Here are some tips to help you get started with your speech. 

Alternatively, get in touch to ask me about writing it for you.

Best man speech length

Timing is everything. Let’s face it, we’ve all been at weddings where the best man has kicked off his speech with a joke about how it will last 45 minutes.

Trouble is, 15 minutes have gone by and the audience is starting to wonder if he was actually being serious.

The ideal wedding speech should be long enough to show you’ve put some serious effort into it, but remain concise so that your audience isn’t tempted to start checking their watches. Aim for a speech that lasts between 5 and 10 minutes and avoid going off-piste with any non-scripted comments. You might struggle to come back if you go off on a tangent.

Ditch the internet jokes

Avoid cutting and pasting scripted gags from the internet, otherwise your speech could end up sounding a bit like this...

You don’t have to be Peter Kay to get your audience laughing, but aim to get a good balance between humour and sincerity with your wedding speech. 

Easier said than done when there is an endless supply of scripted jokes and one-liners you can find online, but avoid them at all costs! 

Don’t be tempted to include the one about your speech lasting for as long as the groom can make love, or the gag about you really being the best man (sigh). Use them and you are likely to hear the sound of groans coming from your audience rather than rapturous applause.

Your speech doesn’t need to give a blow-by-blow account of the groom’s life story, but aim for at least a couple of stories about him that will get the wedding guests chuckling.

Be nice, not insulting

Remember, the groom asked you to be best man for a reason. Spend time reflecting on his qualities and how great he is as a person. Essentially, you want to big him up as much as possible.

By all means include the appropriate jab here and there, but be careful not to overstep the mark and humiliate him. Focus your gags too much on the groom's receding hair line or how out of shape he is, and he might wonder why he gave you the job.

Watch your language!

Keep your speech informal by all means, but don’t be tempted to drop the F-bomb or any other crude words that are likely to offend.

Remember, your audience is likely to be a mixture of friends and relatives old and young, including children. As a result, you need a witty speech that will have everyone laughing.

The rule on mentioning ex-girlfriends

Unless you want to guarantee never to speak to the bride after the wedding day, don't even be tempted to bring up the groom's previous relationships. It definitely won't get any laughs from her (or your audience).

Step away from the PowerPoint!

The adrenaline will already be pumping before you deliver your wedding speech, so why risk getting flustered spending time trying to get that slideshow presentation to work? Keep things simple and avoid any unnecessary aides to accompany your speech.