How to Deliver your Best Man's Speech
Tips from the experts on how to combat nerves and deliver your speech like a pro.
Getting a bit of extra help from Mr J Daniels’ might seem like a good idea at the time but go easy on the Dutch courage. Alcohol is actually a diuretic so can dry your mouth out and too much dancing juice can actually increase anxiety.
ou probably think you won’t need to remember to breathe, you’ve been doing it for years and haven’t passed out yet. But focusing on breathing really can help you deliver your best man’s speech. According to the brainiacs at Mindtools.com. "Adrenalin causes you to breathe shallowly. By breathing deeply your brain will get the oxygen it needs and the slower pace will trick your body into believing you are calmer."
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The adrenalin associated with nerves is another factor that can cause your mouth to dry, so have a glass of water handy and take sips if needed. But try not to reach for the glass too as this might show people how nervous you are and make them edgy too.
Print your speech in a clear font (Arial or Calibri) and use it as a guide rather than something to hide behind and try to avoid simply reading straight from the page without looking up or taking pauses.
Take Your Cue
Cue cards, are a handy trick. They’re easier to hold and you can simply highlight the key points or jokes making them easier to read and pace your speech. It also makes you best man speech easier to learn.
Give Then the Eye
Making eye contact shows confidence so use your speech as a prompt rather than just staring at the page and reading it in a dull monotone. You're a good looking guy so take time to let the audience take in your boyish charm. Show them the whites of your eyes, let them see your confidence, it’ll make them more relaxed and the lesser their inhibitions the bigger the laughs.
Take it Slow
Speak loudly and clearly and try not to rush and remember to give pauses for the laughter, hopefully lots of laughter. SkillsYouNeed.com suggest "Speak more slowly than you would in a conversation and leave longer pauses between sentences. This slower pace will calm you down and it will also make you easier to hear, especially at the back of a large room."
Try reading the first part of your best man’s speech out loud. Now read it again... But this time… Try leaving a few pauses (a pause should be no longer then 1-2 seconds, you don’t want to sound like Captain Kirk). The more you read your speech out loud the more familiar it will become to you.
Facial expressions are so important, if you watch the best comedians the faces they use when delivering their best lines really help to add emotion to their jokes home. Practice your speech in front of a mirror and watch your face, you’re not Lee Evans so don’t overdo it or they’ll think you’re having some kind of breakdown.
Practice Makes Perfect
The very best singers, musicians, dancers, footballers all got so good because they spend hours practicing (even Emile Heskey practiced for hours… Ok, bad example). The more you practice saying your speech out loud, the more familiar it’ll become and the better it will go on the day.
So to Sum it all up...
How to deliver a best man speech;
- Go easy on the alcohol
Too much Dutch courage and you might be the one rolling in the aisles.
- Remember to breathe
Good deep breathes will lower your heart rate and suppress adrenalin which causes nerves.
- Keep your mouth moist
A dry mouth can make it difficult to speak so have a glass of water handy.
- Print your speech clearly
You don’t want to be squinting at the paper or trying to work out what “I first met Dave at Blancmange University.” really means.
- Use cue cards
They’re easier to remember. Use a highlighter to pick out key points.
- Make eye contact
It makes you appear more confident even if you’re feeling anything but and will relax the audience.
- Take your time
Don’t try and rush through it. Enjoy the moment and the vast quantities of free drinks it could/should win you.
- Use facial expressions
They can really help you emphasise points and aid delivery of the best jokes.
The more prepared you are, the better your speech will be.