Nerves of steel, the diction of a diplomat, the flair of James Bond, that resonating, booming baritone voice and finally the grand ovation, are all elements of toast only wished upon a best man. Being close to that dream of delivering that kind of command to a crowd of well wishers will only come naturally to a select few. For the rest of us, we need to prepare and we need to practice.
There are a lot of good resources out there and this article covers some of the basics to help a good best manâ€™s speech become better. Â
But know this.Â During the bachelorâ€™s party, the groomâ€™s humiliation will always be remembered, during the wedding rites, the vision is the beauteous bride but during the reception everyone expects the toastmaster to be king.
Many other people may be speaking, parents, uncles, the sobbing mother, friends from far away lands that may all be in the position to steal the thunder with their long rhetoric, but by keeping these next points to mastery will more than likely still place in the best in his rightful place as a life and light of the party.
Writing the speech to develop it is a wise idea. Start composing it with the following key points: interests, character traits, career, appearance and his past. You donâ€™t have to include everything in the final draft but this will give you a general body for the speech. Just out of courtesy, avoid mentioning ex-affiliations with other parties. Also avoid swearing and profanities.
Keep it short or just right
A short speech is from 3 to 5 minutes.Â Extending it from 5 to 7 minutes is still ok, but overextending it might get eyelids to drop, as this is the normal attention span of normal humans. You are not out there to give a biography of the groom just pockets of insight and jeers.
Kudos to the Entourage and an alert to the groom
Traditionally, the best man speaks in behalf of the entire bridal entourage. Make this part of your opening but most of insert a line to send a chill up the groomâ€™s spine to warn of things that will bloom in your revelations.
Define the cast of characters
When speaking of a recalled memory, drop details of who the main characters are besides just the groom and yourself. Not all the guests will have had the chance to know everyone in the groomâ€™s posse.
Speechwriters often suggest in using quotes, passages or anecdotes, but if you decide to use one, please keep it at one.Â It is not a lecture.
Set it up and roll
The first line will determine the tone of the rest of your speech and the ending sentences should be the pinnacle. Try to memorize both ends to give you a chance to read in between.Â Speak slow and deliberately, no one will laugh or cry if they canâ€™t understand the punch line.Â Thatâ€™s the way we roll in this club.
In the whirl of composition and execution do not jibe about the groom. Always, always and must I stress again, always compliment the Bride.Â To take it further, include your new gained mother-in-law.
Stand and Deliver
If you are lucky, there will be a microphone, but in any case you will always have to raise your talking volume. But to really connect with the audience use hand and body gestures to address a point or to attach to prominent individuals. Stand straight and avoid mannerisms, it is very distracting and a slouch will dim your presence.Â Be sober and compose yourself, make sure that you have come to play the role.Â Donâ€™t upstage the groom but dress and be the part of a better man that the groom honors you to be.
This is your shining moment. Masterfully close your speech and offer a toast and wait every to stand. When everyone has a glass in hand lead them in a toast and gesture your glass to them and then turn to the bride and groom. With a distinct nod say the standard â€œcheersâ€ or its equivalent.