Twice in my life I’ve had the chance to deliver a best man speech. Both times I’ve been very nervous, and both times my speeches have been widely reviewed by the guests as “the best best man speech” they’d ever hear.

So – how did I do it.

First things first – I didn’t use a website which automatically generates a speech for you, and this isn’t what you will get from this article either. I only once took something from the internet for my first speech which was a nice statement about future happiness together. Ironically the exact same quote was used earlier in the day by a registrar. I learned my lesson for the second speech (plus I’d done it once so I felt a bit more confident).

In both cases I stuck to a fairly simple structure:

  • Introduction with a quick joke
  • Three stories about the groom (linked in some way)
  • Conclusion with some nice ‘awwww’ comment about the happy couple etc.

A great piece of advice that I recieved from a close friend of mine (and owner of was this. Use ‘brackets’ in your stories. So you start with one anecdote or story “We were walking down the street when the unimaginable happened…”. But leave that unfinished, with a mini cliffhanger if possible. And then complete another story, before looping back and closing the bracket of the first story. “But before I tell you about that there’s something you need to understand”. This technique can be used more than once, but don’t go nuts or it’ll spoil the flow or confuse people.

Gather together as many stories as you can about your victim, either from your own memory, or from friends and family (or both). Try and find a common thread that you can use – either as an open/close bracket at the beginning and end of the speech – or for the conclusion section of the speech. It can be really nice to say something along the line of ‘he doesn’t do those kind of things anymore since meeting the bride, which is a great relief for everyone’ or something along those lines.

Another great tip (if you haven’t gone to the website yet it may help you understand that the company does coaching of soft skills and the like), is to do some small motion or gesture to make the area you’re standing ‘your stage’. This doesn’t have to be anything weird or excessive. It just lets the audience know that you’re here, ready and about the start.

For example the first speech I did I got up, walked out from behind the table I was sitting at, put my wine glass on a shelf nearby and flourished my printed copy of the speech. I looked up, and I was ready – and so was the audience. The second time I simply stepped to one side, once again so that I wasn’t behind the table and there was no barrier between my and the listeners.

And finally what I imagine will be the least popular piece of advice (which worked for me anyway). Make a lot of time to write the speech. Each speech that I delivered took about three months to prepare – it gives you time to make sure you’re pitching it at the right level in terms of the insults and innuendo.