The best man speech has become the focal point of many weddings. The best man either delivered a knock out best man speech and all of the guests are talking about it. Or, he delivered a poor or inappropriate speech that has everyone talking for the wrong reasons.
So, will you be the best man who delivers a knockout performance or will you be the one who accidentally rains on the wedding parade?
The problem with the whole notion of the Best Man Speech is that, in the majority of the cases, the best man has never spoken in public before. He does not have the experience. Thus, his first time as a public speaker comes on a grand stage and, even with lots of preparation, the only true test is the real one…when the best man finds himself in front of dozens or even hundreds of spectators.
Here are five tips to help you deliver a knockout Best Man Speech.
Five Tips for Your Best Man Speech
- BE YOURSELF, BE GENUINE: This is the #1 tip because it is absolutely the most important ingredient in your speech. Best Man speech that fail often do so because the best man is trying to be someone their not. You cannot imitate a great speaker. Great public speakers learn basic skills and then they adapt their own personality. Be yourself, be genuine and all will go fine.
- KNOW WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO SAY. THEN, SAY IT, DON’T READ IT: Sometimes we see the best man at a wedding simply reading his whole speech from typed-out notes. Notes are fine. Cue-cards are great–you don’t want to get up there and draw a blank when you look at all the faces. However, you cannot deliver a knock-out speech reading verbatim from your Word Document and not making lots of eye contact with the audience.
- BE UNIQUE: I recently attended a wedding in which the Best Man recited verbatim a speech he found on the Internet. Aside from changing the name of the bride and groom, the speech was word-for-word the same. Your best friend asked you to the be the Best Man because you are best friends. Find some fun in your shared stories and integrate those into your speech.
- MASTER THE STUFF AND THE WORDS WILL FREELY FLOW: What is the stuff? The stuff is your knowledge of the bride and groom, the stuff is what you want to say, the stuff is the audience, the stuff is where intellect meets personality. Preparation is key to mastering the stuff. If you have a good outline, some good stories, and love for the bride and groom, you will not get lost in speaking technique (you will be your genuine self) and the words will freely flow.
- BE HUMBLE: In many great best man speeches, the best man acknowledges his nervousness. This is a great step as it brings the audience on board with you and they want to see you succeed.
ONE BONUS “DON’T” TIP: Best Man speeches often go terribly wrong when the best man gets a few laughs, gets encouraged in this way, and then strays from his outline. Suddenly, he finds himself in no-man’s land not knowing where to go, mumbling on, and often saying something inappropriate.
Use these tips and the other resources on these pages and you will certainly deliver a Knock-Out Best Man speech!
Get your copy of his latest book entitled Obvious Conclusions, stories of a Midwestern emigrant influenced and corrupted by many years living in San Francisco and abroad. It just received its first outstanding review "...reminiscent of David Sedaris or Augusten Burroughs" on Amazon UK.