Getting your delivery right

Written by    Last updated: June 6, 2006

No matter how good the material for your best man’s speech, if you can’t deliver it well, you’re in trouble. Here’s how to make your delivery perfect…

It ain’t what you do…

As anyone who’s made a successful speech will tell you, it’s not what you say, it’s the way you say it. And, as best man, you want to make sure the way you deliver and present your speech does justice to your carefully chosen material. Here’s how.

Practice makes perfect

Reading your speech out again and again before the big day is essential if you want to perfect your delivery, make sure your material is suitable ‐ and find out if your jokes are funny. Your speech should appeal to everyone from your friends to your maiden aunt, so try to rehearse in front of a variety of people. Test it out on people who will give honest, constructive feedback. They will also be able to tell you when you’re mumbling, or rambling or just going on too long. You should also record your rehearsals on tape. That way, you will be able to see where there’s room for improvement and how you are for time ‐‐ aim for five minutes, as a rough guide.

The run‐up

Your speech comes last, so you’re going to spend some of the reception waiting to go on’. How you fill your time will affect your delivery.

Don’t over‐indulge

Although it’s very tempting to down a few too many glasses while you’re waiting to speak ‐ don’t. Being tipsy could affect your delivery by making you slur your words and causing you to be unsteady on your feet. Too many drinks might also lead you to decide that that risquÚ story about what the groom got up to at the rugby club night out, which you cut out of your original speech, really should be in there after all.

Listen and learn

Listening to the other speeches will help take your mind off your nerves and help to put you into the fun mood. Having a few laughs will relax you and make the time pass more quickly until, before you know it, it’s your turn.

Have a banana

Many professional performers swear by the trick of eating a banana about 20 minutes before they start speaking. Doing this, they say, will give you a quick energy boost and help to steady your nerves.

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