When delivering a Best Man speech, it is crucial to know what to leave in (for entertainment) and even more important is knowing what to leave out (one wrong move could ruin the day!). Listed below are the do’s that all Best Men should read and remember.
Best Man Speech Do’s
- Know your audience. More than likely you will know a large part of the male contingent (Groom’s friend’s) in the crowd who will give the biggest laughs. Don’t be afraid to appeal to them. They are your greatest allies.
- But at the same time… know your audience. There will of course be older people there. If you want to be very funny don’t be afraid to be a bit risky with some jokes as there is nothing worse than a bland comedian. If you want to play it safe you can have some generic crowd-pleasing gags in your arsenal. Also, remember innuendo is your friend to help you walk this tight rope.
- Have a prop or two. This will break up the speech nicely and it always gets a good reaction from the crowd. The best idea for this is to wrap something up as a gift for the Groom. For example, it could be a caricature of the Bride & Groom, a mirror if the groom is vain, a wig if he used to have hair etc.
- Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse. Make sure you have a close friend/partner who will proof-read your final draft. Read the speech aloud to at least one person before the big day. Practice reading it allowed in private. Visualise the audience.
- Make fun of the Groom, that’s your main job, but don’t destroy the poor fella. Your trusted proof-reader will let you know in advance if you’ve gone too far.
- Perfect your anecdotes. There is nothing worse than someone with shit anecdotes. Unless it’s a purposely sentimental story, all stories should all have a funny punchline/ending.
- Look at the audience as much as you can. Use the laughter after each joke as an opportunity to regroup yourself for the next part of the speech. The same goes for when you are speaking to the Bride and Groom, look at them, it feels more natural for everyone.
- Improvise if you feel the moment is there, but only in response to the audience. Try not to go on a too much of a tangent. This is dangerous territory.
- Throw in some cheesy/funny one-liners. People will know you are playing up the ‘Best Man’ role. They are good ice-breakers.
- Be yourself, sure, but be an exaggerated version of yourself, who likes to speak in public in a structured yet casual and humorous manner. Ignore people who say ‘just be yourself’, they are idiots, can you imagine if that’s all you did, it would be an underwhelming, underprepared, rambling, disaster of a speech.
- Smile. People will smile back. There’s proven psychology behind that. I think.
- Be sincere or sentimental, but don’t be too emotional. Unless they are that kind of family, keep it light-hearted. It’s a wedding not a funeral for God’s sake.
- Use a meaningful quote to close the speech. Try to learn this quote off by heart. It feels more genuine when you don’t have to read it off a card.
Get the Best Man Speech Guidebook
If you are thinking about your upcoming Best Man duties or need to draft your speech in a hurry you can check out the book the Best Man Speech Guidebook for even more tips and a full list of Best Man speech hacks. It contains the important do’s and don’ts in wedding speech etiquette, some great one-liners, visual gag options, but most importantly a clear speech structure and tried and tested speech templates.
The Best Man Guide
For more advice and ideas for all of your Best Man duties, check out our Ultimate Best Man Guide page.