Striking the right balance

A lot of best men who contact me wanting help editing a draft speech they have written often tell me they are worried their speech lacks humour.

In fact, one of the most common errors I see among speeches that land in my inbox is a failure to include any emotion or sentiment to provide some much needed balance to their jokes.

There's an assumption among some best men I speak to that their speech isn't the right place for sentiment. Surely they should focus on cracking jokes and getting as many laughs from the wedding guests as possible?

Nothing could be further from the truth.

An ideal best man speech should aim to strike the right balance between humour and sincerity.

That's easier said than done, and with so many dodgy jokes available online, there's probably nothing more tempting than to  skew a speech in favour of getting laughs.

However, the risk following this approach is that the jokes will fall flat and you will fail to tell your audience anything meaningful about the groom.

Don't be embarrassed to talk about the groom in a way you probably haven't before (ie. telling everyone just how much of a good friend he's been to you and what influence he has had on your life).

So how do you become more sentimental? If you're struggling, try and include some examples of when the groom helped you out and how much you appreciated his support. Did he help you through a particularly difficult period in your life? Was he like the brother you never had when you were growing up? How has knowing this person changed your life for the better?

You shouldn't be looking to have the wedding guests in floods of tears, but including some sentiment will provide some much needed balance and is bound to impress your audience.