The first thing to do is is simply introduce yourself and establish a connection with the audience. The basic act of speaking into the microphone and saying “Good afternoon everyone…” will instantly relax you. The very idea of standing up and speaking to a crowd seems alien to most of us, but once you realise they’re on your side then you can settle a little.
Ok, you’ve introduced yourself, the nerves are slightly calmer, the guests know who you are and are braced for the comedic onslaught. If you hit them with a cliched line, you’re immediately on the back foot, so now’s your chance to surprise them with something funny but original – if you can do that they will love you for it. This is what I call the Set Up.
So, you’ve introduced yourself, established the groom, and now it’s time to reveal how you know each other. Not only is this a great opportunity for another gag but it can also better explain some of the content that’s to follow. In other words If you’ve only known him for the last few years and haven’t got that much to say, you can always say you’ve had to rely on a lot of guesswork.
Ok, so I said no stories, but you can use elements from them to make the speech work. Take the good bits, the punchline and work out how to make them sing without the boring details. If you’re going to use a story make sure it’s done and dusted within 100 words or you’ll really be making things difficult for yourself.
Ok, so here you can give a nod to any educational and career successes that he might have had, but keeping it light at the same time. You shouldn’t get too profound until the very end. So, what I like to do here is have a little fun what what his hobbies are, and what his career is.
I’ve loosely termed this dating as it’s really just a funny look at how they met. You never list his dating experiences, and you certainly never mention former girlfriends.
You just need to keep this really simple. Don’t go into detail about first dates and precisely how they met, because the groom will have just covered that in his speech. All you need to do is say how beautiful she looks, and how much better the groom’s life is for having her in it.
This is where you can get a little more meaningful and sentimental if you wish. Just say what a great friend and/or brother he’s been and how much he means to other people. Then end with a toast to the happy couple, and you’re done.