How To Write A Best Man Toast / Speech (or Maid of Honor)
As a DJ in the Albany, NY area, I have seen some great best man speeches and some ones that really tank. As a high school English teacher, as well, it is immediately obvious for me to identify which person has done their homework before setting down their glass.
Writing a great best man or maid of honor toast requires creativity, patience, hard work, and innovation. However, do not be afraid. The bride or groom thought enough of you to ask you to be their best man. Therefore, have faith in yourself and your ability to say the right thing. You can do it, especially if you follow the one most important and often-overlooked part of the writing process.
Before you actually start writing, jot down some ideas that answer the BIG QUESTIONS that people might want to know. Write down questions you think people would ask you about the bride and groom, if they could. Here is a collection of questions that best comes to mind.
1. How do you know the bride and groom?
2. Why did they choose you as best man?
3. What are the first five adjectives that describe the bride or groom?
4. How has the groom changed since meeting the bride?
5. How did the couple meet? How did the groom tell you about her?
6. What is some good marriage advice you’ve received or witnessed?
7. What is a good story that illustrates the personality of the bride and/or groom is?
Once you have the above questions figured out, the hard part is done. The next step is putting the answers into some kind of order that makes sense. Aristotle once said that when writing you need, “a beginning, a middle, and an end.” …Therefore, here are a few ideas to bring all your pre-writing thoughts together with organization in mind:
1. The Beginning – Start with some kind of introduction. Get your audience’s attention and let them know who you are. Because everyone loves humor, it is often great to start with something that will make everyone laugh. This is also a great way to build up the courage to speak well in public.
2. The Middle – This is where the questions that you worked on before will really help. As the best man, you may know the groom better, so it is easy to talk about just the groom. However, a great toast will be evenly balanced, speaking about both of them. Avoid ex-girlfriend stories. Keep it appropriate for the parents and older folks in the room!
3. The End – It is best to wrap up your toast with some kind of wish of happy future for your bride and groom. Then finally, raise your glass in tradition to close with, “congratulations”, “cheers”, or “salud”, and don’t forget to drink from your own glass!
The very last thing you want to do before actually creating your final draft is to think about DELIVERY. Having good public speaking skills comes with time and practice, however, a few simple tips will get the inexperienced by without any problems.
1. Keep your toast relatively quick. Probably more than half of the people there do not really know you. Nobody really came to hear your speech so, if you go on forever, you may actually annoy some people if you have too much to say.
2. Eye contact. Do it.
3. Create distrations. Don’t do it. That means saying “Umm” or “Ahhh” … fiddleing with papers … swaying back and forth. Things like these make people look at you instead of listen to what you have to say.
4. Try not to read everything word from word from your notes. Only write down phrases that need to be read word for word. It is actually best to write up a detailed outline of what you are going to say so that you do not simply read to your audience. You tell it from your heart.
5. Try and involve different emotions in your speech.
6. Once you are done and do not forget to raise your glass and get everyone to do the same. If you forget to drink from your own glass, people often are not sure if you are done.
Albany Weddings DJ Kenny Casanova is an event disc jockey for "The DJ Service.com" out of Upstate, NY. He has been DJ’ing for over 15 years transitioned out of sports announcing into becoming one of the best Wedding DJs in his area.
Winning awards and "BEST OF" titles from Capital Region Living Magazine and Metroland, DJ Kenny Casanova is well sought-after and is booked solid with a few gigs every weekend. For booking information, call 518-506-3305.
Visit www.theDJservice.comDJ Kenny Casanova for more information about how to keep everyone happy at a wedding reception.