Here are a few stats about public speaking to show you what I mean:

  • Around 75% of people feel some level of anxiety about public speaking.
  • 90% of the worry people experience comes from lack of preparation.
  • Most people speak at about 140 words per minute.

So, if you get your act together and write about 600 words down, you’ll have the perfect speech length and avoid the worst anxiety by feeling prepared.

Still not sure how to get the best speech length? Read on and I’ll tell you all you need to know.

How Long Should a Best Man Speech Be? – Key Takeaways

There are a few main things you might want to keep in mind to be a great public speaker:

  • Talk for about 4-7 minutes. This is plenty of time to make the most of the speech but shouldn’t be so long people get bored.
  • Four to seven minutes is about 700-1,000 words. That’s your goal to write.
  • Think in chunks of text about 100 words long. This breaks down your speech into manageable writing sections and will help you maintain momentum during the speech.
IMPORTANT: With these in mind, let’s get into how to set up your speech so it’s the perfect length and pacing. If you’re already busy planning a stag do, then these tips will get you through your speech planning with no problem.

How to Organize Your Speech Structure

The best best man speech is actually going to feel a lot like one long funny story. But you don’t have to think of this as one thing. Instead, you’re going to want to string together a few personal stories about your mate and the married couple. The best approach is to think of eight things. You’ll want a good intro, six stories, and a good ending.

How to Organize Your Speech Structure

Best man speech template

Want a quick fill in the blank outline? Here’s a great six to eight minute speech outline:

  • Congratulate the wonderful couple: Take about 50 words to say how gorgeous the bride looks and point out how scruffy the groom is. Be a bit tongue in cheek – people will love it.
  • Origin Story: Tell the wedding party a little about how you and the groom came to know each other. Give your bromance about 100 words.
  • Trouble in the past: One of the classic speech ideas is to tell stories of the trouble you and the groom got into in the past. Keep these funny anecdotes to about 100 words, though.
  • Throw in a success story: You’re the best mate, so big up your groom with a nice story about something he’s done well. Don’t go on too long, though – just 100 words or so.
  • Hooking up with the bride: No – you better not hook up with the bride! But it would be great to include something about how you first met the bride and groom at the dating stage. Throw in another 100 words for this tale of love at first sight.
  • There was never a doubt: Since the bride and groom met, what have you seen or heard them do that was funny? Tell a short story in 100 words or less about it.
  • Don’t forget the bad jokes: There’s got to be something funny about the lovely couple. Add in a bad joke or two, but not more than 100 words worth of comedy gold.
  • End with a heartfelt toast: Everyone wants to feel good, so finish with a nice toast to the bride and groom. Keep it short, though – you only need about 50 words.
If you wrote all those parts and added it up, that’s about 700 words. Depending on how fast you talk and how long the laughter and applause is, you’ve got an easy five to eight minutes of speech right there.

How to Pick the Right Material for Your Speech

I write for a living and I can’t stand looking at a blank sheet of paper waiting on the ideas to come. When you’re thinking about your best mate’s wedding, you don’t want to be stuck drawing a blank, either. So here are some tips for choosing the right material and making it work for you.

Create a list of memories and ideas

How to Pick the Right Material for Your Speech

Start by making a long list of memories and ideas you can include. Don’t worry about whether they are good or bad. Just make a list of everything you can think of about the groom and his new bride. If you’re struggling for ideas or memories, then have a look at social media or old photographs. You’ll start to remember some things in no time.

Look for a theme or a hook

Now, with a list of ideas, try to find a common theme you can talk about. This will bring all your ideas together into a single story. For example, if you’ve been friends with the groom for a long time, then you could talk about how you’ve always taken care of him, like Leonard looked after Sheldon in TBBT. Get some laughs by including stories about how much of an idiot your groom used to be. Then, talk about how the bride and groom are made for each other like Sheldon and Amy. Some bad jokes about their shared nerdiness and you are good to go.

Narrow down the ideas to a curated list

Curated just means picked out and selected carefully. Now that you have a bunch of ideas, look for the six or seven winners. Here’s what you want to look for in a good story:

  • Pick something that isn’t an inside joke or requires a lot of background info. Not everyone will know the bride and groom as well as you do.
  • Choose content for stories that can be done briefly. You don’t have five minutes to tell extended stories – you’ve got one minute. Don’t choose things that cause you to ramble.
  • Include your favorite stories. If they entertain you, then they will be likely to entertain others as well.

If you follow these three little guides, you’ll have enough material for a speech that will make wedding memories for everyone present.

How to Prepare Note Cards

You could try to write everything down on a single piece of paper or memorize your speech. This could be a disaster, though. You might lose the paper or have a few drinks and forget what you memorized. A better idea is to create a cue card for the key beats of your speech. 

How to Prepare Note Cards

Here’s how to do it:

  • Create a cue card for each point in your outline by writing a title across the top of the card.
  • Write out the story or text on each card in full. The title might be enough to jog your memory, but the whole text is there if you get nervous.
  • Number your cards at the bottom. Adding a number will certainly help if the cards get mixed up and out of order.
IMPORTANT:That’s it. It’s really simple to write these cue cards. You could add a few extra cards with a marriage quote or a few wedding toasts in case you want a bit more material.

Three Quick Public Speaking Tips for Your Best Man Speech

Three Quick Public Speaking Tips for Your Best Man Speech

These aren’t gimmicks, like picturing everyone naked. Imagining your best friend’s mother-in-law with no clothes on might be horrifying. Or maybe not…?   

At any rate, here are three really good tips for making a great speech.

Plant your feet

Don’t wander all over the place or sway back and forth like a drunken sailor. Plant your feet on the ground, shoulder width apart, and keep them there. This will give you the absolute maximum presence, so take advantage of it.

Look at the audience

Make eye contact with them. Don’t look down at your notes too much if you can help it. The best thing to do is to talk to one person at a time. So, make eye contact with someone in the audience and tell them a small part of your speech. Then move on to another person. It will be over before you know it.

Talk to the back row

One of the worst things in a bad speech is being unable to hear it properly. Whether you have a microphone or not, speak up and speak out. Picture an old woman at the back of the room and then talk loud enough for her to hear you. Don’t make her too deaf, because you don’t want to be shouting! But speak loud enough for everyone to hear clearly.

Wrapping It Up

Like a great speech, this article needs to come to a solid end. Plan your speech to be about four to eight minutes long. Follow the simple little outline I gave you and you cannot go too far wrong. Want more help? Look up some speeches on Google and YouTube! Stagmadness can help you plan an epic stag party but we can’t write your speech for you!

Veronika Tomasikova

Stag expert since 2019 Veronika has dedicated herself to exploring and sampling all the adrenaline-filled activities, bars and clubs to ensure only the best make the cut! With over 3100 Bachelor Parties organised her know-how guarantees an Epic trip!