by Marcus Leach
If you are lucky at some stage in your life you will have the honour of being asked to perform best man duties for a very good friend, or maybe even your brother. Your duties range from organising the stag, to ensuring the groom has everything he needs on the big day. But, without doubt, the biggest duty you must perform is the best man's speech.
For some this can be a daunting prospect, standing in front of a room full of people all expecting you to make them laugh is enough to leave most in a cold sweat. Others thrive on the experience and simply love being centre of attention as the entertain with a mix of funny stories and anecdotes. No matter which category you fall into there are a few key points to follow to ensure your speech goes down well.
"Your role as the deliverer of best man's speech is often the most anticipated and dreaded event at a wedding," says Alan Stevens, Media Coach. "However, it is not as difficult to deliver as many people think in their mind. These tips should make it a little easier for you."
• Keep it brief - No more than ten minutes. No-one was ever criticised for a best man's speech that was too short.
• Don't buy a joke book - Gags are hard to tell, even for experienced comics. Instead, tell stories about the groom.
• Keep your alcohol intake down until after the speech - OK, you can have one glass of fizz, but that's it. The last thing you want is to be drunk when all eyes are on you.
• It's fine (and expected) to poke gentle fun at the groom, and heap praise on his bride. Don't take it too far though, and no 'in jokes' as you will lose the audience.
• If you want to be really clever, work out a story that can be shared between the father of the bride, you, and the groom, in your respective speeches. Or arrange to tell the same story for each of your viewpoints.
• Close your speech by directing your comments to the groom, and say how much you really admire him.
Give the guy a hug. He's your best mate. Then hug the bride. It'll bring the house down.
How about this for an idea....
In today's technology mad world it is not uncommon to see best men use aides for their speech, including presentations with embarrassing pictures. So, why not make it classy and do a 'This Is Your Life' best man speech?
It is safe to assume that not everybody on the bride's side of the guest-list will know the groom that well, so this is your chance to enlighten them in a lighthearted manner that will involved everybody in your speech. Just remember whilst a few embarrassing pictures are ok, this isn't just excuse to go over the top. Once the groom's early life has been covered you can talk about his life with his bride, and how you have seen their love for each other grow.
Whatever method you opt for just remember to enjoy the experience, for many this is a once in a liftime opportunity and should be cherished.