Published on Apr 4, 2019
Your best friend has just asked you to be his best man – and at first all you feel is pride and how amazing it is. After all, what an honour to be chosen out of all his friends to support him throughout his big day – plus you get to organise the stag do! Then it hits, the thought of making the best man’s speech, the daunting task of standing in front of all the guests and trying to balance the seriousness of your speech along with the jokes, thank yous and embarrassing moments of the groom, without making him feel insulted… but not to fear, it sounds a lot more daunting than it is.
In a crowd of people, you will be hard pushed to find someone who likes public speaking, it’s not something that comes naturally to a lot of us, but that doesn’t mean you should be scared – just remember, you are speaking at a special occasion where it’s all friends and family, no one will be judging. That said, its always best to be prepared and not “wing” it on the day – reduce the stress by getting your speech ready in advance and practise reading through it a few times. With all the above in mind. we have put together some best man speech tips and advice to get you through the occasion as smoothly as possible.
Use these pointers when writing your own speech and remember, take your time and try not to stress (we know it’s easier said than done!)
You are his best friend for a reason, not only have you probably known him for most of your life and have plenty of memories together, but you also probably know him better than most. On a piece of paper, jot down some notes on how you know each other, how you met, how he and his wife-to-be met and why you are grateful to have met him. This is now your starting base for part of your speech. Use these notes to tell some stories and of course draw in some jokes along the way for some added humour!
Let’s face it if you want to write a good speech you must include a joke or two. Unfortunately for the groom, the best jokes can come at their expense. Try to think of some moments you spent with each other that will get the crowd laughing – be careful though, draw a line between the embarrassing moments which are funny and the ones he will not want anyone to hear about! Try and get a few one-liners in your speech, but keep the “dad jokes” to a minimum – you don’t want it becoming cringey!
After all the jokes, laughter and even maybe some tears, you want to bring it back to the key thing – It’s their special day! End your speech on a high with a heartfelt ending, something that is inspiring and connects with the guests and the wedded couple. This isn’t the time for any more jokes, it’s a time to get everyone on their feet, cheering and just feeling happy for the new couple.
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No matter how funny an event with the groom may have been, it may be something that should not be mentioned in your speech. You want to get laughter not embarrassment, avoid the taboo subjects like their past relationships, previous marriages, negativity about each other, that time they got arrested and bring out the positive memories. If you are debating on whether to include it, the chances are you shouldn’t. You can always get a friend or family member to read over your speech beforehand to check for you – better yet, practise your speech by presenting it to them.
All newly married couples need some advice every now and then so use your speech to help offer some. Maybe you are already married or just have some handy tips. Use this moment to speak from the heart, offer some tips on what to expect marriage to be like, places to go on their honeymoon, maybe add a light-hearted joke to break it all up. If you know of a poem, this could be the moment to read it out.
Preparing your speech is important, but some pointers for the day itself are always good to know. Below are five different points that are important to remember on the day. As mentioned above, remember that on the day, its all friends and family, its not a conferecne where you need to impress. Just take your time and you will smash through it in no time.
This is easier said than done, but try to watch your nerves and control them. When you get nervous you tend to speak quickly or mumble which can make it hard to be heard. Try to project your voice so that all the guests can hear you, slow down your speech and remember you can always take a deep breath to keep yourself together. Once you are in the flow of things you will find yourself easing in and it becomes more natural.
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Remember, inside jokes are for a small minority of the people at the wedding. Only a few will get it and laugh, the rest will sit there quietly wondering what you are talking about. You want to get all the guests involved and laughing so try and think of things outside of your friendship group. Inside jokes can come out later in the evening when you are all having a few drinks together.
The magic combination is to keep it short but sweet. Remember, you are not the only one that is going to be reading out a speech, a couple may have already been listened to. Try to aim for the 5-10-minute mark and if you feel the audience is getting bored, you can always cut your speech slightly short, (as long as you have practised it, that is!)
You may have practised your speech countless times, that doesn’t mean that on the day you are going to recite it word for word – nerves will almost certainly get in the way. Always print out your speech and have it with you, that way if you forget parts of your speech it is there in front of you. If it’s easier, bullet point key parts of your best man speech to keep you on track throughout.
Sometimes things don’t go to plan and if your speech is not going quite as you envisaged, have a backup plan ready. Have a couple of extras stories ready to tell if you need to, or have an extra joke or two ready to tell. Always remember the one get out of jail card – turn to the couple and tell the guests have lovely they are, end in a cheers and everyone one will join.
These were our top tips and advice for the best man’s speech – follow these and the day will go smoothly, and you’ll have the guests eating out the palm of your hand!