The Best Man’s Speech

inappropriate stories

Most of us have heard at least one best man’s speech that has made us wince with embarrassment. Sam and Emily have been examining exactly why some speeches are so appallingly cringey.


Make it too long. We reckon 7 minutes is maximum.

Tell inappropriate stories regarding past lovers - in fact, do not even mention them

Tell inappropriate stories regarding any happenings on the stag night

Talk about illegal substances or use swear words

Forget to compliment the bride

Tell mother-in-law jokes

Drink too much before you make your speech as you will probably do all of the above

Remember, you are likely to be addressing an audience of all ages. What the speech needs to be is entertaining, affectionate, funny, and maybe a little bit moving. It pays to do your research properly....

Once you have agreed to speak, start thinking about what you want to say. If you have had a long friendship with the groom, you will probably have many stories from which to draw from. Just bear in mind the above ‘do nots’, and do not go into too much detail, as you’ll lose your audience half way through. It is probably best not to include more that one anecdote or reminiscence as you’ll be talking about characters that half of your audience has never met!

Speak to the groom’s friends and family and ask them for any funny tales of him as a child / adolescent that might be good in a speech. What is he known for? Any strange quirks in his personality? (lovable ones obviously!)

Find out who else is making a speech and what the bride and groom will want you to say in yours, regarding thanking people.

Think about the structure - can you break it down into manageable chunks?

To make it funny, you will undoubtably be including friendly digs at the bridegroom. But it should also include the same amount of complimentary remarks! Don’t be nasty. People won’t laugh.

It doesn’t matter if you feel you need to read the speech out but make sure you look up at the audience frequently. As with anything, the more you rehearse, the better it will be. Practice in front of friends, video yourself if you must!

Speak loudly and slowly and listen to the audience. After a joke or anecdote, wait until they have finished laughing, to speak again.

The final section of the speech is what people will the remember the most so think about your conclusion carefully. You want to end with a flourish. It could be a toast and that also signals that your bit is over.

Good Luck!
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Comments (1)

  • Lee Graham

    Lee Graham

    11 February 2011 at 16:52 | #

    Thanks for the tip!


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