Tips on How to Make a Successful Best Man Speech

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By Malcolm Perkins

Here are my suggested Do’s and Don’ts for making a really successful Best man speech.

I will start with the Don’ts as they are the things to avoid that could ruin your Best man speech.

Don’t: If you are the Best man, please remember that your speech will be made to a family audience and it is definitely not to be regarded as an extension of the stag [bucks] night.

It will be far better received by the typical wedding audience of people of all age groups and walks of life; if you don’t use vulgarity, bad language and make references to the groom’s previous partners or relationships. It is possible to make a speech that will go down a storm by omitting all of these.

Don’t: drink too much alcohol before your speech. If you do have the odd drink to relax yourself, drink your usual tipple, as you know approximately how much is appropriate. Many Best man speeches have been ruined by the Best man drinking too much beforehand, I even went to a wedding myself where the Best man was so drunk, somebody else had to attempt to read his handwritten speech.

Don’t: forget the speech or the prompt cards; if you wear spectacles, don’t forget them.

Don’t: mumble. If there is no microphone, please speak loud and clearly, so that the people at the back can also hear. People will only laugh at things they can hear.

Don’t: pass around any photographs or props while giving your speech. If you are showing an article or blown up photo which everybody can see, it is OK to do so during the speech. What I don’t recommend is passing photographs around during your speech. This only leads to people talking among themselves, thanking each other for passing them and generally not fully listening to the things you are saying. It’s best to pass them around, when everybody has finished speaking.

That is the negative things, now for the positives the Do’s

Do: if you feel extremely nervous as you are about to give the speech, take some long deep breaths. Try and relax, remember everybody is on your side, not one person wants you to fail; and you won’t.

Do: try to open the speech with a witty comment. Once you have got a laugh, you will feel much more confident. A witty speech needs to be given, in a ‘tongue in cheek’ manner with a smile in your voice. It won’t seem anywhere near as funny, if your voice is flat.

Do: when you stand up you will probably receive applause. Hold your head up in the air, look around the room and give everybody a big smile. This makes people think you are relaxed, and relaxes them.

Do: when making a toast, make your announcement very positive. Wait until everybody has stood up. Lift your glass positively into the air before making the toast, and wait until everybody has lifted their glasses before giving it. A follow-up line to a toast, should be given immediately after the people have made their response.

Do: Try to make sincere bits sound sincere. A wedding is a loving occasion and I am sure your ‘street cred’ will remain just the same, regardless of how nicely you refer to people; in fact it might even improve.

Do: Try to mention the Bride, it is her wedding day too as well as the Groom’s of course. Many Best man speeches I have heard, have said so little about the Bride; in fact once more I went to a wedding where the Bride said, “He didn’t even mention me.”

Say how nice she looks at the very least.

Good Luck with your speech.

Malcolm Perkins

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December 29, 2016 |

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