I recently published a post called, “Tips for an Engaging Groom’s Speech” and I felt it’s now time to follow that up with my top 3 tips for a Best Man Speech (or rather, 3 things to avoid!)
Some of us guys will be lucky enough to have the Best Man tag bestowed on us during a wedding – and let’s firstly take a moment to appreciate just how honourable it is to have that title and how crucial the role actually is. This is essentially your friend telling you that he views you as his best mate and a person whom he trusts unconditionally.
Once you accept the role and recognise the importance of such a request, your mind automatically switches to unenviable task of having to prepare for one of the most anticipated moments of the wedding - the Best Man Speech. And to help you prepare for it, I've outlined 3 things you should probably avoid when you're working on your content.
Unless you’re a bona-fide comedian or an established funny guy, this is one of the riskiest things you can do. If you do crack a joke and it either falls flat or is perceived as being inappropriate, it will crush the mood. The audience wants you to succeed and so through the course of your speech if you have a few touch points about heart-warming experiences you’re very likely to get a few laughs without even trying to be funny.
An excellent way to really connect with the audience is to alter your vocal variety and let the difference in your vocal tone tell your story.
Complimenting the Bridesmaids
The Bridesmaids all look beautiful, we know that. They are meant to look beautiful but remember this isn’t about them, it’s about the wedding couple. Too many best men feel they need to compliment the bridesmaids and sometimes this can have the total opposite effect to what you would like it to.
It’s best to avoid complimenting them all together and instead, focus on the groom (and bride if you feel you can). You have precious few minutes to make an impact and it’s amazing how quickly time flies when you’re speaking, so use that time wisely and steer clear of unnecessary compliments.
Ripping into the groom
As a best man most guys feel as though it’s an expected tradition to rip into the groom. If this is done tastefully then it can be a hilarious way of delivering your speech but for most people, the nerves of speaking in front of an audience can take over and without even realising it, the inappropriate comments you make about your best mate can sometimes be cruel.
Remember, at every wedding there will be a lot of people who you don’t know and have never met so chances are your comments either won’t be understood or well received by a lot of guests. If you do want to rip into your mate then go for it – just wait until you’re having a beer once all the formalities are over.
I always recommend sticking to a few tried and tested methods – telling a story about a funny and relatable experience, complimenting the groom on his qualities and why he’s your best friend and finally, how it’s an honour that he has asked you to be his best man.
Finally, to all the ladies who are reading - this post can most definitely be applied if you have the privilege of being a Maid of Honour who is speaking about the bride. Whether you're a Best Man or Maid of Honour - speak from the heart, put your ego to the side, save the jokes for later and your speech will be one to remember!