Being asked to be best man is a great honor, and comes with the added bonus of getting to dance with bridesmaids, and in particular the maid of honor. But, despite the fun and frivolity, the coveted best man role also comes with the pressure of delivering the perfect best man speech.
In this article:
If the mere thought of giving a wedding toast makes you break out in hives, stop panicking and start writing your speech. A speech written well in advance of the wedding will help settle your nerves.
Beginning the writing process with an outline is often a good strategy. It helps organize your ideas and create a crowd-pleasing speech without the need for a professional speech writer.
One of the most common ways to create an outline is to use bullet points, with each bullet getting a brief note. When drafting your speech outline, consider the following:
- Audience – This is arguably the most important factor; knowing your audience is the key to gathering appropriate material. Lighthearted or formal? Heartfelt or funny? Whatever the tone, you want to ensure your speech is a crowd pleaser that is neither too dull nor too risque.
- Timing – There are few things more annoying for a wedding guest than listening to a seemingly endless speech. Be considerate and keep it to about 5 minutes or less. It’s a good idea in your speech outline to give each section a time limit so that you know, even before you begin writing, how long you should speak in each section.
- Introduction – Think about how you will begin; this sets the tone for the rest of your speech. Will you acknowledge and thank other guests? Will you begin with a joke or famous quote? Get the intro right and you’ll have the crowd hooked, hanging off your every word.
- Your personality – Is having to speak in front of a crowd one of your biggest fears, or do you enjoy the limelight? Either way, this will have an impact on speech length, topics, and tone.
- Your relationship with the groom – If you are the groom’s brother or best friend, you’ll likely have much more material to draw from than if you are colleagues. You’ll need to decide based on familiarity with the groom’s history whether to highlight his personality traits using humorous anecdotes or to talk generally about the occasion.
- Conclusion – Closing out your speech, it is customary to propose a toast to the bride and groom. When creating your outline, decide whether you will also allow time to include a final thought about the happy couple.
Best Man Speech Outline Examples
To help you create a memorable wedding speech, here is a curated list of 12 sample outlines for a great range of best man speeches:
This simple best man speech outline provides six pointers on how to create a great speech. The tone it sets will please wedding guests who may appreciate the more traditional approach. The outline itself is brief, but a full example is given to show how to address each of the bullet points.
This outline provides a basic structure consisting of five sections you should cover in your best man speech. Each section includes several questions to help prompt you when writing your speech, plus there is guidance on how long the sections should be, with the focus on talking about the groom.
Using tips from Dominic Bliss, wedding writer and author of Being the Best Man for Dummies, this best man speech outline is touted as the tried-and-true format. Unlike many outlines, it suggests reading messages from invited guests unable to attend as well as quoting famous lines or a poem.
If you would prefer a template in which all you need to do is fill in the blanks, this best man speech outline is for you. The template provides enough information that you don’t need to start from scratch, but also offers the opportunity to incorporate personal anecdotes and examples.
This is another example of a best man speech outline in a template format, perfect if you have left writing your speech to the last minute. As an added bonus, the outline includes icebreakers and opening-line suggestions so you can start your speech with a bang.
The author of this article offers two options—a short “manual” that gives comprehensive steps on how to go about writing a best man speech, or a fill-in-the-blanks speech example. The first option takes you through the complete writing process, from gathering appropriate material to having someone review your speech.
For those who are visual learners, this speech outline uses plenty of graphics and charts to help illustrate how to create a crowd-pleasing best man speech. The author suggests using a chronological flow to build the bride and groom’s love story. For a truly modern twist, the outline includes scouring social media posts to find inspiration for your anecdotes.
A comprehensive speech outline, this template includes lots of useful examples to help you craft an engaging best man speech even if you don’t have much material relating to the groom. If you’re struggling for talking points, this outline gives advice on how to draw attention away from the groom and instead focus on the bride, the occasion, and your role as the best man.
In the knowledge that not every best man wants to crack jokes, this speech outline is aimed at those wanting to give a more genuine and heartfelt speech. The template author encourages the use of emotive and sentimental language within each section and avoids examples of making fun of any members of the wedding party.
If you dread public speaking, this outline is for you. It caters to those who want to give a relatively short best man speech and avoid being center stage for any longer than necessary. Covering the essentials, the outline is split into seven sections, each one with hints and tips on how to keep your speech short and sweet.
If you like to think of yourself as a bit of a stand-up comedian, this humorous best man speech outline is designed to ensure lots of laughs but without turning it into a roast speech (which is reserved for embarrassing the groom). The template includes links to various examples so you won’t be short on things to say on the special day.
As the groom’s brother, with this speech outline you can easily craft a unique best man speech that highlights your special bond. The author includes tailor-made sections designed to delve into your shared history, and has provided lots of writing hints and tips.
You now have lots of great ideas to create a best man speech that will leave a lasting impression on the wedding guests. For other wedding speech outlines and examples, see our [links to other pages]
Best Man Speech Outline Template
Here are some best man speech ideas for roasting the groom and a blueprint for the thank yous and the toast proposals at a wedding.
THE THANK YOU’S
1. Open your best man speech with a joke or a funny statement about this day.
2. Introduce yourself briefly – not everyone in the audience will know you.
3. Thank the groom for his words and for asking you as best man.
4. Flatter / thank the female marriage partner on behalf of the maids of honor / bridesmaids and helpers. Compliment her looks.
6. Be grateful to the father of the bride for his kind words.5. Acknowledge the hosts of the party on behalf of the guests, often they are the parents of the newly married woman, and they’ve paid lots of money for this party …
7. Salute the parents of the bridal couple.
8. Thank the couple for their gifts and compliments to the maids of honor or bridesmaids and to all other people who helped making this day a succes.
9. Mention some funny incidents in your best man speech about the preparation for the wedlock. Mix in some averted disasters of this ceremonial day. Reveal some secrets from behind the scenes.
These previous nine speech topics can be covered in one eight to ten word sentence each. Okay, provisional conclusion: you now already have the first 70 to 100 words!
Or about one minute text. (approximately of course, use for a more precise estimating amount my calculator section in the navigation menu on the left)
THE ROASTING PROCEDURE
10. Tell about your dear relationship to the benedict. How did the two of you met? How has your friendship developed, how you became best mates?
11. Why did they choose you? Ask him before and give his answer a nice twist.
12. Address the couple and include anecdotes about themm. Tease a little bit.
13. How did they have met each other?
14. How did he tell you about his new love, what did he exactly say?
15. How has he changed? Did he behave differently? How? Give examples of ordinairy funny situations.
16. Roasting the married male is the heart of your best man speech. You as best man may humiliate him in an amusing way in front of all wedding guests. Make a blithe show of it, with lots of laughter! Tell funny stories and embarrassing incidents of his past and use props.
17. Come up with some jokes about his years of study, job skills, sports, hobbies and achievements.
18. Display on a video screen some photos of harmless embarrassing moments for the groom and tell the story behind it.
19. Illustrate your light hearted remarks with props – old toys, sports wear, school awards, and so on. My tips for using nice and funny props:
- Try to put an amusing remark or a joke after each set of 3 or 4 lines in your best man speech. And wait asplt second till they have laughed.
- Do not be offensive, nasty or rude. Do not go too far. E.g. do not mention any of his escapades with women and girls in the past, it might upset him, his wife and the other guests, like children …
- Your text get the appropriate length only if you select the best and funniest stories. Arrange some sort of a try-out with a couple of close friends or relatives to find out what works and what not.
20. What is your perspective on the growing relationship between the newlyweds? Roasting is a nice tradition, but I bet you want to keep it positive in the end. That is all they expect from you.
21. Give some words of advice about love and marriage. Be somewhat sincere and emotional now.
22. Strengthen your thoughts by using inspirational quotes in your best man speech.
23. Give a little bit of spousal advice if you are married yourself. What have you learned? How do you cope with marriage things?
24. Give some heart felt comments about the blessed duo. Yes, speak from your heart.
TOASTING SPEECH TOPICS
25. Reply to the groom’s salute to the maids of honor or bridesmaids.
26. My last idea for a best man talk: if the father of the bride did not raise a glass to the bridal couple, then you should end your best man speech with such a proposal to the new husband and wife. Congratulate or bless them, and express your best wishes, wish them a long and happy life!
Well, what to do next? If nobody has been appointed to serve as MC or Master of Ceremonies, then you perhaps must be the public speaker who introduces the next activities and highlights of the program.