Some people say, that the “best man” speech is their favorite part of any wedding. The reason is that watching a guy, who spills the guts and tells how much he loves his friend since they were high school students in a touching manner is priceless. That’s because guys are not that open-hearted in the real life.
We believe, that the world needs more heart-warming “best man” speeches, therefore we are going to provide a detailed guide on how to create a good one. Also, we will discuss some dos and don’ts of this procedure to help you avoid any possible failures that happen in such situations oftentimes (for example, blurting out an embarrassing secret or telling a diminishing college story).
Writing a speech: some general information
You have probably heard a number of lousy speeches. We bet that your thought was something like “Why wouldn’t they hire a professional writer to get some help instead of demeaning themselves that way?” Even if they were renown speakers, you were bored with their grunge attitude and pointless details.
If you are reading this article, then you want your future speech to be different, right? So, let’s start our discussion with some basic points you need to consider. First, remember that your audience will remember more about who was talking and how rather than everything you have said. Even if you think that the best lines of your text could compete with Churchill, some guests will be glued to their cell phones.
So, every speech, despite its purpose, has two main goals: making a positive impression and leaving people with a couple of memorable thoughts. The rest is just for fun.
Here are some crucial recommendations to keep in mind:
- Be memorable
Easier said than done. Indeed, it takes imagination and skill to be memorable. In most cases, one single line can make an entire speech. Technically, you have to grab audience’s attention with some kind of a trick, be it a smart joke or a contrasting statement. Surprises, axioms, analogies, metaphors – everything will do, just place them into the right spots.
- Have a logic
Remember the most terrible speech in your life? What caused your dissatisfaction? Sometimes this happens when a speaker loses a logical path or doesn’t have one at all. Perceive your speech as a path that has a specific destination and show the audience where you are going to take them and why. Write, revise and simplify. If something doesn’t help you reach the final destination, then just remove it.
- Be natural
When you are making a speech, the audience regards you and your speech as one unit. It means that if they don’t buy into you, then they will resist your speech. Try to humanize yourself and this will let you connect to the audience better. Share some stories that relate to your central themes, reference to your family to show that you are trustworthy. You’re not trying to sell anything; you are just being yourself.
Special aspects of writing a wedding speech
Now let’s be more specific. A wedding speech is a special type of speech, carried on a special occasion. Therefore, it has some unique nuances to consider:
- Jokes are great but don’t make them clumsy
It seems obvious, isn’t it? In a word, just avoid jokes that mean something opposite to “I love you and your bride”, especially when you are not sure how the joke will land. For example, you may banter about your friend (“Tom loves video games so much, that I’m happy that you, Cynthia, are not listening to me giving a wedding toast congratulating Tom and his games console on a happy life together”), however, a specific joke that nobody else will understand is not a good idea (“When we were college students, we got drunk, and decided to drive father’s car, and accidentally hit a tree. I believe that getting married to Ann is a better choice than driving into a tree, so I think this will end up better.”)
- Don’t make a speech about yourself
Of course, you are welcome to tell a story of your acquaintance, but keep it short. And forget about your own biography, your friends’ biographies, and your combined biographies. This is not a speech about you – it is about your friend and his bride.
- Make it short and interesting for all in attendance
Nobody wants to listen to a 20-minute speech about your college years, parties, and inside jokes. Two minutes are enough.
- Don’t forget about the bride
If you know and adore your friend’s partner, then tell it. Well, this may be your only chance to tell her how great she is and how much you care about her. However, if you don’t know her that well (or don’t like her, such things happen), then avoid hypocrisy and just talk about how happy she makes your friend and this will be enough.
- No-no topics to avoid
Ex-girlfriends, divorce rate, sex, children (unless the couple wants to have one as soon as possible) are taboos.
- Don’t be rude
Mind your manners even if you have already had three glasses of champagne. Delivering a wedding toast, you must forget about the f-word.
- End on a positive note
There is no need to pour a syrup upon the audience but make a strong, memorable, and happy ending.
Now when you understand the basics, you can start writing your draft. Hopefully, these tips will guide you to perfection!
About the author:
My name is Jennifer Pauli. I graduated from Corvinus School of Management and gained MBA degree there and I finished the faculty of Journalism at Corvinus University of Budapest.
For me, copywriting and authorship is not a hobby, not a temporary job, but the main occupation to which I devote most of my time. Currently, I’m an editor, business writer, and copywriter, working with enough well-known companies, blogs, and personalities. Find me on Twitter or G+