A wedding is an important event, and being a groom, best man, or father of the bride is a unique honor which most people only get to enjoy once or just a few times. However, as honorable as it is, few people actually look forward to doing it. There's pressure on you to deliver an impressive and memorable speech, often in front of a big audience, and not to mess up the big day.
There is a number of simple tips which help to write an outstanding speech. We have listed our personal top 10 below.
10) Split your speech into several sections: introduction, middle, and closing. Write down a few ideas for each. Ask yourself a few questions, like for instance: why you are chosen as best man, what are the most important things you have to say about the groom or the bride, and recall any funny (but positive!) anecdotes you may know about them.
9) For the introduction, you should say who you are, since probably not everyone in the audience will know you. It is also the right place to say a few words to thank the people hosting the wedding (mostly the parents of the bride or the groom). The intro is important because many people are focused on you and will remember it best.
8) After the intro, a joke to lighten up the mood and get the attention of the audience is a good idea. However, it's a good idea to get someone else's opinion on your joke if it's not mainstream. Not everyone may share your sense of humor, and there are few things that mess up the impression more than a joke which nobody laughs at.
7) In the core of your speech, you can tell a (short!) story on how you met the groom or bride, your ideas on their marriage (positive of course), how you think their relationship has changed them, and what it might bring in future. Avoid any ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend stories or anything people would not want to be made public though! While using notes at this stage is ok, try to avoid just reading them aloud. Instead, try to paraphrase freely and get the sentiment along.
6) The best way to lay out the body of your speech is by formulating a series of points that you would like to raise. The points should be organised so that related points follow one another so that each point builds upon the previous one. This will also give your speech a more logical progression.
5) For the closing, it's hard to go wrong with a traditional toast or blessing for the couple. Make your toast loud and impressive, don't forget to have a glass around, and drink to your toast yourself.
4) When giving the speech, make eye contact with your audience. This helps to build trust and a relationship with the listeners. Do not fidget or make other nervous gestures with your hands. Do not keep your hands in your pockets. Use moderate, wide, relaxed hand gestures.
3) Take your time speaking. It is common for people to speak too rapidly when nervous. Try to avoid this by consciously speaking in a calm, relaxed tone. Don't be too quiet, especially if you don't have a microphone. Make pauses after key sentences.
2) It's a good idea to write down your toast or your basic speech structure on a note card and practice delivering the speech a few times in front of a mirror.
1) Most important of all - be natural. Don't use any overly pompous phrases or elaborate vocabulary. It's the simple, honest words that are remembered and valued.
If you also want to know how to deliver your speech in an impressive, awe-inspiring way, http://www.memorableweddingspeeches.com is an excellent resource, featuring over 100 professionally written wedding speeches and loads of tips, as well as an audio course, on delivering your speech.