The Ultimate Best Man Speech Checklist: The A-Z’s

Congratulations on being selected to give your speech! Commiserations on worrying about how to put your speech together… but don’t fret, I’ve put together a quick best man speech guide (from a professional speech writer, with an arsenal of BBC credits) to help point you in the right direction. 

So, if you have a few minutes to spare, read on to discover the latest tips for your best man speech in this best man speech checklist!

A is for Alcohol

Here’s the deal: alcohol is NOT a performance enhancer. For every extra ounce of confidence it gives you, it takes away in ability. You might stumble over a word, you might stumble over a chair. When it comes to delivering your best man speech, you want to deliver the jokes not to BE the joke. So go easy on the fizz and be the toast of the town instead!

B is For Bride 

Yes, the wedding is all about the Groom. It’s his big day. But don’t forget his wife. If you’re familiar with the bride, it’s good best man speech etiquette to give her a few kind words. And even if you’re not well acquainted with her, it’s always a good idea to spread some love and congratulate the newlyweds. 

C is for Cliche

So, you’ve typed “Best Man speech jokes” into the Google search bar? Well, don’t worry – you’re not alone! In fact, there are probably a gazillion other best men out there doing the exact same thing right now. But here’s the thing: all those seasoned wedding guests have probably heard all the same tired old jokes that you’re about to dredge up from the internet. So, why not be a little more creative and opt for some original material instead? It’ll make your speech stand out from the crowd, not join the queue to “regrettably forgettable”.

D is for Doubt

Not sure about a line? Or perhaps it’s a bit too close to the edge? If these are some of the questions you have to ask yourself when writing a best man speech, here’s a simple rule: if in doubt, leave it out. Great films are often great because of what’s left on the cutting room floor. It’s the exact same with speeches. The red pen is sometimes your friend. 

Image of a dice looking confused.
Make sure to remove anything that gives you doubt in your best man speech.

E is for Ex-Girlfriends

If there’s one thing you need to remember from our best man speech guide, it’s this: steer clear of any mention of ex-girlfriends. Seriously, it’s like anti-matter – yes, it’s theoretically possible, but you really don’t want to mess with it if you want to avoid any unpleasant repercussions. So, let’s leave the past in the past and focus on the present. After all, it’s about the happy couple’s big day, not a recital of his relationship CV.

F is for Friendship

While poking fun at the groom is the essence of every best man speech checklist and highlights your friendship, it is important not to overstep the line. Imagine your jokes as a punch on the arm rather than a punch in the ribs.

G is for Gimmicks

We know that using slides and videos during your best man speech might seem like a slam dunk idea, but there’s a catch. You are a hostage to technical fortune. The guests love nothing more than someone fiddling around with a keyboard or….. “One second”…..waiting for….. “I think it’s this button”….. something….”Sorry, guys. I’m just going to re-boot”….to finally happen. So, if you’re not exactly a tech wizard, don’t sweat it – stick to the good old-fashioned cue cards or sheets of paper and you’ll be just fine. 

H is for Honest

Your best man speech is your chance to poke a little fun at the groom and give everyone a good laugh. Whether it’s about how he spends more time on the golf course than in the office or can’t seem to tie his own shoelaces, there’s plenty of material to work with. But remember: all good caricatures are rooted in truth. 

So, don’t try to fake it and pretend the groom is something he’s not just to get a cheap laugh. Stick to what you know and make sure that your jokes and stories are grounded in honesty. After all, the best comedy comes from a place of truth, and that’s exactly what you want to bring to your best man speech.

I is for Inclusive 

Try to include stories that everyone can relate to. Think of your speech as a buffet. There’s something for everyone. Don’t just base it all on one period in the groom’s life or one set of friends. Be inclusive in your best man speech. 

J is for Jokes 

When it comes to best man speech jokes, there’s a fine line between getting the laughs and overdoing it with one-liners. If you’re not exactly a natural comedian, don’t stress about cramming in as many jokes as possible. And please, don’t just copy and paste some ancient jokes you found on the internet. Recycling gags won’t help the comedy environment.

Keep it real and authentic, and if you’re feeling a bit stuck, don’t worry. Our best man speech gags package is chock-full of original jokes that are sure to be a hit with the crowd. So, go ahead and sprinkle a few in – just make sure to keep it balanced and don’t go overboard.

Image of a man delivering speech jokes.
Delivering jokes in your best man speech is the right thing to do, but don’t overdo it!

L is for Length 

The length of a best man’s speech is very important. Too long and the guests will be bored, too short and the Groom will feel short-changed. A best man speech structure with 1,300 words spoken at an average pace will give you 8 -9 minutes of material. And that’s without laughter. Under 5 or over 10 mins and we’re entering the danger zone.

K is for Knowledge

Guests love to hear stories about the groom’s childhood or school years. It allows for that “he really has/hasn’t changed” moment. Ask his parents or siblings for any stories they have, details of favourite toys, etc. Remember: knowledge is power. To make everyone laugh.

M is for Material 

Brainstorm as many lines, ideas and stories as you can before writing your best man speech. Build up a bank of raw material and then you can hone and chip away at it. Don’t dive into the speech straight away. You need a block of marble before you can start sculpting.

N is for Notes 

Some people are comfortable speaking without notes, most are not. There is nothing wrong with reading a prepared speech or using cue cards. Do what feels right for you. It’s the words that count, not the delivery system.

O is for Order

If you’re worried about this, just remember the classic three-act outline for your best man speech: beginning, middle and end. Start with some ice-breakers and simple jokes about the groom, move on to main anecdotes in the middle, include some heartfelt thoughts towards the end, do the toast and you’re done.

P is for Projection

Ensure everyone in the room can hear you. If you’re using notes, speak above them, not into them. If people are straining to hear, they’ll strain to laugh.

Q is for Questions

Rhetorical questions are a great way to introduce stories or start new sections. Compare: “It was 7 years ago that John and Mary met in a bar in such-and-such a town” to “So how on earth did such a wonderful woman allow herself to be ensnared by such a man? It was 7 years ago…”

R is for Reading

Read your speech out loud. You will notice any lines that go clunk, jokes that disappoint and those over-elaborate sophisticated, meandering sentences that become a mouthful to say and a chore to listen to. Like that one.

A picture of a man looking at his written speech.

S is for Swearing

Never rely on swear words to get cheap laughs in your best man speech. Imagine you’re writing for Radio 4, not Channel 4. Getting laughter without crude humour or swearing is like creating eroticism without nudity. You get the reaction you wanted and you keep your self-respect.

T is for Toasts

The Groom might wish to toast close friends and family or absent friends but that’s not something you have to worry about. One toast. At the end. To the bride and groom. Sorted.

U is for Uncle Brian

If you’re not sure whether a line or topic is entirely suitable then imagine you’re addressing it to your Uncle Brian or your Auntie Beryl. Will they crack a smile or look away in embarrassment? If it passes the older relative test, you’re probably safe.

V is for Variety

Keep the references and themes as varied as you can. 8 minutes of drinking stories would be a bore for even an after-dinner speech at the rugby club so don’t inflict that on the guests. Think of your speech as a painting. Use the full palette of colours. Don’t tip a bucket of blue on their heads.

W is for Wedding

If you’re struggling for material, consider adding some jokes about weddings and marriage in general. There’s so much to work with: the planning, the venue, the guests, the dancing. Again, avoid old gags that even your grandmother thinks are a bit long in the tooth.

X is for Xylophone

And the most important Best Man’s speech tip? Never use a xylophone during your speech. They ALWAYS ruin it.

Y is for Yesterday

Which is when you wish you’d started writing your speech. However, even if the wedding is in a couple of days there’s still time to put a decent speech together. If you’re truly panicking, a last minute best man speech can be whipped up by a professional speech writer just for you. Y is also for “Yes, this is blatant speech writer self-promotion.”

Z is for Zig Zag

Aim for a good flow in your best-man speech format. Don’t jump from one subject to another and then back again. It’s disorientating for the listener. Imagine each paragraph as a relay runner handing over the baton to the next section. You can then cross the winning line in style.

Professional Best Man Speech Writing Services Just For You! 

Need some more best man speech tips? Or maybe you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed and would like a professional speech writer to take the reins. No worries! Just give me a call at 07740 683692 or ping me an email at, and I’ll be more than happy to lend a hand. 

I’ve got plenty of handy tips and know exactly how to craft a speech that will generate laughter and praise. So, don’t hesitate to get in touch – I’m here to help make your big day unforgettable!

If you feel you’d like some professional support with your speech from a five-star rated writer (Trustpilot), why not click below?