If you have ever watched a romantic-comedy movie, chances are you have seen a dodgy Best Man Speech. You know the ones…insulted bride…angry groom…silent, stunned room and the bumbling Best Man desperate to find the right words to fix it. Its fine for the movies, but in real life the aftermath will last for more than 97 minutes.
To make a good Best Man speech, its best to steer clear of the 7 most common mistakes that are found in those Rom-Com-type situations. I call them the 7 Deadly Sins, as there are 7 big no-no’s and the repercussions can be disastrous.
#1 Deadly Sin: Insulting the Bride
Well, you would think that this would be obvious, but the fact that is the #1 Deadly Sin means that unfortunately for Bride, Groom and every sensible guest in the room, it is more of a common mistake than you’d believe. Remember, ALWAYS, that the bride is the star. (Yes, put aside those thoughts that she is marrying your best friend!).
Definitely, do not say anything insulting or negative about the bride-even if you do believe it. There is a time and place for everything…this is not it!
Definitely, do not say anything about the Groom that will insult or embarrass the Bride. Talking about past indiscretions is a no-no. No matter how funny you think it is, remember…no insulting or embarrassing the Bride.
#2 Deadly Sin: Winging It
A few nice words here…a joke there…and a toast…right? Wrong! Don’t mistake the job of giving the Best Man Speech as just any old speech. Your Best Man speech is meant to summarize the first phase of your friends life, and usher in the next phase. It is impossible to give this the credit it deserves without having at least a plan or framework to go by.
Don’t risk humiliating yourself, and totally disappointing the Groom and his Bride by trying to think on the fly. It just won’t work. Prepare your speech and, please, practice it…out loud.
#3 Deadly Sin: Rambling On
Another good reason to prepare and practice your speech is to avoid rambling on…and on…and on. A short speech has more punch than a 20 minute retrospective. You are his best bud, you can chat later. The guests are there because of the Bride and Groom, not to listen to you all night.
They want to eat, drink and be merry, not hear about every bad habit, drunken episode, or how much he has helped you since the first time you met. Knowing when to stop is essential. As such, to avoid rambling on… and on… and on, let’s move on to the next deadly sin.
#4 Deadly Sin: Trying to Be a Stand-up Comic.
If you are a stand-up comic, great, be yourself. If you are not, don’t even go there…again, be yourself. Stay true to your personality style-it was good enough for the Groom to ask you to be Best Man. Just go with that. Guaranteed, the Groom is not going to expect you to suddenly become a different person with a different personality just for the sake of getting a comedy award-winning speech. That is not the purpose of the Best Man Speech. You would look awkward, and obvious and down-right uncomfortable trying to be something you are not.
Not only will you embarrass the Bride and Groom, you will embarrass yourself…and have it immortalized on DVD to replay over and over!
When you avoid these, you will not provide the Rom-Com movie script writers of the future with new material. You should also have a very happy Bride and Groom…and who knows, you may just get asked to be Best Man again!!!