10 Tips for great best man speech
At some point in your life, one of your best mates or your brother will probably ask you to be the best man in his wedding. This is a great honor. One of the duties of a best man is to give a great best man speech wherein you say a few kind words about your friend/brother and his new wife
If you don’t want to make yourself look like a real ignoramus, and you want to truly be the best man, here are a few pointers to keep in mind as you prepare to give your best man speech:
1. Prepare. Don’t walk into the wedding reception thinking you’ll know exactly what to say when you get there. If you have a few weeks before the wedding, start mulling over some ideas for the speech. Begin brainstorming and jotting down thoughts, stories, jokes, and quotes you might want to use. The goal of the speech is to celebrate the couple and make them look good.
2. Stay sober. Sure, you want to enjoy yourself, and yes, alcohol may help take the edge off of giving a speech in front of hundreds of strangers; they don’t call alcohol liquid confidence for nothing. Be man enough to postpone your own gratification until after the speech is completed.
3. Open by expressing gratitude. Thank all the people who made the day possible. Single out the bride and groom’s parents by name, and offer a toast to them for not only putting on the wedding but for raising two fine people. Thank the guests for coming.
4. Tell a story–make a connection. The ideal way to structure a best man speech is to find a connection between a story about your friend and your support for the couple. Share a story about how your friend would always lament that he would never find a woman with x,y, and z qualities, but how he finally did in his new bride. Or tell a story about the moment when you were hanging out with the couple and you realised your friend had found his match.
5. Avoid controversial topics. Keep your speech on topics that aren’t controversial, offensive, or embarrassing. You would think this is common sense, but people somehow forget this when they’re standing with a microphone in their hand in front of a crowd of people. What gets people in trouble is attempting to be funny by sharing some embarrassing story or cracking some lame joke about a ball and chain.
Don’t talk about the groom’s past relationships, don’t tell people what you really thought of your buddy’s wife when you first met her!! basically, just use some tact and common sense.
6. Avoid inside jokes. If you want to keep people’s attention, save the inside jokes for when it’s just you and your friend.
7. Keep it short. Nothing irritates people more than some rambling drunk going on and on.
8. End with a quote. An easy way to end is by using a quote that wraps the speech up nicely. In “How Do You Know When She’s the One?” I shared the quote my father-in-law used at my wedding. You can’t go wrong with it: “Marriage is not about finding a person you can live with, it’s about finding the person you can’t live without.” After that you can simply say, “My friend has found that person.” The End.
9. Raise your glass and propose a toast. Raise your glass and say something to the effect of: “Here’s to a lifetime of happiness and love for ____ and ____!”
10. Remember to be yourself. No need to get formal or try to be someone you’re not. And there’s no need to follow these instructions exactly either. Simply use them as a guide and be yourself.