Sunday, February 16, 2014

giving Funny Best Man Speeches

One of the challenges many people have when they're trying to write best man speeches is to think of something funny to say. The good news is that with a little bit of thought it doesn't need to be difficult and you don't need to be a natural comedian to make it work. I'll go over it more generally and then give you a specific example that I used.

The first thing to remember is that you don't have to tell gags to make the speech funny; it's better to recount a true(ish) story that is funny as it will probably appeal to a wider audience than any gag that may only appeal to those that "get it". Sit down and think about situations that the groom has found himself in - they don't actually need to be funny in themselves, but if told in the right way could be. They can be shared experiences, or stories you've heard told and you can elaborate pretty much as much as you want in the cause of comic effect.

Also think of the audience - who has been invited, what do they know about the groom, how will they be able to relate to the story you're going to tell? The big unbreakable rule is don't offend anyone, and remember that there will be a wide range of ages and backgrounds at the wedding, so play things safe.

Once you've got a story that can be told in a funny way that matches a certain segment of the audience you've done the difficult bit - apart from the speech itself of course - and so now it's just a question of writing down the details and fine tuning your story telling to maximum advantage.

When I was last best man it was for my brother, and so I had quite a good memory of unfortunate incidents from which I can choose. However, the ones that sprang to mind were when he was really young and always used to fall into water - puddles, rivers, lakes, fountains, you name it he's been there.

Anyway, he is also a keen scuba diver - in fact he teaches scuba diving - and a number of guests were diving buddies, so I linked his falling in water with scuba diving. Everyone enjoyed the story and while I did embellish it slightly it was based on fact.

So as you can see, giving a funny best man speech doesn't mean you need to be funny. A little thought into some "unfortunate" situations and a little embellishment will go a long way to getting laughs and the guests will remember you for one of the wittiest best man speeches they've heard.

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