Your best friend has done it - he's getting married and he's asked you to be his best man. Brilliant ...... but what about the best man's speech?
Don't let it spoil your day... giving a speech can be fun.
You may have some wonderfully embarrassing stories you would love to tell but remember his parents and grandparents and new wife are all listening so make it fun and make fun of him but don't go too far!
Most people talk much too quickly when giving a best man's speech, so the first thing to do is slow down. It may feel painfully slow to you but you must give the guests listening a chance to take in what you're saying.
There are two easy ways to do this.
First, just make sure that you open your mouth a little wider than you do in usual conversation. This makes it a lot easier for the sound to come out and means that you speak just a fraction slower.
Another foolproof way of slowing down only works when you are reading your speech - which I would highly reccommend. There's enough to remember as Best Man without having to worry about words of a speech! Anyway - everytime you come to a fullstop or comma in your speech, just say 'fullstop' or 'comma' to yourself - easy and anyone can do it!
Try it now - just pick up a magazine or book that happens to be on the desk next to the computer. Now read aloud a couple of sentences, remembering to say the 'comma' or 'fullstop' to yourself. Easy!
Another way to slow down is to practise these exercises which will help you to open your mouth correctly.
Strangely enough what you wear can effect how you speak. Your suit may feel a bit tight or you might feel too hot, it might be a style you'd never, ever wear in your ordinary life. Learning how to deliver your best man's speech when you feel self conscious about your wedding suit is possible. Even best men who wear an ordinary everyday suit can feel uncomfortable.
So if possible try to practice your speech at least once dressed in your wedding attire or at least in something very similar.
I would always recommend reading yourbest man's speech. This has two advantages.
First, you don't need to spend sleepless nights worrying about remembering your lines.
Secondly, it gives you something to do with your hands while you talk.
Always underline the first sentence and final sentence of your speech along with any other important words. When you're reading your bridesmaid speech try to look up at the guests when you get to the underlined parts. One last tip - whether you write (or print) your speech on cards or on paper, only write on one side. You can guarantee that if you write on both sides, you'll read the wrong side when you're speaking!
If you've got some elderly people at the reception make extra sure that you sound the last consonant in every word. If you don't emphasize the last consonant of a word the people sitting at the back and those with hearing problems will find it almost impossible to distinguish between words.
For example, the difference between rum, run and rub is only the last letter. If your audience can't hear the last sound all they will hear is 'ru..'. They will have to guess which word you have spoken.
Exercises to practise at home can be found here. Taking the time to finish these words will also slow your speech down.
If you would like help enrol on one or more of my online courses or book a skype lesson with me.