How to Give a Best Man Speech (Template + Examples)

February 19, 2023

7 min read

How to Give a Best Man Speech

A best man speech is a beautiful toast given at a wedding. Still, it can be a bit nerve-wracking if you’ve never given a speech before, let alone a best man speech. 

If you’re tasked with giving a best man speech, try not to panic (yet). In this how-to guide, we’ll cover:

  • What a best man speech is
  • How to write one
  • How long it should be
  • Best man speech examples
  • A best man speech template you can use
  • And how to make sure your speech is the best it can be

You’ll have a stellar speech ready in no time.

What Is a Best Man Speech?

Traditionally, a best man speech is a toast or speech usually given after the groom gives their speech, although this can completely differ based on the wedding. 

No matter when the speech is slotted for, one thing is for sure: a best man speech is meant to celebrate and congratulate the newlyweds on their marriage. 

How to Write a Best Man Speech

If you need to know how to write a best man speech, you’re not alone. Most people have never given this type of speech and it’s only natural to feel a little lost if you’re tasked with giving the speech. 

Here are four quick tips for how to write a best man speech: 

  1. Use a good hook or opener (more on this later). A good opening line is a great way to engage the audience, especially after a long ceremony.
  2. Keep it appropriate. Make sure to keep your audience in mind when you’re writing the speech. For example, will there be children in attendance? 
  3. Make sure to congratulate the couple on their marriage. This is such an important part of the speech, so don’t forget who you’re celebrating: the newlyweds!
  4. Thank the speakers who spoke before you. It’s just common courtesy, but many best men make the mistake of not thanking previous speakers. 

Here’s some expert guidance on how to write a compelling speech: 

If you’re writing a best man speech, check out these expert tips for how to write a compelling speech.

We’ll give you some more in-depth tips on how to write a best man speech using the template below.

How Long Should a Best Man Speech Be?

One of the most important things to remember when giving a best man speech is that it doesn’t have to be very long. In fact, it shouldn’t be very long. If you’re giving a best man speech, try to keep it under 10 minutes, which is around 1,100-1,300 words. 

Shooting for even less is fine, too. For example, there are usually between 650-850 words in a five-minute speech.

Just make sure you’re not rambling. To get you going, here are some best man speech examples. 

Best Man Speech Examples

Sometimes, looking at a few best man speech examples can get you in the right headspace for writing and delivering your speech. 

Here are five general best man speech examples. 

  1. Open with a story regarding the couple. This is a great example of a best man speech because an anecdote can be tailored to your audience. Just make sure to keep it light and positive. Now is not the time to try to humiliate either newlywed — it’s a special moment between you, the couple, and all the guests at the wedding. 
  2. Start with a joke. It can even be a terrible, corny joke, like: “It’s been a lovely, emotional day. Just look how many tiers the cake has!” If you need some inspiration, check out these 10 tips for being funny when you speak.
  3. Use a quote to inspire you (and the guests attending). Sometimes, having a quote as a central theme to your speech can be helpful. For example, a commonly cited quote from American poet Sylvia Plath is: “There is nothing like puking with somebody to make you into old friends.”
  4. Pick a relevant word and read the Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary definition out loud. For example, you could use: “Love is defined by Webster’s Dictionary as ‘a strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties’ — Just by knowing [the couples’ names], I can confirm this is true.”
  5. Use a metaphor or two. Although this might not work for everyone, maybe you can sum up the couple using a metaphor. For example, you might compare their relationship to peanut butter and jelly — a match made in heaven.

Still, you might want to see some examples of a few specific best man speech opening lines.

Best Man Speech Opening Lines

The best way to hook an audience is with one of the many best man speech opening lines out there. These openers can be completely tailored to your taste, the couple, and the guests who are attending the wedding.

You can open with a simple hook, a funny one-liner, or any other way you think would be appropriate. To spark your creativity, here are some best man speech opening lines you can tailor to your liking: 

  • I’d like to start with a toast to [both the couples’ names].
  • Hi, everyone! I’m here to share a [adjective, such as “funny,” “good,” etc.] story about [either newlywed].
  • There’s so much I could say about [both the couples’ names, or just one], but I’ll try to keep this under five minutes.
  • I know [one newlywed’s name] very well, and even though I definitely could, I’ve chosen not to completely embarrass [their name].
  • I’d like to start by thanking [one newlywed’s name] for letting me get up here and give a best man speech — it’s truly an honor. 

These are just general examples, but as long as your heart is in the right place and you’ve got the couple and audience in mind, your best man speech opening line will be great.

Best Man Speech Template

Loosely following a best man speech template can help if you’re feeling stuck. Feel free to use this general outline to guide your speech.

Start by deciding on a topic — just one topic. This will help you hone in on the point of your speech and keep you from rambling and monologuing. What do you want the takeaway of your speech to be? For example, maybe you want guests to know how perfect the newlyweds are for each other. If that’s the case, that would be your central theme to keep you on track. Whatever you decide, your one topic should be relevant to the couple and positive. 

From here, you fill in the gaps. You’ve got your central theme and now you want to sprinkle in some anecdotes and niceties that relate to the couple. So using our earlier example, if your main topic was how perfect the newlyweds are for each other, you might mention how you witnessed this firsthand. Whatever they may be, use these little details and short anecdotes to beef up your speech and make it a bit more substantial.  

In a similar vein, make sure your best man speech comes from the heart. This isn’t the time to deliver a monotonic, boring speech — really leverage the emotions of the day. Although humor in a speech can be great, one pitfall seen over and over again during these kinds of speeches is that they rely on the comedy aspect too heavily. Your speech doesn’t have to be packed with jokes. Instead, think about your relationship with the couple and go from there. 

Lastly, your best man speech template should include this guiding principle: concentrate on the couple. After all, you’re delivering this speech at their wedding, so keep it central to them. That means the both of them. You may be closer with one or the other, but it’s best to focus your speech on both the newlyweds. 

How to Perfect Your Best Man Speech?

The best way to perfect your speech is through practice. 

That’s where a speech coach like Yoodli comes in. 

If you’re giving a best man speech, Yoodli will be your best friend, guaranteed. It’s a  completely free platform that leverages AI technology to break down a person’s speech and speaking patterns. 

As such, Yoodli provides you with in-depth insights about the way you speak, including: 

  • Your body language
  • Your pacing (how fast or slow you speak)
  • Your word choice
  • Your filler word use (how many fillers you use and which ones)
  • And many other analytics

As an AI speech coach, you’ll also receive personalized feedback and coaching comments on your speech and the way you speak. 

How to Give a Best Man Speech
Yoodli’s AI speech coach comments can elevate your best man speech.

Using Yoodli, you can practice your best man speech as many times as you need in the comfort of a totally judgment-free space. That way, you can use the individualized analytics you receive to improve your speech and the way you deliver it — completely skipping over all guesswork. After Yoodli analyzes your speech, you’ll know exactly what you need to work on. 

Once you’ve practiced your speech with Yoodli, you’ll feel more confident than ever. 

But what’s so special about giving a best man speech?

Why Does a Best Man Speech Even Matter?

Simply put, a best man speech is important because it’s an honor entrusted to you by the couple. 

The fact that they chose you to deliver this speech speaks volumes, and you should feel proud that you’re the one giving such a speech. 

The Takeaway

Although the thought of giving a best man speech at a wedding might make you a bit weak in the knees, it doesn’t have to be a horrible experience. Giving this type of speech is an honor and it’s a beautiful tradition. 

With a little practice from Yoodli, you’ll be able to deliver the perfect best man speech at the wedding. 


Start practicing with Yoodli.

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