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How to Write a Best Man Speech: Structure and Advice for the Best Man Toast

If you're looking for best man speech examples, you've come to the right place. Learn how to wow the crowd with this comprehensive best man speech outline.

By: Kristi Kittelson, Editor, AllFreeDIYWeddings.com
How to Write a Best Man Speech Structure and Advice for the Best Man Toast

Giving your best man speech may very well be the second most terrifying moment of your life, right behind actually getting married. We've gathered here from you the best man speech structure, some great examples, and advice for your upcoming toast.

If you follow these steps and put your heart and mind into it, even if you're the most unemotional guy in the world, you can make the audience laugh and cry. The happy couple is counting on you to make the greatest best man speech, so don't let them down!

1. Pick a story

At the core of all great best man speeches is a great story. People aren't expecting a tale of your crazy antics as bachelors, and honestly, the mothers and daughters in the crowd probably don't want to hear that, anyway. The story doesn't have to be extreme, or even out-of-the-ordinary; just something poignant that preferably highlights both the friendship between you and the groom, and the love between the bride and groom. Some ideas include:

* How you two met
* How the bride and groom met
* Your most memorable day together
* How the groom became your best friend (if you two are friends)
* A story from your childhood (if you two are childhood friends or   brothers)

How to Write a Best Man Speech: Structure and Advice for the Best Man Toast

2. Keep it PG

Unless you're really lucky, there are kids at the wedding. And yes, they're going to be asking your parents what a certain word means, or what exactly it was that the two of you were doing in your college dorm room. Remember to be courteous of the younger folks, and those with more delicate constitutions, and avoid the cuss words and raunchy details. That doesn't mean you have to make your speech all rainbows and butterflies, but make sure it's accessible to all audiences.

3. Record it

Some brides and grooms don't want any speeches read off paper at the ceremony, and some will allow you to use notes. Be sure to check with the bride and groom beforehand. Whether or not you can have your paper with you, write down your speech anyway. Especially for linguistic learners, it often helps a person committ a speech to memory if they have it written down first. If you're more of an auditory learner, try recording yourself giving the speech, or if you're more visual, draw yourself a flow chart of the speech's structure. Work with your own strengths.

4. Don't memorize

Contrary to common belief, you don't want to memorize your best man speech. You want to memorize the skeletal points of your speech, but nobody's going to want to listen to you as you stare blankly at the opposite wall, reciting word-for-word your story. Besides, it's harder to convey emotion and a relaxed demeanor when you're reciting. You know the story by heart; you don't need to memorize it, anyway.

5. Introduce yourself

Many people there know you are and how you know the happy couple, but certainly not everybody. People like to know who it is that is speaking to them during best man speeches, and at this point in the reception, they might not have gotten a chance to introduce themselves. Start with your name, and explain how you know the bride and groom so the guests can get a better understanding of the kind of relationship you have with the newlyweds.

6. Smile and be charming

Public speaking, including best man speeches, actually has very little to do with what words are said, and very much to do with body language. While telling your story, try to smile often and laugh when you think something is funny. Keep a relaxed stance so the audience is relaxed while listening to you. You're not delivering a presentation to the senior partners in a law firm, you're recounting an event to your best bro's family and friends. Make sure your body language reflects that.

7. Give a toast

At the heart of it all, you're proud of the bride for snagging your best bud as a husband, and proud of your buddy for finding a woman he can spend the rest of his life with. In your toast, convey that pride, and ask everyone to raise a glass. Be sure to thank the bride and groom and anyone else you feel needs thanking. This can happen at the beginning or the ending of the speech depending on the note you'd like to end the speech on.

Best Man Speech Examples

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Hi Kristina - nice article! Haha - I love the Keep it PG part. You would be surprised at how many people forget about this one. I was at a wedding where the best man dropped an absolute un-PG bomb at the start about the groom... couldn't recover from that one afterwards! I agree with the part about not memorizing the speech word-for-word, that's the recipe for disaster. Though do I think that memorizing the key points can be vital for a lot of people, unless they're reading key points from notes. I've written a really detailed post on this at www.publicspeakingmemory.com for anyone that's interested in learning more about visualization techniques that can help with this one!

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