Greetings! In this special video from the Vault we’re going to look at adding charisma to a very important role: knowing how to write and deliver a funny best man’s speech!
Let’s face it, being the best man at a wedding is an honour, but its not an everyday occurrence. Since the role carries a lot of responsibility, it’s vital that you’re able to write and deliver an engaging speech with confidence and charisma, that makes the audience laugh & happy!
(For regular readers, be sure to pass this video on to any any friends who have been landed with the high pressure role and are worrying about the best man speech!)
A good speech will always be remembered and will give you the chance to light up the room by making people laugh and smile. A great speech will mix in funny and serious bits. Remember the audience wants to laugh, so it is crucial to make them giggle at the right times. You should start your best man speech with a structure. This will allow you to plan what you want to say and give’s the speech more direction and clarity. You can play around with the following steps and put them in an order that works best for you:
1.) Opening Remarks
At this point the audience would have listened to a speech by the groom and the father of the bride so they are prepared and ready for laughter. Short little jokes such as one-liners can often be a great way of beginning the speech. If one joke does not work then you can always move on to the next one and keep going.
Telling a string of these will have the audience giggling in no time. A great way to find one-liners are in joke books (especially kid’s joke books). Remember that you will have to adapt the jokes to a wedding environment in order to make them relevant. The best things to make jokes about in this opening section are not about the groom. It is better for you to direct the jokes at yourself (even though they may come at your expense) or at the venue you are in. This will warm up the audience and makes them more attentive to the rest of your speech which will follow.
2.) Formal Compliments
This will be the first serious part of your speech. Traditionally the role of the best man’s speech is to thank the groom for his kind words about the bridesmaids on behalf of the bridesmaids. It is best at this point to agree with him and tell them what a lovely job they have done. Asking the audience at this stage for a bit of applause is a great way to make them participate and adds to the atmosphere in the room. After this you can extend the compliments to the gorgeous new bride and tell her how amazing she looks.
3.) Personal Introduction
This part of the speech is about explaining who you are and how you know the groom. It is a commonly forgotten part of the best man speech so make sure you don’t forget it. There will be people in the crowd who do not know who you are, so this step allows you to clarify this while adding some humour.
This part of your speech can be kept brief, or you can draw it out a bit longer to get some more laughs. You can also add a story about how you and the groom met or include any other adventures you two have had. This is a cheeky time to poke some fun at the groom.
4.) Stories About the Groom
This will be the most important part of your speech because it will help to add a lot of content to your speech but also enables the audience to connect with the groom. Many people in the crowd will know the groom but probably not as well as you do. Therefore this is a great time to fill them in while adding humour and giving the groom a good roasting. If you know the groom can take a joke then you can up the stakes by poking fun at him by using more risky humour and stories. A great way to find out some funny and intriguing stories about the groom is by asking his closest friends. You can even buy them a drink while they dish the dirt on him. Write down all the stories you can get because later on you can select the best ones that you wish to include in the speech. Only one or two stories will make the cut. An important thing to remember is that a story usually has a build up and then a payoff at the end in the form of a punch line. Work hard at experimenting with the punch line to make sure that it works. You can include a punch line at the end of every big story. Alternatively you can string a lot of smaller stories together. Ideally you want a mix of one liners and bigger stories with fun payoffs.
5.) Advice To The Happy Couple
This step is about offering advice to the newly wedded couple about what a great lasting relationship entails. It is best to keep this section lighthearted to begin with.
For example you could start by offering the groom some advice on how to get away with some of his less desirable habits around the house. You can give some tongue in cheek advice to the bride and groom separately and include one or two anecdotes to keep things entertaining. This is the best time to use some ‘in jokes’ that only the bride or groom will understand. However, it may alienate the audience as they may not understand the jokes. You may well come across new information that you have recently discovered that you want to include in the speech. Your speech may change at the last minute if you decide to include recent events but this will help to keep things fresh and exciting.
At the end of this step you want to give some semi-serious advice to the new couple. This will add a softer side to your speech and allow you to inject some romance into what you are saying. You can pinch some romantic quotations from a quick Google search if you need help with this!
6.) Heartfelt Comments
Unlike the previous steps, this section will be kept completely serious with no jokes. Sincerity in your speech shows the audience that you’ve paid careful attention to mark the occasion. You will be painting the bride and groom in the best possible light. This section will also give you the chance to undo any of the damage you may have caused to the grooms character. You can now get sentimental and begin to explain to everyone what a lovely couple the bride and groom are. This is also the correct time to mention any loved ones who could not make it to the wedding. The energy of the speech is now very serious and this allows you to tie everything up nicely as you bring the speech towards the end.
7.) The Toast!
At this point it is time to ask everybody to fill their glasses and stand to make a toast to the health of the bride and groom. The key phrase you need to remember here is “Ladies and gentlemen – to the Bride and Groom”. Make sure you say the brides name first. It’s now time to enjoy the applause and take a seat because all your hard work is done as your speech has now been concluded.
Print Off Your Speech And Go Through It With A Red Pen
Aim to get rid of 10% of what you have written. Therefore your second draft should be a little shorter. This will most likely mean that you will have to cut some jokes out.
Read Your Speech Out Loud To A Friend
This will give you a better idea of timing and what you need to cut out. Practising with someone who is in the same room allows you to sharpen your delivery skills so that you excel on the big day. You can even try testing your speech out on a few people so that you receive some decent constructive feedback.
Memorise Your Speech
This will allow you to interact with the audience rather than staring at a piece of paper the whole time. There is a good chance you will lose your place in the speech if you only read off a sheet of paper. You can simplify the memorising of your speech by learning one step of your speech every day. Therefore a week should be enough time for you to memorise all seven steps of your funny best man’s speech.
1.) Opening Remarks
Thanks MIKE, you know, the last time I saw you give a speech like that you were found guilty. But at least you didn’t copy your speech from one of those lousy internet guides.
(Read aloud) “Wait for applause”
Family and friends… Some of you are meeting for the first time, so I want you to all be chummy and matey. But not too friendly, mind! Let’s keep it to one seat, one person!
(LOOK, I don’t mind you putting your arm around each other… but have a thought for the five people in-between you).
Now, before we continue, I’d like to thank the hotel venue, without whom this would never have been possible. I really do mean it when I say the bride and groom will be in their debt forever.
And at £4.50 a pint, I think we will too!
Look, I’m not saying this place is stingy but earlier on I called room service and asked for a towel. The receptionist told me to wait “…because someone else is using it!”
But let’s remind ourselves why we’re here: MIKE AND KAREN.
I remember when I first saw them together. They were in Tesco’s, wrapped in a bar-code. I said, “Are you two an item?”
But enough of the bad jokes (there’s more to follow), lets get onto with the festivities.
2.) Formal Compliments
On behalf of our beautiful bridesmaids, [insert names] it’s my pleasant duty to thank Michael for his kind words. I think we can all agree that they look charming, elegant and exquisite today. Let’s have a round of applause for them.
[Pause for applause]
Wow! That’s certainly better than the CLAP I GOT on the stag do.
Of course, they are only eclipsed by our sensational Bride, KAREN, who I think you’ll all agree looks jaw- dropping. MIKE on the other hand looks like he was won in a raffle!
3.) Personal Intro
For those of you who don’t know me, my name’s Marcus and I’m Mike’s younger brother. For those of you who do know me, I apologise.
However, I’d like to express to you all what a great honour it has been to be his best man today. Surveying the room, I really can’t think of anybody here more charismatic, intelligent or better looking who could have fulfilled this role!
And it’s a role I’ve taken very seriously… in the last thirty seconds.
One of my responsibilities was to organise a memorable trip for Michael to the heart Amsterdam.
KAREN… I must admit he was very well-behaved. While the group was eager to drag him to a variety of sordid bars, MIKE was happy just doing a little window shopping. For red light bulbs.
Now that I’ve sufficiently lowered the tone, it’s time to turn our attentions to the man of the moment: my brother Michael!
4.) Stories About The Groom
I know a lot of people here are probably wondering just what does KAREN see in MIKE? Well, I have known him my whole life and to be fair… I don’t know either!
What I can tell you is that he has been an amazing brother to me. Except for those times my Mum would leave me in his care and he’d swing me over the stairs by my ankles. They were traumatic times and I swore that if I ever got the chance to enact my revenge, it would be humiliating him in front of a group of his closest friends and family.
So now seems like a good time to separate the man from the myth. Apparently the name MICHAEL means one who is God-like. There is some truth in that. Getting him to even answer the phone is a miracle in itself.
…AND MIKE certainly has been seen by some as God’s gift to women (let’s just hope God kept the receipt).
Adventurer, mercenary, patron of the arts; Supporter of a Champion’s League Winning Football team… MIKE is none of these things.
What we do know is that he is passionate about fitness and has an addiction to the gym. Or at least the mirror in the gym.
But it’s good to see a man who takes pride in his body… HOWEVER, judging by those love handles I’m pretty sure that the only machine he uses down there is the Kit Kat dispenser!
Nevertheless, he has been working tirelessly between injuries to create a body that wouldn’t look out of place on BAYWATCH. Judging by all his tattoos, I think he has more of a chance with CRIME WATCH!
Would you like to know the story of MIKE’s FIRST TATTOO?
[Wait for audience to respond]
His friend ALISTAIR, who sadly could not be here today, told me that on holiday they walked into the local tattoo parlour, eager to cement their reputation as local HARD MEN. Then walked out again when they witnessed the tattooist shouting angrily… at his dog.
We have a lot to be thankful to ALISTAIR for, notably saving MIKE’s life when he almost drowned in the sea at midnight.
KAREN, to be fair, MIKE’s the type of guy who thinks a ‘skinny dip’ is a low fat sauce for dunking bread sticks in, so keep a watchful eye out for him!
But over the years MIKE has blossomed from an angelic boy next door into a devilishly handsome man. And as some of you may not know, KAREN has known him through both of these periods of his life.
For example, in more recent times, MIKE told me about a date he took KAREN on. Perhaps a man of limited means, he took her for a coffee at Starbucks; which in the scheme of things is a step up from tea from an ESSO garage.
Somehow, the date went well. That was until Michael decided he needed to use the little boy’s room. For whatever reason, perhaps it was the pressure of wanting to make a great IMPRESSION in front of KAREN… let’s just say his aim was a little off.
However, It would be unfair to say it wasn’t accurate: that is if he was pointing toward the toilet seat, the floor and even the poster advertising the weekly discounts.
If you do choose to picture that scene, imagine a mix of the Poseidon Adventure and DIY SOS…
Neglecting to flush, MIKE finished his naughty deed, closed the toilet door behind, and looked up… only to see his beautiful date KAREN, stood waiting outside the door, patiently waiting for her turn.
We can never know what MIKE was thinking as SHE innocently walked past him into that mess. Probably a bit like how he feels now. And whatever KAREN was feeling the moment after that toilet door clicked behind her is a mystery.
BUT we do know is KAREN must be the most forgiving, compassionate person around… either that or she’s got a terrible aim herself!
And now one big secret about MIKE!
We know Mike and KAREN are practically inseparable. They originally met many years ago before today.
IN fact, KAREN’s Dad told me that one day he discovered that somebody had byroad ‘WTS’ on his daughter’s ring finger.
Apparently, MIKE had lovingly put it on there, to mean “watch this space”. I’m certain that’s the day Colin’s hair started turning grey! I’m not sure what’s causing the bald spot though!
But on that note, I’d like to say a thank you to everyone who is here, and the important people in our lives who could make it today.
Now that I’ve successfully alienated several families in the room, I believe at this point I’m supposed to give you both some advice on married life and what lies ahead.
Well, first, I learnt this one from our Mum and Dad. MIKE no matter where you are, whenever KAREN asks you how many pints you’ve had to drink, you say *THREE*. It’s believable and not too outrageous, like the story you gave when you got banned from Victorias Secret.
Second, KAREN whatever you do, when MIKE says he’s had three pints to drink, just smile, nod and tell him you’re very proud of him for not being like all the other idiotic men who can’t control their drink. Then, in the morning, be sure to wax his chest hair while he’s asleep.
Finally, I’d just like to add that although you’ve taken you’re now husband and wife… act like you’re boyfriend and girlfriend forever. You both have a love story that is unfolding day by day and this is another chapter of that fairy tale.
MIKE, your job is to look after KAREN, keep her safe, love her more and more each day… and walk to the ends of the for her. KAREN, your job is to make sure MIKE doesn’t forget to wipe the toilet seat.
6.) Heartfelt Comments
You know, it takes an occasion like this, surrounded by good friends and family, to remind us of those who couldn’t be here today. Please would you join me in raising a glass to them.
Throughout my life, I’ve been really blessed to have such a wonderful, loving brother to look up to. He’s always been there to support me, fix my mishaps and keep me laughing when times have been tough. He’s charming, audacious and funny, and a constant inspiration to me.
With so many fine qualities, it’s then no surprise to anybody that you now have a beautiful wife in KAREN, who looks absolutely stunning today. It’s no secret for me to tell everyone how caring, warm, loving girl she is. A wonderful daughter to your parents [insert names], sister, and to your brothers [insert names].
MIKE You’re truly a lucky man, and I know you both have many wonderful years together ahead of you.
Well, I’m sure that by now you will be glad to hear that I’m almost done and I won’t keep you any longer, I know MIKE’s dying to buy you all a drink at the bar.
All that remains for me to do is to ask you to charge your glasses, stand and join me in wishing Mr. & Mrs. OAKEY a long and happy life together.
Ladies and gentlemen – to the Bride & Groom, KAREN & MICHAEL!