The best man’s speech is usually one of the most memorable parts of a wedding celebration. If done correctly, it’s memorable for all the right reasons. If it goes spectacularly wrong, it still won’t be forgotten for a long time, but probably not for its intended purpose!

There’s a knack to writing a best man’s speech, which is to get the right tone, the right delivery, and to know your audience. Here are a few things to bear in mind when penning your presentation:

1. Balance

Everyone expects the best man’s speech to be filled with jokes and banter, however if every sentence is a punchline there is very little balance to the content. Aim to add in a few heartwarming memories, some touching anecdotes, and an interesting tale or two in-between those wisecracks and embarrassing lighthearted digs towards the groom. Keep the audience guessing what will come next, and you’ll never lose their attention.

2. Be appropriate

If the wedding guests consists only of people in their mid-20s, you might get away with crude jokes here and there, but the chances are that there will be some elderly attendees and possibly even children present at the wedding. Keep the humour reasonably tasteful and sensitive to avoid raised eyebrows or shocked frowns. It’s best not to mention topics that would cause anyone to become uncomfortable.

3. Don’t wing it

The success of the best man’s speech is partially in the content, and partially in the delivery. It’s not enough to have pre-written the speech months in advance (although the earlier the better), but it’s also crucial that you rehearse it several times in the run up to the big day. Nobody wants to hear a woodenly recited piece, so although you won’t need to resort to taking drama and elocution lessons, you definitely need to work on your presentation. Try speaking in front of a mirror, or ask a trusted friend to listen to you speaking.

4. Content

What are you planning to include in your speech? Is it going to be jam-packed with amusing anecdotes about the groom and how close you both were when you attended Boy Scouts together? These are all great topics and by all means bring up your special bond, but if that’s the full extent of the content, you’ll be missing out a very crucial part of the best man’s speech, which is mentioning the new spouse. Refer to the couple as a unit, talk about how they bring out the best of each other, and how you’ve seen the groom grow as a person since he met his perfect partner.

5. Keep it relevant

Jokes which only you and the groom understand are useless to an audience who may not grasp the context of the story. It doesn’t even have to be an inside joke, although these are obviously better left out of your speech. Something as simple as confusing terminology will throw off anybody listening. Keep it relevant, and make sure everybody understands what you’re saying.

With enough preparation, you will be able to give a best man’s speech that makes the perfect end to the day’s speeches and is a fitting tribute to the couple.

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