Tips for Giving a Best Man Speech

Need a few tips on how to give a memorable best man speech? The Zola experts can help! Read on to learn more.

By Deanna deBara

Tips for Giving a Best Man Speech
Photo by Rogue Film Co

There are a lot of responsibilities that go along with being the best man, from helping the couple through the wedding planning process to throwing the bachelor party, and, finally, standing next to the soon-to-be married couple as they say their “I do’s.”

And, one of the most important responsibilities that you’ll have as a best man is making the best man speech. The best man speech is a highlight of the wedding reception—and, as the best man, it’s important to do everything you can to deliver the best speech possible to the newlyweds and their wedding guests.

But, how exactly do you do that? If you don’t know how to give a best man speech, the Zola experts are here to help. Here are a few tips to ensure that your best man speech goes off without a hitch:

Practice, Practice, Practice

Tips for Giving a Best Man Speech Photo Credit // Pinehurst Photography

The wedding day should not be the first time that you give your best man speech. We repeat, the wedding day should not be the first time that you give your best man speech.

If you show up to the big day and wing your wedding speech, could it go well? Sure. But, the chances of it not going well are significantly higher—and you could find yourself stumbling over your words, saying the wrong thing, or completely freezing when you get up to speak to the happy couple and their wedding guests.

Perhaps the most important tip for giving a best man speech is to give yourself plenty of time and opportunities to practice before the wedding reception.

Start writing your speech early. Practice it out loud—and practice it out loud often. Ask to practice in front of a friend or family member to see if there are any issues that you need to address before the wedding day.

The more you practice, the more comfortable you’ll be with giving your speech—and the better the speech will be on the actual wedding day.

Talk Slowly

Public speaking makes a lot of people nervous. And when people are nervous, they have a tendency to talk faster than they normally would—and that includes during wedding speeches.

If you’re one of those people who talks fast when they’re nervous that’s ok! But, while you might feel that you’re talking only slightly faster than you do in normal conversations, to other people, it could feel like you’re talking a mile a minute—which is why it’s important to speak more slowly than you think is necessary during your best man speech on the special day.

Why is that? If you consciously speak slowly (and slower than you think is necessary), chances are that it will counteract any nervous speed-ups in your speech pattern—and, to the couple and wedding guests, it should sound like you’re speaking at a normal speed.

So, when you’re giving your wedding speech, pay attention to how quickly you’re speaking. Slow it down—and slow it down more than you think is necessary. It might seem too slow to you, but more often than not, to the people listening, it will be at a pace that’s easy to hear and understand, which is exactly the speed that you want.

Make It Personal

Tips for Giving a Best Man Speech Photo Credit // Andrew Jade Photography

The couple asked you to be the best man for a reason; you’re a person that plays a large role in their life and they want you to be by their side on one of the most important days of their life.

And, because you play such an important role in their life, the last thing you want is to give a generic best man speech. You want it to feel personal, so make sure that you incorporate personal details into your speech.

Your best man speech is the perfect opportunity to get personal and share favorite memories, funny stories, and heartfelt wishes for the newlyweds. If you want your speech to be impactful and show the couple how much you value them and their relationship, you should definitely take the opportunity to include thoughtful words.

Keep Things Appropriate

You want your best man speech to be personal, but you don’t want it to be too personal.

Don’t include anything in your best man speech that could potentially embarrass or upset the couple. You also want to avoid anything that could make wedding guests uncomfortable. Generally, you want to forgo mentioning past relationships, excessive drinking, sex, and/or illegal activities. (Save those stories for the bachelor party.)

End With a Toast

Knowing how to end a speech can be tough. But, when you’re giving a best man speech, there’s only one way to end it—and that’s with a toast to the happy couple.

As you near the end of your speech, which should be anywhere from two to five minutes, ask the wedding guests to raise their glasses to the newlyweds. Offer up a toast wishing them health and happiness in their marriage. Then, congratulate them, take a drink, and end your speech on a high note.

Giving the best man speech can be a nerve-wracking experience. But, with these tips, you have everything you need to deliver a speech to remember. So, all that’s left to do is give the best speech you can—for the couple, for the wedding guests, and for yourself.

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