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The crowd erupted in a glorious cacophony of laughter, whistles, and shouts. My opening line performed better than I could have ever hoped for. My best man speech was going great. This was going to be epic.
I’ll be honest, there are a lot of things I’m not good at. Giving a funny speech is not one of them. I wrote my best man speech the day before the wedding and absolutely killed it. You can watch my original best man speech video here and decide for yourself. A groomsman who had previously been a waiter at over 300 weddings told me, after the fact, that it was hands down the best he had ever heard. Another person told me I need to try stand comedy.
My intent here is not to display arrogance but to convince you that I can help you write an epic best man speech. If you can follow these basic steps I can promise at the very least, your speech won’t be terrible. Check out the video I made on this topic below.
1. Write down your speech
Unless you are Bill Burr or Jay-z, you need to write something down. Don’t even think about winging it. If you don’t want to speak word for word, at least have some note cards with talking points. You might think you have your speech down in your head but just wait until there is a hundred people looking at you in silence as your hold the microphone.
2. Tell a story
I have known the groom my entire life – 29 years to date. Not only did this give me loads of material, it also allowed me to turn my speech into a timeline of his entire life. I literally took the story back to 1966 because our dads had been friends since a young age as well. A story like mine is not a must. There are plenty of other ways you give a great speech. For example, you can use analogies or talk about how he affected your life. Structure your speech as much as possible. All books, movies and songs follow a format, your speech should too.
3. Chop him down
Who doesn’t like a good roast? Adding a humor to your speech is a must. The entire speech doesn’t have to be funny but you should try to add as many jokes as possible. He’s the moron getting married. You’ll have to use your discretion, but take a few swings at his expense. I’d recommend keeping it PG and keeping the jokes pointed at the groom and leave the bride alone.
4. Say something nice
Even Jeff Ross will say something nice after obliterating someone in a roast. This part should be easy and it doesn’t have to be funny. Focus on his good qualities and more importantly it’s time to talk up the bride. It’s her day. Talk about why she is special and why they are a good couple. You’ll notice in my speech as I’m talking up the bride I still take a slight jab at the groom just for fun. Never a bad idea to throw in a joke if the timing is right.
5. Practice your best man speech
Once you have a rough draft of your speech down you should practice saying out loud in front of people. Preferably with another groomsman. Two minutes into my practice speech my friends stopped me and told me they were confused. What I thought what clear about my timeline didn’t make sense to others. The whole speech would have been undermined had I not caught this mistake. This is time to make final edits and iron out the bugs.
Additional advice and tips
- Try to keep your speech between 5-10 minutes but no more than 15
- Don’t get too drunk
- Strike a balance between funny and sentimental
- Relax and have fun
- No one cares if you mess up (I did) keep going
- Enjoy the moment.
Remember this isn’t a celebration for you. If you’re nervous, take comfort in the fact that there are plenty of other people there thankfully that they aren’t giving the speech. Everyone is there to have fun. No one is judging you. You’re the best man for a reason. Show him why.
Did my advice help your speech? If so I’d love to see it. If you have questions and need advice leave a comment or contact me on twitter.