Not all best men are blessed with the charm and quick-thinking wit of the suited fellows of the movies, but any best man can do just as good a job – and remember, those scripts are written by Hollywood writers.
Here are a few tips on how to make it seem like you deliver incredible speeches on a daily basis.
What to include
Think of it like a recipe. You’ll need an icebreaker to get you started, a quick introduction to yourself, a funny anecdote about the groom, a story about the couple, a few friendly digs aimed at the groom, something nice about the bride, and a positive note to end on.
Start by making quick notes on all of the above (you can also ask the other groomsmen), then flesh them out. Your entire speech should be approximately seven to ten minutes, but don’t let it get too much longer than that.
You won’t know everyone in the room, and they won’t know you either, but you can be sure they are curious about the guy who’s been standing next to the groom all day. Include a little on how you know the groom, as well as any funny or sweet details about your personal past with him.
Ask the bride and groom if there is anything specific they’d like you to include. Some best men have the job of thanking everyone for coming, giving people the go ahead to start eating, or passing on another piece of information.
What NOT to include
As tempting as it will be to bring up some of the terrible stories about your groom’s ex (or exes), you need to steer clear. Bringing her up will only make the groom awkward, the bride upset, and it will take the attention away from the fact that he has now found the love of his life.
Swearing or R18 content is a definite no, as even if your groom is quite liberal, you can guarantee some of the audience won’t be, such as grandparents. Plus, there may be children there.
Avoid inside jokes unless they are easily explained. Those who know the groom might be familiar with a particular story, but that still excludes the brides’ guests – be sure to only tell stories everyone can understand quickly.
What to remember
For every speech you ever give, there are always three different speeches; the one you write, the one you deliver, and the one you wish you’d delivered. They are never the same, so accept now that it’s totally normal to stumble over your lines a bit, stutter and laugh at your own jokes. No one will judge you for being human!
Keep the Dutch courage to a minimum before your speech – a drink or two may help your confidence, but anything more may have you slurring or forgetting parts of the speech. Save your celebrations until your part is complete.
Speak loudly, slowly, and if you manage to get the room laughing, give them a few seconds to quiet down again before continuing.
Most of all, have fun with it. It’s a wedding after all!