Published on October 15th, 2015 | by Staggered1
7 Delivery Tips Every Best Man Speech Should Have
Here at Staggered, one of the questions we are regularly asked is “How do you give a great best man speech”? So instead of responding with how long is a piece of string we started sourcing and creating the ultimate guide that will see you through the entire best man speech process. There are plenty of ways to create inspired ideas and content, ways that we will later share with you. To begin with though, we want to focus on the forgotten but no less important mechanics of a brilliant best man speech. After all, it’s no good crafting a side-splitting anecdote if your delivery is all off.
We know that giving a speech of this magnitude is no easy feat, so to lend a helping hand, here are seven delivery tips for the big best man speech…
Smiling is infectious, so make sure you show off those pearly whites during your best man speech. The reason for this is, not only will it get things off to the most positive start possible, your audience will also mimic your facial expressions, meaning that you’ll see smiles being cracked throughout the whole room. In addition to this, smiling will also help the speech itself sound a lot more upbeat – plus no one wants to sit there staring at the most miserable bloke it the world – so once again, make sure you smile.
Pause in between sentences
One of most common errors people make during a best man speech is rushing through their sentences. Of course, this may sound easier said than done (we understand you might be very nervous and that’s understandable), but by making sure you pause in between each sentence, you’ll allow your audience time to actually digest what you’re saying. That way, your audience will be on board with you every step of the way and actually remember that witty ribbing you gave to the groom on his big day.
Be clear and concise
You might be thinking, tell me something I don’t know, but you’d be surprised at how many people mumble or bumble through their speech. One of the key things prior to giving a best man speech is preparation; if you know your onions you’re going to be fine. Stand up, take a deep breath, smile, engage your audience and once you’ve started, make sure you speak from deep within (the diaphragm), while pronouncing every word as fully as you can. To make sure you maintain a good speaking pace, think of the intro to a slow paced song you like and use that as your queue to start each new sentence. If people can’t understand you, your speech will be redundant – and nobody wants that.
Positive body language
When you deliver your speech, don’t hunch up like Quasimodo in the clock tower. It’s really as simple as that. If you don’t face your audience head on with a strong posture, things could fall apart at the seams. Imagine you are the foundations of a huge country mansion; if you don’t stand up tall, the building will crumble. So stand up straight, puff your chest out like a proud peacock and speak loud and proud.
Make eye contact
People like it when you make eye contact with them. It doesn’t mean going around the room and staring deep into everyone’s eyes like the Demon Headmaster, but casting a glance at individuals during your speech will make you seem a lot more natural while making people feel engaged in what you’re saying. If you gaze down at the floor the whole time, people might start to think you’ve dropped a roast potato on the floor and you’re trying to scoop it up with your feet for later which is not a good look. The way to do this successfully, is to plant your eyes just above everyone’s head, then as you speak, scan the room, briefly locking eyes with people as you go – this will prevent you from feeling awkward and make you look calmly confident .
Remember Tony Blair. When he took to the podium for his public speeches, his hands were all over the shop, which occasionally made him look like he was training for a career in panto. Gesturing naturally will make everything look and feel more natural; the odd finger point or hand movement is absolutely fine, but use them sparingly. If you consciously notice that you’re waving your hands around too much during your speech, just take deep breath and push the reset button.
Don’t wander around
When nerves set in, it’s not unusual to want to fidget and move around a lot, but try to fight it. It’s fine to move around within a foot or two of your standing position during your speech, but don’t act like you’re treading the boards in a Broadway musical – this will compromise the clarity of your speech and distract people from listening to what you’re saying (you might also look like a complete plonker). Stay more or less planted to your designated slot and things will flow a lot more smoothly.
Delivering an award worthy best man’s speech is hard, but we know you have it in you. Take your time, believe in yourself, follow these fundamental tips and you’ll be a wedding legend. For those of you that are a bit of an old hand at these things, what delivery tips would you suggest?