- Andy O'Sullivan
Best Man Speech: Top Tips, Strategies for the Perfect Toast
The best man speech is a crucial part of the wedding festivities, and it's your responsibility to make it unforgettable. As the best man, you need to ensure that your speech is engaging, heartfelt, and appropriate for the occasion. To help you deliver the perfect best-man speech, we have compiled a list of actionable tips, strategies, examples and guidance on creating and using notes to deliver your speech easily. Follow these steps, and you'll have everyone raising their glasses in no time.
Start with a strong opening
Your best man speech should begin with a memorable and impactful opening line to capture the audience's attention from the get-go. Your opening could be a funny anecdote, a heartfelt sentiment, or an interesting fact about the couple. Remember to introduce yourself and your relationship with the groom for context.
Example: "Ladies and gentlemen, for those who don't know me, I'm John, the proud best man and lifelong friend of our groom, Tom. I must say, I never thought I'd see the day Tom would willingly trade in his beloved video games for an even greater adventure—marriage!"
Keep it short and sweet
Aim for around 750 words or five minutes in length. A speech of this length ensures you have enough time to convey your message without losing the audience's attention.
Use anecdotes and stories
Share captivating stories and personal anecdotes that showcase the groom's personality, character, and relationship with the bride. Keep these stories light-hearted, relatable, and appropriate for a diverse audience.
Example: "I remember when Tom and Jane first met. We were all at a concert, and Tom was determined to get to the front row. He managed to push his way through the crowd, and in doing so, he bumped into Jane. Instead of getting angry, she laughed it off, and they struck up a conversation. They've been inseparable ever since."
Be genuine and sincere
Although humour is a crucial component of a tremendous best-man speech, expressing genuine emotions and heartfelt sentiments is equally essential.
Example: "Tom, I've known you since we were kids, and I can honestly say I've never seen you happier than you are with Jane. I'm truly grateful to have been part of your journey, and I couldn't be more excited for the life you will build together."
Practice makes perfect
Rehearse your speech at least five times in the weeks before the wedding. The rehearsals should ideally be in front of a trusted friend or family member. Rehearsing will help refine your content and delivery and ensure you feel confident on the big day.
Mind your body language
Maintain eye contact with the audience, use appropriate gestures, and avoid pacing or fidgeting. Eye contact will help you project confidence and keep your listeners engaged.
Example: Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart, maintain eye contact with the audience, and use appropriate gestures like raising your glass during the toast or pointing to the couple when telling a story about them.
Close on a high note
End your best man speech with a heartfelt toast to the bride and groom.
Example: "And so, as we raise our glasses, let's toast to a lifetime of love, laughter, and happiness for Tom and Jane. May they continue to find adventure in every moment and always remember the magic of that first encounter. Cheers!"
Create and use notes effectively
While it's essential to practice your speech, having a set of well-organized notes can be a helpful tool to keep you on track during the big moment.
Here's how to create and use notes for your best man speech effectively
a. Keep it brief: Your notes should be a simple speech outline with bullet points for each key point or story. Avoid writing out your entire speech, as this can make maintaining eye contact and engaging with the audience difficult.
Opening: Introduce yourself & funny fact
Concert story: Tom and Jane meet
Tom's growth: Change in priorities
Sincere message: Happiness with Jane
Closing: Toast to the future
b. Use legible font or handwriting: If you're typing your notes, choose a clear and easily readable font, such as Arial or Times New Roman. If you're writing by hand, ensure your handwriting is neat and legible.
c. Highlight or underline keywords: To make locating specific points or anecdotes in your notes easier, consider highlighting or underlining keywords or phrases. The highlights and underlining will help you quickly glance down and find your place if needed.
d. Practice with your notes: Rehearse your speech while using your notes so you become comfortable referring to them during your delivery. Rehearsing with your notes helps avoid awkward pauses or stumbling over your words.
e. Keep your notes accessible: During the speech, to maintain a natural stance and use your free hand for gestures, have your notes on a small card or folded paper that can be easily held in one hand or placed on a nearby table.
Creating an amazing Best Man Speech
Crafting and delivering the perfect best man speech might seem daunting. Still, with these actionable tips and strategies, you'll be well on your way to delivering a memorable and impactful toast. Remember to keep it concise, genuine, and heartfelt while incorporating humour and engaging stories. With practice, confidence, and well-prepared notes, your best man speech will have the entire room raising their glasses to the happy couple. Cheers!