One of the most overlooked tasks by people we talk to is best man speech rehearsal.
No, we don’t mean the wedding rehearsal dinners – this is more to run through the logistics of the wedding (who stands where, who speaks when etc) – not the actual wedding material itself.
But not making the time to practice and rehearse your speech is a HUGE mistake. And one of the reasons so many best men commit this mistake is that they don’t actually know what to do to properly practice and rehearse their speech.
They also don’t know what to write either – but that is something that we have covered in our free best man speech guidebook.
So today, we are going to cover the basics and give you a step-by-step guide to rehearsing your best man speech.
Rehearsal Comes In Two Parts – You MUST Do Both
It goes without saying that you shouldn’t start to rehearse your speech until the speech itself is actually finished.
But there is a first part to rehearsing your speech – this involves going through the following steps:
Write Your Speech -> Rehearse Your Speech -> Re-Write The Speech -> Rehearse Your Speech
And you basically keep repeating this process until you are 99% there and happy with everything in your speech.
This is the first part of rehearsal completed. You must do this first to get your speech into a good place.
Once you have done this, then you now want to rehearse the final completed version (no re-writing of your speech) several times – this is the second part of rehearsal.
You do it this way so that you are spending time rehearsing what you are going to say on the day (exactly) without re-writing it, as you don’t want to be re-writing your speech right up to the wedding day – you want it to be all finished.
Know Your Speech Inside Out
Successful public speakers focus a lot on their body language, their posture, their intonation. They pause, look-up and speak slowly.
You are going to want to practice all these things. For example, practice reading the speech slowly. Plan for pauses and breaks in your speech.
In order for you to be able to work on all of these things, you need to know your speech inside out. You can’t look up from the paper if you are actually reading your speech off the paper.
So must work hard to memorize parts of your speech and know which sentences are coming next. And the only way to do this is to read it over and over again.
Set yourself the goal of reading your speech 3 times every single day in the lead up to the day the following way:
- Read it once silently to yourself as if you are reading a book
- Read it once out loud, standing in front of a mirror. Practice looking up and trying to look at yourself in the eye.
- Read it once out loud, sitting down. As a bonus, you could read it to someone else and get their views.
Work On Your Posture
The correct posture for a speech is chin up, shoulders up and eyes looking outwards. Work on this posture before your speech.
In addition to this, don’t be afraid to use your arms! Many of the greatest public speakers of all time do this. See Churchill.
The best way to involve gestures is pointing of motioning to the bride, groom and bridesmaids. So, when rehearsing your speech, practice these gestures at appropriate points too.
Work On The Speech Length
I’m going to give you a little trick to work out how quickly you should be reading your speech:
Take the number of words in your speech and divide it by 150. This is how long your speech should last (in minutes). So, for example, if the result is 3.33 – then your speech should be 3 minutes and 20 second long (three and one third minutes).
The purpose of knowing this number is to slow you down. Most people will talk too fast.
If you’re unused to speaking in public, you will likely wish to get your speech over with quickly and so it can be easy to ‘speed talk’. The issue with speaking so fast is that it’s distracting for the audience, who discover it more difficult to connect with what you’re saying.
Work On The First Lines More Than And Others
The start of your speech is without a doubt the most important section. Research suggests that individuals pay a lot of attention right at the start of your speech.
In addition to this, once you nail the first few lines your nerves will die down and you will actually start to enjoy yourself.
So practice the opening best man speech lines more than any others. Try 5 times a day on just these lines. Focus on the following:
- Pausing and taking a breath before you start
- Deliver the first line loudly and proudly – like you were rallying a large crowd. You almost want to shout it out.
- Speak slowly and precisely through the next few lines – this will set the pace for the rest of the speech.
Work On Your Tones
No, I don’t mean sing your speech! But these is nothing worse than sitting listening to someone drone on in a mono-tone.
If you are saying something surprising, use a surprised, slightly louder tone; if you are saying something serious or sincere slow down further and use a serious tone.
Just don’t deliver the speech all in the same tone or you will bore people.
Use Visualisation Tricks
Visualisation is incredibly powerful. All top athletes use it. So you should too.
And no I don’t mean ‘picture your audience naked’ – this is actually pretty terrible advice!
Picture yourself absolutely killing the speech. Picture the laughter and applause. Once you have done this, you will find it surprisingly calm and it will give you the confidence to go out and deliver.
In Summary – Best Man Speech Rehearsal
Many best men write excellent speeches but blow it on the big day because they did not rehearse or practice enough. Nobody was born an excellent public speaker – EVERYONE got there through practice and experience.
So you absolutely must practice and rehearse your best man speech. By this, I mean reading it many times, working on your speech, working on your body language, gestures and tones and focusing your rehearsal on the first section of your speech.
Got any further questions regarding best man speech rehearsal? Make sure you’ve read our free best man speech guide or leave a comment below!