It’s can be a huge honor to be the Best Man at your pal’s wedding but it also comes with some responsibility. As the wedding day approaches, you’ll be hoping not to disappoint your best friend even if you’re preoccupied with other things.
The following are 10 common mistakes people make while preparing Best Man speeches. Learn to identify these mistakes and avoid them:
1. Lack of preparation
While it’s only natural to leave overwhelming tasks to the very last moment, nothing is more likely to damage your speech than lack of preparation.
This is complicated by your spare time being used for other wedding activities, as the wedding day approaches. You might promise to finish your best man speech a couple of days to the wedding, but find there is also a wedding rehearsal or a suit fitting to attend to.
While you might be secretly hoping that an under-prepared speech passes off as endearing, the plain truth is that it will only look like you did not prepare well.
Begin preparing early and in case you still have very little time, scale down your ambitions and go for something fast and simple.
2. Reading an ‘off-the-shelf’ speech
While you might be tempted to take the easy way and borrow ideas for your best man speech from online, or even use an almost pre-written speech, most people can easily spot it. This is only going to undermine your speech.
While it’s alright to use books and online resources to learn how to prepare Best man speeches, you have to make sure you create most of the content.
3. Mind the bride
Regardless of what you might think about the bride, it’s her big day and hence you should try not to upset her. Instead, try to complement her as much as possible. You can pick on the groom (within reason), but let the bride be.
4. Attacking the groom
Everyone will expect you to pick on the groom throughout your speech but don’t overstep the mark.
Making too much fun of the groom will not only embarrass him, but also his bride and guests. Try to balance your funny jibes with well-wishing praise and you’ll be seen as slightly cheeky rather than insulting.
5. Talking garbage
When preparing your speech remember that the wedding guests may be mixed, including elderly relatives and young children.
In this situation, the use of inappropriate language including swear words will cause more problems. It’s strongly recommended that you seek advice on any part of the speech you think may offend people and if you’re unsure, leave it out.
6. Using in-jokes
In-jokes will only work if everybody in the room makes sense of them. Otherwise, they’re annoying, distracting, confusing and worse will leave out those who don’t know what they mean. If you think you have a really good one to use, be sure to fully explain it, without taking away the humor. If in doubt, leave it out.
7. Being too drunk
Giving a speech is nerve-wracking for most people, and some may be tempted to drink to get some Dutch Courage. This may be a big problem at a wedding if alcohol is freely available and everybody else is drinking.
Don’t be tempted to drink. By all means take a drink, but not too much. If you get drunk, you run the risk of losing your place, slurring your words, going off pitch, etc. This can be especially embarrassing if the event is being recorded.
So keep things light before your speech, and you can have more drinks afterwards.
8. This isn’t a race
Nervous speakers will often encounter this problem. Your months of preparation will be undone if you rush through your speech very quickly and without a breather.
The way you deliver your speech usually determines how well it’ll be received. Do not mumble, rush or speak inaudibly. When delivering your speech, make eye contact, look up and speak confidently.
9. Talking endlessly
To be honest, the speeches at most weddings aren’t that good, and they often go on and on. Don’t join the list of speakers who tend to overstay their welcome.
No matter how great your speech is, the guests will definitely thank you if you keep it nice and short. Going on and on will only make you seem self-indulgent, even if your best man speech is being received well.
10. Don’t fade away
It’s your closing remarks that will be most remembered by the guests, so take some time to find the best way to end your speech.
You may choose to end your best man speech with a huge laugh and reserve your biggest laugh for this moment. Or, you may decide to end your speech on a sentimental note and leave the guests in tears.
Whatever you decide, ensure your speech doesn’t fade out. Exit on a high and make it memorable. Always remember, first impressions count while last impressions last.
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