1. Stay sober
Movies and TV might lead you to believe that the drunken best man is a staple of weddings — but reality is something different. You’re going to need you wits about you to make your speech work, so watch your intake.
2. Start by thanking everyone for coming
They say you should open with a joke, but in the setting of a wedding, it’s a gracious move to thank everyone who helped organize the day, and the guests who’ve traveled so far to be there.
3. Build your speech around personal stories connected to the couple
You’ve probably got a lot of material to be drawing on, but you’ve got to share stories that involve both bride and groom. Avoid inside jokes and embarassing stories, and focus instead on a memory that exemplifies why you think they’re such a good match for each other.
4. Keep it short
No need to go on and on — a few good minutes will leave a more lasting impression than twenty minutes of blather. Do your thank yous, share your stories, do your toast (see below) and head back to your seat.
5. End with a toast to the couple
This is the classic Best Man speech ending. Ask everyone to raise a glass.
6. Be yourself
This is the key to making your speech really work. Remember, you were asked to give the speech — which means your friend or brother picked you for the job. No need to suddenly try to become someone you’re not just because you’re on stage.