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How To Write A Great Best Man Speech – With Celebrity Examples

How To Write A Great Best Man Speech – With Celebrity Examples

He’s got balls, he’s a professional TV presenter, he’s got an arsenal of good stories – you’d expect Bear to give a good best man speech. But if this video is anything to go by, Bear ain’t no #weddinghero.

(*Of course, if you’re looking for more than ‘advice’, check out all the different ways the Speechy team can help you write & deliver a great speech. Or check out our new AI-powered team member, SpeechyAI.)

Bear Grylls’ Best Man Speech 

Admittedly, having a celebrity say you’re awesome is kind of cool. And if you do happen to know one, we recommend you rope them into the Best Buddy role (even if they can’t be bothered to come to the wedding and send you a speech video instead).

But let’s look at the stats. Over two years after Bear’s best man video was posted, it still has less than a thousand views. Compare that to Tom Fletcher’s (from McFly) groom speech which has over 19 million views.

The reason for this discrepancy is simple – 1) people love annoyingly catchy pop songs and 2) Bear’s speech is really pretty rubbish. Granted, it has a helicopter but other than that, it’s completely vanilla.

Yes, Bear can drink his own urine and wrestle a range of reptiles. He’s hard, he’s exciting but well, he’s overly earnest and rather unimaginative if that video’s anything to go by.

It’s ironic really as Bear’s written advice on how to give a best man speech for GQ magazine

To be fair, he admits it’s one of the hardest challenges a man can face and he does actually give some good advice.

His advice (that we approve of) goes like this…

  • Don’t be scared to be really honest. The more honest you are the more effective you will be. If that means standing up and admitting that you’re incredibly nervous, then do it. Not only will your audience respect you for it, they’ll be emotionally engaged and you’ll have made that important connection.
  • Brevity is also key. Less is always more. None of the great speeches or sermons that have been given over the years try to deliver endless points, because people can’t remember them and they switch off. Remember that the Gettysburg Address was only ten sentences in length.
  • Resist padding your speech out with generic gags. If you do want to inject some humour, remember that self-deprecating stories about yourself are often much funnier than starting or ending your speech with a punch line that everyone knows you found on the internet. And if you’re giving the best man speech, resist the temptation to raise a laugh by putting the groom down – make sure your funny stories always end up leaving him in a great light.
  • It’s a rare orator who can successfully speak off the cuff. If a speaker looks like they’re ad-libbing brilliantly, they’re probably incredibly well trained and practised. It might sound obvious, but as with so many things in life, it’s worth preparing your speech thoroughly and practising it often. I do it out loud while driving.
  • Someone once said that the best spontaneity is rehearsed. If you want to appear to be ad-libbing, in reality you need to be concise, tight and well practised. (Source: GQ)

Bear makes some good points here. Forget the internet jokes. Practise being ‘spontaneous’. Keep it short.

But he also misses some crucial points if you want your speech to be remembered as legendary.

wedding speech

Paint a picture

  • A good best-man speech should leave a stranger wanting to get to know the groom better. It needs to prove he’s a great bloke, not just tell us he is. It needs to involve stories and include witty observations. It should make his friends nod in recognition and his family smile.

Humour

  • Bear seems to think if you’re funny, you’re at risk of losing some of your speech’s sincerity. Wrong. Taking the mick out of your mate is, in its own way, a sincere form of friendship. It proves you really ‘get him’ and it shows you’re proper mates.
  • Taking the mick is how British blokes say they like each other.

Cut the clichés

  • ‘Beautiful’, ‘loyalty’, ‘honesty’, ‘loved’, ‘admired’ – Bear certainly loves a positive adjective. But us? Nah, not so much. In context yes, but in isolation, without any evidence to back it up, it just feels a bit lazy. And rather cheesy.
  • The truth is guests love a good story. Your speech needs a few good anecdotes in it. Think about the stories that are genuinely entertaining as well as illustrating the groom’s qualities.

So there you have it. Bear Grylls – he may be king of the jungle but he’s yet to master the marquee. Check out our full guide to delivering a better class of best man speech, or check out all the various ways the Speechy team can help you write a great one…

The Speechwriting Experts

The Speechy team are TV-trained scriptwriters/comedians by trade & we’ve helped 1,000s of speakers around the world deliver their dream speech.

Our advice has been quoted everywhere from The New York Times to Grazia and from Forbes to The Observer. Our founder has also featured on the BBC Sounds’ Best Men podcast with Jason Manford and written ‘The Modern Couple’s Guide to Wedding Speeches’, published by Little, Brown.

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''I had an unbelievable experience working with Speechy. From the moment I got in touch with them I felt supported and come the day of my best mans speech, it went down a storm with a standing ovation.''
''Speechy deserves more than 5 stars. (They) produced a factual, funny Mother of the Bride speech with just the right amount of emotion..... it was ingenious. Thank you so much for the wonderful & priceless memory of having delivered my speech at my daughter’s wedding and nailed it ... and got a standing ovation too. My children were very proud of me, including my new son-in-law! ''
''These Guys are tremendous! One main point is that its not their speech - its yours! This is because it is based totally around what you would like to say, but its the spin that Speechy puts on it, that is the magical bit... Ordinary words become a hilariously entertaining event. There were giggles, applauds, laughs, tears, cheers and standing ovation – all in that order!''
''Feeling anxious or stressed about an upcoming speech? Look no further than Speechy... I just delivered my Best Man speech this past weekend and absolutely crushed it. I was nervous leading up to the moment, but while delivering my speech, I didn't want the experience to end, the room was hooked, and laughing at every joke. Worth every penny... Thank you!''
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