Congratulations! They have selected you to be the best man! This is one of the highest honors to be bestowed upon anyone, and it’s not to be taken lightly. Among other duties, your most notable one will be giving the best man speech. We’ve all been to weddings where the best man’s speech was less than stellar, and we’ve been to others where they have been amazing. Creating a best man speech outline can help you fall into the latter category instead of the former.

This prime duty has a lot of pressure to go along with it, but that pressure can easily be dealt with by preparing in advance. Keep reading to learn about our best man speech outline we put together for you. We made it so you can prepare yourself and your speech well in advance. This will leave the audience, and most importantly, the bride and groom with a lasting memory of the wonderful occasion.

What Does it Mean to be "The Best Man"?

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The Best Man is more than just giving a speech though that is the most notable duty. As the best man, you have been chosen as a close friend of the groom who can bring his blessing to the newly wedded couple.

You’re there to support your friend, the groom, and his new wife. This makes it a great honor. You are not there to put on a performance riddled with jokes; you are there to be part of the celebration of two people who are choosing to spend their lives together. Keep this perspective when writing and giving your speech. This is the real meaning of being the best man. All other responsibilities are secondary to this goal.

Roles & Responsibilities

You can have any number of important duties that to manage; groom shepherding, distributing alcohol, planning the bachelor party, etc. This all depends on how the wedding will be organized. Will the ceremony be followed by a cocktail hour for guests before dinner? Or will it lead directly into dinner? Are you responsible for any planning for the wedding? What about the bachelor party?

It’s surprising how quickly, your responsibilities can expand, especially as the big day approaches. Keep in mind that the primary responsibilities of celebrating the union of two people. This is where you focus should be. Everything else should support that primary goal. The bride and groom need someone to hand out drinks at the open bar? That’s you. They need someone to make last-minute decoration changes? That’s you. They need someone to run last minute errands before the big day? That’s you.

These are all responsibilities that might be given to you as the best man, but the most notable responsibility (and the one people will remember) is the speech you are giving. This is the one where you want to make sure you’re spending your time wisely so the bride, the groom, and the guests will have an enjoyable memory to look back. The other responsibilities are important, but this one should not be shrugged off.

To get you started on the right foot, keep reading to see the best man speech outline prepared for you so the big, notable task is taken care of you and you can help with the little things that will pop up between now and the big day.

Best Man Speech Outline

Most likely you will have more than one responsibility, but the primary responsibility of giving the speech is the one that most people will witness is the speech. This is where you get to have the great honor of giving your blessing to the newly wedded couple. And if you don’t want to disappoint, then make sure you prepared in advance.

Even the best of the public speakers may get a little nervous giving a best man speech, but they know the trick to help prevent that nervousness: being prepared. We’ve put together this best man speech outline so you can prepare your speech and be ready to impress the wedded couple and their invited guests.

Do’s and Don'ts 

Before you get started with writing your speech, there are some important details to remember when preparing your best man speech outline:

Prepare in Advance

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Have we stressed this enough? This will help you combat any nervousness you may be feeling leading up to or on the day of the event. This also gives you the advantage of being able to get feedback on your speech to make any changes. You can have the groom or other close friends give you feedback on timing, delivery, content, etc. Bottom line, make sure you at least get some practice. If nothing else, practice in front of the mirror.

Write it Down

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It’s natural to get nervous right before you give your speech. It’s a normal human reaction of excitement. Having your speech written down can help you stay focus when the big moment comes. This is especially helpful for those that aren’t comfortable with public speaking. We suggest that you write your speech in bullet-point form so that it’s easy to read and you’re not flipping through pages as you give it.

Be Yourself

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You were chosen for this because of who you are and your relationship with the groom. Not because you’re trying to win an Oscar for best performance. Just be you. If you’re not the type of person who usually cracks jokes, then don’t. It will come off as superficial and unfunny. You don’t want to leave that impression for the couple and their guests.

Be Sober...Enough

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We all know that weddings are focused on the couple, but they can also have a focus on the open bar. We are all there to celebrate the newly wedded couple, but if you are responsible for giving a speech, you might want to pace yourself before your moment. The last thing you want to do is stumble up to the microphone and slur your words for all to see. Have a few drinks to make yourself comfortable and relax, if you have to, but don’t push yourself past your limit.

Mention the Bride!

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You may be there because of your relationship with the groom, but this isn’t just his wedding day. It’s also the person he’s marrying, and that would be the bride. Make sure you give her a mention in your speech. If she’s also one of your friends, share a story to illustrate how happy you are that two of your friends will be sharing their lives together. If you don’t know her well, share a story about how the groom meeting her has had a positive impact on his life. Remember, a good rule of thumb to follow with weddings is always to make sure the bride is happy.

Be Tactful

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Yes, you want your speech to contain some funny stories and maybe a few jokes, but you’re not doing a Comedy Central roast of the groom. You’re there to share some fun memories and how happy you are for the couple. Don’t make jokes about the groom farting, don’t tell dirty jokes, or don’t talk about sex. And especially, don’t talk about any exes of the groom. Unless the bride and the groom have specifically asked for a roasting session of the groom, keep it rated PG.

Keep it Short

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This is an important responsibility but remember; you’re not the one in the spotlight. The focus should be on the couple. Also, there may be more speeches; the maid of honor usually gives a speech, and sometimes the father of the bride does too. Be respectful of their time just as you would want them to be respectful of your time. Ultimately, the guests are not there to see a lineup of speeches.

They are there to celebrate the newly wedded couple so keep it brief. A good rule to follow is to keep your speech between two and five minutes long. Any longer and you’ll lose people’s interest. When you practice, use a stopwatch to time yourself, so you know. Or if you practice in front of others, they can time you.  

Organizing Your Speech

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Now that we have established ground rules for what to include, it’s time map out your best man speech outline. This will get you started on the right track to a successful best man speech.

Introduce Yourself

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You might know a lot of the guests at the wedding but chances are there’s a few you don’t know. So it’s always best practice start by introducing yourself.

Examples

“Hello, My name is [your name]. I’m the groom’s [your relation to the groom]”
“My name is [your name]. [Groom’s name] and I met…”
“Hello everyone, my name is [your name]. [Groom’s name] and I have known each other since…”

Express Gratitude

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Be sure to thank everyone for coming out to celebrate. And don’t forget to thank those who helped organize the event; they often work behind the scenes and don’t always get recognition. You’ll score easy points early on with your audience if you do this.

Talk About Your Past With the Groom.

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Expand on your introduction and dive deeper into how you know the groom and your past with him. How long have you known him? How did you meet? Give the audience some context for your relationship with him. This could be where you add a comical story.

Tell it as a Story.

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It’s a lot easier to stand up in front of people and tell a story than to try to memorize a speech word-for-word. Include anecdotes about you, the groom, and (ideally) the bride. These stories can fun, and maybe a little embarrassing. Remember, unless specifically asked for it should not be a roast session or raunchy. With these stories who want to display how you feel toward the groom and convey your sentiment toward the new marriage.

Compliment the Couple

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Once you have shared a few anecdotes, bring it back to the couple. They are the reason you and everyone else has gathered for this moment. Compliment them on how they make each better. Here you can experiment with a bit of humor, it’s not a eulogy, but be sure it conveys that sentiment that you are there celebrating their union.

Talk About the Bride.

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If you have not specifically mentioned the bride yet, now is a good time to do so. Talk about what positive aspects she brings to the groom’s life, how she’s made him a better person, and what that’ll bring to their marriage. If you are friends with the bride, this is a great time to include a personal story where she’s made a positive impact on your life and how you are happy that she’s marrying your other friend.

Create a Memorable Toast.

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The last thing you will do in your speech is toast the happy couple and their union. To make it memorable, steer away from jokes, especially ones about ex-girlfriends. Look at the elements from the stories and anecdotes you included in your speech and tie them all together in your toast. Focus on the positive aspects of the union and how you wish them nothing but the best as they live out their lives together.

Coping Tips for Public Speaking

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Congratulations if you’ve been invited to be the best man for a wedding; it’s a beautiful privilege and an honor that someone thinks so highly of you. One of the first duties that’ll pop into your head is the speech. If the thought of public speaking makes you want to puke, we’ve devised a list of coping mechanisms so you can feel calmer and more prepared for your big moment.

Create a Speech You’re Happy With

First, ensure you have a speech that you’re proud of. You can’t prepare a speech overnight, so make sure you allow yourself plenty of time to perfect your words. Once you’re confident with what you have written down, you’ll be more excited about delivering it to an audience.

Practice Speaking in Public Before The Wedding

If you’re not an experienced public speaker or performer, we recommend you get some experience before the wedding. Get comfortable speaking with strangers in the supermarket or at your local pub to develop your confidence and practice awkward moments. You can even take public speaking classes so a coach can teach you the correct techniques.

Stop Overthinking and Have Fun

A wedding isn’t all about your speech, and most people in the room are content enough to be a part of the wedding that they’ll laugh at your jokes anyway. Stop overthinking what can go wrong and enjoy the moment. You were chosen as the best man for a reason, so trust yourself.

Conclusion

It’s a big responsibility to be delivering the best man speech, but it doesn’t have to be a difficult one. Preparing your best man speech outline in advance will be a huge benefit to you. Having a best man speech outline will also help you leave a lasting memory for the couple and the guests invited. Write down your speech, bullet-form works best, and bring it to the day of the event.

Practice in front of a mirror or in front of some close friends to time yourself and get feedback. Ideally, you want it to be about two to five minutes. You want to be funny and lively but be sure to keep it appropriate. Express gratitude for those attending and for those organizing the event. And end your speech on a high note where you celebrate the union between the happy couple.

You might have other responsibilities as best man, but your speech is the most notable one. Do yourself and your audience a favor by preparing for your best man speech outline in advance. Remember, you’re giving the speech, but the spotlight is on the newly wedded couple. Your primary goal with your speech is to shine that spotlight brightly on them. 

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