Whether you’re gay or straight,
the fear of giving a best man speech affects all men equally. Best man speeches
are scary because most of us aren’t professional speakers, let alone comedians,
yet we’re expected to deliver a rip-roaringly funny speech to as many as 100
people with little or no prior experience of doing so. It’s a tough ask, but it
can be achieved if you break down your best man speech into manageable chunks.
Research your speech
The most boring best man speech
you will ever encounter is one you’ve heard before. Sadly a lot of best men use
the same old tired jokes off the internet in their speeches, which does a
disservice to the groom and is painful for the audience to listen to. Instead,
you should actively research personal anecdotes about your best friend, either
from friends and family or from your own memory bank. Original is always best when it comes to public speaking.
Structure your speech
Structure is not a romantic word. No
one marvels at the thousands of anonymous girders that make up The Empire State
Building. Instead, they coo at the building’s awe-inspiring height, the
shimmering beauty of its exterior or the daring vision of the architect who
designed it. But
without those dull girders there would be no Empire State Building. All decent
architecture is built upon a solid structure. And the same logic applies to
your best man speech. If you want it to hold up under public scrutiny on the
day of the wedding then it has to be structured properly.
Practise your speech
Gary Player, the South African golfer, once
said: “The more I practise, the luckier I
get.” He’s right. It’s
not sexy, but practise does make perfect. You can have the best written speech
in the world, but if you don’t practise it enough – and in the right way – the
end result will always be average. Having been to a fair few weddings in my
time, I can usually tell straight away if the best man has practised his speech
enough. True confidence comes from thorough preparation and it radiates from a
best man who has mastered his speech in private. Conversely, best men who haven’t
put in the required hours of practise can’t help but exude tension from the
off. With practise comes mastery.
Deliver your speech
You’ve put hours of preparation
into your best man speech and could recite it with your eyes closed. All you
need to do now is just deliver it. So why are your knees knocking? Well,
speaking in public isn’t easy and anyone who claims it’s a breeze is lying. We
are extremely social animals and care deeply what other people think about us. Everyone
gets nervous public speaking. Everyone.
Even professional comedians get nervous every
time they go out to face an audience. But you can control your nerves if
you’ve prepared diligently. In fact, nerves are an asset when channelled
properly as they bring things into focus.
About the author: Ed
Gallois is the creator of the Best Man Speech
System, an acclaimed e-book on how to research, structure, write, practise
and deliver a world-class best man speech.