will be the one that YOU write and that comes from your heart.
4. Keep it clean – there is nothing more embarrassing for everyone involved than when the best man tells an inappropriate joke or story that falls flat. If you feel that you must embarrass the groom with an innuendo laden tale remember to leave the bride out of it. She will not thank you (and neither will her parents) if you drag her down too.
5. The best piece of advice is to keep the whole thing light but sincere. Tell the couple how you feel about them. Tell them you are thrilled to be part of their special day and wish them all the best in the future – if you get that right then you will do just fine.
And good luck, you’ll do a great job.