Your ability to entertain an audience for ten to fifteen minutes may be limited. Luckily no one expects you to be perfect but they do expect you to be prepared, entertaining, tasteful and heartfelt. You are the best man for a reason so now is the time to rise up to that challenge.
Step one to delivering a memorable speech is to start early … three months early in fact.
This time frame allows you to ask parents, friends and siblings for anecdotes about the groom and his bride as well as adding your own. Little known character traits can help keep things fresh.
Step two is to actually write down your speech. Yes, it is better if you can memorize it but that is an unnecessary stress.
Step three is to drink after your speech to avoid the common slurred alcohol induced deliveries found in most weddings. A new trend is to give speeches before the actual meal which makes for more sober speeches. Also the speakers can better enjoy their dinner.
“The ‘X’ Files”: Things to avoid
Bringing up ex-spouses or ex partners even in jest tends not to go over well. Also verboten is stag party shenanigans or graphic stories. Best to keep this adult friendly fare.
What to include.
Start with a great opening and you’ll have an attentive crowd throughout. Humor is encouraged as are moments of thoughtful sentiment on this occasion. Remember to thank the speakers who have gone ahead of you (father of the bride, groom) for their kind words. Be mindful to make mention of the wedding party, congratulate the newlyweds, and compliment the beautiful bride as well. Also include a story or two about your personal history with the groom. The audience will appreciate an amusing story that reddens the grooms cheeks.
As you near the end, take a serious moment to include why you were chosen the best man. Commend his good features and praise how they will be a positive to his bride and his new wedded life. Add a touching quote and propose a toast. Finally sit down and commence enjoying the celebration!
A few final tips on delivering the speech would include: practice, practice, practice. Practice alone or in front of an honest audience, preferably someone not going to the wedding. Stand comfortably, speak slowly and enunciate. Record yourself to see where you can improve your delivery. Run through your speech ten minutes prior to the other speeches starting. Establish eye contact with people in the room and if you’re a little parched, have a glass of water available.
Remember to be the “best” best man you can be confident, striking in stature, and poised for any assignment!