The above video was taken several years ago in a marquee following a friend's wedding. I had no idea that my speech would be filmed and just wanted to do justice to my Groom who had been a great friend during our schooldays. Around that time I entered a Public Speaking Contest in London and the speech (not this wedding speech!) kept on winning until I reached the Toastmasters International finals in the USA.
Shortly after this I started my own speaking business and the rest is history.
Since then I have coached hundreds of Best Men and Grooms plus other wedding speakers as well as a range of people in their professional lives.
Re speaking at a wedding - some advise you to apologise if you're 'poor at public speaking'. Nonsense. Don't apologise! It dilutes your value in the audience's mind.
And just for the record, yes, I really have been a Groom as well as a Best Man and appreciate how very special these roles are in one's life...
Top Tips for the Best Man
No Best Man gave a great speech by making The Friends laugh and The Bride's parents cry.
Audiences are very sensitive to whether the speech is really for them or just been pulled off the internet or dashed off.
Don't use canned jokes off the web! Sounds fake and they've heard it already.
True stories beat fake jokes any day - even if you don't think the stories are funny!
Make a point about The Groom, tell a story. Keep your structure simple!
Top Tips for the Groom
No Groom ever gave a great speech by merely trotting out a shopping list of Thank Yous.
Your audience members don't care how nervous you feel. What? Seriously. Nerves are irrelevant - to your audience. Think about it. They have absolutely no interest in the fact you may feel nervous, unless you allow those nerves to get in the way of giving your speech.
Put another way, your speech is not for the benefit of you the Groom. It's not even for the benefit of your Bride!
Your speech is ultimately for the benefit of your whole audience - most of all for the parents and close family of The Bride.
Focus on what you want to achieve for your audience members. Strange though it may sound, this takes the pressure off you.
In 2014 I published my first book The Best Man Speaker which is available on Amazon and has 45 ***** reviews.
Whatever your role may be at the wedding I wish you all the very best as it's the most important day in the life of The Bride and Groom. And just for the record I have been both Best Man and Groom and loved every minute of the day!
For further information on Resources for the Groom, Best Man or other Wedding Speakers please take a look at my wedding speaker page The Best Man Speaker
Your training massively improved my public speaking ... helped develop my communication skills that go far beyond addressing audiences. Even four years on, it remains the most useful training I have ever had at work - the impact on my career has been huge.
Joe Halloran | Computing Teaching and Learning Consultant