The role of best man brings with it great responsibility. Some of those responsibilities induce excitement, such as the much anticipated stag do, however others such as the best man's speech trigger worry and procrastination. It's nerve-racking and a little daunting but the groom wouldn't have chosen you if he didn't think you were capable of creating this memorable moment. Now it's time for you to step up and show him that you can boss it! Some of you may take centre stage like a duck to water but if it's something you're just not accustomed to, we are here to relieve some of the pressure with some top tips to deliver a smashing best man's speech (cue the applause!) Take a seat, grab a pen and paper and get the ball rolling on your speech sooner rather than later!
A certain level of roasting the groom is expected but know where to draw the line as extreme humiliation is not okay and you don't want to get him in the doghouse! Start with the embarrassing one liners and jokes, and end on a positive high note with those obligatory sentimental words to melt the hearts of the audience. You want to take them on a journey where at the beginning they're in fits of laughter and by the end they are getting teary eyed.
This time it's not just you and the lads. You're more than likely going to be speaking to a broad range of ages from toddler's to OAP's so bear this in mind when writing the speech. You want something which will cover all bases, offering something for everyone. This doesn't mean to say you can't include those red-faced stories (because who doesn't want to hear them!?), but keep it PG!
We know it's easy to fall down the rabbit hole of that lads holiday to Zante but let's not get carried away. The key to a great speech is keeping it short but sweet. Aim for something between 5-10 minutes, any longer and your audience will be checking their watches. Stick to your brief, time yourself and don't go off on tangents left right and centre. It's likely the guests have already sat through the bride's father, groom's father and maid of honour speeches so they'll soon be itching to dig into the cake and hit the dance floor.
Don't try to be something you're not as unfortunately it will show. If you're the joker of the group, by all means step up to the plate and deliver a comedic speech to have the guests laughing out loud. However if you're more of the serious type, don't attempt to take on the role of comedian. Stick mainly to the sentimental stuff with maybe a pun or a simple light hearted joke thrown in to relax the mood of the room and peak interest.
You may think that you've got this under control after weeks of practise but in the heat of the moment who knows what could happen. The dreaded mind blank is not uncommon when you're stood up in front of a crowd with all eyes on you so having some notes to hand is necessary and shouldn't be frowned upon. Nonetheless you don't want to be looking down for the duration, eye contact is key to engage with your audience will keep their attention span high. So we'd suggest having a few A5 cue cards to remind yourself of the key points you'd like to speak about.
A drunk, slurring best man is definitely not going to paint you in the best light. The temptation to have a dose of liquid confidence pre-speech to ease the nerves is real, but know your limits. There is a fine line between feeling a little merry and getting absolutely plastered. Basically what we're saying is certainly indulge in a tipple or two before the speech but save the rest of the beers for afterwards.
Lastly, raise a toast to the happy couple (and the fact you've just pulled off your most important speech to date) and celebrate 'til the early hours!