There is a highly specific set of jobs that require you to bust out an eloquent, touching, and funny best man speech in front of maybe more than a hundred people.
If your job is one of them, then this might be a piece of cake for you, but for someone whose job doesn’t involve all of this, the best man speech can be a daunting task.
Even if you’re not shy in public, this speech is quite different from any other. It has to be many things at once, and ride the line between humorous and heartwarming. We here at the Emporium absolutely understand your plight, and so we share our accumulated knowledge about writing the best out of the “best man speech”.
This is a no-brainer, but still many forget about who exactly they are talking to.
Of course you’re mainly addressing the happy couple, who are your friends and can take a joke, but their grandparents and assorted younger family members are also present. You have to find a balance between keeping the humor cheeky, while not going overboard.
You don’t want to shock the audience, and you don’t want to embarrass the bride or the groom.
Think about all of this especially if you plan on using props, as the wrong prop won’t even need a single word to cause problems. You might think it’s funny to get out a thong and give it “back to the bride”, but don’t be surprised if it doesn’t go over too well with everyone else.
There is a rich history to most relationships, a lot of which goes back to before the couple even met. Don’t be afraid to pull from any of the sources. You can collect telling anecdotes about their time together, but also question parents or relatives about their childhoods.
Finding similarities in their personalities from a young age can really pluck on those all-important heart-strings, and retelling some of their most fun adventures will lighten up the mood in a second.
You can also find more “humbling” little anecdotes, as long as everyone has fun with them. Don’t stress if you can’t find one single moment that encompasses the relationship, a “highlight reel” is always a great way to go.
Props are a great way to spice up your speech, and if you can make it work, can be the backbone of the whole thing.
Note, that by props we can mean a great deal of things. Old photos are fun if a little cliché, photoshopped pictures can be really fun if done right.
Again, raid the families of the couple, old videos, writings, toys can all be put to creative use, and will elicit a fun and emotional response.
Think outside the box! Read daily horoscopes, find out the meaning of the names of the bride and groom, find an online compatibility test – anything might spark an idea in your head, and nothing is off limits (within some boundaries).
This is the hardest part, and arguably requires more time than all the other preparation combined.
You always have the option of having it all written down, or having notes with you, but it seems less sincere, and using props might become cumbersome.
Have the speech itself written at least three weeks before the big day, and keep reading it over, every day if possible, till it becomes second nature. You don’t have to sit down and memorize it, just going through it enough times will familiarize you with the speech enough for you to not need the notes.
Use the punch lines of jokes as reference-points, it will help you keep track of what’s coming next.
You wrote an awesome speech, have all the music and pictures primed and ready, you memorized it all. But that sure is a large crowd. Your hands shake, your voice becomes shaky, and you’re not sure what you wanted to say.
All this can be avoided if you know the tricks.
First off, try not to get drunk, unless you know exactly how much drink to become merely funnier, as opposed to obnoxious. No one likes a loud drunk.
A better solution is to get some people together and rehearse a few times before the wedding, and remember the feeling you get when you finished and people laughed.
Pay attention to your breath, it will keep your heart rate down, stop you from talking too quickly, and figure out how you’re going to hold your hands. Too much or too little gesticulation can be detrimental to your overall performance.
If there is only one advice we could give you, we’d say it’s all about time you spend in front of the mirror, rehearsing the speech.
In conclusion, there really is no need to worry about the best man’s speech. It is great fun to put together, and a real ego booster when everyone enjoys it. Look your best, and remember it’s not about you, but it’s pretty cool to be the third most important person on a wedding!