The #1 Mistake When Giving a Best Man Speech
It’s an honor to be given the best man role.
That means that someone from the planet thought you were worthy to be given a special moment on their special day.
When someone is notified that they will be the best man, they feel happy at first.
‘Of all the people in the world, they really chose me.’
After the initial happiness, there is anxiety.
‘Gee wiz! I have to make a speech in front of so many people. Why me??’
Then the nerves ensue.
Nerves can cause us to make a public speaking faux pas.
Let me share the biggest mistake when making a best man speech.
The Biggest Mistake
The best man is doing pretty well on speech day.
They are delivering the talk in a confident way and making the audience laugh.
This best man is highlighting how he met the groom.
The ups and downs of their relationship.
And how he wishes the groom the best for his new chapter.
Once he’s done, he gets off stage.
Everything went well….
However, something feels wrong.
The best man didn’t bring the bride up in the speech at all!!
The biggest mistake when giving a best man speech is to not include the bride.
For most men, weddings don’t matter much.
If you told the man that he’d be getting married in a broom closet, he’d be like:
‘Sounds good. Is there going to be food after?’
But for women?
The wedding is one of the biggest days of their life.
In the wedding, the best man speech is one of the most important moments of the night.
If you don’t include the bride in one of the most important moments of the night, then she’s going to feel a certain type of way.
How to Give a Best Man Speech
A speech is memorable if it holds 2 emotions.
We want 1 empowering emotion and 1 sad emotion.
After understanding that we want 2 emotions, we design our speech.
Here’s a sample formula:
- How you met the groom.
- A dark moment that you and the groom faced.
- How the dark moment strengthened the relationship.
- Bring in the bride.
For step 1, I recommend a funny lighthearted story.
‘Our story begins in kindergarten. I was the good boy, but Juan was the mischievous one. I don’t quite remember how, but he got me to eat glue. After that, I knew we were going to be friends.’
This light delivery brings the audience in.
After bringing in the audience, surprise them!
For step 2, talk about a tough time that you and the groom faced:
‘Our relationship was going well, until we moved to different states for college. We didn’t talk for years.’
Go in on that.
Darken the pain.
The audience will think:
‘Oh no! This is so sad.’
After the darkness, enter step 3.
Talk about how the painful moment only made the relationship better.
‘When we reunited in our 30s, it felt as though we had never drifted apart. You know what they say….good friends feel awkward after seeing each other after a while, but best friends pick up right where they left off.’
After giving an update on the current state of your relationship with the groom, we will enter step 4.
Bring in the bride.
How to Bring the Bride Into Your Speech
I love bringing in the bride in a funny & sentimental way.
Earlier, I said if you could use 2 emotions in the speech, then you’re good.
But if you can use 3 emotions in the speech, then you’re golden.
Introduce the bride by teasing the groom.
Nothing too serious.
‘I’ve known you for a long time, Juan. I never thought anyone could make fun of you better than I could. But then… I was introduced to Sally.’
Make eye contact with Sally and smile.
The audience is now introduced to Juan’s wife, Sally.
And they are introduced to her in a comical way.
Don’t get stuck making fun of Juan.
A quick potshot is all we are going for.
The potshot allows you and the bride to be on the same team.
Once the bride is introduced, talk about how well the bride plugs into Juan’s life.
Try to highlight her behaviors.
Avoid bringing up her looks too much.
Bring up behaviors like her discipline, caring attitude & adventurous spirit.
Highlight how the behaviors make Juan a better person.
At this point, you are turning the bride from a 2D character in the audience’s mind into a 3D character.
The audience will like you for it.
The bride will love you for it.
Wish Them the Best
After you have:
- Talked about how you met the groom.
- Went through a troubling time with the groom.
- Allowed the pain to strengthen the relationship.
- Inserted the bride into your talk and gave details about her personality.
Now is the time to wish them the best in their new chapter.
‘Undermine each other’s weaknesses & amplify each other’s strengths. I wish you all the best in your new chapter.’
The audience will feel chills in their spines.
You engaged more than 1 emotion, told some jokes, involved the bride, and ended on a sentimental note.
When you walk off stage, there’s a pep to your step.
You’re not wondering:
‘Hm… what did I miss with that speech?’
You got everything taken care of bud.
Embrace the Best Man Speech
I’ve given a couple of best man speeches in my life.
I went through the same emotional roller coaster that most best men go through.
The initial feeling of joy, followed by dread.
But when you have a simple framework to follow, it will add clarity to the ambiguity.
When you have clarity, you have courage.
The best man will play a big role in the event; however, they are not the event.
It’s the groom and bride’s big day.
Realizing that you’re not the star of the show should cool down the nerves.
Despite it being the groom and bride’s big day…
One party cares way more about the wedding than the other party.
Make your speech memorable by not forgetting her.