From a flabby to a funny Best Man speech

Understandably, many people focus exclusively on jokes and stories for their Best Man speech. However, to get to the next level and achieve a really funny Best Man speech you also need to lose the flab. Basically, make every word count. So how do you get your speech match fit? Here are some tips and tricks to help your stories get the reaction they deserve.

Things to do

Finish with the funny

Don’t crash your laugh lines. Ask yourself: what is the most interesting or impactful element of your story or one-liner? Is it at the end of the sentence or paragraph? If the answer is no, you’ll probably want to move it there. Here’s an example.

“GROOM thought it’d be a good idea to re-create the 110 metres hurdles in his living room. When he leaped over the armchair and flew head-first into the patio doors, we all fell about laughing.”

Lose the unnecessary ending and, instead, build up to the pay off.

“GROOM thought it’d be a good idea to re-create the 110 metres hurdles in his living room. With a mixture of awe and disbelief, we watched him leap over the armchair and fly head-first into the patio doors.”

Do this throughout your speech and you have a greater chance of turning smiles to laughter.


If you’ve got lots of stories but don’t know how to fit them in, use headlines. Essentially, turn the story into a one-line description. A good place to do this is after all the main anecdotes. You can then rattle off several examples. So, rather than over-lengthen the speech with another page or two of stories, you could encapsulate them:

“Ladies and gentlemen, GROOM’s life is almost like a long-running comedy series. Past episodes include:

The Man Who Mistook His Sink For A Toilet

Why You Should Never Leave GROOM Alone With A Bottle of Wine And A Cheese Grater.

And not forgetting…

The Day GROOM Opened His Wallet For The First And Last Time.”

Doing this, you can get the punchline of the story in one sentence. Or you can hint at a mildly rude story without giving the unrepeatable details. You let the audience fill in the gaps!

Less is more

A funny Best Man speech has momentum. It has a high laughter-quotient. If you have 15 possible laugh lines and your speech is 1,500 words long that’s one gag per 100 words. You might think the solution is to keep writing in order to get more laughs. A better alternative would be to slim down your existing speech. The audience now doesn’t have to wait so long for each gag to arrive.

Your speech will feel much funnier without you even having to think of a single new story or one-liner. And you won’t over-stay your welcome. Win-win.

Things to avoid


Don’t use too much signposting or padding. It can sound like a school essay where you are just trying to increase your word count.

“I think you’ll all agree it has been an amazing day so far…”

“As those of us who’ve grown up with GROOM will testify…”

“There are literally hundreds of stories today I could tell you all today about GROOM…”

If you’re going to add a twist to the end of these sentences, great. However, if not, consider removing the line or boil it down. So, after you write your first draft, take out your metaphorical red pen. Read the speech and strike out any pre-amble that doesn’t help the flow, emotion or laughter.

Clunky transitions

“Anyway, moving on…”

“Anyway” is probably the one word you don’t want in your speech. Such an abrupt transition can save time but gives the sense that the speech has not been crafted. As with any comedy rule, there are always exceptions. But if it’s there because you don’t know how to get from one section to another, drop it and look for another transition.

Some possible transitions include:

“The case for the prosecution doesn’t end there…”

“While you try to scrub that image from your memories, I am afraid there’s more…”

“The years advanced. Unfortunately, GROOM’s mental age didn’t…”


Psychologists have shown people tend to remember the following when it comes to personal experience: the beginning and end of the experience; the high point and the low point. So, if you remove the padding from your speech, you’ll make the remaining low point of even higher quality.

So, yes – focus on writing as many funnies as possible. But when it comes to draft two, don’t neglect to trim the fat! Do it right and you’ve got yourself a fully focussed flab-free funny Best Man speech.