Sometimes the hardest thing to do with a best man speech is getting started. But you just need a good Best Man speech outline. This will help keep you on track, ensuring your speech is focused and well-timed and protect you from a sudden bout of incessant rambling……
A bit like doing homework, you can wait for that inspiration to hit, or have a golden hour but..alas it doesn’t! And before you know it the big day is just around the corner!
Well, one way to get the ball rolling is to do a really simple exercise of drawing out your Best Man speech outline so you have a rough order. That way you can build out.
All you’re doing here is sketching out a rough skeleton which you’re then going to populate. Think of it just like an artist when they use charcoal to outline the broad construct. They’re not looking for it to be perfect by any stretch of the imagination at this stage. It’s just approximations. A starting point. And that’s the aim of the game here.
So, grab a blank sheet of paper and a pencil (in case you need to rub some stuff out) and we’re going to outline your Best Man speech in just a few short minutes. After that, you can go away from it and come back later. No problem.
Okay, got your paper and pencil at the ready? Then let’s get this show on the road.
A quick note before we start…
The idea is to not think too much about it here. You just want to get some stuff down on paper. Thoughts and ideas. There are no right or wrong answers either. This is not intended to be perfect remember.
For each prompt, scribble down the first thing that comes into your head.
And do this in whatever way feels comfortable. You can write it in bullets. In long form. Even a single word to remind you of something if need be.
A final note: you might want to read the instructions once through before you start writing, just so you know what to expect.
Understood? Great – let’s get going. Start the clock!
Writing your Best Man Speech Outline
The Opening Line
It’s always good to kick things off with a funny one liner to warm up the audience and break the ice. Typically this is done with a light-hearted gag, which is often made at someone’s expense, either your own, or the grooms. You can find examples of this in our https://blog.speechmate.com/best-man-one-liners/Best Man One Liners post.
What to do
Write the heading “Opening Line” and underline it.
Write down things that you might choose to poke fun at. Do you have any characteristics that you think could be amusing. How about the groom?
Are there any current affairs that you could use? Topical and newsworthy events that can be related to the day or the groom always go down well.
What about the location? Is the wedding in another country or somewhere that is known for something specific? If so, then a joke about this could be funny.
After you’ve done you’re opening line and created a bit of rapport with the audience you should be looking to introduce yourself and do some acknowledgements. Here you’re looking to thank a few people. It’s worth bearing in mind that there will have already been a number of thank yous that will have been very sincerely delivered. Your job is to say yours in an amusing or funny way!
As best man, tradition dictates it’s your job to thank the bridesmaids on behalf of the groom and there are numerous ways to do this in a jokey manner, for example you can make a gag about the bridesmaids having to dance with you. You’ll find many examples of this within the SpeechMate online tool.
What to do
Write the heading “Introduction” and underline it.
Write down your relationship to the groom. Are you his best friend, brother, cousin and what is it about that connection that you can draw upon?
Now write down the names of anyone who deserves a special mention. The bride and bridesmaids are typically included but you may also want to thank the usher, the stag party, the parents and anyone who will have travelled a long way to attend the wedding.
Think of a simple comment to make about the their journey or where they’ve come from.
For example: “Pete and Katherine have flown in from California – I hope the change in temperature wasn’t too much of a shock!”.
Write it down.
In the bridge you’ll want to talk about how you felt when asked to be a best man. If you think you’ll be nervous on the day – which the majority of guys will be – then you can make joke of it to take the pressure off. Everyone likes an underdog and admitting you’re nervous will get the audience rooting for you to do well. You can also use your responsibilities as best man to make a joke during this stage.
“I can assure everyone that I have taken the role as best man seriously and one of my most important duties was to make sure that the groom got a good night’s sleep before the wedding day. Well I can reveal that last night Tom slept like a baby. He wet the bed and woke up every half hour crying and wanting his Mummy.”
What to do
Write the heading “Bridge” and underline it.
Write the emotions you felt when asked to be best man. Joy, shock, horror. Whatever comes to mind.
Where were you? Was there anything about the location that has special significance?
What would the groom expect from you as best man? You can talk about how you’re not going to do that!
This is where you’re going to work hardest and will most likely take the longest time to craft. So spend a little more time on this section.
The roast is a light hearted assassination of the groom’s character and in this section you’re going to want to pick a few traits that he’s known for and poke fun at them. This is the point where you’ll want to bring in one or two stories bring it to life.
What to do
Write the heading “Roast” and underline it.
Write down your first memory of meeting the groom. Where was it? And what were the circumstances?
What were your first impressions of the groom?
What personality traits would you say he is most known for?
Make a note to remind you and also write down one or two words about what it says about him as a person.
You might be wondering why I’m asking you to think what each story tells us about the groom. This is simply because it gives you a neat way of introducing each story in your speech.
For example: “I realised quite early on that Michael was a tough cookie. When he was seven years old I recall him…”
What other stories are there that he is known for?
In the course of my research in to what makes a great best man speech, I found that speeches with the strongest approval ratings featured some kind of sentiment in the final third of the speech. The reason sentiment tends to work better at the end is because the audience need to connect with you first.
So the first part of your speech is to entertain and amuse the audience and when you’re doing that you’re establishing a connection with them. Once you’ve done that, then you introduce the sentiment later on, towards the end of the speech, as this is when they’re going to be most receptive.
There are broadly three things to cover off in this part. The first thing you want to do is acknowledge the friendship. The second thing to talk about is the marriage and how happy you are for both of them. This brings the bride into the speech and makes it more inclusive. And finally, you should look to mention the future. Marriage is a big milestone in anyone’s life, and as such is a time to reflect on the past, but also to look forward. Here you are acknowledging that important step and giving heartfelt best wishes for the future.
What to do
Write “Sincerity”. Underline it.
List as many positive words that you can think of to describe the groom. These can be what others have said, but it’s primarily about what you personally really value about the groom.
List the words you would use to describe the groom since he he got together with his wife-to-be. Needless to say these need to be positive! In other words what positive impact has she had on him.
Finally, what would you wish for him going forward.
To round things off, a bit of marital advice always goes down well before giving a genuine and heartfelt toast.
What to do
Write “Advice”. Underline it.
What things does the groom perhaps not do that winds up the bride!
Are there mistakes that you have made that you would like to make a joke of?
Does the groom have a favourite celebrated figure, past or present, who you can look up on the internet for inspiration quotes?
You can relate these things back to how to:
- avoid/resolve conflict
- keep the relationship fresh
- focus on what’s important in life
This would normally be heartfelt advice for future happiness based on your own experiences of marriage.
But if you do want to try something humorous, you could relate your ‘wise’ comments back to the earlier observations and stories about the groom.
For example you could give tongue-in-cheek advice to the groom about ‘handling’ his new bride. Our Blog about Best Man Advice to the Groom gives some specific suggestions.
And That’s it!
You’re done. Well, almost done.
Write “The Toast” on your paper – and now you’re really done.
(The toast is simply where ask guests to raise their glasses and toast the bride and groom.)
You should now be looking at a rough outline for your speech. Well done!
Feels great to have made a start, doesn’t it?
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