A great way to generate Best Man speech material

So, you’re staring at a blank sheet of paper asking yourself: what are the funny stories about the groom?

This is the best way to give yourself writers’ block and is one of the reasons why so many Best Men panic. Here’s one of the biggest insights I’ve learned writing gags for TV shows and books: start from the serious, mundane or everyday and the comedy will come.

Don’t believe me? Let’s look at the premises of some of the most successful sitcoms of all time.

  • Fawlty Towers – man runs hotel badly.
  • Friends – some close friends live next to each other in New York.
  • Father Ted – 3 priests live in a house on a small island.

They all had unremarkable premises yet they led to wildly successful shows. Fine. But how does this relate to my Best Man’s speech?

Simple…

Don’t ask yourself: what’s funny? Ask yourself: what’s true?

One of the best ways to do this is to interrogate yourself about the groom. If you want a flight of fancy, imagine it’s wartime, you’ve just been captured and the enemy want to know EVERYTHING about him.

Here are some example questions:

  • Is he a good time-keeper?
  • Is he conscientious/hard-working or gets away with what he can?
  • What’s his dress sense like?
  • Does he support a football team he’s never watched live?
  • Does he like a tipple? Can he hold his drink? Does he think he knows about beer/wine?
  • What’s his driving like? Impatient or would never break the Highway Code?
  • Is he obsessively tidy or would he happily live in a pit?
  • First to the bar or does he hide under the table when it’s his round?
  • Very competitive? Would he make no concessions when playing a child at a game?
  • Is he always right?
  • Is he ambitious or laid back?
  • Does he prefer gadgets or humans?
  • Can he cook? Is it incredible or inedible?
  • Where’s he been on holiday? Ends of the Earth or end of the road?
  • There’s a party –  is he at the centre of it or lurking in the kitchen?
  • Can he dance? Should he dance?

Sounds simple. But does it work?

Definitely. Ideas or forgotten stories soon float to the surface. It’s a technique I use on the phone with clients who are stuck for material. Within a few minutes I invariably get: “Ah, I’ve just remembered the time when…” Half an hour later and there’s probably enough material for 2 speeches let alone one. And that’s with Best Men who are struggling.

There is always material about the groom to be had. It’s in your subconscious somewhere and you just need to bring it to the surface. So, go on – ask yourself the right questions and you’ll get the right answers. It’s the ultimate Best Man speech hack.

Good luck.

Would you like some support with your speech? Why not get in touch with Marc?