So the groom picked you as the best man and you’re beyond stoked about the bachelor party. It’s going to have whitewater rafting, imported beers, strippers with lisps and even a midget or eight. Basically all you’re missing is Mike Tyson and a tiger for your Hangover-themed evening. You want this night to be epic, like the first time your parents heard the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show or the first time you heard Nine Inch Nails “Closer”.
We get it, you like to party. The bachelor party should be awesome….but so should your best man speech.
The best man speech will make even bro-est of bros tremble with fear. You can bench 280 pounds five times? That’s great, but can you get in front a room and look relaxed and comfortable speaking to over 200 people of all ages? A lot of guys will pull a crumpled piece of paper out of their pocket and read word-for-word what they wrote. Their hands will be shaking and their voice will be cracking. It’s almost like you’re Squints from The Sandlot trying to ask Wendy Peffercorn out on a date (two movie references so far, bam!).
With all that in mind, here are five tips to help your wedding speech be appropriate and well-received by the bride and groom….and their families.
1. Ditch the Paper.
A crumpled piece of paper looks sloppy, like Courtney Love sloppy. If you can’t memorize the speech (best option) use no more than three note cards with a few bullet points on each card. Note cards are smaller and less distracting.
2. Welcome the Families.
Chances are there are relatives’ young and old who traveled to be at this wedding. Find out who they are and thank them for coming in the beginning. Don’t just say, “I want to thank those relatives who traveled long distances to be here.” Find out EXACTLY where they are from and maybe even a quirky fact (Aunt Bev came all the way from San Jose just to fist pump during Lil John’s “Turn Down For What” or “Uncle Dale flew in from Austin so he could inappropriately dance with the bridesmaids during Unchained Melody.)
3. Talk about the Impact the Groom Has Had in Your Life.
Seems simple enough, right? Let the audience know that the groom would always loan you his car in high school when your Yugo wouldn’t start. Tell the crowd how when your Grandma was passing away he was the only friend who would sit with you by her bedside (OK maybe he was trying to check out the nurses, but still). Relate those qualities to the type of husband he will be for the bride. Loyal, caring and horny (if you’re feeling brave).
4. Recognize the Parents.
Thank the parents for not only throwing an awesome party and rehearsal dinner, but thank them for the attributes they instilled in their children. Talk about how the bride is always the first to say hello and how her smile makes everyone feel at ease, a trait she obviously inherited from her mother, who also looks beautiful tonight. Recognize the father of the groom for encouraging his son to think outside the box (maybe the groom is an entrepreneur). Let the groom’s father know the time he spent with his son paid dividends in developing a man who is strong, caring and loyal.
5. Practice 3-4 Days Out.
The wedding day can really sneak up on you. Between the bachelor party, the groomsmen golf outing, tuxedo fitting and rehearsal dinner, time can fly by REAL quick. Write out your speech on Microsoft Word, say it out loud, and then say it into a tape recorder. Then listen to your voice in the recorder so you’re comfortable with how it sounds. After that, re-write the speech word-for-word again on a Word Document (re-writing helps the speech sink in) and say it again in the tape recorder. Finally, jot the main points down on three note cards.
The best man speech is the bro’s time to shine. Use it to show humor, appreciation and thankfulness to bride and groom and their families. As far as the hot cousin with tight dress that isn’t quite finger-tip length, she’s yours…as long as you can communicate in an effective manner. And hey, if you’re still failing miserably feel free to check out Laughstaff for more help.