Adrian Simpson
March 20, 2023
Best man

Best Man Speech - resist the urge to race

Most people don’t want to make a best man speech. They’re overwhelmed with anxiety about standing up of people and speaking, and paralysed with fear about making those people laugh. It’s little wonder that with that heady cocktail of emotions, some people need counselling, others refuse to take it on, and then there are the people who mitigate that fear on the day with booze.

I totally understand where that trepidation is coming from, but there can be no worse outcome to a year spent in emotional turmoil, than arriving at the big day and making a complete hash of it.

It is to all intents and purposes the worst possible scenario of them all. A triumphant performance in the day, makes a year spent worrying look like time well spent, however, cock it up in the big occasion, and the dark thoughts are going to take up residency.

If you’ve decided to get some liquid encouragement on the day, then very little is going to help you, and you’re going to have to repent at leisure, however, if you have a speech and just need to get through it, then there’s one overarching thing you need to remember: don’t race through it.

Nobody ever landed a great speech by talking at a million miles an hour – if you’re talking too quickly, nobody will be able to understand a word, if they can’t understand they won’t laugh, and if they don’t laugh, it’s going to get very awkward pretty quickly. So many best men see the end of their speech as the point at which they can start enjoying themselves, and so without thinking, tear through their speech just to get it over and done with. It may seem like a great idea at the time, but maybe not so much in the decades that follow, when in idle moments, you keep remembering how you stuffed it up.

Being the best man does come with its pressures, but face them and prepare for them on the day, and you’ll have nothing to worry about…neglect to do that, and you'll find that the fear and expectation of a best man speech, is nothing compared the memories of a speech that went wrong.

Adrian Simpson
March 20, 2023

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