In our days as wedding planners, we’ve seen quite a few incredible speeches given by the Best Man. We’ve also seen our fair share of duds, as well. Those cringe-worthy speeches are similar in so many ways, but those we remember feature certain share-worthy details. If you’re the Best Man in an upcoming wedding, don’t wait until the night before; use this post to guide your speech writing and we promise you, you’ll give the guests and, more importantly, the bride and groom, something to keep with them for years to come.

Make It Personal

If it isn’t obvious, the speech given by the Best Man should be personal. After all, you were chosen to stand beside the Groom for a reason. Whether you’re the brother of the Groom or his high school best friend, be sure to share a story or a memory that really defines your relationship. It could be how you met or the conversation you had about the Bride when he realized she was the one. Your speech is meant to bring a few tears so feel free to share how you look up to the Groom or hope to be like him one day (c’mon guys, it’s your one chance to get away with some sappy stuff).

Keep It Short

While there’s nothing we love more than a good speech, even the best speeches can be ruined when they start to drag on. A good rule of thumb is to keep your speech to 2 or 3 minutes in length. If you’re concerned that might be too short, check with the Maid of Honor to see how long her speech is. Trust us, short and sweet is better than guests starting to check their watches.

Add In Humor

Even if you weren’t voted class clown, a funny memory or Groom-ism (something that’s just so like the Groom) is totally appropriate (and in our opinions, necessary) in any good speech. You don’t have to keep the guests laughing the entire time, but sharing your inner monologue about the Bride and Groom’s relationship or a funny memory from college might just be what you need to loosen up and enjoy your speech!

Keep It Subtle (Read: Classy)

Keep in mind, while sharing those hilarious memories and/or inner monologues, remember there are likely children and elderly people among the guests who don’t need to hear your in-depth descriptions, filled with curse words and vulgar innuendos. If the relationship you share is a goofy one, be sure to highlight that in your speech, but let’s keep it G-Rated, folks. Remember, these speeches will likely be immortalized in time thanks to social media.

Be Confident

Remember what your teachers used to tell you – picture the entire audience in their underwear! While we’re not suggesting you undress the wedding guests, even if just in your mind, we do recommend taking a few deep breaths and remembering that while speech giving can be nerve-racking, there’s a good chance you know most of your audience. We’ve all been there and we realize how emotionally charged this moment can be, but you’ll thank yourself later if you keep your cool…

Be Sober When You Speak

…but with that said, we don’t suggest you earn your confidence using your old pals Jack or Jim. While we aren’t suggesting you have to abstain from alcohol completely pre-speech, speaking into a microphone in front of 200 people might not end so swell if you’re completely drunk. If a drink is necessary to kill the nerves, so be it, but save your heavy handedness for the minute you put down the mic. Remember, social media…

Come Prepared

If you’re shaking in your boots over giving this speech (and even if you’re not) a huge piece of advice for you Best Men is to come prepared! There is no shame in practicing your speech a few times in front of the mirror or to your significant other. Not only can you get a feel for how the speech will sound, you’ll get a good idea of where you need to add humor or cut a few things back. Trust us, practice does make perfect!

End with a Toast

Whether or not you’re aware, most Best Man and Maid of Honor speeches end with a toast. It’s simple. When you’re finished speaking, ask guests to, “Please, raise a glass to the new Mr. and Mrs.!” It’s an easy, surefire way to end your speech and it is expected at most weddings, meaning guests will be waiting for it.

So there you have it. Not too tough, right? We promise, as long as you stick to these guidelines, even if your speech isn’t winning any prizes, it will still be meaningful and memorable to the bride and groom!