General Rules For Best Man Speeches

Written by    Last updated: July 6, 2011

Follow our guide and your speech will be a sure-fire success at the wedding!

Image from Clare & Adam’s real wedding

As best man with a crowd-pleasing speech to make, you will no doubt have already consulted our guides to everything from choosing the best material for your speech, to what traditional sections to include, how to get your delivery right, what toasts to say and what props to use.

Now all you need to know are the cardinal rules of making a best man’s speech. Here are the important tips you need to need to bear in mind in order to go down a storm:

  • Pick the right tone  In your speech, you need to express thanks and convey affection. You need to be sincere. You need to entertain. What you don’t need to do is come across as boring, pompous or a failed stand-up comedian!  A speech without any jokes is truly dull, but on the other hand a speech that is littered with inappropriately rude jokes, or sounds critical of the happy couple, will have the bride lynching you! Ask a friend to listen to your speech beforehand and check that you sound sincere, not sarcastic.
  • Keep it short  However fabulous your speech, the golden rule is always to leave your audience wanting more. However funny you are, if you go on too long boredom will set in for your audience.  Less is always more, so keep it simple and short. Time yourself when you practice and check your speech is no more than about 5 – 8 minutes long.
  • Include everyone  Wedding guests can vary in age from kids to grandparents, so bear this in mind and make sure you explain references to people and places that some listeners may not be familiar with.
  • Don’t wing it  Do not, whatever you do, think that you can make it up on the night! Even if you are the most famous stand-up comedian, you need time to prepare and write your speech as this is someone else’s big day – not yours to muck up.  Hone your performance by rehearsing beforehand, preferably with people you can rely on for honest, constructive feedback too!
  • Check you can be heard  This one’s simple, but really important! If there is a microphone at the reception venue that you will need to use to be heard – make sure you know how to use it!

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