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Your guide to writing, preparing, editing, coaching and delivering traditional speeches

Best Man Speech

You should never take lightly the honor of being the best man at a wedding. Your friendship with both the groom as well as the bride has resonated deeply enough with them to warrant such a request. Before you bask in the reflected glow of this honor, remember that certain responsibilities accompany the title. You will need to make a best man speech in front of a lot of people, some of whom may not be so forgiving. Time to start making a plan on what to say. Never rely on your improvisational talents to know the best things to say when faced with the actuality of the task.

The anxiety you probably feel stems from two areas: the first is the dread of speaking in front of many people; the second is the thought that you will have to come up with something clever and meaningful.

Remember that what you are attempting to accomplish is to relate your feelings about the couple to a bunch of friends. With this in mind, your approach should be to carry on a conversation with the audience as if you are merely talking about your dearest friends. Any relaxation techniques will help to reduce the anxious feelings you are sure to experience.

Your fear about the content of the best man speech will bring you to rely on your knowledge of the two principals. Once you brainstorm some stories from your relationship with the couple, you will begin to gain confidence and your anxiety will lessen. One method of relaxation that you should not use is alcohol. You should delay consumption of alcohol until after you make your best man speech.

The simplicity and length of your best man speech are the parts on which to concentrate next. Initially, your comments set the tone for your speech. You have to decide whether you want to use humor, to bring out emotional responses, or to simply make a sincere and appreciative speech. You should draw on your knowledge of the bride and groom to gather anecdotal material. A proper length for the speech should run between seven and ten minutes. You are merely acknowledging the bride and groom from a friend’s viewpoint and your long-windedness shouldn’t stand in the way of everyone’s enjoyment.

Your beginning should acknowledge the presence of both sides of the aisle and thank the bride and groom for the privilege of being the best man. If you want to use some humorous stories, the middle section of the best man speech is the best place to use them. Keep the material appropriate and don’t embarrass either family with any too-revealing stories about wild parties from the past. Give equal amounts of airtime to each principal so that you don’t appear to play favorites.

The ending should be sincere and emotional, a rousing call to a future life with success for both. Salute them both with a toast and raise your glass.


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