(Principles of a) Best Man Speech

A little while ago I gave a best man speech at a wedding. It was one of the most successful thing I have ever done. Afterwards, everyone who saw me told me it was a great speech. Even the DJ.

I never looked online for advice because I was really spending my time trying to rembers stories, and figure out which ones worked the best. I also didn’t want to pollute my mind with everyone else’s ideas, and wanted it to come from the heart. This advice can probably be generalized to other types of toasts, but there is also probably better advice out there from more experienced toasters.

Stories

This is where it starts, and is tough for me since I have a horrible episodic memory. The older the story the better. Stories should help explain the person and your relationship with them, and hopefully they are funny.

Evidence

This should tie in with a story and it really adds a great touch. For my speech I had some old writings of our family meetings that my parents had actually kept. Reading it verbatim was so much funnier because I wasn’t recalling it from memory or making it up. It is important to note that the evidence didn’t just set a background for a story- the humor was in the evidence itself.

Self Deprication

This is a real subtlety that I think makes a huge difference. Remember that this speech and this day is not about you. So take your ego out of it. Try going further and telling the stories that embarass the both of you, or even just you as long as it helps explain your relationship.

Personal touch

Don’t be afraid to get personal! Its not just experiences that bind people together, but their personal qualities also.

© Greg Weber. All original code snippets are placed in the public domain.
Written on Sun Oct 19 19:00:00 2008.
Send author an email.