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Weddings

10 Charts To Help Anyone Write A Best Man Speech

This is your chance to shine the spotlight on the happy couple.

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Wavebreakmedia Ltd / ThinkStock / Nathan W. Pyle

1. Start writing down your thoughts several weeks before the wedding day.

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This is an awesome and fun assignment – take it seriously! Give yourself time so you can write, revise and practice.

You might be tempted to procrastinate on this. Don't! You want to fully cook the ideas you have for this speech. That said, if you are reading this the day before the wedding – don't panic. Keep reading. You can do this.
Nathan W. Pyle for BuzzFeed

You might be tempted to procrastinate on this. Don't! You want to fully cook the ideas you have for this speech.

That said, if you are reading this the day before the wedding – don't panic. Keep reading. You can do this.

2. The more prepared you are, the more relaxed you'll be!

You should anticipate being swamped every minute of the wedding week, and the wedding day is going to be such a whirlwind of emotions and new memories. The more preparation you put in early, the more confident you'll be when the mic is in your hand.You don't need to memorize the entire speech word for word – but you need to know your outline.Important to remember that you'll need to remain focused on the big day. If you do have a drink before the toast, I'd suggest you keep it to one.
Nathan W. Pyle for BuzzFeed

You should anticipate being swamped every minute of the wedding week, and the wedding day is going to be such a whirlwind of emotions and new memories. The more preparation you put in early, the more confident you'll be when the mic is in your hand.

You don't need to memorize the entire speech word for word – but you need to know your outline.

Important to remember that you'll need to remain focused on the big day. If you do have a drink before the toast, I'd suggest you keep it to one.

3. Give your speech a structure: past, present, and future.

Nathan W. Pyle for BuzzFeed

This might seem obvious, but you want a speech structure that moves forward chronologically and culminates in the future of the happy couple.

This is their narrative and you have been fortunate enough to play a role in it! What a beautiful thing, yeah?
Nathan W. Pyle for BuzzFeed

This is their narrative and you have been fortunate enough to play a role in it! What a beautiful thing, yeah?

4. Keep your entire audience in mind – it's likely only half the room (if that) will be familiar with you. Your opening remarks about the past should move forward swiftly.

As you select details to share about the past, focus on those details that would be compelling to a crowd full of strangers! (Because those details will be compelling to everyone.)
Nathan W. Pyle for BuzzFeed

As you select details to share about the past, focus on those details that would be compelling to a crowd full of strangers! (Because those details will be compelling to everyone.)

The audience will be waiting for the words, "and that's when he met _______." Once you're into this middle section of the toast, your entire audience will be more engaged!

No pun intended.
Nathan W. Pyle for BuzzFeed

No pun intended.

I like to keep my speeches short because I know audience engagement is naturally going to wane over the course of a long speech.

This is particularly true because your speech will likely be one of several!Remember the old saying, "Always leave them wanting more."

This is particularly true because your speech will likely be one of several!

Remember the old saying, "Always leave them wanting more."

5. Make this speech about their story.

Nathan W. Pyle for BuzzFeed

Consider this: you likely have known the groom for years before their relationship started (Column A). But the wedding day and thus the toast is more about B and C.

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6. Let your memories with the groom build into their love story.

As you think about their story (Columns B and C), what were you able to see from your close vantage point that others would not have seen?
Nathan W. Pyle for BuzzFeed

As you think about their story (Columns B and C), what were you able to see from your close vantage point that others would not have seen?

7. If you want more inspiration for Columns B and C, check out what they've said about each other on social media over the course of their relationship.

Nathan W. Pyle for BuzzFeed

8. Start with narrative, end with a well-crafted toast.

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9. Hit the ground running: introduce yourself in narrative form to get your narrative arc going immediately!

Be engaging from the very first word. There are so many creative ways to explain your connection to the groom. Don't worry, after your introduction, you can still thank the family / whoever made the wedding possible! You just want to grab everyone with your first words. My cousin Clint told me he likes to structure each toast like a song. This is good advice. A song starts immediately into the narrative – that's what your speech should do too.
Nathan W. Pyle for BuzzFeed

Be engaging from the very first word. There are so many creative ways to explain your connection to the groom.

Don't worry, after your introduction, you can still thank the family / whoever made the wedding possible! You just want to grab everyone with your first words.

My cousin Clint told me he likes to structure each toast like a song. This is good advice. A song starts immediately into the narrative – that's what your speech should do too.

10. Finish strong: know precisely how you will toast to end the speech.

Other parts of the speech can be improvised and tweaked within the structure. But you'll want to know word-for-word what you're going to say as you finish the speech and raise your glass. This is it! This is your toast – everything has built up to this, so reserve your best line for this moment.
Nathan W. Pyle for BuzzFeed

Other parts of the speech can be improvised and tweaked within the structure. But you'll want to know word-for-word what you're going to say as you finish the speech and raise your glass.

This is it! This is your toast – everything has built up to this, so reserve your best line for this moment.

By the time you finish, all eyes should be on them! Remember the goal is to shine the spotlight on the happy couple.

Nathan W. Pyle for BuzzFeed

Be sincere and sweet. You got this!

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