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How to Write a Best Man’s Speech with Example!Copyright 2013 – Coty Schwabe**************************************KINDLE EDITION**************************************DISCLOSURE: No part of this guide should be copied or redistributed without permission. Also, this guide containsan affiliated link which gives me a commission if the program is joined. This helps me pay the bills on top ofwriting. Thanks for your understanding. Distribution via Burk Wallace permitted.TABLE OF CONTENTSThe Honor of Being Best ManGetting PreparedSuper Important TipsMistakes to AvoidBody EtiquetteThe Format - Basic 6 Step FormulaSample SpeechFinal NotesThe Honor of Being Best ManHey there! Thanks for picking up this book. My name is Coty, and like you (or someoneyou know) have been asked to be Best Man!What a great honor, right?Sure… except that now you’re required to give a speech! Kinda frightening, isn’t it? WellI’ve been there and it is kind of nerve racking. When my best friend Matt asked me to be his best
man, I had no idea what I was doing when it came to the speech. I was nervous as hell, but at thesame time grateful that he asked me.So I did some research, and in the end, I nailed it. I had a few pause moments, but such islife!The following ebook is a collection of things that I learned throughout my research, aswell as things I found out along the way.Being Best Man is a great honor, and it goes well with you to do it as much justice aspossible.Before moving on, you should know that there is very little fluff in this book. It movesquickly. I hope that’s okay. Let’s get started.Getting PreparedI have spoken in front of others for a few different occasions now – for church, aconference, marketing videos, so on – and I’ve found this one truth:At their core – they’re the same thing. We get up in front of an audience and deliver amessage. It doesn’t matter if the crowd is children, teens; adults we know or complete strangers –trust me – it all feels the same.What I’ve learned is that what we’re really showing people is not just our words, butourselves. We are showing them our personality and delivering it orally. But every message feelsthe same. The tips I’m about to give you are for your Best Man speech, but can be adaptable forjust about any speaking engagement as a whole. Here they are:Write down your thoughts.The first thing you should do is write down any thoughts that you have of the wedding,the bride, or the groom in general. You may not necessarily use all these things, but it will helpyou come up with anecdotes, jokes and personal sentiments to convey. Here are somesuggestions of things to write about: How are they known to you?
Why were you chosen to be the Best Man? In describing individual bride and groom, what are the first few adjectives thatstreams into your mind? Groom’s state prior to the meeting of his bride and how much has hechanged after meeting her? How did they meet each other? How were you told about the bride by the groom? If you happen to be a married person, then how would you give some marriagetips and advice to the couple? Can you relate to any special event or anecdotes to illustrate either the groomor the bride? Go through sample wedding toasts and jot down few simple ones, just in case thatis! After writing and answering all, you have to utilize them into someentertaining yet heartfelt toasts.CondenseLater in this book, we’ll talk about the actual format of your BMS, but for now you needto know that having a time limit in mind is best when writing.Most wedding guests are more interested in the food, the fun and the champagne thanthey are for your speech. It can be fun, but keep it concise.Write EarlyA majority of weddings only happen after months of planning. This gives you ample timeto write and perfect your speech… meaning write it early on!Seriously, don’t wait. Procrastination leaves you no time to format, correct or edit yourspeech. Some guys try to wing it, and most end up fumbling their way through. Write it weeks inadvance (if possible or ASAP) leave it for a day, then read it again. Make corrections, and againcondense.
RehearseI hate speaking in front of crowds. If you do too, try speaking only to yourself – either inan empty room or before a mirror. Rehearse your speech at least a half dozen times. This willhelp you find pacing and cut it down to five minutes or less, which is ideal.Also, reading aloud can help you find errors, and trains you to hear the words beforethey’re even said. It trains your brain, so to speak.Finally, if you can, read it someone you can trust – not the groom. Someone who willgive you an honest opinion. Ask them for their thoughts on the subject.Rough and FinalAs with any other paper you write, write a rough draft, then create a final draft.But here’s the kicker – you don’t want to be standing in front of a bunch of strangers,reading a paper. Print out the final draft, but if absolutely necessary, only use the important parts.You can either bold the important parts or write them on index cards. Try to rehearseyour speech with only the bold points or cue cards. If you can, you’ve got it down.Prepared may still mean NervousI can tell you from experience that no matter how many times I rehearse a speech, I stillget nervous standing up in front of people. I think it has to do with the fact that people arejudging us.And that’s okay.You will probably be nervous, even if you do follow my advice, but that’s okay. Justremember that the whole event is not about you, and that once you’re done, you’re done!Pressure gone! It will work out, I assure you. Even musicians and talk show hosts get nervous!Don’t let nerves stop your from speaking. Once you’re in it, it’ll only get easier. Startingis always the hardest part, am I right?
Super Important TipsBefore getting into the heart of writing the speech, there are some really important tips topay attention to. These things most pertain to the delivery of your speech, and are things to keepin mind. If necessary, reread later.Trim Your SpeechYour speech should run between 2 and 4 minutes. 5 minutes at max. Remember, theguests, as well as the new couple, have other things to do. And you’re giving a short,congratulatory speech, not a lecture on thermodynamics.Be YourselfIf you do any research online or watch videos of people giving speeches, you might beinclined to model how they talk. Don’t do this. That person might be raunchy or shy or smart orwhatever, but they’re not you. And just because you’re talking about the groom, the bride, thewedding and so forth, doesn’t mean you can’t be yourself. Let your personality shine; don’t justread your speech.This is why rehearsing is so important, it frees you up to focus on the couple, notdelivering the speech. Be playful, funny, honest (without a bite). This leads me to my next point.Use Your Speech to lighten the moodWhen it comes to entertainment, there’s usually a good deal of it at a wedding. Jokes,music, videos – people go to be entertained; especially the ones that aren’t directly involved.Most guests come for the food, and stay to be polite.Why not give them a good time if you can help it?When it comes to your speech, a good practice is using your speech to lighten the mood.It is okay to put a few jokes in your speech, but don’t go overboard (see Joker Overkill below).
Smile, nod your head, shrug your shoulders if appropriate. If you have fun with it, it’s a lot morelikely that your audience will as well. Just make sure your jokes are appropriate. (also below)Be PositiveIt may prove difficult to stay positive while delivering your speech, but it will go alongway. It’s best not convey the speech in a depressing way or to simply read it like a teleprompter.Stay positive about the whole thing – about speaking, about the event, so on. Think aboutthis as you write it as well.Another thing – check your attitude at the door. Just because it’s a wedding, doesn’tmean anger can’t show up, tempers can’t flare (especially if yours is outside like my friend’swas) or people can’t have a bad day.Such is life.But it is really, really important not to let these things affect how you deliver your speech.I believe that bad things happen to test our merit. And maybe something will go awry beforeyour toast or speech. It happens. Simply breathe, release that tension and focus on the goal –staying positive. Seriously folks, this is a big one.Use Simple, Natural LanguageMaybe you’ve heard the acrostic KISS or Keep it Simple Stupid. This is true here.I’m a big fan of complex words (some call me Webster) but the average person only hasan 8thgrade education. Don’t go crazy using beautiful flowy words, or words that no one willunderstand. Not using slang is also good.You can be yourself, but let’s recap: you’re here for the bridal party, not for yourself.Focus on the highlights of their union and be done with it.Keep in Mind the ThemeSome weddings are fun and festive, while others are hoity-toity affairs. This is important,and can affect how you write your speech.
Another factor that plays into this is how the groom (and maybe the bride) are perceived.Are they ‘fun’? high society? Intellectuals? Sci fi lovers? This also goes back to why doyou like them?If they are planning a fun wedding, encourage the fun! If it’s high class, very serious,encourage the best wishes.You can use this stuff to your advantage, but don’t overdo it.Use the Restroom before SpeakingFor me, whenever I’m about to speak, my stomach tightens in knots and I get nauseous. Ifeel like I have to pass gas or pee or whatever, and if this is you, then use the bathroom beforespeaking.Another note for this, is that we tend to eat and drink a lot at weddings. It’s best not tooverdo it before you deliver your speech, because it’s a lot harder to focus when you’re bloatedor have to take a leak.Research things that Help with Public Speaking or Reduction of Stage FrightThere are a lot of great videos and free resources about public speaking and stage frightout there. If you’re nervous about actually delivering the speech, maybe check some of theseresources out. If this is not you, then leave it.Now that those tips are out of the way, let address some things to avoid. By avoidingthese mistakes, you’ll prevent yourself from looking like an ass, and help things go alongsmoothly.Mistakes to AvoidAvoid Rambling
Remember earlier we said to be short and concise? Well do it. If you get lost on a point,or start to detour, simply jump back on track. The problem is that a lot of people don’t realizethey’re rambling. You need to recognize this.By writing out your speech before hand and rehearsing it, you can cut down on this. Andif you do ramble, simply be honest about it. “I’ve gotten off track. Point is…” works well enoughto get you back in the right direction.Avoid Talking about Discretionary TopicsHere’s where we discuss some of the DON’Ts for speech giving.The gist of it is this: Don’t make the bride or the groom like a mistake. The event is abouttheir union and how happy they will be. Whether that’s true or not in the future is not up to us.We are here to make them look good.So, that in mind, its best to avoid talking about ex’s, past flings, drunken stupors,embarrassing moments, secrets and so on.It’s okay to include a joke or anecdote about the past, and a funny event that you willremember forever, but if it make anyone look foolish, don’t do it. Remember, just because youknow of it, doesn’t mean everyone in the room needs to.If you’re unsure, then ask the groom if its okay. If so, great! If not, implement asubstitute. Better to know up front than to make them look stupid in front of hundreds of people.Here are some things that are usually best avoided:• Ex-girlfriends and flings• Using negative attitude towards the wedding, or the couple• Too many clichés that would put the guests to sleep• Not being in harmony with the wedding theme• Being snobbish or overtly scholarly• Cracking jokes that would embarrass anyone• Mentioning too many awkward phrases or comments• Using anecdotes that are unsuitable for the situation
• Mentioning earlier marriages or divorces• Getting drunkAvoid Reading Straight from a PaperI’ve seen instances of best men going up to speak, then pulling out a piece of paper,unfolding a bazillion times, twisting it around and beginning with “okay I got it…”.Ouch.Instead, consider a half sheet of paper, or a couple of index cards. Remember, you’re nothere with the Gettysburg Address. If your speech is five minutes or less, it can easily fit on threeor so index cards. Just write a few large points on the cards to reference and glance at. If you’verehearsed your speech, the cards should only be a reminder.Avoid Taking all the AttentionGuys that like attention can easily steal the show. Do NOT do this. This isn’t about you,it’s about the Groom and his bride.As a guy, sometimes we find ourselves falling into a ‘groove’ when we make peoplelaugh or smile or agree with us. And we try to make that last as possible.Don’t do this. Get in, deliver your congratualtions, say a couple of jokes or anecdotes andwish them all the best. That’s really all it boils down to.Also, there are other people speaking, and the audience isn’t there to hear you, they’represent to see the union of two (hopefully) awesome people get together.Don’t steal the show – keep the ball rolling.Think about it this way – you’re the warm up act – the couple is the final act.On that note, keep your speech about them as well. Don’t go off about the parents or theoccasion or the honeymoon or blah blah blah. Stay focused.Avoid Mumbling
We’ve all seen those people – mumblers. They speak but its barely in a whisper anditlookslikethis…Don’t be that person. If you have mic, simply make sure its working. If you don’t, be sureto use your outside voice… without SHOUTING AT PEOPLE.Something that goes with this is people who get nervous and do one of two things:1. They stall. Nothing to say, so they say nothing. If you lose track, use the methodlisted up above.2. They talk faster. Slow down, cowboy. Think of this as a prayer for Thanksgiving asopposed to an auction. Grateful and deliberate – not let’s-get-this-over-with.Avoid Drinking AlcoholGeez, don’t even get me started on this one. Too many movies have made fun of this one,but it actually happens. Best man gets nervous, so he drinks. And drinks. And drinks.Look, I’m not your doctor or counselor or anything else, but my advice is not to drinkuntil AFTER you finish your toast/speech.Drunk people are usually only funny to other drunk people. Slurred words, sloppydemeanor, things better left unsaid – these things are ugly and unforgettable. Don’t be that guy.If you can handle liquor and champagne or beer is available, then great – have ONE.Then wait.But, if you can, waiting until after is definitely best. Have little punch or tea or somethingvirgin.Avoid CaffeineI love coffee. I drink a whole pot a day. I also hit the bathroom ten times a day.As with the alcohol, its best to avoid highly caffeinated drinks until afterwards. Again,I’m not in charge of you, but it really is best. ONE if you absolutely need it.Water, tea and juice are usually the best choices in these situations.Don’t forget to use the bathroom before you talk.
Avoid Joke OverkillIn an attempt to get people to like us, we will try to pack in as many joke as possible intospeech.Please avoid this. Two, maybe three jokes, is perfect. Given that you’re working intimeframe, you don’t want to get carried away with trying to make people laugh.Make em laugh, then give serious content, then maybe another laugh, your sentiments,final laugh, then close. DONE.Avoid Forgetting the FocusOh man. There are some people that when they talk you are like “what?” the whole time.This should not be you.Really, the Best Man’s Speech – while important, especially to us – is only one small partof a larger event – the wedding itself. As such, take it seriously, but when you go to speakremember that you are only speaking for a few minutes. There’s no reason to go into novel-length about your backstory with the groom, how beautiful that one bridesmaid looks, how oldthe groom’s parents, etc.While all these things may be true, what people are really waiting for us to do is to affirmthis union. That’s it. REMEMBER THIS.Okay. I think that’s enough for this tips. If you need to, look over them a few times or asyou write the speech. Let’s jump into Body etiquette.Body EtiquetteAs with all forms of public speaking, there are some key things to delivering your speechas powerfully as possible.While you may not be the center of attention, you will be remembered (at least for a fewdays or video possibly), and you want to deliver your best.
The following are some great tips for proper body etiquette and you can use most of themfor other forms of public speaking. (thank me later.)The FaceWhile speaking naturally, our faces animate on their own. We actually have little to nocontrol over things like micro-expressions – things our face does without our conscious thought.These things can be a quick grin or snarl, and we can’t help that.But when speaking, we can control the overall way that our face animates.When you tell a joke, smile. When you’re serious, look straight at someone. Don’t beafraid to use your eyebrows if possible. Be sure to smile.The EyesEye contact is one of the BIGGEST things that most public speaking individuals suck at.And it is imperative.Here’s the deal: You don’t need to match someone’s gaze or have a staring contest, butyou can stare off at the ground, the wall, the paper, whatever.Here’s the best thing: Do visual sweeps. Look at someone (anyone) on the left side of thecrowd, then look at someone else to the right, then the middle. Then start over. This will give theaudience the feeling that they are being directly addressed.Another thing you can do is pick out three people the people in the crowd around theroom or area. Every time you look up from your card, or you’re not facing the wedding party,look at those people. These are “anchors.”Lastly, if you’re talking to a particular person – let’s say the bride – look her in the eyesfor a few seconds, then look at someone else (maybe the groom, or the mother), then back to her.If you lock gaze with just one person, it looks creepy, and it also makes the audience feel left out.The Hands
You might pick up your toasting glass from the beginning. Some do, some don’t. Theadvantage is that you can hold it, and its one less thing to focus on. However, it also makes youlook jumpy, unless your making the toast on your own without prompting. Tapping the glass isacceptable, just don’t break the dang thing.If you’re called on to do the speech, then I would wait to grab the glass until the endwhen you actually do deliver the toast.One hand open to convey your message is great, especially if you’re reading cards. Irecommend not using cards at all, but if you must, then hold them with one hand only. Then setthe cards down when you grab the glass. That easy.The BodyIt should go without saying that you should stand and deliver (heh, get it?). Anyways. Butseriously, don’t sit down. It’s really hard to speak at full volume if your windpipe is restricted.When you stand, don’t slouch. Standing straight up is a sign of a confident speaker, andyou want to look good. Don’t tap your feet or sway or look around unnecessarily. You’ll bealright, I’m sure of it.That’s about it for etiquette and the do’s and don’ts.Now we come to heart of this guide – writing your speech.The Format – the 6 Step FormulaI’m about to show you the easiest format you can use to create your speech. Of course,you can alter, omit or add what you want to it, bearing in mind the 5 minute maximum timelimit.Step 1. The Icebreaker
You can be direct here and say the typical “thank you everyone for coming,” or you canopen with a joke that either relates to the marriage or groom. You can use a common quote aboutmarriage, if you don’t want to go the funny-guy route, or the marriage is more serious.Step 2. The Bridal PartyBefore getting to your friend/relative, address the bride. You can comment how great shelooks (which will garner you free brownie points with the crowd!), you can mention how luckythe groom is or whatever else. Something to remember is that the wedding day is probably themost memorable day a girl can have; it’s a dream come true. Let her have her day. But make itbrief.It’s also great to mention the maid of honor and/or the bridesmaids. Again this will makeyou look good, and women love to be complimented. (no offense) Guys could care less, we justwant to be done with the damn thing.Step 3. Self-IntroductionNow that the women are out of the way, you can introduce yourself, as per the saying“ladies first.”Most likely, there are close to a hundred guests or so, and the majority of them won’tknow who you are.Nor will they care.Your job is to simply say how you met the groom, fun times that you’ve had, maybesomething that you’ve done together and maybe how long you’ve known eachother.Once you’ve connected the dots, you can end your introduction by coming to this point.This can be accomplished by explaining how you felt when SO AND SO asked you to be bestman, and thank them again for the honor. Share your emotions about their wedding in a short,crisp manner.Step 4. Address The Groom
Because this person choose you, there’s obvisouly some connection you have with thisperson. Here is where you can talk about some of the things you’ve done together or fun timesyou had.This is not the time to embarrass them, or spill their secrets. One anecdote or joke is finehere, but don’t cross the line of discretion.Step 5. The CoupleOnce the jokes and stories are done, its time to address the couple.Now you will say how lucky your friend is to have found this girl, and how you can tellthat she has made him a happier or better person.For me, I said that she made him “whole” and I meant it.Let others know how happy you are for the couple and hope that they remain like thisforever. Refer to their plans, their future, career, honeymoon etc. You can also share that by thisyou are not losing but gaining another friend, here the bride! Give them few marriage tips andalso throw in a marriage joke or two if it feels right. All these have to be done in the lightestmanner, as much as possible.Step 6. The ToastPrior to the end of your speech, invite all present at the reception to join you in toasting tothe bride and groom. Request them to raise their glasses and celebrate this moment of love andunion, by offering toast to the couple in honor of their divine marriage.Sample SpeechBelow is an example of a speech that you can use to get ideas from.The best thing is to use it as a template, but not copy word-for-word. Instead, rewrite itinto your own words. Again, cater to your taste.##
(IF YOU HAVE JOKE, insert here. If not, continue formally)Good evening/ afternoon toeveryone,I have been given the honor of being the best man to ____, and I cannot thank himenough for it. There are a few thank-you’s that I would like to make here. First of all it goes tothose who have helped in the service, and made this such a lovely party. These thanks are for allthose who have contributed to the wedding by helping in decoration, getting food or even just tosupport the happy couple.The second thanks are to all the lovely bridesmaids who have done a magnificent job inhelping the bride today. All of you look amazing, and here’s a big thanks to you too. Finally, Iwant to thank the beautiful bride for turning up today because _____ was worrying, and it wasnta pretty sight. On his behalf, he has asked me to tell you that he could not have made a betterchoice, and he would get into in more detail in his speech.Now, I have known ___ for ____amount of years now. It is not easy to know someonethis well the way that I know all his little habits. And I can’t express how annoying he can bewhen he __(something funy). But he has always helped me through some hard times, and overthese years he has been there to support me. And I know he will also support his new bride thesame way.I was given the task to keep ___ clean for the wedding and not embarrass him too much.And I do want to say that he is one of the few people who are always up for (SOMETHINGGOOD), and ___(another compliment).I remember when we were-(here you should narrate some funny incident of the past).Before ____ met ____, he found it hard to talk to women and was honestly sucked at it.While he dated a few decent ones, no one could match up to our lovely bride here. I have seenhow ____ changed his life for the better and how happier and energetic he has been since then.
I had been once told me that Love can effortlessly be affected by physical appearance.(Name of the bride), I am sure that when you saw____ there were no confusions. ___ had toldme once that he didnt believe in love at first sight. But after meeting (name of bride) all that haschanged. (OR SOME OTHER SIMILAR SENTIMENT)Finally, I would like thank everybody for coming and joining the newly married couplein their celebrations. We all agree they make a fantastic couple and so ladies and gentlemen,please join me in a toast.Here’s to the happy couple, may their love last forever! Cheers!Final NotesI hope you found this guide helpful. I’ve been there… and lived.It’s not as scary as it seems, and you can write this sucker in a couple hours if you take itseriously. Just remember the things that I have taught you and good luck!Coty SchwabeStill Worried? Check out this site: Best Man’s Speech Insight – There you can geteverything done for you – ready to use templates, funny openings, 15 prewritten toasts and more!Click here to check it out!