There’s a common problem with all best man speeches, and that’s: what you can actually say? Most best men have heaps of stories about the groom, and most of those will be only appropriate for his the close company of his friends, so what can you talk about in the speech?
Well, it all depends on what route you’re going down. If this is a short and heartfelt toast, then you’ve got nothing to worry about. However, if you’re looking at a slightly more expanded speech – and by that we mean around the 5-7 minute mark, then you’ve got think very carefully about what you’re going to include.
Obviously, a longer speech can’t be just heartfelt emotion, as it would be pretty impossible to get through, and you’ll inevitably just end up repeating yourself. So, in this case you need to take the stories which can be adapted for a wider audience. Think about stories where you can allude to something quite edgy, and so still have the impact, but not be so explicit that you’re going to offend someone.
You can also find entertainment through simple things like the groom’s job, hobbies, passions and dislikes. Maybe it’s that ‘Chandler’ ability to have a job that nobody understands, or the fact that he’s really an overgrown gamer masquerading as a management consultant? There’s always a way to lighten the load of the speech – and that’s exactly what the comedy in a best man speech is for: to give it balance.
Any best man who is under the impression they’ve turned into a stand up for the day, is getting things badly wrong. You need to warm, inclusive and genuinely funny things in the speech to balance out the more meaningful parts, and it should not be a comedy barrage.
So, keep it real: this is a friend or a brother making a speech about someone they care about. It’s not your opportunity to prove your comedy genius and it’s not a character assassination either.