Best Man Speech Rules

The best man responds to the second toast on behalf of the bridesmaids and any other attendants.

The best man is expected to deliver an optimistic, buoyant and funny speech keeping everyone present entertained. To ensure a successful speech, pay careful attention to the following points:

  • Try to say everything you need to say in less than 1000 words or 7 minutes. You don't have to cover every year of the groom's life.
  • Your speech needs humour, but no real detail. Think about whether you really need to recite a whole story.
  • Don't include more than one anecdote or reminiscence. At a typical reception half the guests don't know the other half. The speech must be entertaining even to people who have never met the characters you're talking about.
  • The speech should contain plenty of humour and friendly digs at the bridegroom. But it should also include an equal number of congratulatory and optimistic remarks.
  • Don't refer to previous girlfriends.
  • Compliment the bride.
  • Don't use swear words.
  • Consign the opening line and the next two lines of your speech to memory. Then, if necessary, read the rest word for word, but try to raise your head and speak to the audience as much as you can.
  • Speak loudly and slowly, and use pauses between sections of your speech or to let the laughter die down after you've delivered a killer line.
  • End with a flourish. People remember longest the last thing they hear. Spend time finding the ideal concluding remarks for your speech.