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330 S. Main St.  Urbana, OH  43078
Best Man Speech Guide

  Perhaps the most stressful part of being the best man is the best man’s speech. It’s certainly understandable that the speech is stressful.

Very few of us speak in public regularly, and most of us would be hard-pressed to write up a speech that accurately reflects our feelings for our best friend.

A wedding is an important day for the couple, and even this increases the pressure on the best man to produce a wonderful speech. With these thoughts in mind, I have included the below tips to make your task easier.

Start Writing Buy yourself a notebook, and start writing. Write down how you feel about the groom, how you feel about the relationship between him and his partner and how you feel about your relationship with him.

You can write down any stories about him and you grow up together (or how you met in college!) or even the traits you admire in him.

By writing all of these things down, you will have a place to start as well as something to refer to when it comes time to actually write the speech.

Focus Once you are satisfied that you have enough material, start narrowing the focus. Take out your notebook, and decide which things/stories or ideas you want to be the focus of your speech.

In many cases, you will notice a trait that you admire and will have many stories (in your notebook of course!) that illustrate this trait in your friend.

It is this focus that will enable you to write your speech with ease. It will also enable you to remember what the speech should focus on.

The Introduction Now, you will need to get back to writing. This time you will focus on the opening of your speech.

You want it to illustrate the focus of your speech as well as being an introduction to the guests at the wedding. Here are a few examples of openings you can use:

– My name is (insert your name). I have known (insert groom’s name) for X years. One of the things I have always admired… – When I first met (insert groom’s name) in the first grade, I never realized that one day I would be the best man at his wedding. – When asked me to be his best man I jumped at the chance (pause for effect)… then I realized that it meant I’d have to write a speech.

I asked myself what (insert groom’s name) would do in this situation…

– (Insert groom’s name) and I have been friends for X years. He and I have shared many things, and one of those is a love of…

Be Respectful Humor is a great tool, as long as you are respectful to the couple. I don’t have to remind you that this is a very important day in their lives.

Their relatives and friends are all attending this important event, and they have just been married. It’s okay to insert a bit of humor, but don’t go to far.

There are three main things to keep in mind.

It’s fine as long as it isn’t hurtful to the couple (in any way), as long as you wouldn’t mind it being said about you, and as long as it’s appropriate for all ages.

If you are unsure, ask somebody else whether they think it is “over the top”. Another perspective can be helpful in figuring out what is “perfect” versus what is “going too far”.

The Actual Speech

This is where you are free to include stories and events that are important to you and the groom. You can include childhood stories, when and where the couple met, his or their personalities and even what it means to you to be a best man.

Examples of why you feel the couple is well suited to one another is another thing you may include.

Hitched has examples of best man speeches if you get stuck. Also, Astoria Banquets has Wedding Speech Tips and Resources that offers useful information as well.

Concluding your Speech The best man’s speech is concluded by a toast to the couple.

There are many ways to do this, and one of the easiest is to simply raise your glass at the end of your speech. This is usually done on your final sentence.

A few examples: – A happy wife makes for a happy life (raise glass… used at our wedding incidentally)

– May they always enjoy the happiness that is felt here today (raise a glass)

– May their future be filled with fond memories to look back on (raise a glass) You can also include an actual toast.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Now that your speech is written, it is time to practice it.

Being nervous is normal, and by practicing your speech you will be better prepared for when the time comes to give it. Practice your speech out loud whenever possible.

I have a friend who used a tape recorder to tape his speech. This helped him to slow down and emphasize those aspects of the speech he felt were the most important.

If possible, recite it in front of another person. This will give you perspective, and you will be able to find out if the funny parts are funny and the serious parts have the effect you’d like them to have.

Practicing will also help you to feel more comfortable with your speech, and by practicing it a lot… you will also likely memorize it.

Other Tips and Ideas Keep the speech simple and keep it short.

Between three and five minutes is long enough to say what you would like while being short enough to keep everyone’s interest.

Make sure that what you say is from your heart, and you can’t go wrong.

Toastmasters International has ten tips for successful public speaking that offer some great advice.

If you have faulty memory, one great idea is to wrap your speech in the manner of a scroll.

Simply tie some satin ribbon around it, and it will look like part of the presentation of the speech when you read from the scroll.

Finally, remember that you will do fine!

You are special to the groom, and that’s why he chose you as the best man.

The couple and the wedding guests are all rooting for you, and it is easier to do this in front of interested friends instead of un-interested strangers. Go for it!


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