That may seem like an overly dramatic thought, but every single summer I speak to best men who tell me that whilst they were sat eating their Christmas dinner, their mind flashed to the best man speech they had to make in 5 months time. Yes, it gets that intense.
Making a best man speech is a massive departure for most guys out there. Some are used to standing up and talking to groups of people through work, but very often this doesn't help that much as a wedding speech takes them way out of their comfort zone. They're fine talking about facts and figures around work which they know inside out. Trying to make a room full of people laugh is a completely different ball game. Quite often guys will say to me that they're not that bothered if it's not funny, and if I could possibly make the speech last about 3 minutes, then so much the better. On both counts, that's not going to work.
Not only are guests at the wedding expecting you to make them laugh, and that's a role you have to step up to, but the humour acts as a perfect balance for the more meaningful things you're going to say. If you plan to talk affectionately about the groom for the full duration of the speech, then be prepared to lose a whole chunk of the guests whilst they collapse into the wedding buffet with emotional exhaustion. And when it comes to length, you can't just belt out a 3 minute best man speech because that's going to look like you're not taking this opportunity seriously enough, or even worse you're terrified...and being terrified is not a good look for a grown man, especially when everyone is behind you.
I completely understand that this is a daunting prospect but all it requires is proper preparation and planning, so that when you do stand up you know it's going to be a hit. The best way to mitigate those fears is to start working on the speech as soon as you can, and only then will you be able to relax safe in the knowledge that you've got this covered. In idle moments the brain's very own screen saver of 'best man speech alert' will appear and smother all other thoughts. It's important that you realise that this is entirely normal and that all other best men out there are experiencing the same periodical trauma episodes.
Resolve to get this started the very first week of January, and keep going until you have a working draft at the end of the month. The you can revisit it, edit and tweak until you're 100% happy. So, enjoy your Christmas, forget the pressure and instead embrace it, because when you've nailed a really great best man speech it's an unbeatable feeling that says with you for life.