Making An Effective And Endearing Best Man Speech

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Spech from the Best ManThe best man speech is one of the top highlights of any wedding ceremony or reception, to be precise. Since most weddings are recorded for posterity, you want to give a best man speech that will make Hollywood actors and DC politicians look like posers. Just kidding, … but still. To do this in the most fascinating way, you will need a few things: fun, interesting facts about the groom and his bride, and unabashed wit, charm and sincerity.

The first thing to consider is WHO is the groom? Is he a quiet fellow who will be embarrassed if you give a speech that is too over-the-top? Can he take the personal ribbing that comes with the best man speech? The last thing you want to do is make a best man speech that becomes the last words ever spoken between two good friends.

So, while you want to be entertaining and secure your spot for the next big reality TV comedian’s role, be careful not to destroy your friendship in the process. It happens, needlessly, because wedding drinks remove inhibitions and common sense; and the facts flow like waste through a sewer line. The way to avoid major damage is to limit drinking before the speech, weigh your words carefully, be considerate of everyone involved, be thoughtful; and Do Not Be a Jerk!

The first order of business is to give appropriate thanks. Thank the groom for selecting you as best man. Thank the bride and her bridesmaids, mothers, fathers, grandparents and any special persons like the key wedding planner or the ballroom owner for allowing its use. Be thoughtful. Cover all important parties so no one is left out with hurt feelings. The best way to seal that deal is to lastly thank everyone who showed up because every one of them contributed to the meeting and the marriage, etc.

After the thank you message, transition into the main body of the speech with a brief joke about something that happened on the way to the wedding. Keep it within the boundaries of good tastes depending on the kind of crowd you are addressing. If there are grandparents and children present tailor your jokes accordingly. If it is a small crowd of adults and more ribald humor is acceptable, then by all means take the shot. The key is to get laughs, not upset people.

Moving on from the humor you should then transition right into speaking about the groom. Talk about how you two met. Address any notable ups and downs in your relationship. Use a little editorial license and perhaps opine on what would have happened in a situation if he groom had not been there. Focus on facts, but if you can pull off a funny twist to a story everyone there probably knows, then go for it. In all things, moderation! Don’t string the audience along with “just kidding” because it gets old fast and you have lost your focus. Make the crowd laugh, but endear them to you, the groom and his new bride.

The best man speech should include facts about the groom that you can twist for laughs. And example would be: “Joe was always had the best grades every class. He could afford to bribe the teachers!” With proper delivery, everyone will know that was a joke. You are rationalizing why he always had better grades than you. But think it through. If Joe was poor back then, it doesn’t make sense.

Go with facts about the groom and the things you did together. LEAVE OTHER WOMEN OUT! No matter how you and he were with the babes, this is NOT the place to approach THAT topic. Instead, talk about how he changed for the better after meeting the bride. Give humorous kudos to her: “I was concerned Joe’s life was going nowhere, and then he met Betty! He’s getting to work on time, losing weight…it’s like he’s got his own drill sergeant!” Tie in reality TV or other cultural items that everyone there should be familiar with. This kind of thing bonds the crowd. “Thank God for Betty! Now Joe doesn’t sit around on the couch all evening crying his eyes out because Lulu got booted off American Idol!”

Keep the first few minutes light and frothy, but transition again to make the last minute of so as heartfelt and sincere as possible. Talk about the things you are going to miss, but how you won’t mind the sacrifice knowing old Joe is in a far better, happier world with his new bride, Betty.

Mention a few dreams they have shared with you, and how your dream is that their dreams all come true. If appropriate, shed a tear (I can’t tell you how to do it but I have seen guys doing it … may be they are more sentimental than others) of joy for your old friend. Even if you don’t, make everyone else weep a little. If you have to act a bit to accomplish this, know that there is no shame in a fake sniffle or two, averting the face from the crowd as you seem to hold back tears. That is the tender, touching moment that makes it clear why YOU were chosen as The Best Man.

You could find more elaborate guidelines and materials that are, in my honest opinion, indispensable for your speech elsewhere in this blog. I suggest you scan all the headlines and read as many posts as possible.

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