Christmas is always the world's favourite time for wedding engagements, and as two blissfully in love people roll around under the Christmas tree in matching ironic Christmas jumpers and hats, there will be somebody else have a slightly less happy time. The newly appointed Best Man. There are many cliches about becoming a Best man and as with all cliches there is a foundation of truth. Most guys loved to be asked, and nearly all of them are dreading the speech. This is completely understandable as public speaking equates to gut wrenching fear for many of us and the added pressure to be funny can see many Best Men lying awake at night worrying about the whole thing. But it doesn't have to be this way. If you've just been made a Best Man in 2015 then you have the greatest gift there is when it comes to making a speech: time. If you're using a Best Man Speech Writer or going it alone, time is going to be your greatest friend because the fear that grips all Best men is failure - failure to deliver, failure to make them laugh, failure acknowledge. With several months between now and your big day, there should be no failure, if you act now.
The Speech - should be no more than 1200 words and take you no longer than 10 minutes maximum to get through, including stoppages. If you think this is your chance for a a 20 minutes stand up routine, think again.
Story - it doesn't have to be true, it doesn't have to even be slightly believable - just based on the truth. As long as it's funny nobody cares.
Structure - have a clear beginning and end. It doesn't matter if it's pure fiction but it has got to be easy to follow.
Bride - don't forget to mention her, this is her big day after all.
Today - a word to avoid when describing the Bride's beauty.
Thanks - don't thank anyone, it's not your job and unless you really know what you're doing pretty hard to make funny as well.
Toasts - forget toasting anyone apart the happy couple at the end. Your job is to be funny. Full stop.
Comedy - think 'daft funny' and you've got it in one. This isn't Saturday Night Live and you're not at the Edinburgh Fringe. If you think it's edgy, lose it.
Practice - once you've got a killer speech then the rest should look after itself. Never try to learn it, otherwise you'll be sectioned before the wedding. Keep going through it until it's firmly lodged and then use prompt cards.
Visual Aids - less is more. It might seem like a good idea but anything that makes the guests work is in the end a bad idea.
The End - many Best Men with the end in sight and surfing on a wave of euphoria thanks to a very refreshed crowd decide to end with a bang. Their reaction is for a job well done, not an indication to ramp things up. Resist the urge for smut, innuendo and crudity at all costs.
The truth is everyone is one your side and as long as the Groom hasn't been daft enough to make you all speak before the Wedding Breakfast, then you're on to a winner. If he has, then get your funny hat on and get writing jokes.