“He said WHAT?!” 7 ways to totally ruin your best man speech

For those of you with a best man speech to write, we strongly suggest you avoid the following traps.

(While you are reading, please bear in mind that we are here around the clock to help write your best man speech for you – and to ensure it is 100% original and sounds like you at the very top of your game!)

Use the internet

There are some brilliant jokes there.  Crisp, punchy and all you need to do is insert the groom’s name.  The only issue is that they were funny the first time people heard them.  And then they got stale.  Now they just create groans.  “I’m so nervous this is fifth time today I’ve stood up from a warm seat with a damp piece of paper in my hand“.  “I was surprised to hear the honeymoon’s in Thailand.  {Insert groom’s name} told me he’s going to Bangor for a fortnight.” They are the stock fare of every wedding speech website – and we receive drafts of speeches still wanting to use them every week.  Polite suggestion: Don’t!

Put your mates first

The stag do was a blast.  The lads have known each other for years.  You’ve shared some brilliant nights out.  And wasn’t it sick that night Bob ended up losing an eyebrow tied to a lamppost in Latvia?  All great for a night in the pub or for a chat around the bar at the end of the wedding.  But not for your speech where the audience includes relatives and a bunch of people who don’t know you from Adam.  Imagine you were invited to a female friend’s wedding and had to sit through a speech all about the stag do.  The long and short of it is that it’s just not relevant.

Emphasise just how close you are to the groom

If I’m the best man {pause for effect} then why is he marrying her?“.  Mediocre joke; cut and pasted and therefore doesn’t make the cut (see above).  But it also tends to lead into a speech all about ‘us’.  And in this case, ‘us’ means him and me.  Groom and Best Man.  Best buddies, soul mates and partners.  Which is irrelevant, inappropriate and slightly nauseating all at once.  You – the best man – are giving a speech to amuse the guests and provide some insight into the man of the hour.  But never forget who he is marrying or why people are gathered together.  Your best man speech should be given by you, but it doesn’t need to be about you.

String lots of gags together for big laughs

There’s a balance to be had between sincerity and humour.  The best man speech should, of course, veer towards the latter. But don’t confuse ‘humour’ with ‘jokes’.  Yes, it’s terrific if you can work-in a couple of punchlines that create some belly laughs, but this isn’t ‘Live at the Apollo’.  The humour needs to be more thoughtful and relevant.  It needs to reflect the groom’s personality and his passions.  As a rule, gags come second to observational humour, where each line flows seamlessly into the next and where punchlines don’t fall flat.

Give his ex-girlfriends a mention

Do the brides family want to hear about his romantic history?  Unless your stories are completely clean, and show him up to have been innocent, naive and hopeless up to the point he met her then leave them out.  If he’s been married before let’s double that.

Talk nice and fast

The quicker you speak, with as few pauses as possible, the less chance the guests will be able to listen, digest and react.  So if you are looking for them to laugh and cry in all the right places, stick to a pace of approximately 120 words per minute.  This doesn’t happen by accident.  First you need to write a speech that’s the right length.  Then you need to rehearse it at the right pace.  And there are ways to annotate your script to ensure you pause and emphasise in all the right places!

Go long to win the sweepstake

It’s true.  If you speak for thirty minutes then you’ll make someone in the room very happy.  But other than the guest who wants the combines length of the speeches to top an hour so they can win the sweepstake, everyone else will be getting increasingly twitchy.  It’s hard for anyone to retain concentration for much more than ten minutes, and a wedding is no different.  So keep it snappy.  We recommend 8-10 minutes as the optimum length.  Brevity is a vastly underrated strength when it comes to speech giving

However …

If you’d like some help writing a best man speech that is relevant, clear, original and sprinkled with a dash of magic – please give us a call or fill in the form on the right of this page.  We can also provide coaching in delver.  Thank you!

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