Updated on 01/03/2022
Massive congratulations to you! You’ve been entrusted with the duty of Best Man, and with it, the lengthy list of responsibilities that come along with it – but the most important of all, the best man speech.
Traditionally, the best man's speech follows the one given by the groom and offers up a brilliant chance for you to share some sweet words and anecdotes surrounding your relationship with the couple, offering up your well-wishes as they begin their new life together.
We know this can be nerve-racking, so if you’re starting to lose sleep and you’re concerned you’ll choke as bad as Eminem did in 8-Mile, then allow us to lend a helping hand in the form of bestowing our top tip and tricks that’ll have your best man speech be the one to beat.
Quick Best Man Speech Tips
- Include appropriate anecdotes
- Show your feelings
- Express what you love about the couple & their relationship
- Keep it authentic and positive
- Don’t rely too much on humour
Best Man Speech Template
Knowing where to start, how to structure or even simply get all of your thoughts down onto paper can be extremely overwhelming, especially if you’re not used to sharing those kinds of sentiments with your guy friends. So, here’s a guideline to help you get started:
Build a Basic Frame
The best way to get started is to roughly jot down all of the key points you think are important and want to touch on at some point during the speech, then you can focus on their priority – perhaps numbering them in your desired order, cutting anything you might find to be irrelevant or inappropriate.
Once you’ve got this basic skeleton mapped out you can fill in details, anecdotes and memories that are pertinent to each point you have made.
Find a Theme
Tying each element together, having a base theme to focus on can be extremely unifying if you’re still finding it difficult to get your speech off the ground and into the air. Think of it as something you want to impart to your listeners, something for them to ruminate on after you’re finished speaking.
This is where that list of memories and anecdotes we mentioned earlier comes in handy, looking at those will help you find a running theme whilst staying on track.
Share your feelings
For some of you, we know this is easier said than done as it can be an uncomfortable experience to lay your feelings bare but delivering something more heartfelt than just joke upon joke will leave a much more lasting impression with both the guests and the newly betrothed couple.
Focus on the newlyweds
Whilst this may seem like we’re stating the obvious, whilst it’s a nice element to touch on, it can be easy to mistakenly centre your best man speech around the person you hold the closest relationship with. Remember you’ve been asked to celebrate the relationship between the two people getting married, so shine some light on your insight into their bond and the one built between the 3 of you.
Best Man Speech Tips
Find your theme
As we mentioned earlier, this will be a unifying factor and will help you tie e all the elements you want to focus on together and offer your guests something to take away from it once you have finished speaking. Focus on your favourite stories and use those to identify a running theme.
Be authentically you
There’s a reason the couple have asked you specifically to be their best man, so just be you and stick to who you really are. Authenticity is a key part of a winning best man speech, so there’s no need to adopt a new “character” or put up a façade - there’s no need to force yourself to be something you’re not.
Make sure it’s appropriate
Bear in mind that your audience is more than likely to be people of all ages and cultures, so a story or lexis you might generally use when you’re in an isolated friendship group may not land too well with everyone in the room. As yourself “is this appropriate” as you’re writing your speech and if it’s not, remove it. If you’re not too sure about something, ask a friend as their reaction will be a great gauge for how others will react on the day.
Get a second opinion
Not that you could forget but, remember this speech will be delivered to a crowd of people. So, it doesn’t hurt to get a bit of feedback on what you’ve planned to say.
Don’t rely on humour too much
A few jokes here and there can be great to break the proverbial ice and loosen up the crowd, but they shouldn’t make up the bulk or the entirety of your toast – especially if you’re someone who isn’t a natural born comedian.
Keep in short and sweet
Let’s be honest, you probably know from experience that toasts that drag on for ever and a day annoy everyone. No one is ever going to complain that the best man speech was too short, keeping it between three to five minutes will do just fine.
An actor would never get in front of the camera or on stage to read lines they’ve never said out loud before, so why should you stand to make a speech you’ve never uttered a single word of? First read it out alone to feel how it flows, then practice it with a small group of friends – they'll be able to give you some feedback about the length, contents and your “performance” and you’ll be able to go into the wedding day knowing you have a solid speech in place.
Limit your drinks on the day
We know giving a best man speech can be a nerve-wracking experience and the urge to reach for the “liquid courage” can be tempting. But there’s nothing more embarrassing than going too hard on the alcohol and having the splutter and slur your way through the speech you’ve worked so hard to write. Feel free to go wild on the shots and champagne afterwards, but beforehand try and limit your drink intake.
Perhaps one of the most valuable best man speech tips we can give you is to relax. We know this is easier said than done so try not to open by talking about how nervous you feel, remind yourself you’re simply talking about your best friend and the love of their life – two people who you most likely have spent a lot of your time with. The best way to will yourself to relax is to simply think of it as telling a story to a group of your friends which, in essence, you are.