The joint best man speech is the trickiest in the book. Done badly, it can come across like a dodgy variety act. Do it well, and you’ll never receive so many offers of free drinks (with possible add-ons)!
When joint Best Men fail to live up to expectations, it usually comes down to their approach. The first major (and common!) pitfall is to get carried away from the off, and to think of it as a comedy routine, rather than a speech.
Even the Chuckle Brothers spent years crafting their signature style, and chances are, you don’t have that much time to play with. So the first step is to craft a speech. It might sound obvious, but all too often joint Best Men can get ahead of themselves, thinking in terms of a double act before they’ve even put pen to paper. You can only be as good as the words on the page.
It’s worth repeating. Two men, one speech. It’s not uncommon for each speaker to come up with their own set of notes separately, and try to fit them together in a seamless fashion. This rarely works. For lack of a better analogy, it’s like making a cake with two different mixes, and hoping for the best.
When it comes to gathering your thoughts and ideas, joint best men should agree on a set of topics in advance. It might be the groom’s fashion sense, his love of fast cars, or his frankly embarrassing taste in music – whatever is most relevant. Deciding on that theme before making notes will help draw everything together
Crafting a Speech
Gathering your ideas is relatively straightforward. The hard part is next: putting it all together. The good news is that the only real difference between a Best Man and a joint Best Man speech is that there are two speakers. The bad news is that writing a genuine winner requires time, patience, and originality! For further information on how to write a Best Man speech, read this… Guarantee Laughs: Best Man Speech
Forgive me for referring to the Chuckle Brothers twice in one article, but their catchphrase (“from me, to you, from me, to you”) is something joint best men can learn from. We read dozens of drafts from joint Best Men every year, and the most common mistake is to focus too heavily on the comic interplay. Yes, it’s their moment to shine, but they’re not the stars of the show. That title belongs to the newlyweds:
‘Cheers Dave, for that unique insight’, or ‘I didn’t think you’d bring that up Steve’ isn’t content, it’s filler, and too much of it will detract from the overall success.
We would always recommend writing the speech, and then deciding who says what. A paragraph to me, a paragraph to you, is another bit of Chuckle Brothers inspired advice worth remembering. Joint Best Men often like to have one speaker tee up the joke, and let the other come in to deliver the punchline. It might work once or twice, but too much of it and it could interrupt the flow. Nor is it necessary. A good joke will work. A bad one won’t.
Sometimes, though not often, the Best Men know the groom from very different periods of his life. One might be a work colleague, the other an old school friend, for example. If there’s little crossover, then it’s more likely the groom will ask for two separate speeches. But it can and does happen. There are different ways to tackle this. Were we to use the above example, you could compare how the groom was at school to how he is at work. Alternatively, decide on a theme which excludes neither Best Man, so each can bring their own perspectives, anecdotes, and memories to the table.
- Prepare for the whole speech, together, from the start
- Write it so that either of you could read the whole thing through if either of you was ill on the day.
- By all means introduce yourselves, but don’t forget you are simply a vehicle for guests to find out more about the groom.
- With more content, and more speakers, it’s even more vital that you keep your language clear, punchy and incredibly easy to deliver.
- Every great speech includes a sincere section. Just because there’s two of you, doesn’t mean it should be ignored.
If you would like help writing your best man speech…
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