Preparing for a Best Man’s speech needn’t involve sweaty palms and sleepless nights, as long as you follow a few simple rules that is.
It’s a real honour when one of your friends asks you to be their Best Man. But lurking beyond the fun stuff like planning the stag night is the daunting task of delivering that all important speech.
Whether you’re a natural at public speaking or start trembling at the mere thought of standing in front of a load of people you don’t know and declaring your innermost feelings; there are a number of things you can try to make the experience manageable, if not enjoyable.
Plan for the Future
It’s not just the newlyweds that need to start thinking about the future, the Best Man needs to think ahead too and especially when it comes to what he is going to say on the big day. So make sure you have plenty of things to talk about by making short notes anything up to three months before the big day, as doing anything last minute is never a good idea; especially when you’ll have 101 other things to think about as the date looms nearer.
Write it Down
Memorizing is fine if you are good at retaining information, but you’ll feel a lot more confident if you have something written down to glance at should you need to. Nerves can mess with your memory so maybe use small cards instead of a sheet of paper as it’s easy to lose your place if you are reading from an A4 sheet containing hundreds of words which can easily resemble an overturned Scrabble set when the panic sets in.
Start with a Great Opening Line
Let’s face it, most people at a wedding can’t wait for all the speeches to be over so that they can get stuck-in to the free bar and start the festivities for real, and for that reason, you need to capture people’s attention from the outset. So set the mood with a great one-liner to start your speech and the rest should flow from there.
Keep it Civil
Your pals might want you to tear strips off the groom in public but remember there are other people at this wedding too and probably only half of them will know this guy as well as you do. Include a few jokes at their expense by all means but whatever you do keep it clean for the sake of everybody there. And remember; never, ever, make a joke about the bride or her family – keep any abuse aimed strictly at the groom.
Short and Sweet
You may think that everybody at the wedding is there to see your Best Man speech and as a result create a performance that Rick Wakeman would be proud of. But do you realise just how long 20 minutes can be when you’re listening to one person talking for the whole time? It doesn’t take long for people’s attention to wonder, especially when there is the prospect of free alcohol. So keep your speech to anything from between five and 10 minutes maximum to ensure you leave your audience wanting more – not shuffling uncomfortably in their seats.