Best man toasts provide the ultimate irony -- all at once they are one of the greatest honors to be bestowed upon a friend, yet also provide one of the most intimidating experiences thinkable.
To help make your best man toasts the stuff of legend, here are five top tips to help you get through the big day. Fail to plan and you plan to fail
Super Tip #1 -- Tap Your Glass
Perhaps obvious, but many best men will shout to get people's attention! Always stand up, raise your glass and tap it. You might want to practice backstage with one of the available glasses, just to ensure you do not shatter it easily. Be cool, relaxed, and look around the room with a smile as you do it. As soon as people have simmered down and you have their attention, that is your cue.
Super Tip #2 -- Make the Speech Short and Sweet
Good speech-writing is an art. That's the bad news. The great news is that the perfect best man toasts are actually quite short. Keep your words clean, lucid and well-chosen. You can convey more power in three or four sentences of good prose than you ever could in a five page dissertation. To this extent, ensure you draft your speech several times.
Super Tip #3 -- Run the Speech by Friends
Ensure you rehearse the speech in front of some mutual friends of the groom. They will be your best audience and give you exactly the feedback you need. If your toast manages to raise as much as a chuckle, then you only need to multiply that by a hundred or so to get some idea of how well your speech will go down.
Super Tip #4 -- Deflect the Emphasis from Yourself
Remember that best man toasts are not about you. A lot of best men get intimidated at the thought that the spotlight will be on them. The art of a great best man's speech is to deftly deflect all of the emphasis onto the groom. This can be humorous, or it can be a fitting eulogy. You can start off by talking about a romantic moment, a brave moment or a humiliating moment in their lives. Remember, the audience will be looking at the groom -- your job is to simply talk about them. Don't believe this is about you.
Super Tip #5 -- Finish Up
You started the best man toasts by tapping your glass. Now it is time to conclude your speech by raising your glass to the couple and encouraging the attendees to join you in a toast to them. Keep it simple, look in their direction with complete conviction, and then simply wish them the best. Have no fear -- the attendees will follow your lead.