You’re right. The Best Man Speech is the hardest of the lot. And it gets a whole lot trickier when it becomes a job-share. You may think there’s safety in numbers, but not when it comes to delivering a joint Best Man speech. All the usual pitfalls are still there….they just become harder to spot. And on top of that, the audience is less forgiving, the Groom expects more and the Bride is easier to offend!
Here are some ‘Dos’ and ‘Don’ts’ for making the mother of all speeches one to remember for all the right reasons:
Write it as a comic script delivered by a double act. Unless you are a professional script writer or stand-up comic this will be extremely difficult to write and even harder to deliver. Written and delivered badly it could easily appear awkward and contrived.
Speak for too long. Just because there’s two of you speaking, it doesn’t mean the guests want to hear you speak for double the amount of time. I suggest a 5 minute ceiling for each of you.
Write your speech for the boys on the stag do. This is a common trap and easier to fall fowl of when there’s two of you writing the speech. Whilst you may be in stitches recounting the story of the Groom’s pubic hair being shaved off whilst he’s passed out in a Hungarian hotel room, the rest of the guests are unlikely to be amused and you won’t get the laughs you’re hoping for.
Include too much content. With two of you there’s a temptation to include all the best stories from both parties. But a speech heavy in content can end up light in synergy and seem disjointed and irrelevant.
Use a theme to hold your speech together. With two of you speaking, and therefore different tones and styles being used, there is more of need than ever to link stories and anecdotes together naturally. Indeed a theme can sometimes work better with two speakers. For example, if the Groom has a split ‘Superman Vs Clark Kent’ personality, one of you can talk about him being Superman and the other Clark Kent.Split up the formalities between the two of you so there is a clear delineation in your role. For example, one of you can do the early ‘thank yous’ and the other can deliver the toasts at the end.
Collaborate and consult each other regularly to ensure there is no embarrassing overlap. Your biggest risk is covering ground that will be repeated later on in the other Best Man’s section.
Avoid too much chronology. It is easy for joint Best Men to split up the life story of the Groom into sections that each can relate to. For example, the brother of the Groom talks about the early years and the best mate talks about university and professional life. But this can lead to a formulaic and unoriginal speech. Better to weave stories around a joint theme if you can.
If you just can’t agree on where to start or what to write then give me a call on +44 (0)207 118 1600. I’ve written many a joint best man speech and I’d love to help with yours!