Rock Your Best Man Speech Using Our Expert-Approved Advice

Best man smiling and holding microphone.

  • Chapelle writes articles for The Knot Worldwide. She covers all things wedding-related and has a personal interest in covering celebrity engagements and fashion.
  • Before joining The Knot Worldwide, Chapelle was an editorial intern for Subvrt Magazine.
  • Chapelle has a degree in English writing from Loyola University New Orleans.

Pat yourself on the back—you're the best man. It's a good feeling when one of your loved ones asks you to be their right hand for the wedding. Beyond the fun best man duties , like planning an epic bach party , you'll have to give a rousing best man speech. We believe it's arguably the most meaningful duty, but don't let that get you nervous. Whether you're a public speaking pro or have only delivered speeches while on the eighth-grade debate team, boost your chances of making your best man speech a hit by using our helpful tips, ideas and examples for inspiration.

In this article:

Printable Template | How to Write | Examples | Tips | FAQs

Printable Best Man Speech Template

Delivering a best man wedding speech doesn't have to feel like a chore. Use the template below as a checklist while you're writing your best man speech.

free printable best man speech template

How to Write a Best Man Speech Outline

We're guessing the thought of crafting a flawless best man speech from scratch feels pretty overwhelming right about now. Start by drafting a bare-bones outline (trust us, drawing up a rough outline is way more palatable than writing a fully fleshed-out speech). You don't need to include every element in your wedding speech . Instead, customize it to fit the couple, the event and your relationship with the groom.

1. Have a killer opening line.

Successful best man speeches always start with a good opener. Introduce yourself and explain your connection to the happy couple. Have fun with this part by sharing a quick joke or quoting a poem so your speech doesn't start off stale. For example, "Hello everyone! For those of you who don't know me, thank you so much for coming to my wedding. [pause for laughter] Sorry about that...I'm a little nervous."

2. Thank the other speakers.

Once you address the audience, give props to the previous speaker to help lead into your speech. If you know your speech has a sillier sentiment, now's your chance to warn your audience in the change of direction. Here's an example: "Let's give it up to the amazing speech given by the wonderful maid of honor . If you enjoyed how thoughtful and sweet her speech was, you better get the tissues ready for this one!"

Next, express your gratitude to the couple's parents. Thank the couples' parents for not only raising incredible adults and, if they helped pay for the wedding, for hosting such a great party. Here's an example: "I'd like to begin by expressing my deepest gratitude to the couples' parents for raising such amazing people, who I'm fortunate to call my best friends. I would also like to thank their parents for hosting such an awesome celebration for all of us to enjoy this evening."

3. Say a few words about your friend's new spouse.

Another writing a best man speech tip is always to give a special shoutout to the new spouse so they feel welcomed and included. Yes, we know you most likely have a closer relationship with the groom, but don't let that stop you from showering them with kind words––it's their big day too. Talk about the qualities you like about them and why you love them in the groom's life. Try this, "I'm so happy [Spouse's Name] fell in love with [Groom's Name]. Firsthand I've seen the grace, intelligence and confidence [Spouse's Name] has, which explains why [Groom's Name] knew he wanted to marry [Spouse's Name] after their first date."

4. Share personal stories.

What's going to make your best man speech stand out are personal stories. We suggest adding one or two anecdotes, like your favorite memories with the groom (and their partner, if you want). Avoid choosing a story that rambles on and has no sentimental or funny ending—keep it lighthearted and short. Here's a silly example, "I remember when we first met in first grade. [Groom's Name] had just glued his hand to his face but still used his free one to shake my hand and ask if I wanted to be his friend."

5. Talk about the couple's relationship.

This is the time to speak about why the groom and their new spouse are a great couple. Share how they first met and how their relationship has grown so other guests can get a better insight into the newlyweds. If you helped the love birds meet, say something like this in your best man speech: "I know I said earlier I'm the best man, but I lied. I'm actually Cupid because I'm the one who introduced these two eight years ago."

6. Propose a toast.

Finally, close out your best man speech with a heartfelt toast. Ask everyone to raise a glass and provide well wishes to the newly married couple. Steal this wedding toast : "Everyone, please join me in raising a glass to such a wonderful couple. I wish you a lifetime of peace, love and happiness. Love you guys!"

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Best man speech examples.

Now that you know how to write the outline, let us provide you with some inspiration. Here are four best man speech ideas for every type of delivery.

Short Best Man Speech Example

Short best man speeches can make the grade just as much as long ones. Try this short but sweet example.

As the poet, Dante once said, 'A great flame follows a little spark.' When [Groom's Name] met [Spouse's Name], there was a little spark. I know because I talked to him the next day.

From the way he talked about [Spouse's Name], this stranger he chatted up at a Halloween party, I could tell this spark was something special.

You two are fantastic together. May the flame burn long, and may sparks continue to fly. Cheers to the newlyweds!

Funny Best Man Speech Example

Funny best man speeches are our favorite. You get to show off your comedic skills while giving loving well-wishes to the happy couple.

Hello! For those who don't know me, I'm [Your Name], the best man. I've known [Groom's Name] since middle school, which means that it was before we learned mullets weren't a good look for either of us.

[Groom's Name] and [Spouse's Name] told me there are some topics I should avoid in this speech so…[Look through cue cards, then shake head and dramatically drop them all to the floor but one.]

[Reading from the remaining cue card] [Groom's Name] is really the best friend I've ever had. He's done so many wonderful things it would be difficult to name them all. Hey, [a Groomsman's Name], I can't read your handwriting here!

But seriously, it's all true. This guy is a great friend, the best I've got, and I'm very proud to stand by his side today.

[Spouse's Name], I was hoping to be the best-looking person in the room today but obviously, I failed miserably. You look beautiful and radiant. I'm beyond happy for the two of you.

May you always find joy in the little things, like your Xbox and 'Star Wars.' Oh wait, that's my personal goal. You should actually find joy in each other, and do everything you can to have a lifetime of happiness together. Let's toast the newlyweds!

Best Man Speech for Brother Example

Need best man speech examples for your brother? Use our speech below as a guide to delivering a sweet message to your older or younger brother.

On my fourth birthday, my parents got me a brother…I wanted a puppy.

But seriously, as a kid [Groom's Name] wanted to do everything I did. He used to follow me around. He used to sneak into my room and play with my Matchbox cars. Our parents could get him to eat his broccoli by making me eat my broccoli.

It wasn't until after I went to college that he started going down his own path. He started doing volunteer work. He found a job he loves, a pretty killer apartment and, of course, he found [Spouse's Name].

[Spouse's Name], you're the nicest person I've ever met, and my brother is so blessed to have someone like you in his life. Thank you for being there for him.

I'm so happy you two found each other especially because I'm gaining a sister today. Oh, and I want to set the record straight. I'm glad I didn't get a puppy that day. I love you, little bro.

Congratulations to both of you. I wish you lots of laughter, love and joy as a married couple. Cheers to the newlyweds!

Best Man Speech for Best Friend Example

For those who need a best man speech sample for their best friend, we got you covered. Here's how to tell your BFF you're happy for them on their special day.

Hand putting wedding ring on a finger.

Good evening, everyone! I'm [Your Name], and I'm extremely honored to call myself [Groom's Name]'s best man. Also, please excuse the puffiness under my eyes, I've been happy crying since before the ceremony.

I first met [Groom's Name] while working at a pizza joint called Domenica's while in college. I hated being a server with all my heart, but whenever [Groom's Name] and I were scheduled together, it made it so much more bearable.

We laughed until we cried, ate hundreds of garlic knots and I can't tell you the amount of times we accidentally got pizza dough stuck to the ceiling during our pizza toss competitions. But even after we both quit and moved on to bigger and better things, we still kept in touch and I'm eternally grateful.

One of those bigger and better things was [Spouse's Name]. [Groom's Name] really discovered the perfect piece to his puzzle. [Spouse's Name] laughs at his bad jokes, listens to his long monologues about Batman vs. Superman and most importantly, loves him no matter what. [Spouse's Name] is a phenomenal and caring person who deserves the world, and I know [Groom's Name] will do everything he can to give it to them.

Thank you both for allowing me to be a part of your beautiful wedding, and I can't wait to see what else is in store for you in the future. Love you guys, and cheers to the handsome couple!

Best Man Speech Tips

Good news! We got how to give a best man speech tips from Dominic Bliss, wedding writer and author of Being the Best Man for Dummies. Study up on these helpful pointers below to minimize pre-speech jitters and ensure a smooth delivery.

Plan ahead.

The first tip in our guide on how to write a best man speech is to get started in advance. (As in, do not procrastinate.) "Start writing a best man speech at least two months before the wedding," Bliss says. "As the wedding nears, there are lots of events—suit fittings and a coed shower, perhaps—that could distract you from getting your writing done." Brainstorm and write down any stories, jokes or best man speech quotes you want to include. The more time you have to prepare your best man speech, the better. This way, you'll be able to be fully present at upcoming wedding festivities.

Be genuine.

Whether the wedding guests are strangers or family, it can feel nerve-racking to deliver your best man speech with all eyes on you. To ease the awkwardness, provide anecdotes and stories about your relationship with the couple. Everyone loves a bit of nostalgia, and the guests get to know you better.

With that said, stay true to how you normally act while making your speech. There's no need for you to change who you are for some made-up public speaking persona. If you feel more comfortable cracking jokes throughout your speech, do it. If you are better at being sentimental and don't mind leaving everyone misty-eyed, take that approach. Remember, the couple chose you to speak at their wedding because they felt you could add something special to their big day. As long as you deliver a heartfelt speech, the newlyweds and guests will love it.

Know what topics to avoid.

There are a few topics to omit from the best man speech. No matter how funny you (and even the groom) might think they are, someone is bound to be offended or put off if you mention:

  • Negativity about marriage in general.
  • Past relationships.
  • Previous marriages/divorces.
  • Drinking, drugs, gambling.
  • "Adult" humor or any other mention of sex.

After all, your best man speech should celebrate the newlywed couple and their love rather than causing future friction. Keep it PG.

Consider adding jokes.

If you want to deliver a funny best man speech, consider poking some fun at the groom. "Every groom will have some funny characteristic or quirk you can ridicule," Bliss notes. "As long as it's something everyone can appreciate, it's sure to get a laugh. Avoid obscure references or inside jokes. You want older guests and those who don't know him well to see the funny side too." Be strategic about your jokes too. You can make jokes about the groom but leave their new spouse alone.

Write it down.

Even those with a great memory will feel more confident with a written speech or at least a few bullet points to keep them on track. Nerves can mess with your memory, so don't think you're a failure if you have to bring notes with you. (Even CEOs do this at corporate events.) Bliss suggests using small note cards instead of a sheet of paper since they "won't flap around."

And yes we know many groomsmen will want to read off their cell phones out of convenience, but wedding planners recommend against it. The lighting from your phone screen can ruin the wedding photographer's photos and can be distracting to guests. Practice writing down your speech instead—it's quite soothing.

Practice with an audience.

This tip is a must when it comes to writing a best man speech. Even if you think you have this whole thing in the bag, practice delivering your wedding speech aloud at least three times. When you're by yourself, take a video and watch the playback to get a feel for how your speech is going. (Do you say "um" between every sentence? Are your gestures a little robotic?) If your friends can't offer critiques in person, "send [the video] to a close friend who won't be going to the wedding and who can give you honest feedback," Bliss recommends.

Finally: don't mumble. A great best man speech becomes boring if it's monotonous or guests are straining to hear you. Speak confidently and slowly.

Best Man Frequently Asked Questions

If this is your first time giving a best man speech, you might have a lot of questions. Here are answers to the top wedding speech inquiries.

How Long Should a Best Man Speech Be?

In general, the best man speech length should be at least three minutes, but no more than five minutes. This is enough time to say something meaningful before guests get too antsy. Of course, you should adjust your speech length to the event. If you're speaking at a last-minute wedding, it might require a brief speech, while a formal affair could call for a longer toast. But you might also be wondering, "how many words should a best man speech be?" We suggest between 700 to 1000 words.

How to Start a Best Man Speech

Begin your speech by addressing the audience and thanking them for attending the wedding. Here's an example, "Hello, everyone. On behalf of the newlyweds, I want to thank everyone for attending this amazing celebration." You can even butter up the crowd by saying how lovely everyone looks this evening. Then, introduce yourself and how you know the groom or couple. This is a great opportunity to add a funny story or memory you have with them that can lead you into the rest of your speech.

How to End a Best Man Speech

Raise your glass and offer a toast wishing the couple a lifetime of happiness, excellent health and success. Your toast can include one final joke or be a marriage quote from your and the groom's favorite movie. Either way, take this chance to sincerely express the newlyweds well. Remember, concluding the speech is the easiest part.

Does the Best Man Have to Give a Speech?

It's not required, but it's expected that the best man gives a speech—especially if the other honor attendants are giving one. If speaking in public makes your stomach turn, consider showing your appreciation for the couple in a different way. We've seen best men do upbeat choreography, sing the couple's favorite song or even present a wedding video they made.

When Does the Best Man Give His Speech?

Following the traditional wedding speech order , the best man speaks after the maid of honor and is the last speech during the reception. There's no need to use this itinerary since the speech order depends on your reception timeline and wedding party size. The to-be-weds might even ask you to deliver your speech during the rehearsal dinner, which most likely will be in front of a smaller audience (score!). Before the wedding and during, double-check with the couple to ensure you know when to give your best man speech so no one has to hunt you down when it's your turn.

bride in wedding dress smiles with mother of the bride wearing a korean hanbok

best man speech written out

12 Best Man Speeches To Get Inspired By

Writing a rockstar best man speech that both WOWS the crowd and inspires everyone doesn’t come easy. There has to be a little bit of preparation and practice. Today we’re giving you 12 best man speech examples that can help you get started. These best man samples can be modified to include your own personal stories and memories . They are super easy to deliver and are simple to remember. But if you feel that you need a complete guide to writing and delivering a killer wedding speech, we have you covered too! Click here for your complete guide to speeches.

There is no doubt the biggest fear when delivering a speech is simply the public speaking aspect of it, but there is also a fear of messing up with some helpful tips on avoiding wedding speech mistakes that will have the guests hanging on every word.

Traditional Wedding Speech Order

Before we get into the actual speech examples, it’s essential to know when the best man is scheduled to present his speech. Of course, any couple tying the knot can mix up the wedding speech schedule to suit their own needs, but here is the traditional wedding speech order.

Here’s the ultimate guide to the traditional wedding speech order.

  • Father of the Bride

Groom and groomsmen join hands to celebrate wedding day

Things To Include In Your Best Man Speech

Knowing how to write a best man speech is equally important to delivering it. Here are a few traditional things that you should include in your best man speech.

Oh! And before you let the anxiety about public speaking set in, experts say it’s best to keep your best man’s speech to under 5 minutes. So, it’s really not that bad after all.

Your Best Man Speech Should Cover

  • Share how you know the groom.
  • Why they chose you as the best man (great opportunity to throw in some funnies)
  • Describe the bride and groom
  • Describe the groom before he met the bride. And how he has changed
  • Quick story of how they met and how he shared his feelings for her with you
  • If you are married, you can share advice you have received or things you have learned

Inspiring Best Man Speech Examples

A best man speech to the ultimate single inspiring couple.

First up, we have an example of a pretty simple, straight-to-the-point best man speech. It’s light in tone, offers excellent praise for both the bride and groom, and has a great closing.

“Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen! 

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is _____ (your name), and I have the honor of being ____’s (groom’s name) best man. I have known him since we were kids, and I have seen him grow into the amazing person he is today. Looking at him getting married today seems surreal because it feels like yesterday when we were kids, doing the most embarrassing things possible; don’t worry, I will not tell anyone about it. ? 

We all know the accomplishments of (groom’s name) but what you guys don’t know is that he is an invaluable friend. He is the kind of person who asks you how your day was and would be a great listener. He is someone you can lean on, who answers the phone when you’re having one of the lowest moments of your life or pick you up at 3 in the morning to drive you back home safely without any questions. Thank you (groom’s name) for being the best friend I could ask for. And I believe that you will excel at your role as a husband as well. 

(Bride’s name), I must say you look beautiful today. Over the time of our friendship, I have never seen (groom’s name) so happy.  You make him a better version of himself, and it is because of you, we always see him with a goofy smile on his face. In marrying this joker, you are getting a kind and passionate, considerate, and fun-loving husband. He is a great friend, and I can’t even imagine how great of a husband he will be. 

Thank you for being the most fantastic couple and being the ultimate inspiration for all of us singles out here! I wish you both prosperity in the years to come. 

Let’s toast to this beautiful couple!”

Groom kicking up shoes with arms around groomsmen celebrating wedding day

The Absolute Best Man Speech

Wow! This is the best, best man speech we have ever seen and delivered by the bride’s brother, that also just happens to be the groom’s best friend. It is filled with laughter, praise, memories, and heartfelt sentiments. From beginning to end, it is the BEST! Oh, and if you think you need some tips on “ how to deliver a great best man speech ,” watch this and takes notes. He is a great public speaker.

Heartfelt Best Man Speech With A Touch Of Humor

“Hello everyone! May I have your attention, please! 

As many of you already know me, and those who don’t, I am ___ (your name), the groom’s best friend. Before I begin, here’s a heads up, I asked (groom’s name) before writing this speech if there was anything that I shouldn’t say, and he said no. So if I spill the beans today, it is all his fault. 

(Bride’s name) you look radiant today, the most gorgeous bride I have ever seen, so sad that you have to spend all your life with this guy, after all, I am the best man here today, right? I can’t even imagine the embarrassing moments he will bring into your life. 

Alright, alright, before (groom’s name) kills me, I should stop goofing around! In all seriousness, (bride’s name) by marrying (groom’s name), you are getting a husband who is kind and compassionate, who will not only be a great husband but a best friend who will be there for you at each step of the way. In you, he has found the love of his life, which shouldn’t be a surprise for anyone because you are the most tender-hearted woman I have ever seen. And I know that you will make the best wife for (groom’s name). I can see in (groom’s name)’s eyes how much he loves you, the kind of love that keeps growing every single day. 

(groom’s name) you have always pushed me to be the better person, and seeing you today becoming the man you are and starting a family with this lovely lady is so inspiring to me. In (bride’s name), you have found your ideal match, but I must admit she might be a bit more fun and sensible than you are! Well, jokes apart! I wish you both the best in your new life together.

Let us all raise our glasses to the new Mr. and Mrs. (both of their names) and wish them a long and beautiful married life!”

Killer Best Man Speech Filled With Humor & The Best Toast Ever!!

Wow! This speech is a great one! The groom’s younger brother is the best man, and he delivers a funny speech full of heartfelt feelings and one of the best wedding toasts we’ve ever heard. Watch until the end.

Best Man Is Superman & Groom Is His Kryptonite

“Of course, my name is Joe, and I’d like to thank Ben for finally confirming that I am indeed his best man, after 19 years of best-friendship.

Best friends for 19 years. Just think about what was happening 19 years ago. Lance Armstrong won his first Tour de France. Furbabies were the craze of a nation. Brad Pitt was named the sexiest man alive. 

On behalf of the bridesmaids and groomsmen, I would like to thank Ben and Shannon for including us on their unforgettable day. What a fantastic day it has been so far, and so much of Shannon’s hard work and preparation has gone into it. Ben, you just sit there and enjoy yourself.

Speaking of the bridesmaids, aren’t they looking fantastic? Thank you, girls, for making sure that Shannon looks as beautiful as ever and that she made it here on time. For anyone who knows Shannon, that is an achievement in itself.

A bit about Ben and I, we first met in elementary school and I’m not sure why we initially became friends as he doesn’t really like sport whereas I could watch a ping-pong match on TV. After that, it was probably Pokémon cards, and he had a Charizard I wanted, but over the years, the more I’ve got to know him, the more I’ve realized how much of a businessman he is. I’m expecting an invoice for the food we’ve enjoyed today.

After we moved from elementary school, we got split up and didn’t really speak before finding each other again in college – how romantic! It was here that we’d master the art of plagiarism. Well, at least I would. Ben got caught copying a classmate’s work. What let him down, you ask? He didn’t even change the name on the footer.

Another one of my favorite memories during college was in 2009. We had a riding lawnmower, rope, and horse feed bags to play with. I ended up dressing Ben up in horse feed bags and pulling him around the field for 20 mins, like a budget version of Jackass.

As life progressed, Ben left college to start work, and I stayed on, so again we lost contact through no fault on either part until a few years later where we reconciled and have remained as close as we’ve ever been since. It sounds like a story about how a stray dog kept finding his way home, doesn’t it?

In all honesty, if I’m Superman, Ben is my kryptonite. I’ve got a lot to thank Ben for, mainly for his help building my confidence with other people, specifically women. I know this is something he likes to brag about, but it’s true. As kids who were both a little on the chubby side of life, Ben gave the best piece of advice on girls that anyone has ever given me. “It’s ok to be fat; you’ve just got to be fat and funny. The more they’re laughing, the less time they have their eyes open”. I’ll take this piece of advice to my grave.

Ben. – *face Ben* – I would like to think that in the times when you have called upon me for help, I have always been there for you and not let you down because you have always been there for me. I look back at some of the stuff we have done together, and it makes me proud to have a mate like you. We have had some truly great times and have shared some great experiences together, memories I will never forget. I have been honored to have been your best man and want you to know that I look up to you more than you could imagine. Just remember, love is like a circle; it goes on forever. It’s not like a triangle; triangles have corners. It’s like a circle.

Ladies and gentlemen, it truly has been an honor delivering this speech to you, so please, join me in raising your glasses to the happy couple!”

A Truly Inspirational Best Man Speech, Oh! And it Doesn’t Hurt Shawn Johnson’s The Bride.

Brother of the groom and best man shares many stories of growing up, emergency room visits, and other memories that brothers experience together. But then he shares how much he is proud of the groom and how much he inspires him in life. A great example of a best man speech with few nerves, even though the bride is a celebrity (Shawn Johnson, the Olympic Gymnast).

A Humble Best Man Speech With Witt & Style

When you’re a witty yet humble guy, it can be hard to put together a best man speech that is sentimental and humble but still includes a little humor. This is an excellent example of all those things combined.

“Good evening, ladies, gentlemen, and single ladies. In case you are wondering, I am indeed the footloose and fiancé-free Best Man. Paul, I’m glad to have you ruled out as competition finally. In fact, my feelings are shared in the lyrics of the famous Queen song ‘Another One Bites the Dust.’ But, honestly. I couldn’t be more proud to stand here today with my best friend watching him become a husband and family man. Man, am I honored. 

Paul and I have done many things together during our almost life-long friendship. Over the years, we’ve built go-carts together, rode our bikes together, played football together, bunked school together, tried to chat up girls together – note the word “tried” there – fixed up cars together, occasionally got drunk together, and now we are sharing a top table together.

And like all friends, we’ve certainly had our downs as well as our ups. I remember back to times when a petty argument would arise from nowhere. Then Paul would call me smelly, and I’d call him ‘big ears.’ And then it would spiral out of all proportion, and we’d each end up running home in tears. But sure enough, the next day, Paul would drop me an email from work, and we’d make up. As good mates do, however old.

But it was particularly in our teenage years that these little spats became quite frequent and would often arise over a young lady. They’d generally be of the ‘I saw her first, ‘no, I did’ variety. I’d like to say we worked these disputes out equitably, but Paul was the smooth-talking, early-developer of the two of us, and he genuinely believed he could have any girl he pleased. Unfortunately for him, though, he never managed to please any.

Until that is, he met his lovely bride. Since then, I’ve never known him to be happier. And, considering he’s now spending less time hanging out at bars and less time on the golf course, it’s certainly a testament to the way he feels about Linda.

Now, as Paul’s chief golf partner and drinking buddy, it’s not that great for me. But I’m man enough to stand here today and tell you that I don’t resent it. And how could I when I see how very happy they are together?

And I, as much as all of you, want that happiness for myself. But, uh, sorry, I mean, I want their happiness to last forever. And I do.

Ladies and gentlemen, on a final and serious note, please be upstanding and raise your glasses to my very best friend and his beautiful new wife. To Paul and Linda.”

Best Man Embarrasses Bride In A Friendly Roast

This is how you write, deliver and kill a best man speech in under 5 minutes. The best man and groomsmen had a completely unique idea for a wedding speech, and it is GREAT! This is a must-watch and recreate if you want a funny and memorable best man speech. Oh, and 1.7 million views isn’t half bad.

Heartfelt And Personal

Every best man speech doesn’t have to include funny or embarrassing stories. In this best man speech, we love how he kept it simple and to the point.

“Good afternoon, everyone; I am Mitchell. You may not know me, but Lucas and I go way back, all the way to preschool, in fact. And I must say that we have been brothers from another mother, locked in mischief together since the very start.

But despite some of our best efforts, this beautiful day has gone off without a hitch. A special thanks to everyone who worked hard and came together to make today possible. I have a few loving words to read from well-wishers who could attend today (read off messages sent from people who could not attend).

Well, I must agree! Their kind words are absolutely right. Lucas is a heck of a guy. I guess I first realized that on the day we met. There he was, already in our Pre-K room, doing his best to fit in. 

He always was a little awkward when meeting new people, at least of the female sex. That was until he met Melanie. And thank goodness for that. Lucas, I hate to tell you this, but I have seen a few of your ex-girlfriends over the years, and I can certainly attest that the best woman won out. Or at least the most beautiful and kind, at any rate. Doesn’t Melanie look stunning today? And I must say, the bridesmaids do as well. If you are interested, I am footless & fiance-free. Ask for my number after this is over.

I would like to offer you both a tiny bit of advice today as you start this new adventure in life together. Lucas always treats Melanie like the queen and angel that she is. And Melanie always remembers that Lucas loves you and could not get through life without you. Seriously, I have seen and been with him when he’s without you. And it was a mess.

But, seriously, I wish you both a life full of love, peace, faith, and prosperity. You are both the nearest and dearest friends. Your life together is sure to be an unbelievable and fantastic new chapter that we will all be blessed to witness. So, now, please join me to give a toast to Lucas and Melanie.”

Epic Best Man Speech – Movie Trailer Idea

Another tremendous inspiring best man speech if you’re looking for something absolutely unique. The best man acts like he forgot his speech and has to “run out” to get it. This turns into the funniest and most creative best man speech ever. This is how you go viral with a wedding speech. To date, they have over 13 Million views on YouTube!! Incredible.

Short & Sweet Best Man Speech

Sure! It’s perfectly fine to keep your best man’s speech short & sweet. Here is an example of how to do it.

“Ladies and gentlemen. I met Jose a long time ago. We have been friends for over 15 years. In that time, he has proven himself to be an incredible friend and a truly good & honest man. I value my friendship with Jose and am honored to be here as his best man today. I am also looking forward to building the same great friendship with his beautiful new bride Beckie.

I know one important thing about Beckie. She has made Jose happier than I have ever seen him. So today is a day filled with joy and happiness. But it is not just “A” day… it’s the beginning of a new journey, painting their love story on a canvas of life for us all to watch. So on behalf of everyone here, thank you both for allowing us to be part of your story. I wish you both health and happiness, and may God bless your marriage.”

11 Year Old Best Man Kills His Best Man Speech

Ever thought about asking a child to be your best man? It probably doesn’t happen too often, but this 11-year-old boy absolutely delivers a hilarious speech. And with no notes and in just two minutes!! Watch it now. Who would’ve thought a young boy could be so poised and witty delivering a speech at age 11?

How to Write a Best Man Speech in 9 Simple Steps

Been tasked to write a best man speech and not sure where to start? Follow these easy rules for how to write a best man speech—and how to deliver it like a total pro.

Nora Shepard

Valorie Darling Photography

Being enlisted as someone's best man is a big deal, and there are plenty of  best man duties  involved—including figuring out how to write a best man speech. Yes, it’s tradition for the best man to give a wedding speech during the reception, so it’s time to prep for that responsibility. If you’re feeling a little nervous about giving a toast in front of a crowd, that’s totally normal, especially if public speaking isn’t your forte. But with a little forethought, planning, and a lot of practice, you’ll be wowing everyone with your best man speech in no time. Here are nine steps to writing a short best man speech that's sweet and to the point—and how you can ace the delivery. 

How to Write a Great Best Man Speech

Follow this best man speech template to easily get started when it's time to write your own wedding toast. 

1. Plan out your best man speech ahead of time.

Presuming you’re not reading this the night before the wedding, you should give yourself plenty of time—at least one month—to write your best man speech. The weeks leading up to the wedding day, especially participating as such a crucial part of the wedding party, can become hectic. With all of the events you’ll be encouraged or required to attend (on top of keeping up with your own personal life), you may very well lose sight of time. It’s better to plan ahead so you relieve some of the pressure when it's time to write an awesome best man speech.

2. Start your best man speech by expressing gratitude.

If you’re wondering how to write a best man speech, we recommend beginning the speech by stepping onto the dance floor and saying good evening to the crowd (you can write this as a note at the top of your speech as a reminder in case you get nervous). The opening line of your speech should introduce yourself as the best man and then express gratitude to those you think deserve a special shout out. Thank the couple’s parents for raising such great people, thank your friend for having you here, thank the guests for coming, and maybe throw in a one-liner thanking the bartender for a few laughs. It’s a low-key way to break the ice, ease yourself into the best man speech, and make sure those who deserve thanks feel appreciated.

3. Then, talk about your relationship with the groom.

Beyond introducing your name, a big part of how to write a best man speech is talking about your relationship with the groom. Talk about how you met him, how long you've known each other, and what kind of great friend he is. If you can think of an anecdote or funny story that really sums up the kind of person he is, whether that’s charming, warm-hearted, or thoughtful, use it. A funny best man speech is always memorable, but if you’re going to use an anecdote, linking that story to his partner when possible will make it even more meaningful. For example, maybe he’s incredibly outgoing but forgetful, while his new spouse is more thoughtful and organized. If you start with an anecdote of his forgetfulness and later follow up with a time you saw his partner’s organizational skills help him out big time—and that’s a moment you knew they were the real deal—that’s a perfect icebreaker.

4. Focus on the couple's relationship, and not just your own.

Presuming you’ve known the groom for longer than he’s know his partner, you can definitely start your best man toast by sharing an inside joke and recalling the earlier times in your friendship, but then you should skip ahead to when he met his partner. Think of a story that epitomizes their relationship. If you can talk about the exact moment when you realized his partner was “The One” for him, include that. Maybe your buddy told you one week after meeting his partner that they were going to get married, and you thought he was absolutely bonkers, but here you are. Maybe you’ve known the groom for a long, long time—for example, if you’re his brother or you've been best friends since elementary school. You’ve probably always had an idea of what his perfect partner would look like, but the one sitting in front of you exceeds all expectations. Emphasize that he's a great guy and how happy you are for your pal that he’s found someone so perfect for him.

Front Room Studios

5. Keep your best man speech short and sweet.

In terms of  wedding speech order , the best man speech is typically first, followed by the  maid of honor's toast  and parent speeches or  father-of-the-bride-speech . Even though you'll go first, a good best man speech is short and sweet, since you want to avoid people growing restless during the later speeches (guests are ready to eat, drink, and dance at this point of the wedding reception). Aim for a short best man speech between three and five minutes max. Keep in mind that it will feel much shorter to you when you’re actually giving the speech, and you will likely rush through it a little bit in the spotlight. That’s why you must…

7. Practice, practice, practice.

One of the most crucial best man speech tips is that you have to—and we mean  have to— practice your speech  before the wedding. You should read it to yourself out loud at least three or four times ahead of the actual reception. It might feel awkward at first, but would you rather fumble your words alone in private with the chance to make improvements, or give your speech for the first time while being watched by dozens of people with camera phones? Record yourself giving the speech, then replay it for mistakes and things to change. Not only is practice critical to giving the best performance, but it will give you a confidence boost when the big moment arrives. Consider sending the video to a friend, other groomsmen, or relative to give you honest feedback.

7. Write it down.

You should try to memorize your best man toast as best you can, but you’ll feel less anxious if you have it written down. Practice your speech enough so you won’t need to stare at the piece of paper the entire time, but jot down the main talking points to easily transition from one part to the next. Consider using notecards or a small notepad—remember that there's going to be professional photography and videography of your best man speech. Reading from a haphazardly torn piece of scrap paper or worse, your hand, will look sloppy and indicate that you didn’t prepare for the speech.

8. Don’t drink beforehand.

Keep your alcohol intake to a minimum until after you’re finished delivering the best man speech. It's normal to want to calm your nerves, but anything more than one drink during cocktail hour could backfire—alcohol paired with intense nerves and emotions will only amplify them (and you run the risk of slurring your speech!). The more you drink, the less likely you'll be able to remember what you've planned and form cohesive thoughts in the spotlight. Once your speech is over, you'll have time to celebrate all you want. 

9. Finish your best man speech with congratulations and a toast.

This is a foolproof way to end your best man speech. Conclude by congratulating the happy couple on their big day and offer a toast to their lifetime of happiness. The toast can be personal, witty, or a quote. Perhaps there’s a line about love and relationships from one of the groom’s favorite comedians or movies that you can share, or you can simply wish the newlyweds the best and ask your fellow guests to raise their glasses in celebration. 

Things to Avoid In a Best Man Speech

In order to write a good speech, you want to keep the focus off yourself and instead on the happy couple and their future. In general, it's best to steer clear of these things:

1. Inappropriate anecdotes. 

Your pal's grandmother definitely does not need to hear about that one infamous night in college, no matter how relevant or funny it might seem to your buddies. Leave those drunken tales and embarrassing stories for the bachelor party and keep your best man speech PG.

2. Any talk of exes.

Your friend's wedding is absolutely not the time to bring up ex-girlfriends or previous relationships. No matter a how good a story you think it is, or even if it leads directly to the moment you're all in now, just leave it out completely—trust us.

3. Foul language.

Sensing a theme here? You want to make sure your best man speech is well received by everyone, from the 80-year-old guests to the 8-year-old guests. Remember: A wedding is a family event, so it's best to leave out any profanity or other PG-13 talk. 

4. Long-winded stories.

As mentioned previously, you want to keep your best man speech short and sweet. As great as your speech is going to be, the last thing you want is for the wedding guests to tune out halfway through your time in the spotlight. If a story needs more than a few sentences to explain, either pare it down or consider a different approach for writing your best man speech.

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The Ultimate Best Man Speech Guide (Examples And Templates Included)

  • Posted by by Lisa Plaitt

Being picked to be the best man is such a great honor. You will feel blessed that the groom has thought of you, and considers you the best man and friend for the job.

But, as the wedding draws nearer, there’s one thing on your mind. No, it’s not the bachelor party… It’s the best man’s speech(see also: Best Ways to End Your Best Man’s Speech ). 

As the best man, you will likely have many responsibilities in the run up towards the wedding. You’ll have to try on suits, organize the bachelor party, but the best man speech is the thing that most look forward to, or dread!

Standing up in front of many guests, some of which you may not have met before can be nerve wracking to say the least. It’s such an important task, and a part of the wedding that many guests look forward to. 

A best man speech needs to hook the audience in, reveal some funny stories about the groom, and even the bride, but also wish the couple well, and spread some laughter amongst the audience.

But, you have to do all of this in one single speech that can’t be too long, and can’t be too short! 

So, how can you nail the best man speech? Well, that’s where we come in handy. We can offer you this ultimate guide to creating a best man speech, including tips, structure and examples you can take inspiration from. 

How To Structure A Best Man Speech

Not everyone is gifted with the ability to speak clearly and confidently to a crowd. It can be very nerve racking, and make you anxious to say the least.

If you’re unsure of how to go about planning your best man speech, then we can help you out with this simple structure to follow and keep yourself on track. 

This structure is a sort of guide, you don’t have to use it, but it’s a good idea to follow the structure so you cover all bases when doing the speech.

It can also help you when actually performing the speech, as you’ll know what needs to come next and in which order to go over your stories and anecdotes.

A good best man speech begins with:

  • An Introduction

Use the introduction to introduce yourself to the crowd. Not everyone will know who you are in the wedding, so it’s a nice way to break the ice and get rid of any awkwardness.

Try introducing yourself with a funny one liner about who you are and how you know the happy couple.

  • Talk About How You Met/Know The Groom

Next, it’s a good idea to briefly cover how you met the groom, or how long you’ve known each other. You can give a little history of how far back you go, and mention how honored you are to be the best man. 

  • Anecdotes About The Groom

Here comes the fun part! Now is the time to start telling a funny story about the groom. The emphasis here is on funny and not too embarrassing or gross. Choose two or three short anecdotes or stories, but don’t overdo it. 

  • Balance Poking Fun With Sincerity

After you’ve had your fun, balance this out by saying something meaningful and sincere about the groom, his qualities or your friendship. 

  • Briefly Talk About How You Know The Bride

In this section, you can talk about your first meeting with the bride, how she came into the groom’s life, and how great of a match you believe them to be. 

  • Wish Them All The Best

Finally, wish the couple all the best for their future together with a sincere, caring comment. Then, toast to the happy couple! 

Best Man Speech Do’s And Don’ts

Best Man Speech Do’s And Don’ts

There are definitely a few do’s and don’ts when it comes to speaking at someone’s wedding. You’ll want to keep it concise, funny, but not too over the top jokey. Here’s our recommendations of what to do, and what not to do. 

First things first, you’ll want to plan ahead, and write a few stories and anecdotes down that you can remember. Do this for a few weeks before the wedding, so it gives you time to come up with the right memories to share. 

Try brainstorming ideas with other members of the family or bridal party to come up with the best things to share about the groom and his bride. Then, you can narrow down the list and find the most impactful or most important things to talk about.

You should also consider who this speech is going to be said around.

If the groom’s very traditional great aunt or grandma is there, it could be a good idea to avoid any crass, rude stories that could make family members uncomfortable. Save those lines for the bachelor party! 

Do pause for reactions. You don’t want to talk too fast or fly through the speech as those who have laughed at the last line may miss the next one. Always leave small gaps or pauses for reactions, applause or responses. 

Finally, make sure you focus on the couple, not just the groom.

This day is about the two of them. While you are doing a speech because you are the best man to the groom, it is important that you bring in the bride/partner in your speech so that overall you are wishing both of them well on their new adventure. 

What Not To Do

Don’t wing it! You may have some liquid courage on the night, but you need this speech to be a crowd pleaser, so be sure to take your notes and go over the speech in your head just before you have to do it. 

Don’t use foul language, or inflammatory language. You don’t want to cause a dark cloud over the event by offending anyone or causing a scene.

The same goes for mentioning exes (who could well be at the wedding) or bringing up sore subjects during the speech. Keep it fun, lighthearted, and hilarious. 

Don’t use cliches like The groom is like a brother to me. Instead, demonstrate your close bond by telling a story or giving an example of when he treated you like family, and made you feel welcome.

This is far more impactful and will really get the audience involved in your speech. 

Finally, and this is an important one- don’t make it about you. This is not your shining moment, your time will come.

Ensure you’re not talking about yourself too much, and always bringing it back to the bride and groom, because that’s what the audience really wants to hear about.

It’s a chance for them to see the couple in a different light, from your perspective, not learn everything about you. 

Tips For Writing A Best Man Speech

Example Of Best Man Speeches

We’ve also got some brief tips for writing and performing your best man speech!

  • Practice before the actual speech
  • Don’t include inside jokes- they will fall on deaf ears
  • Keep it short and sweet – don’t go over the top with long stories/memories
  • Don’t use cringey cliches
  • Don’t mention exes- even as a joke
  • Use clean language
  • Don’t say anything political/inflammatory
  • Tell a story about the groom and the couple as a pair
  • Don’t just focus on the groom
  • Always end on a high – make a nice toast and comment about the couple

Qualities To Talk About In The Best Man Speech

Qualities To Talk About In The Best Man Speech

Throughout your speech, it is important to keep a running theme. If the joke you are telling is unrelated, it won’t have as much drive and impact.

For instance, if you’re talking about the groom’s thoughtfulness, use funny anecdotes that relate to this, and bring it back to that whenever possible.

Here are some other qualities that are worth mentioning:

  • Sense of humor: If the groom is known for his quick wit and humor, be sure to incorporate this into your speech. Share a funny story or two that showcases his sense of humor and make the guests laugh.
  • Generosity: If the groom is known for his kindness and generosity, talk about a specific instance where he went out of his way to help someone in need. This will show the guests the type of person he truly is.
  • Loyalty: Mention the groom’s unwavering loyalty to his friends and family. Talk about how he has been there for you and others in the past and how this trait is so important in a relationship.
  • Intelligence: If the groom is intelligent and knowledgeable, highlight this in your speech. Talk about his impressive achievements or interests that show his intelligence and passion.
  • Adventure: If the groom is someone who is always up for a new adventure, talk about his love for travel or exploring new things. This will show the guests his spontaneous and adventurous side.

For example, you could say:

Where do I begin with the groom’s sharp sense of humor? He’s a true master of wit, who can leave even the most experienced comedian in awe. A particularly memorable instance was when him and his bride went on a picnic; after he inadvertently dropped their sandwiches into a nearby pond, he remarked ‘Well, it looks like we’re having fish sandwiches today!’. The bride couldn’t help but laugh out loud at how quickly he turned an unfortunate situation into something humorous – that is simply the type of person this groom is. 

Groom has always had a very caring, loving nature. He would do anything for anyone. Except that one time I asked him to water my plants while I was on vacation. He brought all of the guys over to ‘water my plants’! Thanks for that, Groom. Just kidding, Groom is incredibly thoughtful and compassionate towards all who meet him, which is a quality I believe brought him closer to Bride. 

You want to talk about his great qualities, poke a little fun, or share a funny story, but then talk about how these qualities have translated into his relationship with his partner, or how they have brought them closer together. 

Best Man Speech Examples

Good evening everyone. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Tom, younger brother and best man of the groom. For those of you that do know me…heeeeeeey! 

I have known Jack for…X years now (your age) and have always looked up to him. He had it all, the career, the intelligence, the sense of humor, and now the girl. Then again, I got the good looks. 

In all seriousness, I have always looked up to my big brother. He’s always had a flair for sports, and genuinely has a heart of gold.

Being the youngest of the two of us, Jack has made me a better man, mainly because of the character building he put me through as a child. Jack would love taunting me by stealing my favorite stuffed animals. 

I cherished my favorite, Mr. Snuggles, until one day Jack told me to come downstairs and see the new toy that our Rottweiler had been given.

I was so excited to see our little furry boy happy and playing with his toy until I realized that Jack had offered up Mr. Snuggles in sacrifice with a huge grin on his face. It was a day I won’t forget. 

Despite the taunting and the terrorizing, Jack has been the man that I’ve always aspired to be. In all of the years I’ve been around Jack, he’s always been tenacious and worked hard for what he wants. And he’s always gotten it.

After asking Jenny out the first time, and she said no , he didn’t give up. He knew she was the one for him! It’s a good thing he has the patience of a saint, as it took another 3 attempts to get the first date! 

With Jack being the older, but not often the wiser brother, he managed to get himself into some mishaps in the past.

When he did finally get a chance to take Jenny out on a date, he turned up at the wrong house, and managed to slip and break his shoulder all in one fantastic, first meeting with the parents.

Smoooth, brother. At least he made it an unforgettable start to their journey together. 

With Jenny at his side, Jack’s clumsy mishaps are less and less. You truly bring out the best in him, Jen. I would say welcome to the family, but you’ve been a part of our lives for some time already, and I am truly blessed to be able to call you my new sister. 

From day one, you’ve fit right in, as you too have taken on the role of teasing Jack just as I wanted. Let me tell you guys, there have been many pranks that Jenny and I have pulled off on Jack.

One time, we hid all of his left shoes, until the confusion nearly drove him to madness…and he had to deliver his board meeting like some kind of two right footed lunatic. 

Other times, we’ve hidden around the house just when Jack is coming home from a long day at the office, to ambush him with Nerf guns until he pleads for mercy! Let’s just say justice has been served for Mr. Snuggles. 

I quickly realized that Jenny and Jack were cut from the same mold. You two are a real example of what it means to marry your best friend, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for the two of you.

So everyone, if you could raise your glass…and toast- to the bride and groom! 

Show Emotion

Hi everyone! For those of you who don’t know me already, I am Zach, the best man of James! When James asked me to be the best man I felt like it was such an honor.

Then he reminded me that it’s not just about organizing the bachelor party and I have to actually come to the wedding so…here I am. 

I’ve known James for so many years now, having met him at high school. In those years, it’s become clear what a fantastic friend he is. He’s handsome, kind, brilliant, funny…and sorry (looks at Groom) mate I can’t read your handwriting here. I’ll just wing it. 

Just kidding. Me and James have been through thick and thin. I’ve watched him go from a weedy, awkward teenager to a less weedy, awkward adult!

Britney would probably argue with me over the adult part! James has always had that boyish sense of humor that’s often gotten us into trouble over the years. 

I remember James would always be the class clown in high school. But for some reason, it was always me getting in trouble. One day, I glanced over in class to see James scribbling away on his desk.

He’s probably carving out some obscenity in the wood I thought.

This is why it came as such a shock when later that day it was I who was called into the principal’s office, and as I walked with my head hung in shame to my fate, James smiled wide and proudly.

Little did I know it was my name he had carved into the wood, so I could sit in detention after class!   

Ever since that day, James and I have been at war with one another to get the other one back! But deep down, I know that James would do anything for me. If I needed someone at 4am, James is that friend.

Despite our differences, I know he’s as good as family to me, and all of the Henderson’s have welcomed me into their home on many occasions, and now Britney gets to have that same privilege. 

Britney brings out the absolute best in James, and has given us an incredible gift in bringing two wonderful boys into our lives. With Britney, James gets someone who is beautiful, smart, caring, and Britney…well, you get James. 

In all seriousness, if Britney gets half as much joy in being married to James, that I have had in being his friend over the years, then she will be incredibly lucky indeed. 

On behalf of all the groomsmen, bridesmaids and myself, I would like to thank James and Britney for having us be a part of their special day. I know how hard you’ve worked to make this a day to remember, and you’ve definitely succeeded. 

I wish you both all of the happiness, joy and good luck in the world, as you take these steps towards your future together. To the bride and groom, everyone! (Cheers). 

Hello everyone. My name is Joe and I’d just like to thank John for finally confirming that I am in fact – the best man, after 20 years of friendship. 20 years is a long time.

Just think, back then…Low rise jeans were in fashion, Spiderman was the favorite superhero, and Ben Affleck and J-Lo were together. So really, nothing has changed in 20 years, and the same goes for our friendship. 

If I ever needed building up, or bringing back down to earth, John was the man to do it. He’s always been there for me, through thick and thin. And let’s face it…during the college years, we were more thick than thin!

But, we had each other’s backs no matter what.

I remember one time in college, we decided that reading books and writing our own essays just wasn’t for us anymore. We decided to pay someone to write us an essay, and we would switch it up to pass the class.

From that day on a keen businessman was born- be careful everyone- you’ll probably get a bill for your food! 

It all would have gone swimmingly if John hadn’t forgotten to change the name on the essay, but he never took me down with him!

Since then, I’ve realized what a tenacious person, good friend and loyal individual John was, and it’s an absolute blessing to be up here with you tonight as your best man. 

There is one very important person who is not sitting on this top table with us today, and that is John’s mother, Cathy, who sadly passed away just last year.

I’ve joked a lot about John tonight, but I know that Cathy would be incredibly proud to see the man that you have become, and over the moon of how happy you are today with Mia.

So, if you wouldn’t mind joining me in raising a glass to John’s mom, who can’t be with us today, but is with us in spirit. Cheers. 

On behalf of the wedding party, I would just like to say a huge thank you to John and Mia, for including us in their special day.

It’s been a wonderful day so far, and all Mia’s hard work planning and prepping has truly paid off. John, you just sit there and look pretty. 

In addition, I’d like to thank both Mia’s parents, and John’s dad who have helped make this day extra special for the happy couple, which I’m sure they are eternally grateful for. 

I’d also like to say that the bridesmaids have done an incredible job helping Mia plan the perfect wedding, and for making sure that Mia looks every bit as beautiful as she does today.

They also had the difficult task of getting Mia to the church on time, which if you know Mia is a very big achievement, indeed. 

Finally, I’d like to thank the groomsmen for organizing and completing the best bachelor party Miami has ever seen. I only hope it was the send off John was hoping for before he begins the next stage of his life with Mia. (But I highly doubt it) 

John, I’ve loved being your best friend, and I thank you for bringing Mia into our lives. She’s a beautiful person, intelligent, and brings out the best in everyone she meets. Her only downfall is her taste in men! Just kidding. 

Seriously, I think everyone will join me in saying that we wish you only the best for your future together, and that we all can share one day in a love like yours. Cheers to the bride and groom! 

Ladies and Gentleman, I have an announcement to make. If there is anyone here tonight that is feeling nervous, apprehensive, or maybe even a little nauseous at what lies ahead…then it’s probably because you’ve just married Adam. 

For those of you who don’t know who I am, I am the best man, James. There are few words to describe Adam. Handsome, funny, but smart isn’t one of them. You see, Adam was my best man, at my wedding, and boy he did not hold back!

So, as we stand here today, know that my time has come for me to get you back!

Before I start the character assassination that is my best man’s speech, let me just thank Adam and Olivia for having us be a part of this very special day.

I know how much work has gone into making today as great as it has been, so thank you both for pulling it off! To be honest, I never thought Adam would find someone to marry, let alone someone as beautiful and amazing as Olivia!

I’ve known Adam for a very long time, all the way back to when he still had hair! We first met during our studies at X University. At first I thought we had nothing in common, but I quickly found out that we did. We would both likely fail our first year!

Our time at University was one of the best in my life, and I’ve far too many stories to tell you about our lovely Adam here. 

But, as the BEST man, I won’t do to him what he did to me. Instead, I’ll talk about his lovely qualities over the years. First up, is his beautiful singing voice. I can’t tell you how many times I heard the works of Marvin Gaye after he met Olivia.

We quickly banned singing in the shower at our dorm because of all the love songs he would belt out after going on a date with Olivia. To say he was smitten from the start is an understatement. 

And why wouldn’t he be? All those who know Olivia know what a lovely, and caring person she is. She deserves a good husband. Thank god Adam got there first before she could find one! 

Another defining quality that drew Olivia to Adam is his caring nature. We’re incredibly proud of Adam for working as an EMT and helping people every day.

I’ll never forget the time a few years back during a friendly soccer game where I slipped and fell over on my side, snapping and breaking my ankle.

Adam was at my side within SECONDS…to let me know he caught my fall on video. Emergency Medical Services *Scoff*. Only when he saw the angle of my ankle did his medical training kick in.

All jokes aside, Adam and Olivia have always been there for me, and I them. I’d like to think of them as family rather than friends, and can only hope that continues going forward.

Adam and Olivia…I’ve never met two people more perfect for one another. You are both kind, old souls, and you make each other incredibly happy. So, if you all could raise your glasses with me, and toast to this amazing couple…to the bride and groom!  

Example 5

Hello everyone. My name is Kane, and I am the best man, and longtime friend of Rob. I was, however, somewhat surprised to be asked to be the best man, as Rob has never been able to admit this over the years.

At first, I thought this was great. I get to plan a bachelor party for Rob, but then he reminds me I have to write a killer speech that would likely make everyone laugh. 

I had no idea where to start, so I decided to trawl the internet for inspiration. After a few hours, I found some really….really…great stuff. But then I remembered I needed to write a speech, so I got off YouTube. 

I asked friends and family for advice, and according to tradition, I am supposed to sing Rob’s praises and tell you all about his fantastic qualities. Well, sorry to tell you, but I can’t sing and I don’t lie. So that’s out of the window. 

But, Sophia told me I can’t say anything too rude or controversial about Rob. Instead, I can only say nice funny things, so with that in mind, thank you and goodnight all. 

Just kidding. Seriously, Rob is one of the most kind, funny, caring and compassionate people I have ever met. This is a quality that I think brought Sophia closer to him.

His willingness to do anything for anyone, without accepting anything in return is what makes Rob extra special, and a joy to be around. 

In turn, Sophia is one of the sweetest, and funnest ladies I have ever met! We’ve shared many great memories together, with my partner included, as Sophia and Rob are actually our children’s godparents. 

I’ve known Rob for years. We grew up only a few doors apart on our street. I thought there was no kid cooler than Rob. He had all of the best hot wheels, Pokemon cards, and I had a huge crush on his big sister, Natalie *winks at groom’s sister*.

Looking back, I was probably a big nuisance always wanting to go play over his house, but I had some of the best time of my life growing up with Rob by my side. We’ve been there for every big moment of each other’s lives.

Graduation, getting our first jobs, our first cars, and now I get to be here for the biggest day of his life, where he gets to marry the beautiful Sophia. 

Sophia and Rob, your love for each other shines through you. Sophia, I’m happy to step down as I can see that you two are truly best friends, and meant to be.

I can’t think of anyone better to look after my Rob here, and I know he will do everything he can to look after you for the rest of his days. 

Thank you both so much for a fantastic day. If the rest of your lives is half as good as today has been, then you are in for a joyful marriage indeed. Please join me everyone in raising a glass to the newly weds, Rob and Sophia. Cheers! 

Best Man Speech Frequentl Asked Questions

Does the best man have to do a speech.

The best man does not have to give a speech if he really does not want to, or if there isn’t enough time because there are other people doing speeches, but it is tradition and expected of the best man to do a speech. 

When Does The Best Man’S Speech Happen?

The best man speech will typically happen after the groom has said a few words. However, every wedding is different, and the bride and groom may organize the day differently depending on how they think the speeches should flow. 

How Long Should A Best Man Speech Be?

A best man speech should be short and sweet, but not too short, and not too long. A happy medium is about 5-6 minutes in length. You don’t want it to be shorter than 3 minutes as it may seem too brief.

The point is to keep the audience engaged, and deliver a few anecdotes, thank the bride and groom, and raise a toast. 

What Should You Include In A Best Man Speech?

There are a few things that you should include in the best man speech. This is who you are, and how you know the bride and groom.

In addition, you need a fun story about the groom and you, and why you think the bride and groom are an excellent match, followed by your best wishes for the couple and a toast to their future together. 

Who Should You Thank In A Best Man Speech?

In the best man speech, you should thank the bride and groom of course, but you can also thank the bridesmaids or groomsmen for their efforts, or say thank you to the parents of the bride and groom, especially if they have contributed a lot to the wedding.

To summarize, writing a best man speech is not all as bad as it seems.

With this ultimate guide, you’ve got all of the tools you need to succeed, and successfully deliver a hilarious, fun, lighthearted speech that is sure to wish the couple all of the best for the future.

Whether you are looking for examples, tips, what to do, or what not to do, we’ve covered it all in this handy guide.

Now, instead of stressing out about what you are going to say, how you are going to say it, you can look forward to the wedding planning process in the run up to the big day, and most importantly…the bachelor party!

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Lisa Plaitt

Hello, I’m Lisa Plaitt and I have been married to my wonderful husband for almost five years. We met almost a decade ago now and I love him more everyday. But on my wedding day - the day that was supposed to be about celebrating us - I was far too stressed to enjoy it. My husband proposed to me in spring and it was a very lowkey setting, in our backyard without anyone else around to see it. It was a perfect proposal. But then everything got real, and I was suddenly thrust into planning mode.

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In This Article

  • Top Speech Examples
  • How To Write The Perfect Speech
  • Speech Template

Best Man Speech Ideas

  • Opening Lines
  • Toasts Examples
  • Speech Jokes
  • Speech Delivery Tips

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Wedding Party & Reception

Best Man Speech Magic: Crafting Words that Resonate and Inspire

Natalia Bayeva

Via Unsplash

Hey there! Your friend’s wedding is just around the corner, and he’s chosen you to be the best man? Crafting the perfect best man speech might seem daunting, but trust us, it’s simpler than you imagine.

Below, you’ll find a wealth of tips and examples from Wedding Forward team to guide you through crafting a best man speech that will leave a lasting impression. Moreover, our editorial team interviewed two distinguished experts in the field: Mindy Weiss, the founder of Mindy Weiss Party Consultants and a best-selling author, and Steven Greitzer, a wedding tech entrepreneur and officiant, serving as CEO of Provenance . Their invaluable tips and advice also have been integrated into this article.


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Top Best Man Speech Examples

It is much easier to write a best man speech when you have some examples to draw upon for inspiration. That’s why Wedding Forward team have prepared variety collection of inspired best man speech to help you craft your own!

Best Man Speech For Friend

Best Man Speech for Brother

“Good evening, hope everyone is having a good time tonight. I feel very privileged and honored to be standing here tonight celebrating this lovely union. Two years ago, Matt gave the best man speech at my wedding and made a lot of awkward jokes. So needless to say, I’ve been waiting for this moment for a really long time! For those who don’t know, I am Matt’s brother, Mike. I first met Matt when I was two years old at our parent’s house in Boston. To be quite honest, I wasn’t thrilled because I really wanted a sister. And I think he knew because Matt would do ridiculous things like throw my toothbrush in the toilet, pour water at me when I was asleep and run across the room naked when I had any friends over. This made me less popular than I already was. Matt always excelled in school, was captain of the debate team (apologies to Cara, but he can argue his way out of anything!) and can make a mean steak. The truth is, despite him being an annoying brother at the time, I came out winning in the end. Because of him and this beautiful night, I am getting the sister I always wanted. Cara, you’re beautiful and our family loves you so much. Thank you for making my brother so happy. Let’s celebrate this amazing union and raise a glass to the newlyweds ! On behalf of the groomsmen and bridesmaids, we’d like to wish you a life full of love, happiness, and joy. To everyone who made tonight happen, thank you. You’ve made this night very special.” Source

Short Best Man Speech

“Ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention, please? As the best man, I stand here today to say a few words about the remarkable love story between my incredible friend, [groom’s name], and his beautiful bride, [bride’s name]. [Groom’s name] and I have been through thick and thin together, and I’ve had the privilege of witnessing his growth as a person. But it wasn’t until [bride’s name] came into his life that I saw a change I can only describe as transformative. Their love is like a beacon, guiding them through life’s ups and downs. So here’s to the newlyweds—a couple who have found not just love, but true companionship. May your journey be filled with happiness, passion, and an everlasting bond.”

Funny Best Man Speech Examples

Best man talk for adam and kate.

“Adam and Kate – What a great day to get married! Marriage carries new responsibilities. Kate – from now on, you should never argue or disagree with Adam, because he is now the head of the family and the king of his castle. You will be expected to keep your hair and make-up perfect at all times – to dress in a way that pleases Adam. You should cook his favorite meals every night and encourage him to go out with his friends on a regular basis. Do these simple things and your marriage will be blessed with many years of happiness. Kate – I know that Adam loves you very much… because he spent a long time writing this speech for me. Congratulations to the both of you!” Source

Best Man Presentation for Sarah & Simon

“Sarah & Simon – every great relationship starts with rings. In the beginning, the phone would ring and just the thought of speaking to one another was exciting. Your love grew and so did your commitment to each other. The engagement ring soon came after. There were no doubts… your love was true. The engagement ring has now turned into a wedding ring and we are all here today to celebrate your marriage. Now of course… the suffer-ring begins. (smile and raise your glass) Peace and happiness to the new bride and groom!” Source

Speech for Neil and Claire

“Hi my name is Paul and Neil has asked me to be his best man for this wonderful occasion. I would like to say it is a very special honor but with it, comes the responsibility of giving the bloody speech. I would not say it is very comfortable to wear a tuxedo in a 30-degree church, which is not air-conditioned. The church ceremony I’m sure you’ll all agree was a wonderful, wonderful occasion. Maybe a little hot, but I’m glad to see so many of you have replaced your electrolytes with fuel of the alcoholic kind since the reception began. I have known Neil and Claire for_________ [how many years] years. You might say Neil and I met by accident, but it is no accident that Neil met Claire. If you know Neil you know he is an excellent athlete, in fact I noticed his Athletes foot right away. This was a man who had his knees and ankles shaved, for easy taping. I knew this was a hard-core sports fanatic. We both share a tremendous love of football and basketball. For many years, we have had a running bet during the season as to who will score more goals or more runs which of course, I always won. Neil is a ______________ [Groom’s Occupation] in Truro, and I thought__________________________________[Funny or quirky aspect about grooms occupation] Neil is a man who has dedicated his life to __________________[Grooms occupation] And now I’m sure will use his experience with ___________________________[what the Groom does in his occupation] in his marriage with Claire. It is great that Neil found Claire. He has always been looking for someone young, dynamic, intelligent, attractive, and with good health insurance. Neil and Claire met_________________________ [where they meet], But I have it on good authority that Neil started looking for a wife on the internet. And with a multitude of resources at his fingertips, he found some really great stuff, but sadly was unable to find himself a suitable partner. That is, until I mentioned to him that the correct category to be looking should be Woman Seeking Man. I explained the way it works, send an old picture when you still had lots of hair, lie about your height and weight, and at all other times be sincere and honest. I imagine that when Neil and Claire met and introduced each other he said I’m Neil and she said, “I need a Diamond.” So, Neil said, sure let’s pick one out. Claire is a Diamond. Neil is a gem; I think together they make beautiful jewellery. No Marriage would be complete without some brotherly advice to help set you on your way… So I canvassed the room and got some really good stuff for you! Love, honor and cherish each other, and don’t forget to take out the garbage. Your wife is always right. Just in case she is not right, refer back to #2. Always, yes always, notice every new hairstyle or dress. Do something nice for each other every single day. If she asks if something makes her look fat the answer is categorically, NO. Flowers are always a good Idea, even if you are not in trouble. There is really nothing better than a good foot rub or massage. Your wife is more important than sports. I guess. Even the cup final. It is a great joy for me to see Neil and Claire so happy. You learn things when you get older. Hmmm, I mean more mature. You make better decisions, isn’t it great that two people would entwine and commit to each other for life. Love, isn’t that what it is all about? We are here to celebrate that glorious event and this ceremony is all about letting the world know how much Neil and Claire’s love for each other is a reflection of one’s own soul in another’s. Anyway, it is time to celebrate the joyous and unbridled love that these two spectacular people will share the rest of their lives. Would you please stand now and join me in a toast. To love and laughter and happily ever after.” Source

What are the key elements that should be included in a memorable and heartfelt best man’s speech?

That is what Steven Greitzer, wedding tech entrepreneur and officiant, CEO of Provenance, said:

“There are many key elements to take into account when pulling together a great toast:

  • Include 2-3 stories in your speech that capture the essence of the groom and your friendship.
  • Make sure your speech is appropriate by discussing “no-go’s” with the couple beforehand.
  • Acknowledge the groom’s partner in your speech and speak about how the relationship has helped the groom grow (more on that below).
  • Offer a thematic takeaway, such as the importance of friendship or the strength of the couple’s love.
  • Be sure to practice

The Provenance Toast Builder is the best and easiest way to make sure your wedding toast captures what you’re trying to say.”

Try the Toast Builder

How to Write a Best Man Speech

For a great wedding speech, there are some simple rules you have to follow. Here you will find examples of best man speeches Dos and Don’ts from our editors.

  • Plan your speech ahead (think about your best man speech structure, choose formal or funny style) and practice.
  • Tell a short story ( keep the speech to about 5 minutes or less ) with jokes (2 or 3 will be enough).
  • Get sentimental at some point, make compliments to the bride.
  • Finish on an optimistic note (end your speech with love quotes or wishes for the happy couple).
  • Be thankful (express gratitude towards the couple, their family, and anyone who helped make the wedding happen).


  • Do not cross the 2-5 mins time limit.
  • Do not make it about you.
  • Avoid dirty jokes.
  • Do not ignore the bride. Let her know how happy you are, that she is ending up with your friend.
  • Avoid rude remarks. Keep your manners in check, even if it’s for a day.


best man speech written out

Best Man Speech Templates

Click here to download free printable templates of best man speech!

When creating the Best Man speech outline for your talk, include the following elements to involve everyone, making one and all feel that they are important participants in the merrymaking for the newlywed couple:

Use a Magnetic Opening Line

The opening words of your Best Man presentation should grab everyone’s attention. If you favor a romantic approach to start off a speech, you can start with a statement like, “True love wins all,” and then list the various ways the Groom, through his true love for his Bride, has won all her attention and affections.

  • If some of the Groom’s favorite hip singer-songwriters date back to the 1960s and ’70s, you can quote from Bob Dylan: “ Love is just a four-letter word ,” going on to mention the many words of just four letters that relate to feelings of true love like “ kiss, hold, keep and ever. ” Be intent and clever with the use of language, and you will achieve better engagement with your audience.
  • If your tastes (or the tastes of the newlyweds) are somewhat more classical, you can start by quoting the familiar line from Elizabeth Barrett Browning: “ How do I love thee, Let me count the ways. ” This popular line has been repeated in many variations by countless poets and songwriters ever since, so have no fear of labeling yourself as an egghead when quoting it. This opening line will also give you a chance to mention the main virtues and attributes of the Bride.

Thank the Other Speakers

It is always appropriate and appreciated if you thank the other speakers for the occasion. These speakers usually include the Maid of Honor and the Bride’s Father as well as any other members of the wedding party that the Bride and Groom ask to speak.

It is always good form to express your gratitude for their contributions to this special moment and event. Never criticize or make jokes about what they say or how they say it. Just thank them politely and continue with your own remarks since you know very well how to write a best-man speech.

Congratulate the Newlyweds

Congratulate the wedding couple on this exciting first chapter in their lives together. This is the ideal time to tell the guests how you met your great friend, the Groom. If you happen to be the Groom’s brother or cousin, you can recreate moments of hilarity from your younger years together or shared experiences of suspense or intrigue.

Recalling funny incidents or telling best man speech jokes involving the Groom is totally acceptable, so long as you keep the format and content clean and respectable.

Expert tip from Steven Greitzer:

“A great best man speech strikes the perfect balance of humor and sincerity. You want it to be memorable, but for the right reasons. Check with the couple to see if there are any topics you need to avoid or any topics that might be of particular concern to anyone in the audience. In the Provenance Toast Builder , the couple has the option to call out any topic they do, or don’t, want you to include. If you have any jokes in your speech you are unsure about, run them by someone who is close to the couple who you trust. And if you have a feeling that a joke might upset them or not land well with the audience – err on the side of caution. It’s their big day, not yours! There’s a way to have a funny best man speech that doesn’t upset grandma. Find the balance.”

Compliment the Bride

Now it is time to pull out the stops and give high praise to the Bride using your knowledge of how to write a best man talk. Highlight and emphasize her finest qualities, talents, and accomplishments.

Let them know just how overjoyed you are to celebrate the marriage of these two special people of whom you think so highly. Then give the Bride another charming compliment using top-quality speech writing tips.

Read Messages from Absent Guests

Take time to read some messages from invited guests who could not attend the wedding. This gesture is always appreciated by the absent guests and the Bride and Groom, alike. It also includes their congratulatory thoughts and best wishes for the newlyweds in the day’s special events.

Include a Famous Quote or Poem

Enchant your attentive audience of wedding guests further by reciting a well-known quote or poem that suits the occasion. This adds a creative literary element to the post-wedding celebration for the honored couple. You may want to consult other templates, including a listing of groomsman speech examples.

Best Man Speech Quotes

Choose Best Man speech quotes that reflect the couple’s personality, add humor, and keep them relevant.

Love is like war: easy to begin but very hard to stop. H. L. Mencken
Marriage is a workshop where husband works and wife shops.
A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person. Mignon McLaughlin

Propose a Toast to the Wedding Couple

Raise your glass of champagne so the guests can eagerly follow your example as you deliver a heartfelt toast of optimistic good wishes for the excellent health, increasing wealth, and everlasting happiness of the newlyweds.

The toast should be given with gusto and true sincerity and may include mild best-man speech jokes. Remember that you speak for all the well-wishers in the room who want all the best for this newly married Bride and Groom, so put your best energy, spirit, and talents for convincing elocution into this featured Grand Finale.

The “Thankful” Speech

“Hello everyone, it’s such a pleasure to be here tonight as [Groom’s] best man. And I want to begin with saying what an honor it is that I was chosen to stand by your side today. You’ve always been someone that I looked up to and I am just beyond grateful that I get to share in this moment with you and [Bride]. [Groom] is someone that I’ve come to care for greatly over the years and I am so happy that he’s found someone to share his life with and start a family with. [Groom] has always been my right hand throughout the biggest moments of my life and I can’t wait to be able to watch everything beautiful unfold for the two of you. Cheers to a lifetime of happiness!”

The “Smart Move” Speech

“There’s an old saying about friendship that reads, “It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them,” and goodness that couldn’t be more true for me and my boy, [Groom]. I could go into all the funny stories that include some of that stupidity but instead I’d rather focus on all the smart moves he’s made. His friendships, the relationship he has with his family, his career, it’s all a reflection of the incredible man he’s become. But really, the smartest move he’s made is marrying you, [Bride]. Let’s toast to the best decision [Groom’s] ever made. I wish you a lifetime of love, happiness and success.”

The “She Was the One” Speech

“Ladies and gentlemen, thank you all for coming out tonight to celebrate the wedding of two people we all love, [Bride] & [Groom]! When I first met [Bride], I knew that she was the woman [Groom] would end up marrying. Even if it hadn’t dawned on him quite yet, it was obvious to everyone around just how smitten he was with her. They talk about a bride’s glow, but this man was shining since the moment he met [Bride]. He changed for the better without realizing it. And we all could see it. He couldn’t stop talking about her. We’d go out with the boys and [Bride’s] name would be brought up every two minutes. So, when he came to me to tell me that he would be proposing my only response was, ‘Well, it’s about time!’ There’s something special about these two. They go together without forcing it. They love each other without fighting it. And they care about each other without thinking about it. She was the one from the very beginning [Groom], and we’re all so happy to be able to take part in your big day. Cheers!”

Best Man Speech Opening Lines

Your opening lines are your best-man speech icebreakers, so it’s important that they are good. Grab the attention of your guests with witty best man speech openers such as these.

  • “I would like to begin by congratulating the groom on his excellent taste in best men. He has really outdone himself this time, and I’m pleased.”
  • “I have been asked by the bride and groom not to share any embarrassing stories, crude jokes, or pranks during my best man’s speech… so I guess that’ll be it from me! Thank you all for listening.”
  • “If you cannot hear me at the back, nothing to worry about. By the complete silence in the front row here, you can rest assured that you’re really not missing much.”
  • “Is anyone here this afternoon feeling nervous and queasy at the thought of what lies ahead? If you are, it’s probably because you’ve just married (groom’s name).”
  • “All of you here who really know the bride must know that she is a wonderful person who deserves a good husband. Thank goodness (groom’s name) married her before she found one.”

Best Man Speech One-Liners

I am about to make the groom cry. I just received the food bill.
He is smart, tall, kind, generous….. Who am I actually talking about?
Hi, the groom is a great friend. Our friendship is 2hours old. I was hired as he’s got no friends.
His colleagues describe him as a first-class banker – I may have misheard them.
I heard some time that marriage is a 50/50 affair. Believe that at your own peril. We have factors called women and improper fractions.

One-liners are sharp jokes delivered in one sentence. A good one-liner is concise and meaningful. It is instant but loaded with humor that can keep the guests laughing for a while. It is important that the best man speech jokes contain one-liners.

Best Man Toasts Examples

“It’s been an emotional day, even the cake is in tiers.”
“Folks, I have been told I am not allowed to have a drink until AFTER my speech. If I seem like I’m in a hurry to finish, it’s because I am.”
“I hope the two of you have the two essential things it takes to have a successful marriage 1) a sense of humor 2) selective hearing.”
“Psychiatrists say that girls tend to marry men like their fathers. That must be why mothers cry at weddings.”
“Love is not about how often you say I love you, but how often you show that it’s true.”

Best Man Speech Jokes

“They say marriage is a journey, and tonight we celebrate the beginning of an epic road trip for the bride and groom. Just remember, guys, never forget to ask for directions!”
“They say the key to a successful marriage is patience, understanding, and a remote control with fresh batteries. Groom, make sure you always keep that remote handy!”
“Let’s raise our glasses to the newlyweds: may their love be like Wi-Fi, strong and never disconnecting, even in the midst of Netflix binges!”
“As the best man, it’s my duty to share a piece of advice with the groom: in marriage, always remember that a happy wife means a happy life… and also remember to nod and agree, even when she’s wrong!”
“Marriage is a lifelong commitment, just like the gym membership the groom signed up for and rarely uses. But this time, there are no cancellation fees!”

Best Man Speech Delivery and Presentation Tips

best man speech attire groom olly allars

When delivering your best man speech, it’s essential to captivate the audience with your words and presence. Here are some tips to ensure a memorable and engaging delivery:

  • Maintain good eye contact with the audience: Look directly at the guests while speaking. Eye contact helps establish a connection and shows that you are genuinely engaged with them.
  • Speak clearly and at a moderate pace: Enunciate your words clearly and avoid rushing through your speech. Speaking at a moderate pace allows the audience to understand and absorb your message effectively.
  • Use appropriate gestures and body language to enhance your delivery: Use hand gestures and body movements to emphasize key points and add energy to your speech. However, be mindful of not going overboard and distracting from your message.
  • Incorporate pauses for comedic timing and to allow the audience to react: Timing is crucial, especially when delivering humorous anecdotes or punchlines. Pause before and after delivering a joke to build anticipation and give the audience time to laugh and react.

By implementing these delivery and presentation tips, you’ll engage the audience, leave a lasting impression, and make your best man speech a memorable highlight of the wedding celebration.

Are there any common mistakes to avoid, and how to overcome nervousness or stage fright?

According to wedding planner Mindy Weiss, “speeches can help make or break a wedding” . And we agree with this opinion. Speeches have the power to elevate the celebration, bringing tears of joy and laughter to guests, while also creating cherished memories that last a lifetime. However, poorly delivered speeches can disrupt the flow and energy of the event, leaving guests feeling disconnected and the couple disappointed.

Steven Greitzer convinced that one of the biggest mistakes is when the person giving the wedding speech only talks about the partner they’re closest with, unintentionally making the other partner feel left out and unimportant: “To help remedy this, the Provenance Toast Builder gives you the option to either talk about each partner 50/50, or to talk 70% about your person and 30% about their partner (which is a good rule of thumb). The Toast Builder also has thoughtful prompts to encourage you to share why they’re both 1) good people and 2) a great match for each other.

What is the best man supposed to say in his speech?

The best man should share anecdotes about the groom, praise the couple, thank everyone, and propose a toast. Keep it lighthearted and sincere.

What do you say in a short speech for Bestman?

In a short best man speech, express gratitude, share a memorable moment about the groom, and toast to the couple’s happiness. Keep it concise and impactful.

How do I write a good man speech?

Write a good best man speech by including humor, expressing genuine sentiments, avoiding inappropriate content, and keeping it focused on the couple. Practice for smooth delivery and timing.

There is truly something for everyone today to create the perfect Best Man Speech for that very special couple and their after-wedding reception, dinner, and celebration. Fond remembrances, amusing stories and anecdotes, humorous quotes, and emotional phrases end with the joyful ring of a clever, yet heartfelt Best Man Toast to the Bride and Groom. The contemporary wedding is truly a work of love and art with all the trimmings and enticing treats for one and all to treasure and enjoy.

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  • Who Gives a Speech at a Wedding Reception? How to Write a Wedding Toast Tips for the Father of the Bride Speech How to Write a Best Man Toast Advice for the Maid of Honor Speech What to Know About a Newlywed Toast Public Speaking Experts' Wedding Speech Tips 60 Quotes to Use for Your Wedding Toast

How to Write the Perfect Best Man Speech

Two experts share the best tips for writing a winning toast.

best man speech written out

Photo by Sydney Noelle Photography

In This Article

First of all, congratulations on being asked to be the best man. You, of course, have many important responsibilities —like groomsmen shepherding and bachelor party planning , among others—but there's only one task that will secure your proud ascension into the ranks of becoming the MVP: Giving a killer toast.

The best man's speech traditionally follows the groom's speech and is a chance for you to say some sweet words about your relationship with the couple and your best friend. But, if the thought of public speaking has your kneecaps sweating, we found you two coaches with years of experience to help ease your nerves.

Ahead, with the help of President Barack Obama's former speechwriter David Litt, and Pete Honsberger, author of Wedding Toasts 101: The Guide to the Perfect Wedding Speech , here are the best tips for writing a perfect man speech, in order to pull off the most amazing toast ever.

The Best (and Worst) Best Man Speech Ever

Meet the Expert

  • David Litt was the speechwriter for President Barack Obama from 2011 to 2016 and is the author of the New York Times best-selling book Thanks, Obama.
  • Pete Honsberger has been a serial groomsman, speaker, and wedding toast advisor for most of his adult life. When it comes to wedding toasts, he's seen just about everything—you can read about it in his book, Wedding Toasts 101: The Guide to the Perfect Wedding Speech .

Best Man Speech Template 

Getting all your thoughts and feelings down on paper can be overwhelming, especially if you're not used to sharing those sentiments with the guys. And for those who are unsure of what to write for the big day, here is a guideline to help you find your flow.

Find a Theme

A theme is a unifying idea that ties the whole speech together. Think of it as the takeaway of your speech, or the one thing you want guests to remember. The best way to identify your theme is by making a list of your favorite stories. "You’re not going to just write a speech from scratch. Start by brainstorming stories. Most importantly, what you’re looking for is the theme that comes out of those anecdotes," says Litt.

Build a Framework

The best way to organize your thoughts is to create a blueprint of the key points you want to hit first, sort of like a toast skeleton. After you've established the roadmap, fill it in with pertinent details and memories while still ensuring you're staying on point. "Think about it in terms of ideas," says Litt. "You can get in one or two short anecdotes, maybe three, and one big idea. If those are good, you don’t need more."

Instead of thinking of yourself as the speaker, imagine that you're actually standing in the audience. Think about what the audience would like to hear, rather than what you want to do.

Focus on the Newlyweds

Most best men will include a story or two about their friendship with the groom, but don't center the whole speech on it. "Remember the relationship that you’re celebrating is the one between the two people getting married. You’re giving the speech because you can shine some unique light on that relationship," says Litt. "If the relationship that you’re really giving the speech about is the one between you and the groom, things [will get] awkward."

Share Your Feelings

Deliver something more meaningful than one joke after another. "Generally speaking, men think of the best man speech as a funny speech to give because we’re very uncomfortable sharing how we actually feel. But, what makes a good best man speech is the part where somebody shares how they feel. Humor is just the icing on the cake," says Litt. The newlyweds chose you to speak because you have something notable to add to their big day. Embrace your personal insight into their bond and don't try to dilute it by just being funny.

Best Man Speech Tips

Ahead, find our best tips for making sure your speech is as polished as possible.

Consider Your Audience

You can't nail a speech if you have no idea who to tailor the content to. "Feel free to ask beforehand. When I was writing speeches for the president, we had a point of contact where the speech was happening to say who exactly is in the audience. You can do a smaller-scale version of that. Your point of contact is probably your friend getting married . But, the nice thing about giving the best man speech is that, ideally, it’s both specific to you and universal to the couple," says Litt.

"I would say almost never start with talking about how nervous you are. I’d also say just relax. That’s a hard thing to tell someone to do. But remember, you’re not putting on a show," says Litt. "You're simply talking about your best friend and the love of their life, two people that you've probably spent a lot of time with. In the end, it should just flow and come out easily." Litt also suggests, "imagine you’re just telling a story to a group of friends because, really, you are."

Stay True to Yourself

Stick with who you are and how you would normally act around your friends; you don't need to adopt a character just because you're giving a speech. For example, if you aren't normally the comedian in the group, don't try to tell a bunch of jokes. If you're not usually a super-sentimental person, don't force it. There's nothing wrong with keeping your speech more lighthearted . The couple already knows (and loves) your personality, so the more genuine you are, the better your speech will be received by both the newlyweds and their guests.

Don't Rely Solely On Humor

While a few jokes sprinkled in can be a great tool for loosening up the crowd, don't make these the meat of your toast—especially if comedy doesn't come naturally to you. "Let me put it this way. There’s such a thing as too many bad jokes, and that number is about one. The more you treat it as an open-mic night, the less happy everyone involved is going to be. You don’t need to go in thinking, 'How do I get invited back next week?'" explains Litt.

Keep Things Positive

Even if you think it's well-meaning, don't turn the toast into a roast or make jokes at the couple's expense. "I’ve seen best man speeches where someone thinks, 'Oh, my job is to roast the groom .' Unless the couple specifically told you that’s your job, that’s not your job. The way to think about jokes is that you don’t want people to be laughing at the groom or at the couple. You want people to be laughing because they suddenly know the groom better than they did before." says Litt.

Don't Upstage the Newlyweds

Litt's previous boss (former President Obama) really enjoyed telling other people's stories at speaking engagements, and this ultimately strengthened his messages. "His speeches are not really about him. They’re about other people," says Litt. Channel Obama by keeping your speech focused on the couple. "You’re not performing. You’re there because you know someone and care about them, and you’re sharing that with a bunch of other people. Even a great best man speech is not supposed to steal the show. If somebody says, 'That speech was nice but almost forgettable because we were so focused on the bride and groom,' that’s a win. You don’t need to be the star," advises Litt.

Keep Things Appropriate

"My general rule for wedding speeches is: If you have to ask yourself, 'Is this appropriate?' it’s not. And if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t know, ask a friend. If they give you that slightly horrified look, listen to that look," explains Litt. Keep in mind that your audience will include guests of various generations and cultures, like your friend's grandparents, boss, and colleagues. Refrain from mentioning anything that you wouldn't want your grandma or boss to know.

Get a Second Opinion

Remember, you'll be delivering this toast in front of an audience (as if you could forget, right?). So it doesn't hurt to get some feedback on what you're planning on saying. "If you’re the kind of person who has a track record of going a little too far with your surprises, you should be self-aware enough to run this by a third party—maybe another close friend or a friend of the bride ," says Litt.

The last thing you want to do is stand up and give a speech that you've never said out loud. "The best thing to do is practice with a friend. Anybody giving a big speech rehearses beforehand. If you’ve already gotten good feedback from field-testing your remarks with a smaller group, then you’re going to come out on the wedding day comfortably knowing you have a good speech. It's that uncertainty that can be scary when you’re up there speaking," says Litt.

Keep It Short

Let's be realistic: Super-long wedding toasts annoy guests. "I’ve never been to a wedding where anyone said, 'That was a great wedding, but the best man speech was just too short and that ruined it.' I would say five minutes is the absolute maximum. Three minutes is fine. There’s no question that if you’re reading this, you’ve sat through a speech that was too long. But when you start writing a speech, you almost never think, 'Is this going to be too long?'" explains Litt.

Limit Your Drinks

Don't embarrass yourself by slurring through your toast. "Being one drink in works for some people, but being more than one drink in is never a good idea. At that moment when you’re like, 'You know what I need? Another couple of shots.' That is never what you need," advises Litt.

Best Man Speech Openers

Now that you understand the fundamentals of creating a great toast, your next step is to sit down and start writing. If you need a little help getting your speech going, though, our experts share a few ideas to kick-start the process.

Introduce Yourself With a Twist

Want to tell the crowd exactly why you're the best man? Honsberger says to get straight to the point and tell them how you know the groom . Most importantly, add some flavor to the first few lines. Spice it up a bit, as anyone can do the standard, “For those of you who don’t know me….” Simply put, ask yourself what a twist would look like in your own introduction. 

“Good evening, if you’re in this room and don’t know me by now, then you’re probably at the wrong wedding. I am, of course, [your name], and I’ve been best friends with [groom] for 25 years…”
“Hello and welcome to tonight’s reception. [name of groom], YOU truly are MY biggest fan. Wait, that didn’t come out right…As I was saying…”

Crack a Joke, Even a Corny One

Remember the audience when determining whether your joke should be said, but ultimately, try and see if you can get the crowd to laugh in the first 30 seconds. To achieve this, Honsberger says to simply reach into your own bag of jokes or look one up online. "I’d encourage you to first spend a little time reflecting on your own comedic ability. If you’re coming up empty, then consult outside resources," he notes.

"Hello, I’m the best man [your name]. This entire day has been beautiful so far. In fact, I’m getting emotional. The wedding cake has me in TIERS. (looking at a three-tiered cake).” 
"You’re probably wondering why I asked you all here tonight…well, I can promise it’s not for my 'Magic Mike' performance. You’ll have to stick around to the last song for that."

Be Hilarious With a Straight Face

While still technically a joke, this is you working hard to sound serious while saying something absurd. And if you get this right, you’ll hear a little giggle immediately, followed by laughter from the rest of the crowd once they figure out what you said was a joke.

“Good evening, I am [your name], the best man and [relationship to groom] of [name of groom]. Tonight we’re in a room full of great men –doctors, lawyers, military veterans, and successful businesspeople –yet I am the 'best.' His words, not mine.” 
"As Abraham Lincoln once said, [say something outrageous than Lincoln obviously never said—an inspirational quote, movie line, piece of advice, etc.] … and that’s what brings us all together tonight to celebrate [couple's name].”

Introduce a Recurring Theme

Choosing an overall toast theme can help you start strong. If you decide that your relationship with the groom can be summed up by sports, college, vacations, a mutual love of running, or whatever fits you, that can be your theme. And if that’s the case, your opener is simply the first, or the best, story you have related to that specific topic. 

“Hello and welcome, my name’s [your name], and I’m here to talk about my amazing friends Mike and Liz. They are truly a story of opposites attracting. 
For example, Liz’s favorite food is french fries, and Mike is allergic to potatoes. Mike has an obsession with ice cream, and Liz is lactose intolerant (pause for laughter).
Thankfully, things have a way of working out, and we are gathered tonight to celebrate the most important thing they have in common…incredibly good looks. I mean, LOVE.”

Just like that, you’ve captured the audience, let them into the world of the married couple, and got them excited for the rest of your toast. 

Ask a Question to Answer Throughout

If you’re questioning your toast opener, try leaning into that approach. Instead of looking for the answer, embrace the question. Think about what you would want to know about the groom if you were a distant relative or family friend sitting in the audience, says Honsberger. What would be an interesting question to explore about the couple? Use that. 

“Good evening. My name is [your name] and I’ve known [groom] for more than [#] years. As I was preparing this toast, one question consistently rang in my mind: How do I summarize a friendship that has lasted since we [when you met]? Believe it or not, [groom] was [name a quirk or characteristic about him] back then, too.” 
“But really, how can I possibly speak to all of our experiences in just a few minutes without turning it into one big inside joke? Do I talk about …?” 

Then, spend the rest of the speech answering that question, and you’ll never lack information to share. 

Rhyme-Master Flex

Really want to capture the intrigue of everyone in the room? Start rhyming your sentences. Honsberger says he tried this in his first-ever wedding toast, and the result was an audience hanging on every sentence, wondering what the next line would be.

“Good evening ladies and gentlemen, I am Dan's younger brother, Pete. Many of you, I already know. Some, I have yet to meet.
Dan and Kate, thank you so much for this amazing chance, to speak on your special day … by the way, I call first dance. (crowd boos in jest) Sorry, but I called it! 
I’ve looked up to Dan ever since I’ve had sight. He was always bigger than me, and he was always right. 
Being the oldest of four boys couldn’t have been an easy thing. But in a house full of hyenas, Dan was the Lion King."

Read a Definition from the Dictionary

Here’s a chance to leverage one of the most straightforward and honest resources in existence: the dictionary. All you need to do is find one word that defines the couple’s relationship , says Honsberger. This can be serious and sentimental or funny—your choice. Just make sure it's relevant to the couple. 

“Google’s second definition of the word ‘love’ says, ‘A great interest and pleasure in something or someone.’ I think this is beautiful and an understatement when I think of [bride] and [groom]’s marriage. Although I was a little concerned when, under the definition, the word “love” was used in a sentence as ‘His love for football.’ Hmm, strange…”
“Who’s ready to dance tonight? Wikipedia defines the word ‘dance’ as ‘a performing art form consisting of purposefully selected sequences of human movement,’ and those words have honestly never come to mind when I think of [groom] dancing. I might be kidding, but there’s only one way to find out!” 

Tell a Story of How You Met

If the groom is a friend, chances are you have a good story of the first time you met or early in your friendship. If it’s your brother or family member, simply use one of your first memories together, whether playing, adventuring, or getting into trouble.

“The year was 1993, the class was kindergarten. I was building a beautiful tower of blocks when out of nowhere, they were knocked to the ground by a classmate without mercy or even an apology. That classmate was Matt, and we’ve been best friends ever since. And Matt, I’m sorry for throwing the blocks at your head after that.” 

Begin With a Quote

Simple and overused? Maybe. Effective? Absolutely. If you want to make the groom smile immediately during your toast, use a quote that you both recognize. If there’s one that his partner appreciates, too, even better. 

The most important reminder when using a quote is to ensure the audience feels like they’re part of it, too. Unless the quote is universally known, briefly mention its origin right after saying it. Let them into the joke and they’ll be with you for the rest of the toast. 

“Good evening everyone, my name is [your name], and I’m the best man tonight. When coach [name] used to tell you to ‘Be an Athlete,’ this is what he meant. When anyone on our team missed a tackle, it was ‘be an athlete,’ when our jerseys weren’t tucked in, same saying. We’ve adopted that as a cure for any issues in life. When [groom] really wanted to introduce himself to [bride], the solution was simple. ‘Be an athlete.’ And he was. So if you see [groom] miss a step on the dance floor later, be sure to remind him to ‘Be an athlete.’"

Read Something in a Different Language

Looking for a way to involve international members of the  family  in your toast? Look no further than practicing a phrase and reciting it in their native language to begin your toast. If that doesn’t apply in your situation, yet you still want to shake things up and be unique, you can translate a wedding-related sentence into another language. It will be intriguing, and you’ll sound smart! 

“Hello and welcome to everyone in both families on such a beautiful day. Me llamo Pedro y necesito que te diviertas porque esta boda es muy cara (wait for laughter from Spanish speakers). If you don’t speak Spanish, I said that I need everyone to have fun because this wedding is really expensive!” 

The Bottom Line

At the end of the day, this speech is about the couple getting married, why you love them so much, how happy you are for them, and why you're honored to have this role in the wedding party. Keep things light, positive, and succinct—and also remember that the celebration is all about love, and no one is here to make you feel nervous. Make time to practice the speech, take a few deep breaths before you begin to speak, and focus your attention on the couple. Before you know it, you'll have given a speech for the books!

The best man traditionally speaks at the wedding reception following the maid of honor, though some couples may schedule the speeches during the rehearsal dinner instead.

The best man gives one speech either at the wedding reception or, less commonly, the rehearsal dinner.

The best man's speech serves as a special lens for the audience to better understand the groom, and the newlyweds, through his significant position in their lives. The focus should be to highlight the relationship of the newlyweds rather than the relationship between the best man and groom.

A Guide to Wedding Reception Toasts

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Tips for the Father of the Bride Speech

How to Write a Best Man Toast

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What to Know About a Newlywed Toast

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6 Best Man Speech Ideas, Examples, and Tips

By wedding spot.

Need some help writing your best man speech? Thousands and thousands of distressed forum threads, alarmed Quora posts, and social media cries for help are dedicated to this very request every year. Whether you’ve got a few weeks or a few hours, we’ve got you covered with this guide on how to come up with a best man speech you and the happy couple will love. Keep reading to discover some important best man speech ideas, examples, and tips that will make the process simple and virtually painless. 

Do’s and don’ts every best man should know before drafting their speech:

Length: The most important thing to keep in mind is the length. Shorter is better, so shoot for less than five minutes. The most ideal time would be three minutes: 30-second introduction, two minutes on the main story, and 30 seconds to wrap up and give well wishes. 

Tone: Keep it classy for the older relatives and leave out expletives, raunchy jokes, and stories that you can’t un-tell. Professional storytellers for the Moth , a famous storytelling podcast and prestigious competition, say that a mix of funny and sentimental usually packs a punch as long as you do it in that order. Also, be sincere. Corny jokes get boring really quickly. 

Content: Stories will always be more entertaining than random jokes. Include a one-liner at the beginning of the speech, then bring it back to something that actually happened. The focus should be on the couple or your relationship with them, but not just you and your accomplishments. 

Explore 6 foolproof best man speech ideas, examples, and tips:

1. take inspiration from those who have gone before you..

Copy or get inspired by these real-world examples of best man speeches you can use to make people laugh, cry, or both.

Long best man speech example: Here’s a best man speech example from an older brother to his younger brother, which we edited for clarity and brevity.

“Good afternoon everyone, I’m the best man.

Before I start, I’d just like to say there is no flash photography during this event. The bride and groom are a very shy pair and we don’t want to startle them. If you look really closely at them, you’ll see they’re already starting to feel quite uncomfortable. Maybe they’d like me to just get on with my speech, but I really think it’s all the phones pointed at them right now. 

Oh, it’s the speech? Okay, I’ll continue. 

Ever since (he was born, he started at Boston University, etc.), (groom) and I have been (brothers, friends, etc.). Now, he’s not the best-looking guy, so it does make sense that he’d ask the older, fatter, and balder (friend, version of himself, etc.) to be his best man. And we’ve genuinely been told throughout our lives that we (look incredibly alike, are attached at the hip, etc.). I honestly don’t see it, but as I know, some people here still can’t tell the difference: (Groom’s mom or bride), I’m (best man), and that one’s (groom).

The bride and groom have asked that I don’t talk about any of (groom)’s mishaps, mistakes, or embarrassing moments, and instead do talk about the positive things in his life. I mean, you’ve made this incredibly difficult for me, but I’ll do my best.

*Get out a scrap of paper* (Groom)’s an amazing person. He’s funny, he’s kind, he’s incredibly clever. He’s even (studying to be an engineer, learning how to rollerblade, etc.)! Not only that, but he’s … wait … (groom), I can’t say that, man!

(Bride), you look lovely today; and (groom), you look sharper than ever in that suit! Cheers to a long, happy marriage for you both! But more so for (bride), because she’s really got her hands full now. Cheers!”

Key takeaway: Making fun of yourself more than you make fun of the groom will always be a hit. Also, don’t shy away from the roast-style “set ‘em up to punch ‘em down” jokes like the ones featured here. 

Make it your own: This speech runs less than two minutes. Make it longer and personalize it by adding a story about you and the groom growing up that you think says something about who he is today, either by contrast or extreme similarity. 

Short best man speech example: Get some quick laughs and an “aww” with a little something like this. 

“I really should have given my speech first since (maid of honor)’s speech was way better than mine, but this is all your fault (groom), so enjoy! Thank you all for coming and for those who helped make this wedding so beautiful. (Bride), you look absolutely stunning tonight. (Groom), well, you’re here tonight. All jokes aside, I’m really happy for you both. I always wanted (a sister, someone to help me wrangle the groom, etc.), and now I finally have one. So here’s a toast to the bride and groom!”

Key takeaway: A quick icebreaker, thank you, and joke followed by a sentimental thought is really all you need. 

Make it your own: Personalize the items in brackets to fit your sense of humor and situation. Reference real stories and moments at the wedding. 

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2. Use a template.

If memorizing a script feels like too much pressure, outline your main points, and improvise from there. Here’s a foolproof structure for any best man speech.

Introduce yourself and how you know the happy couple.

Thank the hosts or parents if they paid for the wedding.

Say something nice about their partner and something funny about them.

Tell a short, funny story about your relationship to the groom that ties into what makes the newlyweds’ relationship special too.

End on a sentimental note with your well wishes.

Pro tip: Brainstorm 3-5 anecdotes you like, sleep on it, then narrow down your options to your Top 2. 

3. Nail the opening line.

The most memorable opening line for a best man speech is funny, grabs the audience’s attention, and offers a twist at the end. For example: 

“(Groom) didn't have an easy decision in choosing his best man. First, he called his most successful friend, who said no. Then, he called his smartest friend, who said no. Then, he asked his most attractive friend, and he also said no. Then, he called me, and I said, ‘(groom), I can't say no to you four times.’” 

4. Tell great jokes.

Keep the slander to a minimum. Instead, focus on making fun of yourself or telling a story of which you’re both equally embarrassed. You can also take this opportunity to be comedically competitive, regardless of who comes out on top in your speech. 

For example, acknowledging how you’ve done better at something can be funny just as long as you then mention how they ended up being the winner anyway because they found their partner. 

You can also take this opportunity to let others know about an inside joke or a story of something you two did together that no one has heard before (as long as it won’t get you in trouble with their partner, of course). 

5. Sprinkle in one-liners.

Funny one-liners are a great way to get the audience’s energy up and keep them engaged before you end with a sentimental punch. Here are some examples that even grandma will appreciate.

(Bride), you look stunning. (Groom), you look stunned.

(Bride), you're so beautiful you make (groom) look ... (successful, famous, rich)?

(Bride), you’re the luckiest person in the world to lock down someone like my (friend, brother, etc.). (Groom) is so good looking, so considerate, so humble, so… (groom), I’m sorry, I can't read your handwriting here.

6. Consider your relationship.

The most impactful best man speeches take the relationship you have with the groom into account. Here are some tips for each major type.

Older brother getting married:

Limit yourself to one or two icebreaker insults. Any more and your speech turns into a roast. 

Highlight how much of an example the groom has set for you, for better or worse. 

Younger brother getting married:

Mention at least one meaningful way you’ve seen the groom grow over the years. 

Make a joke to their partner’s benefit about how the groom has “finally won” your sibling rivalry by finding them.

Dad getting married:

Incorporate an important life lesson your dad taught you and weave it into both your main story and your perspective on the wedding today. 

Express gratitude for all he has done for you. He’ll really appreciate it. 

Best friend getting married:

Mention a good quality you remember from the early days of your friendship such as their talent at field hockey or their love of knitting. 

Talk about what makes them special compared to the rest of your friend group in your eyes through the lens of a flattering story. 

If you don’t have a close relationship with the groom: Lean into their interests and use them as a metaphor for how you feel about their marriage. For example, a Star Wars buff might really appreciate a Luke and Leia comparison. Personalizing it like this will show how much you care by putting in more effort to get to know their interests and give you another thing to bond over long after the wedding is over. 

Hint: if it’s the groom’s second marriage, make sure you know who is in attendance before you start jokingly ripping into their ex. In fact, let them be the ones to make jokes about the situation.

Now you know how to give an amazing best man speech! 

Using the advice above, you now know everything about how to write and give a best man speech everyone will enjoy. Don’t be afraid to use borrowed examples, templates, or one-liners. As long as you personalize it and speak from the heart, your speech will be memorable. 

Up next, find other ways to leave your mark on the big day with some super fun and unique bridal party entrance ideas .

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How to Write the Best Man Speech

Need help writing your best man speech? The Zola experts are here for you. Read on for our top tips and advice

By Deanna deBara

groomsmen at wedding

A wedding is not only an opportunity for two soon-to-be spouses to walk down the aisle , say their “ I do’s, ” and mark the beginning of their life as a married couple; it’s also an opportunity for the people who love them most to celebrate them and their relationship on their wedding day.

And, if you’re the best man , you’ll have a major part of celebrating the happy couple by giving the best man speech at the wedding reception.

The best man speech is your chance to share your best wishes for the newlyweds with all of the wedding guests in attendance.

But, what exactly should you say on the actual wedding day?

Let’s take a look at how to write a perfect best man speech:

Start Writing Early

Writing a best man speech takes a good amount of thinking, planning, and effort—and you want to make sure that you give yourself plenty of time for that thinking, planning, and effort.

Writing your best man speech the week of (or the day of!) the wedding isn’t an effective strategy. Not only are you going to feel stressed out, but if you write your speech at the last minute, chances are that you’re not going to get everything you want to say down on paper—and, as a result, your best man speech won’t be as heartfelt/touching/funny/composed/(insert desired adjective here) as you’d like it to be.

If you’re going to be the best man, start writing your speech early—as in months before the wedding ceremony. The earlier you start writing, the more time you have to revise, change, and practice—and the more likely it is that your speech will go off without a hitch on the big day.

Consider the Tone of Your Speech

There are a lot of different ways in which you could write a best man speech. You could go straight for the heart and write something emotional and touching; you can infuse a funny story and inside jokes to get a laugh from the couple; or you can keep things simple, straightforward, and to the point.

So, before you start writing, you should spend some time considering which of those vibes you’re going for at the wedding ceremony.

Setting the tone before you start writing your best man speech can help streamline the writing process; for example, if you know you want your speech to feel more emotional and heartfelt, you might consider incorporating memories that illustrate how much the groom and/or couple mean to you. If you want to go with a more humorous tone, you can start by writing out all of your most hilarious stories—and seeing which of them are the most likely to get the couple (and their wedding guests) laughing on the big day. The idea is to make it personal and to say some kind words at your friend’s wedding.

Can you have different tones at different points throughout your speech—such as an overall humorous speech with a few touching moments for good measure? Of course. But, if you want your speech to feel cohesive, you should set a primary tone—and make sure that you carry that tone throughout as you write your speech.

Start Strong

How to Write the Best Man Speech | Zola

As the old saying goes, “you only get one chance to make a first impression”—and, for your best man speech, that means you need to capture people’s attention from the very beginning.

Starting your speech strong will ensure that you immediately hook the guests, wedding party, and newly married couple—and that they’ll be engaged and attentive for the rest of your speech.

“Starting strong” can mean a variety of things; depending on your speech’s tone, you might start with a particularly touching story about the couple or a funny story to break the ice. But, whatever you decide to start with, make sure that it grabs the audience’s attention from the get-go, which will make it easier to keep their attention for the rest of your speech.

Incorporate Your Favorite Memories

The groom (or bride) asked you to be the best man for a reason; chances are that you have a long history with plenty of happy, hilarious, and fun memories. And your best man speech is the perfect time to share those memories.

Incorporate at least one or two of your favorite memories with the groom, bride, and/or couple into your speech. Not only does sharing memories in your best man speech work from a storytelling perspective (everyone loves a good story), but it will also remind the couple of how special and important they are to you, which is exactly what a best man speech is supposed to do.

Keep Things Appropriate

Sharing memories in your best man speech is great—as long as those memories are appropriate.

Remember, this is one of the most important days of the newly married couple’s life—and all the most important people in their life (including family, friends, and colleagues) are going to be there, listening to your speech. The last thing you want to do is embarrass them or offend someone they care about.

So, if you have any memories that have even the slightest potential of upsetting or offending anyone (which, as a rule, includes anything involving excessive drinking, drugs, sex, or past relationships), leave it out of your best man speech.

How to Write the Best Man Speech | Zola

Write, Practice, and Revise

A key part of writing the best speech is, you know, actually writing it down.

Even if you’re a person who does well speaking on the fly, you want to write your speech from beginning to end. That way, you have more control over what you say, how you say it, and when you say it.

Then, once you have it written down, you’ll want to practice it—and practice it out loud. Reading your speech out loud will help you get a better idea of how it flows, and help you identify any areas that need to be tweaked, adjusted, or revised.

And, just like you want to start writing your speech early, you want to give yourself plenty of time to practice and revise before the big day. Again, the more time you give yourself to work on your best man speech, the more comfortable you’ll be giving the speech at the wedding (and the better it will be as a result).

Writing (and giving) a speech can feel a bit scary for a lot of people. But, now that you know exactly how to write the perfect best man speech, all that’s left to do is get out there and get writing.

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Best Man Speech: The Definitive Guide to Smashing it

by Catherine D July 12, 2019

Here’s all you need to deliver an incredible and unforgettable best man speech.


You’ve just been awarded the highest honor a bro can receive.  You’re the best man! And that’s an honor greater than being knighted by the queen. But I’m sure you know what comes with it.

You’ll have to give that best man speech brosef!

Though, you won’t want to give just any speech off the top of your head that nobody is going to give a damn about.

Just remember what Uncle Ben said to Spidey, “With great power comes great responsibility”. It’s that serious, man.

You’ve probably seen best man speeches like this before. The guy stands up, hits the glass and says something, uninspired, about how he’s bros with the groom, congratulates the bride-to-be, and then sits down.

Or maybe you’ve seen another kind of speech, where the best man stands up and talks about nothing for 10+ minutes, putting you to sleep, because who even cares?

During a reception, there are about a million different things going on. People will forget the things that do not grab their attention, especially at a reception.

Everyone there is busy talking, eating, laughing, and will not care or even remember a boring speech in a few days. But not yours, my friend, you’re going to be the star of the day.

In this guide, we give you everything you need to know in sequence - from the writing process, all the way to delivering that wedding toast. Get your notepad ready for some very important tips on giving your wedding toast!

Writing the Best Man Speech

So How Do You Write the Best Man Speech?

The hardest part is always just getting started. Here are some basic tips on how to write a best man speech so that you can be prepared and dominate when the time comes.

Be Prepared and Plan Ahead

Practice makes perfect. Creating a fantastic speech doesn’t happen overnight.

If you’re going to wow the audience, you’ll need to make sure you’ve done everything you possibly can and covered every base - and man, that takes time.

Generally, 2-3 months is the right amount of time to give yourself when writing for a best man speech to account for the overall writing process and potential rewrites.

Considering all of the events that follow, like the bachelor party and the suit fitting, you’ll be too busy in those final moments to prepare a killer best man speech that’s even half decent.

Record Every Thought

You might be on the bus or in your car and think of an incredible quote or one-liner to say in your wedding toast, but our memories are very limited.

It’s difficult to remember what you even had for lunch two days ago, much less something you thought up some random time.

No matter where you are, record your thoughts. You could write in a journal, use your iPhone’s “Voice Memos” app or an app like Evernote . Scratch them onto a napkin, carve them into a stone near you, just get those wedding toast ideas down!

As long as you start capturing your thoughts, you’ll eventually reach a gold mine.

Think of this more as ‘capturing’ than ‘writing’. It’s easier to capture your raw best man speech ideas than banging your head on the wall trying to ‘write’ something from scratch.

How to Write a Best Man Speech Tip

Keep a Positive Tone

When it comes to the best man speech, the main thing to keep in mind is the goal of what you want to accomplish - celebrating the bride and groom. Here are some things to focus on:

  • Your best experiences with the groom.
  • How great a pair the bride and groom are.
  • The best qualities of the groom.
  • Possible first thoughts on the bride when they met (If they were good thoughts!)

Focus on the best of times, and further expand upon those points the best you can and maybe you can use those for a few wedding jokes!

With that in mind, here’s what not to say:

What Not to Talk About in Your Speech

While you may be writing to make your groom laugh, you need to remember your audience is diverse. You have children, elders, and teenagers so you wouldn’t want to write something inappropriate.

Generally, it’s best to avoid things like these:

  • Any previous relationships.
  • Anything about drugs, alcohol, gambling.
  • Perverse topics, or anything of a sexual nature.
  • Harsh negativity.
  • Inside jokes that are too specific.

The idea is to avoid anything raunchy or disheartening during your speech, even if it might be hilarious in your head, you’ll have to avoid it in your best man speech.

Think about how upset Grandma would be if you happened to talk about how her little Jimmy actually hasn’t been saving himself for marriage - what horror!

How Long Should a Best Man Speech Be?

So you have a great speech, and you’ve covered every single talking point that fit. Everyone’s going to love this, right?

Wrong! When writing a best man speech, you’ll want to keep it way, way shorter.

The problem is that what you wrote is almost 30 minutes long! No bueno amigo. Nothing on this Earth could keep people engaged in a wedding toast that long.

You’re not going for a ‘F.D.R. Repairing the American Psyche During The Great Depression’ type of speech. What you want is more like an ‘I Love You, Man’ speech.

It seems like everyone from everywhere throws out an arbitrary number ranging from 1-10 minutes, but really, research shows our attention span is even shorter than a goldfish .

Which means you have 8 seconds to make an impression . Let that sink in.

The best man speech is usually between meals at a reception. That means you have to make your mark - and get in what you have to say in a short time. Meaning that short best man speeches are perfectly fine, you don’t have to overthink it.

It can be 1 minute, it can be 5 minutes.  Keep the audience engaged in your speech and don’t ramble off unnecessarily.

How do you do that? Practice!

It’s All About Practice

You know, it’s okay to feel unsatisfied with what you wrote. After all, you’re not the most accomplished writer in the world. You just want to prepare a great best man speech and get back to Netflix binging.

The writing process can be tough, so here’s an ideal approach that most people use when writing the best material:

  • Write a few pages of content just to get the speech ideas out.
  • Realize that you’ve written a movie's worth of material.
  • Take what you really like.
  • Edit until you stop hating it.

Being intimidated serves no purpose.

Get Interviewed Bruh

If you’re not the best writer (or capturer), the previous steps might seem a little intimidating to you. That’s fine. Not everyone can put pen to paper as well as they’d like, and if that’s you, consider having a friend interview you!

Getting a friend or family member to interview you about your experiences with the groom is a great way of getting wedding speech ideas. Here are a few topics to get interviewed on:

  • Where did you meet?
  • Did you like each other at first?
  • When did you become bros?
  • What kind of crazy experiences did you have together?
  • What kind of bad qualities does he have?
  • What kind of good qualities does he have?

Answering these questions with a recording device can help you when you need to put the best man speech together, and you can recall things you might never have just by writing!

Be (Relatively) Sober

Even if you have a Wade Boggs alcohol tolerance, it’s best to keep the drinks to a minimum.

( The guy drank 64 beers on one cross country flight, what the hell? )

Having one or two drinks is fine if it helps calm the nerves, but any more will mess up any chance of giving a decent best man toast, and you’ll just look silly slurring your words or acting strangely. Remember, all eyes are on you during your best man speech.

Best Man Speech Jokes

Try Some Best Man Speech Jokes or Quotes

So suppose you’ve got your speech together, but you have a placeholder like:

[ Put a joke in here! ] in 3-4 spots, and you really have no idea what to put in there.

We got you covered.

Here are some best man speech opening lines you could work with and personalize for whatever you may need, because the opportunity for wedding jokes is a rare thing! These make great icebreakers to warm your audience up.

“Well, where do I even start? [Groom] is just incredible. He’s brilliant, funny, caring… Anyway, I can’t really read your handwriting [Groom], so just tell me whatever the rest was after.”

“[Bride], you really are an incredible woman. You deserve an absolutely incredible husband, so I’m not going to stop until I figure out what’s wrong here.”

“Thank you everyone for bearing with me, I Googled ‘best man speech jokes’ and every site asked for my credit card before showing me any examples, so here goes nothing.”

Best Man Speech Jokes Tip

“For those of you who know the bride, she’s really a wonderful woman who deserves a wonderful man. So good job, [Groom], for marrying her before she found one.”

“For anyone who finds this speech particularly not funny, I got all of my jokes from [Groom] so please, blame that guy.”

“Ladies and gentlemen, I wasn’t given a microphone tonight and I deeply apologize. To anyone in the back, If you hear silence at the front, be sure that you’re not missing anything.”

“Ladies and gentlemen, before I begin this speech I’d just like to say I am absolutely thrilled that I beat the bartender at rock-paper-scissors twenty minutes ago for the honor of best man.”

Best Man Speech Outline

Putting Together a Best Man Speech Outline

Now that you have an idea of how to write a best man speech, it’s just as important to know how to structure it. While there are canned free best man speech templates out there, it's really best to get a bird's eye view on what you want to say and create a structure that works for you personally. Don't just take any random free speech template from online and fire it up. Not every outline or template will work for your needs, so get a good idea of your vision first then begin to structure it.

Flow matters, and it’s the most important thing in putting together great best man speeches. Without good flow, you’ll lose the crowd and people won’t follow what you’re saying.

Best Man Speech Outline Tip

Here are some great ideas to nail the best man speech structure and make your speech shine.

The Introduction

The introduction needs to serve a single purpose: Getting people engaged! This is the key aspect of any best man speech formula.

The One-Liner Approach

An incredible one-liner is a great way of getting started. A good idea for this would be to roast the groom a little bit, he probably wouldn’t mind.

For example, what faults does he have? You can take advantage of that to make slight jabs at him.

Or you can even make fun of yourself in the process, what do you both suck at? Maybe you want to talk about that awkward mullet phase you both had in high school. Live it up!

The Congratulatory Approach

Alternatively, you can open by showing gratitude to:

  • The bride and groom, for bringing everyone together.
  • The guests, for attending this incredible event.
  • The parents of the bride and groom, for bringing them into this world.

This approach is a good option at the beginning. You can use it as a Plan B if you think you can’t gather an appropriate one-liner.

It’s easy to get lost in thought about what to follow up a good opener in a best man speech, but nothing is safer than a good story to engage your audience.

The idea is to create a connection to the groom and then present it to the guests.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Where you met the groom.
  • What makes him a great guy.
  • Crazy stories that show who he is.
  • Why he’s an excellent fit for the bride.
  • How he changed for the better after he met the bride.

Really, anything goes, and they’re all sure to keep people interested. Focus on the organic story of your friendship and don’t be robotic.

You’ll want to accomplish this in a way that stays kosher, though, avoiding unsavory details mentioned in our #4 tip.

Congratulate the Bride

So, you don’t have to do this, but we definitely encourage it. The issue is, not everyone really knows the bride. Honestly, maybe you met her a month ago, or a week ago.

Who knows, you could have met her literally just now. When your buddy gets hitched, it’s quite common to not really know the lady herself.

If this is true, you can handle this two ways:

Stick to something like:

“I knew she was a great fit for you the moment I saw you together”.

“She really is the perfect match for you dude.”

Sure the groom will know you barely know her, but whatever, if he really is your bro, he’ll appreciate that you’re saving face like this.

2. Avoid it.

Look, you’re the best man, it means the groom chose you, he knows you. Which means that he’s most likely expecting your best man speech to be about your experiences together, so keep the content focused around your relationship.

This means that it’s okay to avoid any mention of the bride after the first few words when writing a best man speech.

It works in most cases to just congratulate her in the intro, and then continue on with your speech avoiding her entirely.

This might sound a little underhanded, but it works, and most likely, the audience won’t notice.

If you know the bride, then speak about her.

If you’re just as close to the bride as you are to the groom, then you need to take all of the prior steps to make a compelling speech for the bride too, which won’t make the best man toast easy but hey, you don’t want to piss her off.

You could share a story about her too, or you can talk about one where the bride and groom shared with you, which is always a safe bet.

How to End Your Wedding Toast

Here’s where you wrap up your thoughts, and keep this part short, you don’t have to stress it too much.

It’s as easy as saying something like,

“Jack, Jill, to a lifetime of good health, love, and joy!”

There are a thousand different things you can say here, but the main idea is to keep the tone positive, upbeat, congratulate their love and wish the best for them.

NOTE: It is absolutely acceptable to keep a paper copy of your speech on hand because you’re not remembering your speeches like a world leader at the U.N. You’re just a guy who’s happy for his bro.

Best Man Speech Examples

Best Man Speech Examples

Even if you have everything else down, it’s always best to have some speech examples of how to tackle your wedding toast.

People have done it before you, so why go in blind? Here are some different types of best man speeches for unique scenarios you may want to try for your best man toast.

Funny Best Man Speech (Example)

“Hello Everyone, I’m John, I’m the best man, and if you find this speech unfunny, [Groom] and I have the same sense of humor, so please blame him.

I’m just joking, of course, I promised [Groom] I wouldn’t roast him too much today or talk about anything too weird, so I’ll just talk about the good parts of his character...

...Thank you, everyone, have a great evening.

But really, [Groom] and I have been friends since before I knew how even to tie my own shoelaces. He’s a brother to me, even more than my actual brother, sometimes.

Sorry, Alex.”

Best Man Speech Examples Tip

Emotional Best Man Speech (Example)

“Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. I’m the best man, Chris. [Groom] and I go way back, all the way from high school. Through the years, he’s grown from a pain in the ass, into a fine man.

[Groom] was always shy when it came to meeting new people, and that’s sorta hard to hear considering how a guy like that could be such a perfect match with [Bride]. But I can’t imagine him without you, because I’ve seen what it looked like.

[Bride], you are both so dear to me, please take care of [Groom], please keep him out of trouble.”

Short Best Man Speech (Example)

“Good evening, everyone, from the moment that [Groom] met [Bride], I knew that this was going to be something special.

The way you two talk to each other, you’re so alike sometimes that honestly, it kind of scares me.

But to quote Mark Twain, ‘To get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with.’ May your love be timeless.”

Hopefully these wedding toast examples give you ideas on how to model your own best man speech!

How to Give a Best Man Speech

The Presentation - Delivering the Best Man Speech

You have the writing and the flow down. Great! Most of the hard work is all done.

But don’t forget, you’re delivering a best man speech. And grand statements are always accompanied by excellent speech etiquette.

Here are some best man speech tips that’ll help you deliver, so that you don’t look like an uncomfortable 4th grader at a talent show your Mom forced you into.

Practice Your Speech on Camera

You’re noticing a trend, right? Practicing the actual delivery of the best man speech in front of a camera is a great way to see what poor and good habits you have.

And then, you need to keep practicing to eliminate the bad ones. For example, do you notice that you slump too much? Do you happen to mumble? Do you look down a lot?

Take note of all of these when you look at the recording and then try the speech again while mindfully avoiding bad habits and watching out for awkwardly delivered wedding jokes.

Practice in Front of People

Sure, using a camera is an excellent way to correct issues, but there’s nothing better than getting an outsider opinion.

Getting a spectator to sit and watch you deliver your best man toast lets someone tear into your bad habits without any bias. It may be painful, but this is what you want, and a larger group of people is best.

That way, when it’s time to give the best man speech, the concerns an audience member might have are already known to you.

How to Give a Best Man Speech Tip

The Honest Truth Man

Remember that a best man speech is a celebration of the love and joy that the bride and groom share. You don’t have to stress about every minor detail, because the audience isn’t (and they’ll most likely all be drunk anyway).

They’re already lightened up, and in the mood for a good few words, so why spend your time being nervous? It’s not worth it. Enjoy yourself up there and just deliver that crushing best man toast.

After it’s through, you can start drinking again, which is what you’ll probably want to do anyway.

Say what you have to say, and raise a toast to the bride and groom. Use this guide as a helpful resource and come back to it as many times as you need to ensure a totally awesome best man speech.

Best man speech tips

Good luck on your best man speech!

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How to Write a Best Man's Speech

Last Updated: January 17, 2024 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Patrick Muñoz . Patrick is an internationally recognized Voice & Speech Coach, focusing on public speaking, vocal power, accent and dialects, accent reduction, voiceover, acting and speech therapy. He has worked with clients such as Penelope Cruz, Eva Longoria, and Roselyn Sanchez. He was voted LA's Favorite Voice and Dialect Coach by BACKSTAGE, is the voice and speech coach for Disney and Turner Classic Movies, and is a member of Voice and Speech Trainers Association. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 2,653,354 times.

Even the most talented public speaker can get nervous about giving the best man's speech at a wedding. Being the best man is one of the biggest honors you can receive at a wedding, and you're expected to give a speech that respects that honor, makes the crowd laugh and cry, and pays tribute to the special couple on the most important day of their lives. The important thing to do when making a best man's speech is to thank people for being there, describe your connection to the groom, and to make people laugh while avoiding any cringe-inducing comments. If you want to know how to write a moving and memorable best man's speech, then see Step 1 to get started.

Sample Best Man Speeches

best man speech written out

Writing a Special Speech

Step 1 Be yourself and don't worry about giving some formal speech that doesn't reflect you.

  • For example, most best man speeches have a bit of humor in them for levity and to get the crowd going. But if this really isn't for you and making jokes just feels too forced, you don't have to follow that convention.
  • On the other hand, if you're known for your humor and sarcasm, you don't have to force yourself to be overly sentimental. Just a few words of honest sentiment would get the message across without making you feel like you're faking it.
  • If public speaking is not for you, don't be nervous about it. You can even make a joke about how much you love public speaking, or about how this is the groom's way of punishing you/getting you back for that time you made him push your car up a hill.

Step 2 Keep it short.

  • Though your speech should be well prepared in advance, take a look at the crowd; if people are particularly restless or eager to drink and dance, then you may want to cut out that second anecdote you weren't sure about.
  • Though it's typical for the best man and maid of honor to give a speech, there may be other speeches given out there. The father of the bride sometimes speaks, and there may be two maids of honor and thus, two speeches. And maybe even drunk Uncle Bertie will try to say a few words. If there are a number of speeches, then it's especially important to keep it short so the crowd doesn't spend all night listening to people talk.

Step 3 Write and practice your speech in advance.

  • Don't be embarrassed about keeping a written version of your speech with you when you go up there during your big moment. Even if you don't use it as a reference, just having it there can make you feel more confident about not making any mistakes.

Step 4 Look for inspiration.

Delivering Your Speech

Step 1 Stay sober enough to do a good job.

  • Remember that people often videotape best man's speeches. You don't want yourself looking sloppy on camera for all of eternity.

Step 2 Ask the audience to give you their attention.

  • Depending on how the reception goes, someone else may introduce you and you won't have to do this part. But be prepared in advance in case you're given the microphone and find that your audience isn't exactly rapt.

Step 3 Introduce yourself.

  • "For those of you who don't know me, I'm Brian, [groom's name here]'s little brother."
  • "I'm Jake, [groom's name here]'s best friend. I've known him since the seventh grade, and I've known [bride's name here] ever since their second date."
  • "I'm Danny, [groom's name here]'s best friend. I've known [groom's name] and [bride's name] ever since our freshman year of college. We all lived in the same hall."

Step 4 Express gratitude.

  • It's also nice to thank the guests for being there. You can also thank the bridal party.
  • Optionally, you can also thank the bridesmaids. Mention what great friends they have been for the bride and tell them how lovely they look. You can play this for laughs a bit as long as you don't come off sounding like a total creep. You can say something about the lovely color of the dresses, how big of a help they've been during the wedding, and whatever else you can say that is quick and tasteful.

Step 5 Make a light-hearted joke at the groom's expense.

  • Remember that half of the people in the room may not know each other. People should be able to find your speech funny and moving without knowing the groom or hearing an excessive amount of detail about someone they don't know. Of course, if it's a more intimate wedding and it seems like most people do know each other, then you can go into a bit more detail, if you like.
  • If you're the groom's brother, you can joke around about how he used to tease you mercilessly when you were little, or how you used to give him a hard time. You can also make a joke about how not much has changed in that regard.
  • Remember to keep up a nice emotional balance. You should have as many sweet and heartfelt comments about the groom as jokes. [6] X Research source

Step 6 Tell a touching story about the groom.

  • Tell a funny story. This will not only break up the formality of the ceremony, but also help endear the couple to the audience. A great way to grab everyone’s attention would be to introduce it by saying “I'm about to let you in on a secret about the groom" or "the groom begged me not to include this story in my speech but I simply had to."
  • Alternatively, tell a touching story. A particularly appropriate story might describe how the bride and groom met or something sweet that helped move their relationship forward. Since you are the groom’s best friend, this might be a good place to describe how you watched him fall head-over-heels for the bride.
  • If you can't think of any appropriate stories or don't know the bride well enough to include her in one, make some observations about love or marriage in general, or about the groom's feelings for the bride. Even if you haven't spent a lot of time with the bride, you can make observations about the first time the groom told you about the bride, or what the groom said about their first date.

Step 7 Avoid mentioning any sensitive subjects.

  • Though you want to choose a humorous anecdote, make sure it is appropriate for everyone; the last thing you want is to come across as humiliating or mean-spirited.
  • If you mention that time when the groom and bride broke off their engagement for three weeks or talk about how much more fun your best friend used to be before he got with his "ball and chain," then his wife may never forgive you. You don't want to sever your relationship, or put it in question, over something like saying a few thoughtless words in a speech.
  • Don't make it a speech about how you first really didn't like your buddy's wife and then came around, either.
  • And lastly, do not think it's funny to insult the venue or the food. Someone shelled out a lot of hard-earned cash for what you might think are tacky Christmas lights or rubbery chicken.

Step 8 Expand on the groom's virtues.

  • You can talk about something the groom did for you. Say something like, "I'll never forget the time Mark helped me move across the country to follow my dream. I couldn't have done it without him."
  • It's completely normal to find this part a little embarrassing. Just remember that this is your buddy's day, and no one's going to laugh at you for getting a little sappy.

Step 9 Don't forget to pay homage to the bride.

  • If you don't know the bride very well, that's okay. Instead of saying that bluntly, you can say something like, "Though I haven't spent as much time with Mary as I would have liked, I could tell right away that she was right for Jeff."

Step 10 Give a compliment about the bride and groom's relationship.

  • Say something like, "Even when Mary and Jeff are on the opposite side of a room, you can feel them looking out for each other. They don't have to be glued together to have such a strong, incredible bond."
  • You can also make a comment about how much you admire their relationship and have always looked for a love as strong as theirs (if you're single). If you're married, you can share some thoughts on marriage and why the groom and bride are a great match.
  • You don't have to overdo it and say they are a perfect pair, meant for each other, soul mates, or the like, if you don't really feel that way. You can mention the strengths of their relationship without making it sound too forced.

Step 11 Wrap it up with a quote.

  • Don't force yourself to do this unless you find one that's really fitting. There's another one that goes, "Marriage isn't about looking at each other. It's about looking outward in the same direction."

Step 12 Propose a toast.

  • You can say something like, "Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to propose a toast to Mary and Jeff. May they have years of joy, happiness, and health ahead of them."
  • You can also say something like, "Here's to a lifetime of happiness for Mary and Jeff."
  • If the bride took the groom's last name, you can propose the toast to "Mr. and Mrs. Thompson."

Community Q&A

Community Answer

  • Make the bride's family, who may not know the groom, feel comfortable about the groom taking over his new protective role and starting a new life with the bride. Thanks Helpful 1 Not Helpful 0
  • Keep mints in your pocket, as you will be getting up close and personal with many on the day of the wedding. Thanks Helpful 1 Not Helpful 0

best man speech written out

  • Stay sober before giving your speech. Looking like a drunk will sour everyone's impression of you and may call the groom's judgment into question. Thanks Helpful 28 Not Helpful 55
  • Don't force humor. If you don't like speaking in public and aren't confident in your ability to be funny, it's much better to read a serious speech off index cards than to try to become a comedian for one night. Most jokes from "Best Jokes for Weddings" books or web sites are not funny. No one will be mad at you for not being funny enough, but every single person in the room will cringe if you suddenly transform into Michael Scott. Thanks Helpful 1 Not Helpful 0
  • Unless you're certain that you know all of the guests and their tastes, do not let your speech get off-color. Skip the dirty jokes, the suggestive remarks about the honeymoon, and the stories about the groom's ex-girlfriend. They probably aren't appropriate. This isn't a locker room. Even if the groom and his friends find them funny, the bride and her mother probably won't. Thanks Helpful 1 Not Helpful 1

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About This Article

Patrick Muñoz

To write a best man's speech, try to keep your speech around 2-4 minutes so you don't lose everyone's attention. Start your speech by introducing yourself and saying how you know the groom and bride. Then, share a touching story about the groom and maybe even throw in a light-hearted joke. You should also compliment the bride as well as the bride and groom's relationship. Finally, wrap up your speech with a nice quote and propose a toast. To see examples of a best man's speech, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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Best Man Speech

Nailing your best man speech.

Over the last couple of decades, best men speeches have become over-the-top, clichéd, and generally a bit embarrassing (for the best man, not the groom ironically).

Writing a great best man speech is actually pretty simple. Granted, the Speechy team are TV scriptwriters by trade, so we’ve got a head-start, but we’re happy to share the techniques we use to create original humour without resorting to cheesy ‘jokes’ or alcohol.

Our advice has featured everywhere from The New York Times to The Times . As the only wedding speech experts invited on to BBC Sounds ‘Best Men podcast with Jason Manford we have all the advice you need to nail it. 

* Of course, if you’re looking for more than ‘advice’, check out our best man template , speech edit, or bespoke service . Or, work with our new AI-powered team member – SpeechyAI!

best man speech written out

Best Man Speech Etiquette

These days, best man speech etiquette is simply about doing a good job and not offending anyone. It’s not overly complicated. 

Don’t feel you need to be overly posh or formal just because you’re wearing a suit. There’s no need to address everyone as ‘ladies & gentleman’ ; a ‘well, hello everyone’ will suffice. 

Don’t buy into any ‘wedding waffle’, you don’t need to thank anyone or mention how lovely the venue is. Certainly don’t bother thanking the groom on behalf of the bridesmaids. That concept died out a long time ago! 

Here’s what you need to know…

wedding speeches best man help

1. How to start your best man speech

Many folk assume the first couple of sentences have to be a version of … ‘Good evening ladies and gentlemen. I’m (NAME) and I’m honoured to be (groom’s) best man today.’

Actually, no it doesn’t. Sometimes it can be. But it shouldn’t be automatic. Ask yourself if there’s anything more exciting.

Don’t waste people’s time with the same dull speech-fodder. Every word should count, so consider forgetting the ‘hellos’ altogether.

Controversial, we know.

The trick is to make the opening personal. Cut out the wedding white noise. Instead, cut to the punchline.


  • Jump right in. ‘So they’ve finally done it. Sophie has agreed to put up with Rohan for the rest of her life and he’s got that in writing.’
  • Address your audience. ‘Hands up who’s ever had to look after Stephen when he’s had a few beers?’
  • Short and snappy. If there has been a delay to the wedding – a swift ‘Well, let’s start with the elephant in the room. Why has the gorgeous, talented Mario, married a bright orange lad from Croydon who still can’t spell?’
  • Start with a story. ‘Let me tell you a story… when I first saw Tom, sitting in the bar, reading a book in the middle of the Saturday night chaos, I knew I had to speak to him. Only he was too absorbed in his John Grisham to notice me.’

wedding toast best man help

2. Pay a genuine tribute to the groom

We can get a bit too excited about the prospect of  roasting our mates, but we do have to be nice about them to.

Remember, if it’s a straight wedding, the groom doesn’t (generally) get anyone paying a decent tribute to him. No one telling him how handsome he looks, what a wonderful son he is or what a great husband he’s going to be. 

So, as much as there’s an expectation for you to be funny, you should be nice too. Bonus points if you can make him cry 😉 Now, that would be funny.

wedding speech laughter

3. And a decent tribute to his partner too

The best man must compliment the groom’s partner and it helps if this sounds sincere. 

If you don’t know them well, do a bit of research so you can say more than the usual platitudes. Ditch the ‘you’ve made him a better man’ cliche and get specific. Have they finally taught him to respond to texts? Have his culinary skills developed beyond a fried egg? 

Of course, you need to pay a bit of a tribute to them too, and don’t just resort to meaningless adjectives like ‘kind’ or ‘funny’. Instead, can they put up a tent better than their husband? Have they turned him into a quinoa fan? 

Be original but remember one cliche is a must; all brides look beautiful.

wedding speeches lyrics quote rap help

4. The best man toast & closing lines

Some best men like to compliment and raise a toast to the bridesmaids but it’s actually the newlywed’s job. Your choice really, but keep it short if you do.

We tend to avoid having any toasts within a best man speech, other than the final one at the end.  

According to Debrett’s the best man speech usually includes a toast to ‘Mr and Mrs/Mr [newlywed’s Surname]’ and might announce the cutting of the cake’. At Speechy we prefer to find a unique way to toast the newly-hitched. 

Ideally you want the toast to tie in with a theme or story that you’ve already established earlier in the speech, even if it’s just raising a glass to ‘the coolest couple this side of the Hog’s Head’, or ‘to a lifetime of dancing on tables together’. 

Examples of best man toasts…

  • “To the groom, my partner in crime and the guy who finally decided to settle down. May your marriage be as adventurous as our bachelor days, but with fewer embarrassing stories. Cheers!”
  • “Here’s to the groom, the man of the hour, and the reason I had to put on a suit today. May your marriage be as strong as your WiFi signal and as enduring as our epic gaming sessions. Cheers, my friend!”
  • “As the best man, it’s my duty to embarrass the groom at least once during the speech. So here’s to the guy who once thought ‘Netflix and chill’ literally meant watching Netflix and chilling. May your marriage be filled with better communication than that! Cheers!”
  • “To the groom and his new life partner, thank you for giving me the honor of being the best man. May your marriage be as smooth as your pick-up lines and as exciting as our infamous trip to Munich. Here’s to love, laughter, and a happily ever after!”

SpeechyAI  is great at crafting truly unique toasts for best men to deliver on the day! 

wedding speeches brother of bride help

5. Best best man speech length

You’re aiming for 8 to 10 minutes for a best man speech (a bit longer allowing for laughter and ad-libs). It sounds short but no one ever listened to a best man speech and said ‘if only it were longer’.

The wedding experts agree… ‘There’s a great saying; delivering a speech shouldn’t take longer than it does to consummate a marriage.’ Alison Hargreaves, Founder of Guides for Brides .

Even if you have a wealth of material, be strict with yourself. Once you write your first draft, edit it down to half the length, and we guarantee it will be twice as good.

Ernest Hemingway said ‘The first draft of anything is shit’. This is not only true but reassuring.

People are generally more powerful when their words are punchy. It’s the same with jokes – keep ’em snappy.

Lots of sites offer  quick estimates of your speech duration  based on your wordcount and speaking speed. 

wedding toast

6. Keep the language clean(ish)

Obviously don’t swear if there are children present, though a few bloodies, bloomings and bollocks can add an acceptable edge. 

Check with the nearlyweds in advance and read the room on the day. 

We have scripted the odd F-bomb into a speech over the years but that’s been the exception and at exclusively adult-only weddings.

groom toast wedding speech writer

7. Questions the best men should ask the groom

If in doubt, ask the two folk in charge… 

  • INTRO – Will you be be introduced by an MC or will you need to introduce yourself?
  • THE SPEAKER SCHEDULE – When will you be speaking (stagger your alcohol intake accordingly). 
  • SUGGESTED DURATION –  how long do the couple want you to speak? (Occasionally, some couples suggest five minutes or less. We think that’s quite tight so negotiate for between eight and ten minutes on the mic.) 
  • EQUIPMENT – Will there be a mic? Will you have time to test it on the morning? If so, it’s  worth making sure you know how far to hold it from your mouth  etc.
  • KIDS – Worth knowing if any children or prudish adults are in attendance so you can cater your content appropriately. 

best man speech written out

How To Make Your Best Man Speech Funny

Being funny isn’t about finding good jokes on the internet. Avoid any articles like this basically – Maid of Honour Jokes . The jokes will illicit groans not giggles.

Yes, it’s more effort to write original lines but that’s no excuse for jokes about even the cake ‘being in tiers’ or honeymoons in Bangor (Google it if you haven’t already groaned at it!).

wedding speeches edit speech writing uk

Self-deprecation is a brilliant tool to utilise. Arguably, the strongest, most powerful form of comedy. It’s also the safest.

Sometimes, the people who you think will be good sports aren’t.  The only thing that’s 100% safe for you to take the piss out of, is yourself.

Not only is it safe, it’s sensible. Studies have shown that people who use self-deprecating humour are seen as more humble and consequently more emotional intelligent and attractive. Yes, physically attractive.

So, while you don’t want the speech to be all about you, add a few self-depreciating lines in there. 

  • “I must say, being chosen as the best man is almost as surprising as the time I tried to assemble Ikea furniture without looking at the instructions. Somehow, I got through both experiences, but I can’t promise the speech will be as sturdy as that bookshelf.”
  • “I was honored when the groom asked me to be his best man. I guess he figured that with my shiny head, I would reflect his good taste. So, here’s to being the mirror of the groom’s impeccable judgment.”
  • “Being the best man is a lot like being vertically challenged – it comes with its own set of challenges, like reaching the top shelf and convincing people that I’m not a lost child at the wedding. But here I am, ready to give a speech without the need for a step ladder.”

Wedding speech laughter

Start by thinking about the things that make the groom unique. Everyone’s a nut-job in their own way, so what traits will his friends and family recognise as truly ‘him’?

Ask yourself lots of questions – what’s his worst habit (skinny jeans), what’s his guilty pleasures (Dire Straits), what might he love more than his bride/groom (Abdul’s kebabs), what’s odd about him (his unusually short T-Rex arms).

Once you have good content to play with, the comedy will be much easier to find.

wedding speech laughter

Imagine the groom was the central character in a sitcom. What type of person would he be?

The health freak who transforms into a borritos-eating monster after a pint? The workaholic engineer who still calls on his elderly dad to help him with Ikea flatpack? The family man who has a secret life in his shed?

Once you find a basic premise, use anecdotes to help build on the character you’ve created.


Good writing is all you need for a great speech. Powerpoint and props can often get in the way and stress you out.  Once you’ve committed to the projector, you’ve got to keep using it throughout the speech which can really restrict the content and tie you up in knots. And really, once you’ve seen one mullet, you’ve seen them all. 

Instead, concentrate your efforts on good writing. Keep your speech short and your jokes punchy. As Jason & Steve point out ‘When you’re starting off on the comedy circuit, you get a MAXIMUM of five minutes on stage. When you get really good – you get seven’.

One great joke is better than a dozen average ones.

Best man wedding speech

A little comedy writers tip for you. 

The callback is where you plant a story or a piece of info at the start of the speech, possibly as a throwaway line, and then reference it later on. It makes it seem that you’ve been working up to that punchline the whole time and suggests you’re smarter than you are.

For example, you tell a story about how the groom accidentally stapled his shoes to the floor when he was renovating his first house. Later, you conclude your speech by wishing the couple a life adventure and travelling the world ‘…just make sure he doesn’t staple his shoes to the floor before you get the chance to leave.’

The callback is basically establishing an inside joke that everyone is part of.

To make it work

  • Plant something funny, and crucially, memorable in the first third of your speech.
  • Then simple refer to it towards the end of your speech.

Voila. You’ve become a comedy pro.

Wedding speech laughter

While plagarism and stealing other people’s ideas isn’t on, quoting other people is totally legitimate. 

Check out our ‘Best Man Quotes’ post to see how a they can help super-charge your speech. 

wedding speeches second marriage hire a writer

Check out some  best man speech videos  we’ve collated, or have a read of  Boris Johnson’s wedding speech as imagined by the Speechy Team. It will give you an idea of how professional comedy writers craft humorous lines. 

Of course, if all this advice has done nothing but convince you, you need help – then jump straight to all the different ways the Speechy team can help you , including  SpeechyAI ;  a genius tool we’ve built that’s guaranteed to help you develop unique and hilarious lines. Honestly, it’s bloody good. 

wedding speeches best man help write a speech

How to Write & Deliver A Best Man Speech

So you get the principle of what you need to do, here’s how to do it… 

First step in writing your speech is to make sure you have blooming great content. You might think you have loads of good stories already but there will be better out there, so get digging and get dirty.

Email your mates and ask for their favourite groom stories – times he’s been clueless / his quirky faults / embarrassing moments – you know the deal.

Tap up the groom’s family for any classic tales from his childhood and find out if the groom’s partner is giving a speech. If not – get them onside to dish the dirt. They might relish having their say and sharing the reality of living with him.

Ask them how the groom could become a better husband. Find out what he does that annoys them. Surprise him (and everyone else) with your inner knowledge of his relationship.

It’s simple really…

  • Introduce yourself and how you know the groom 
  • Script a laugh as soon as possible; within the first 20 seconds. 
  • Establish the main theme of your speech (we’ll get to that next) 
  • Tell a few great stories which illustrate the groom’s characteristics in action. This should make up about two thirds of your speech. 
  • Then, bring in the ‘saviour’ – that is, the groom’s partner. Describe witnessing the groom fall in love and the influence their new spouse has had on them. 
  • Pay a (short but heartfelt) tribute to the groom’s partner.
  • Sum up your happiness (relief?) at their union 
  • Pay a more thoughtful tribute to the groom; highlighting his best character traits and illustrating your love for him
  • Sum up the theme of your speech with a funny line and propose a toast to the couple. 

The majority of best men resort to the classic ‘reasons the groom is an idiot’ as their narrative hook but dude, make some effort.

Rather than just a collection of anecdotes and obvious punchlines, build a narrative, a proper story, and make sure your speech is crafted rather than just a cut and paste job.

The theme doesn’t need to be complicated, it might just be a retelling of your bro-mance and its tragic end when the bride came on the scene.  If the groom’s now a vaguely respectable teacher,  reveal the alarming things he’s taught you over the years (snorting Sambuca etc). If he’s a wannabe musician,  chronicle his life through musical eras. Or use Yoda quotes to give him marriage advice if he’s a hardcore Star Wars fan.

Finding the right theme obviously depends on the personality of the groom but crack it, and you’re half way there.

‘Even with the funny stories, it has to have a point. Don’t tell me about the drunken trip on holiday or whatever; tell me something that has a meaning to it, something that ties into the theme of the speech. Even the humour has to feel connected and revealing.’ Eduardo Braniff, Men’s Vows

Don’t resort to clichés about him being a ‘top bloke’ without providing the evidence that he is.

Prove – don’t tell. Avoid using too many adjectives. Give specific examples of these qualities in action.

Pinpoint the things you genuinely like about him. Is he the only friend who shares your fascination with Elon Musk? Is he the one person who makes you feel better about your DIY skills? Is he still the mate with cool music suggestions?

Remember to keep it NUT – Nice, Unique and True(ish).

A confident delivery is half the battle, and not everyone feels comfortable public speaking. 

Make sure the groom has checked the acoustics of the venue & there’s a mic there if you need it (so many speeches are ruined just because the guests can’t hear them).

In advance, try to memorise the speech but don’t be afraid to use notes on the day. Delivering without notes is like ‘doing a wheelie’; pretty cool but, ultimately, unnecessary. It’s just showing off really.

So what’s best for your notes? Paper, cue cards or tech?

It comes down to personal preference but we recommend, old school A4 paper.

Mobiles and iPads are increasingly being used and they will inevitably become more prevalent, but we’re not convinced.  Tech may be what you expect a modern best man to use but it looks overly casual and sends out the wrong message.How many of us get annoyed when our loved ones get lost looking at a screen? 

If you decide to use paper, opt for thick A4 but only print 3/4 of the way down so you can maintain eye contact with your audience. 

More delivery tips in our Wedding Ideas article or in our Delivery Blog. 

‘When I’m preparing for a speech, I record myself and listen to it repeatedly. In the car, at home, wherever. I then try to improve it, record that next version and then listen to that repeatedly.

I keep repeating the process until the speech becomes this song, a melody that’s ingrained in me. Given enough time, delivering your speech can feel like singing along to your favourite song.’ Alan Berg, Public Speaking Expert 

What you’re aiming for is a conversational tone. You want the pace of a chat with your friends, anywhere between 130 and 170 words per minute.

Time yourself and check your pace.

A pause is essential when you expect laughter, and you should never talk over it once it lands. Speakers often move on from the joke too quickly and don’t give their audience a chance to react.

Body language is a biggie. As well as sounding relaxed, you need to look relaxed. An audience picks up body language cues. If you seem relaxed, your audience will feel in safe hands. 

When we work with clients in our Delivery Coaching Sessions , one of the things we often need to remind people is to… smile. It seems obvious but, even on such a happy day, people can often forget to look like they’re enjoying themselves and it is SO important. 

A smile is literally infectious, so make the most of it. Even a fake smile tricks your body into relaxing so make the most of it. 

‘My number one piece of advice would always be to time your drinks! You don’t want to hear your name called and realise you’ve had one too many to read your cue cards.

Something else I always notice in a great speech is eye contact. Try to consciously address the person you’re speaking to or about.’ Hamish Shephard, Founder of Bridebook

If you do find yourself getting heckled at the wedding reception, the first thing to bear in mind is not to panic. Even if you feel frustrated that someone has ruined your flow – take it in good humour and see it as an opportunity to get an extra laugh.

Use any laughter or noise that the heckler’s comment gets to choose your response.

If they don’t get any laughter then you don’t need to do much to win – a simple, “Let’s move on shall we…”, or “They say it’s good to talk but I think you’ve just proved it’s not always true…” should be enough.

HERE ARE SOME OTHER OPTIONS TO CONSIDER… 1. (If it’s a free bar) And that’s why the free bar ends after the first drink… 2. (If it’s not a free bar) And that’s why you don’t get a free bar… 3. And there’s another alcoholic who doesn’t want to remain anonymous. 4. You may laugh but because he’s here today there’s a village going without its idiot. 5. Of course one of the nice things about a wedding is that everyone has their role. The bride has to look beautiful, the best man has to make a speech and someone has to have too much to drink and make a fool of themselves, thanks for taking care of that for us. 6. I know the bride and groom had a long discussion when they were doing the seating plan about whether they could get away with putting you on a table on your own, in Luton.

Speech Do's

Check with the groom.

Anything he wants you to do (other than not abusing him)? Anything he’d like you not to mention?!?

Practice and film it on your phone

Watch it back, promise yourself you’ll do something about your gut and spot where your speech can be improved.

Have back-up notes on the day

Give a spare copy to a trusted mate in advance (or email it to your phone).

Do not rush

You might feel tempted to rush through it – but instead, imagine you’re a primary school teacher telling a story to a bunch of five year-olds. Get expressive, use your body and lose your inhibitions. 

Remember everyone wants you to do well so make sure you smile. It’s scientifically proven to be infectious.

Check out our guides

If you’re delivering a joint best man speech or you’re the brother of the groom, check out our specific guides. 

We offer a brother of the groom template is you need more than advice. 

Speech Don'ts

Don't thank anyone.

In the past, the best man used to thank the newlyweds on behalf of the wedding party but these days, the best man’s speech is all about providing the entertainment and a tribute to the groom. 

Don't ignore the feedback of friends

It’s always worth testing your speech out on a mate, but this also means you have to listen to them. If they don’t get a joke, don’t waste your time explaining it as you won’t be able to do that on the day.

Don't talk over laughter

You’ve worked hard for those laughs – don’t rush them. Always wait until the guests have settled down before continuing with your speech.

Don't resort to 'in jokes'

Remember there are grannies out there. And a lot of people who weren’t on the stag and won’t find the story about Tika the waitress and her hairy chicken quite so funny.

Don't mention the ex

Even if you have a wealth of material, sorry, the rule still applies. Don’t mention exes.

Best Man Speech - let us help you!

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How to Give a Best Man Speech (Template + Examples)

February 19, 2023

How to Give a Best Man Speech

A best man speech is a beautiful toast given at a wedding. Still, it can be a bit nerve-wracking if you’ve never given a speech before, let alone a best man speech. 

If you’re tasked with giving a best man speech, try not to panic (yet). In this how-to guide, we’ll cover:

  • What a best man speech is
  • How to write one
  • How long it should be
  • Best man speech examples
  • A best man speech template you can use
  • And how to make sure your speech is the best it can be

You’ll have a stellar speech ready in no time.

What Is a Best Man Speech?

Traditionally, a best man speech is a toast or speech usually given after the groom gives their speech, although this can completely differ based on the wedding. 

No matter when the speech is slotted for, one thing is for sure : a best man speech is meant to celebrate and congratulate the newlyweds on their marriage. 

How to Write a Best Man Speech

If you need to know how to write a best man speech, you’re not alone . Most people have never given this type of speech and it’s only natural to feel a little lost if you’re tasked with giving the speech. 

Here are four quick tips for how to write a best man speech: 

  • Use a good hook or opener (more on this later). A good opening line is a great way to engage the audience, especially after a long ceremony.
  • Keep it appropriate. Make sure to keep your audience in mind when you’re writing the speech. For example, will there be children in attendance? 
  • Make sure to congratulate the couple on their marriage. This is such an important part of the speech, so don’t forget who you’re celebrating: the newlyweds!
  • Thank the speakers who spoke before you. It’s just common courtesy, but many best men make the mistake of not thanking previous speakers. 

Here’s some expert guidance on how to write a compelling speech: 

We’ll give you some more in-depth tips on how to write a best man speech using the template below.

How Long Should a Best Man Speech Be?

One of the most important things to remember when giving a best man speech is that it doesn’t have to be very long. In fact, it shouldn’t be very long. If you’re giving a best man speech, try to keep it under 10 minutes , which is around 1,100-1,300 words. 

Shooting for even less is fine, too. For example, there are usually between 650-850 words in a five-minute speech .

Just make sure you’re not rambling. To get you going, here are some best man speech examples. 

Best Man Speech Examples

Sometimes, looking at a few best man speech examples can get you in the right headspace for writing and delivering your speech. 

Here are five general best man speech examples. 

  • Open with a story regarding the couple. This is a great example of a best man speech because an anecdote can be tailored to your audience. Just make sure to keep it light and positive. Now is not the time to try to humiliate either newlywed — it’s a special moment between you, the couple, and all the guests at the wedding. 
  • Start with a joke. It can even be a terrible, corny joke, like: “It’s been a lovely, emotional day. Just look how many tiers the cake has!” If you need some inspiration, check out these 10 tips for being funny when you speak .
  • Use a quote to inspire you (and the guests attending). Sometimes, having a quote as a central theme to your speech can be helpful. For example, a commonly cited quote from American poet Sylvia Plath is: “There is nothing like puking with somebody to make you into old friends.”
  • Pick a relevant word and read the Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary definition out loud. For example, you could use: “Love is defined by Webster’s Dictionary as ‘a strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties’ — Just by knowing [the couples’ names], I can confirm this is true.”
  • Use a metaphor or two. Although this might not work for everyone, maybe you can sum up the couple using a metaphor. For example, you might compare their relationship to peanut butter and jelly — a match made in heaven.

Still, you might want to see some examples of a few specific best man speech opening lines.

Best Man Speech Opening Lines

The best way to hook an audience is with one of the many best man speech opening lines out there. These openers can be completely tailored to your taste , the couple, and the guests who are attending the wedding.

You can open with a simple hook, a funny one-liner , or any other way you think would be appropriate. To spark your creativity, here are some best man speech opening lines you can tailor to your liking: 

  • I’d like to start with a toast to [both the couples’ names].
  • Hi, everyone! I’m here to share a [adjective, such as “funny,” “good,” etc.] story about [either newlywed].
  • There’s so much I could say about [both the couples’ names, or just one], but I’ll try to keep this under five minutes.
  • I know [one newlywed’s name] very well, and even though I definitely could, I’ve chosen not to completely embarrass [their name].
  • I’d like to start by thanking [one newlywed’s name] for letting me get up here and give a best man speech — it’s truly an honor. 

These are just general examples , but as long as your heart is in the right place and you’ve got the couple and audience in mind, your best man speech opening line will be great.

Best Man Speech Template

Loosely following a best man speech template can help if you’re feeling stuck. Feel free to use this general outline to guide your speech.

Start by deciding on a topic — just one topic. This will help you hone in on the point of your speech and keep you from rambling and monologuing . What do you want the takeaway of your speech to be? For example, maybe you want guests to know how perfect the newlyweds are for each other. If that’s the case, that would be your central theme to keep you on track. Whatever you decide, your one topic should be relevant to the couple and positive. 

From here, you fill in the gaps. You’ve got your central theme and now you want to sprinkle in some anecdotes and niceties that relate to the couple. So using our earlier example, if your main topic was how perfect the newlyweds are for each other, you might mention how you witnessed this firsthand. Whatever they may be, use these little details and short anecdotes to beef up your speech and make it a bit more substantial.  

In a similar vein, make sure your best man speech comes from the heart. This isn’t the time to deliver a monotonic , boring speech — really leverage the emotions of the day. Although humor in a speech can be great, one pitfall seen over and over again during these kinds of speeches is that they rely on the comedy aspect too heavily. Your speech doesn’t have to be packed with jokes. Instead, think about your relationship with the couple and go from there. 

Lastly, your best man speech template should include this guiding principle: concentrate on the couple. After all, you’re delivering this speech at their wedding, so keep it central to them. That means the both of them. You may be closer with one or the other, but it’s best to focus your speech on both the newlyweds. 

How to Perfect Your Best Man Speech?

The best way to perfect your speech is through practice. 

That’s where a speech coach like Yoodli comes in. 

If you’re giving a best man speech, Yoodli will be your best friend, guaranteed. It’s a  completely free platform that leverages AI technology to break down a person’s speech and speaking patterns. 

As such, Yoodli provides you with in-depth insights about the way you speak, including: 

  • Your body language
  • Your pacing (how fast or slow you speak)
  • Your word choice
  • Your filler word use (how many fillers you use and which ones)
  • And many other analytics

As an AI speech coach , you’ll also receive personalized feedback and coaching comments on your speech and the way you speak. 

How to Give a Best Man Speech

Using Yoodli, you can practice your best man speech as many times as you need in the comfort of a totally judgment-free space. That way, you can use the individualized analytics you receive to improve your speech and the way you deliver it — completely skipping over all guesswork. After Yoodli analyzes your speech, you’ll know exactly what you need to work on. 

Once you’ve practiced your speech with Yoodli, you’ll feel more confident than ever. 

But what’s so special about giving a best man speech?

Why Does a Best Man Speech Even Matter?

Simply put, a best man speech is important because it’s an honor entrusted to you by the couple. 

The fact that they chose you to deliver this speech speaks volumes, and you should feel proud that you’re the one giving such a speech. 

The Takeaway

Although the thought of giving a best man speech at a wedding might make you a bit weak in the knees, it doesn’t have to be a horrible experience. Giving this type of speech is an honor and it’s a beautiful tradition. 

With a little practice from Yoodli, you’ll be able to deliver the perfect best man speech at the wedding. 

Start practicing with Yoodli.

Getting better at speaking is getting easier. Record or upload a speech and let our AI Speech Coach analyze your speaking and give you feedback.

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How to Write a Best Man Speech

Jan 8, 2018

How to Write a Best Man Speech

Now, as you have come to this blog, I assume you’re a soon-to-be Best Man in need of some inspiration or guidance on how to write a best man speech.  But b efore we get to the nitty-gritty of how to structure a best man speech there are some important bits of preparation you can do.  Start by reaching out for some stories, thinking about what style you want and putting the word out for any photos and props.  

Reaching Out

Now even assuming that you and the groom have been joined at the hip since kindergarten, there may still be aspects of his life that you don’t know much about – for instance what he got up to on family holidays as a child, or what his work colleagues think about him. For that reason, all diligent Best Men will make a point of getting in touch with as many of the groom’s friends, colleagues and family as possible for anecdotes that can be used as ammunition against him.

You want to have at least two or three good stories that you can include in your speech, and to ensure that what you have is pure gold, you’re probably going to want at least a dozen in the first place that you can then whittle down to the best. These are going to be used in ‘The Roast’ which we’ll talk about in my blog on how to structure your best man speech.

The stories needn’t all be funny of course – if they throw light on the groom’s good virtuous character then there’s no reason you can’t also bring them in, to help you make a connection with the audience and reassure the bride’s father that his new son-in-law isn’t as appalling as he might think. Just remember the nice stuff should be sprinkled in amongst the dirt – you don’t want to make it too easy for the groom, now do you?

Style of Speech

The second thing to think about before you put pen to paper is the style of your speech. The tone you take will depend as much on your own personality as it does on the audience. If you’re not a confident public speaker, naturally you’ll want to keep it fairly short and sweet. On the other hand, if you’re a born orator, then you’ll probably be happy to take flight on a ream of witty anecdotes. Think about what you’re most comfortable with and don’t over-reach yourself. It’s always best to leave them wanting more after all, and no-one will begrudge you if you don’t talk for long.

With regards to the audience, you need to be certain of its composition before you start. If it’s going to be a fairly young crowd, and likely well-lubricated from a free bar, then you can be reasonably sure that your jokes about the groom and his difficult puberty years will go down well.

If, however the guests are mostly going to be over a certain age, and church-going folk to boot, then in all likelihood they would prefer not to know too much detail about the groom’s various run-ins with the law, or his unseemly web browsing history. The last thing you want is to be frantically rewriting your speech in your head during the ceremony because you’ve catastrophically misjudged the audience.

You may be thinking about including visual aids.  I watched a fantastic Best Man speech a few years ago where he had arranged for some genuine police officers to stage an arrest of the groom on his stag.  He then displayed photos of the events on a projector. If you plan something similar, make sure you leave yourself plenty of time to get your materials organised.

Equally, if you want to source photos from friends or family, you’ll need to give yourself some time as they will probably be from back in the day when folk used to get film processed! That being the case you’re going to have to get the originals and scan them – praise be that those time are behind us!

How to Structure a Best Man Speech

You’ll hear different opinions about what the ideal best man speech structure looks like. In the beginning I was a little confused so I analysed literally hundreds and hundreds of speeches to look for commonalities that made the best ones really great. I then engaged with some of the best speech writers from around the world to validate and tweak the formula. The one I landed on is a 15 step structure that is used in the app I created for writing best man speeches, SpeechMate.   My blog on    How to Structure a Best Man Speech takes you through a shortened version of this framework to help you with the next stage of writing your best man speech.    

Get Your Complete Guide to Writing a Best Man’s Speech

If you’d like to learn more about writing your speech then download your full guide 25-page guide ‘How to Write a Best Man Speech’ in which I talk you through the entire process step-by-step.

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Follow This Perfect Best Man Speech: Tips + Examples

Written by  Shutterfly Community Last Updated: Oct 12, 2018

You’ve been chosen as the best man. Congratulations! It’s a great feeling to know that your friend or relative wants you to take part as his right-hand man in one of the best days of his life.

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One of the most important duties as best man is the best man speech. Traditionally the speech is given during the reception before the guests eat. Whether you are great with public speaking or a little intimidated by standing in front of a large group, we have all the tools you need in order to be best prepared, so don’t sweat it.

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The Do’s and Don’ts For Preparing Your Best Man Speech

Don’t wing it..

Find a time a couple of months before the wedding to think about the things you want to talk about and write an outline. Most likely you’ll get caught up in best man activities with the groom and it will leave you with less time as the date approaches.

Do write a great intro.

The intro is the most important part of the speech because it grabs the audience’s attention. Try a funny one-liner, a story about you and the groom or even a compliment to his lovely new wife.

Don’t bring up past relationships.

Not only is it disrespectful to his wife but his wife’s family will also be there and will not want to hear about the groom’s litany of ex-girlfriends.

Do have a plan B.

Make sure you have the speech written down or outlined and have some jokes or points to cover if you are facing a tough crowd.

Don’t make negative jokes about marriage.

Even if you and the groom have an inside joke or if you have negative ideas about settling down, the audience doesn’t need to know. Also, don’t use curse words at any point during the speech, as you don’t know who in the audience you might offend.

Do practice.

Practice makes perfect. Going over the speech several times will ensure that you are comfortable with what you are saying and it will sound more natural.  Pro tip: record your speech on your phone’s voice memos and play back.

Don’t talk about the groom in compromising situations.

So you’ve seen the groom embarrass himself but you should keep that to yourself. You don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable or upset his wife.

Do congratulate the couple.

Make a toast, congratulate them and say what your wishes are for them in their new life.

Don’t make it longer than 7 minutes.

Although speeches are a fun part of the reception, making it too long can bore the hungry guests. If it’s a casual reception keep it to about three minutes, for a more formal setting seven minutes is more than enough time.

Do thank the guests.

As the groom’s right-hand man, make sure you thank everyone who attended and even the people working the event. It’s a nice gesture that will be appreciated.

A Simple Best Man Speech Outline

If you want a speech that is short, sweet and simple that is perfectly acceptable as well. This works well for smaller wedding receptions, weddings that will have more than two speakers or those that are a little more private. Following these simple steps will ensure a great and memorable speech:

  • Opening line
  • Introduce yourself
  • Talk about groom/Compliment bride
  • Propose a toast
  • Thank the couple

Short and simple speech

Since I have everyone’s attention I’d love to say a few words to this amazing couple sitting right in front of me. For those who don’t know me, I’m Ed. Mike’s closest friend and sidekick.  We’ve known each other for about 11 years and have been on many adventures together. During that time, I got to know him well and can honestly say, he is the most selfless and stand-up guy I’ve ever met. I am thrilled to be standing here and celebrating him and his beautiful bride, Linda.

I am sure this union between two honest and caring people makes you all smile. Let’s raise a glass for everlasting love! Thanks for making us all part of this beautiful day.

Best Man Speech Template

Typically, a best man speech should last about 4-7 minutes depending on the party. While short and sweet is welcomed, a best man speech can also include more details such as how you know the groom and the bride, funny jokes, heartfelt stories and your well wishes.

Whether you want your speech to make the crowd laugh or shed a little tear, you may be wondering how to get started. We’ve pointed out several tips in our template below. Remember, a speech should always come from the heart.

How to Write the Perfect Best Man Speech

1 Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. It’s lovely to see some familiar faces. On behalf of the gorgeous bridesmaids and not so gorgeous groomsmen, we’d like to thank you all for coming. 2 It’s amazing to see how far people will travel for free cocktails.

3 For those who don’t know me, my name is Adam. I am the best man and Sam’s very best friend. It’s an honor to be here and to be part of such a beautiful event. 4 I met Sam 20 years ago. We grew up together as neighbors in San Diego and attended the same school all throughout college. 5 He was the nice kid on the block who would go home and do his homework while all of us were out doing, well, the things we shouldn’t be doing. Can you believe it took me two months to convince him to toilet paper Mrs. Carter’s house? Mrs. Carter isn’t here, is she?

Luckily, as we grew up, he started making better decisions; one of them being this very special day. He is marrying his best friend 6 and the most beautiful girl he’s ever laid eyes on. Sarah, he said this to me just the other night and I promise no more than three drinks were involved.

7 When Sam introduced us to Sarah , we knew right away she was the one. For starters, she made him get rid of that horrible, beer-stained couch that he had since college. That alone got our stamp of approval. But mostly, we saw how happy she made him and how every time he talked about her, he would have a huge smile. We started seeing a little less of him, but that’s okay because we were getting tired of buying his drinks anyway.

For that reason, and the reason we are all here today, 8 I’d like to raise a glass to Sam and Sarah. May you have the life you always dreamed of, continue to fight over the remote and cherish making beautiful memories together. Find joy in the small things like Portlandia and expensive coffee and may sparks continue to fly forever. 9 Thank you guys for allowing me to be part of this special day and for trusting me not to ruin this beautiful moment (phew!). I’d also love to give a huge thanks to the staff who have helped make this night memorable.

10 Cheers, everyone! Continue to have a great night and come hang out with me on the dance floor.

Always address the audience and welcome them.

A quick opening sentence to welcome guests helps everyone feel at ease.

Throw in a silly joke.

A wedding should be fun and enjoyable. A joke will help to break the ice.

Introduce yourself.

It’s best to not assume that everyone knows who you are. A short and simple introduction will allow everyone to get familiar with the wedding party.

Talk about how you know each other.

Whether you are a relative or friend, talk the audience through how you got to be a special person in the groom’s life.

Talk about groom’s personality.

Use this time to make a joke about the groom or share a sweet sentiment. Mention any sports, skills or funny stories that people will appreciate.

Compliment his bride.

Acknowledging the bride is a must, especially because she makes the groom so happy. A mention of her dress, personality or the first time you met her is ideal.

Talk a bit about them as a couple.

Share things you like about them as a couple. It helps the audience get to know their dynamic a little better and it will make the couple smile as well.

Give a toast.

Raise a glass and cheers to the new couple. Including a bit of tradition makes the speech much more special.

Thank the couple and staff.

Everyone spent a lot of time preparing for the special day. Make sure to thank the couple for allowing you to be part of it and the staff for making it all happen.

This closing allows for any sort of instruction such as dancing, dessert or simply to tell them to enjoy the party.

Best Man Speech for Brother

Good evening, hope everyone is having a good time tonight. I feel very privileged and honored to be standing here tonight celebrating this lovely union. Two years ago, Matt gave the best man speech at my wedding and made a lot of awkward jokes. So needless to say, I’ve been waiting for this moment for a really long time! For those who don’t know, I am Matt’s brother, Mike. I first met Matt when I was two years old at our parent’s house in Boston. To be quite honest, I wasn’t thrilled because I really wanted a sister. And I think he knew because Matt would do ridiculous things like throw my toothbrush in the toilet, pour water at me when I was asleep and run across the room naked when I had any friends over. This made me less popular than I already was.

Matt always excelled in school, was captain of the debate team (apologies to Cara, but he can argue his way out of anything!) and can make a mean steak. The truth is, despite him being an annoying brother at the time, I came out winning in the end. Because of him and this beautiful night, I am getting the sister I always wanted. Cara, you’re beautiful and our family loves you so much. Thank you for making my brother so happy.

Let’s celebrate this amazing union and raise a glass to the newlyweds! On behalf of the groomsmen and bridesmaids, we’d like to wish you a life full of love, happiness, and joy.

To everyone who made tonight happen, thank you. You’ve made this night very special.

Sentimental Best Man Speech

If I can have your attention everybody, I’d like to say a few words. Thank you all for being here to celebrate this lovely couple. Now I would like you all to take out some tissues, because you are going to need them after this. For those of you who have not met me I am Rich, Joe’s best man. Rich and I have known each other for over 30 years, we met when we were both just two years old. We lived on the same street and our mothers were friends so naturally we also became friends.

I am an only child so Joe was like a brother to me. We became inseparable. We played in T-ball together and then graduated on to baseball throughout high school. When we weren’t throwing the ball we were skateboarding, watching movies or challenging each other in video games.

Joe was always hanging out at my house and I grew up thinking he was just part of the family. I remember asking my mom why Joe never goes home and mom would always say “Rich, Joe is the brother you never had, take good care of each other.”

What my mom didn’t tell me at the time was that Joe’s mom was really sick and his dad worked double shifts just to stay afloat with all the medical bills. So, having Joe around was our way of helping out.

Even though we were only in high school, Joe made it very clear that he wanted to have a wife and family of his own. His mother’s death at such a young age was really challenging and in some ways, he learned to cherish the women he had in his life more.

He knew he wanted a strong, nurturing and kind woman to be his wife. When Joe met Sarah he almost broke it off with her because he was afraid of losing her. I remember Joe coming to me and saying, “I’m in trouble, I’ve met the one but don’t know what to do.” “Scared is good”, I said, “It means you won’t mess this up”.

Sarah’s greatest strength comes from losing her father to cancer at a young age. When Joe and Sarah met, their commonalities bonded them immediately. Both missing the connection with their parents and understanding each other’s experiences brought them very close. I’ve never seen two people more meant for each other. From the moment they met in college, there has been an incredible and magical bond.

When I look at both of you I can see how your experiences have led you to one another. It’s as if your parents were orchestrating this all along. Even though your parents are not here with us tonight, they are in spirit and will continue to guide you in the right direction and are so very proud of you.

As we all gather here to enjoy this dinner tonight, I’d like to make a toast to Joe and Sarah. Two souls meant to meet and fall in love. I want you to know that mom misses you hanging out at the house and she told me to tell you that you are always welcome in her home.

Joe, thank you for being my friend and brother all these years. You are the very best friend a guy could ever have and I love you so much.

Sarah, Thank you for loving this great man and for taking Joe to be your husband. I know you both will take care of each other and keep the memories of your parents alive together.

Now that our napkins need replacing, I’d like to thank all the staff and event coordinators for taking care of this beautiful event.

Cheers to everyone, enjoy your night and if you have a chance, come find me and say hi.

Funny Best Man Speech

Ladies and gentlemen if I can have your attention for a few moments, I would like to give a toast to Mark and Melissa. I was a little surprised that Mark asked me to be his best man, after all, he knows how much I love to embarrass him. I’m thinking, “what a great time to leave a lasting impression of who Mark really is” in front of all his closest friends and family. If for some reason you did not know, Mark was chosen as the class clown in high school. He even got his picture immortalized in our class yearbook for this very title. Let me tell you, having Mark as a best friend was very entertaining!

He was always laughing, pulling pranks, and sometimes getting us in trouble (I certainly won’t tell them how we barely made it out of jail because you thought streaking through the grocery store parking lot was a good dare). We all had a bit of clowning around within us, but the one thing Mark always had over any of us was his way of making girls laugh. And I mean really laugh, not just a quick chuckle but downright laugh out loud, spit-up-your-drink kind of laugh. While we were all worried about how we looked to girls, Mark’s concern was always how to make them crack up. I remember Mark saying “how come you get all the girls and I don’t?” I never had a straight answer for him. Looking back now though, my track record only lasted a few months and for Mark? Well, what he didn’t know was that his “clowning around” was preparing him for the show of his life.

When Mark introduced me to Melissa I knew she was special. I knew this was who Mark was going to marry. She not only has a very infectious laugh, but she gets Mark to laugh just as much.

They say a marriage can’t truly survive without laughter and I don’t believe there will be a shortage of that with these two. Mark, remember when you asked me why you don’t get all the girls? Well, the answer is right there next to you. While you were out figuring out jokes and funny one-liners, Melissa was saving up for the greatest show on earth!

If anyone tells you that you’re a bunch a clowns just smile and say….who’s got the last laugh now? Let’s raise our glass to Mark and Melissa! Here’s to a lifetime of love and laughter! You are both class acts and I am proud to call you my best friends. I love you both very much and thank you for having me here.

To all who were in charge of organizing this awesome night, great job on making this wedding shine. I challenge everyone to a dance-off later tonight.

Hopefully these tips will have you on your way to writing a heartfelt speech. If you still need a little more inspiration, don’t forget to check out our wedding quotes . These are great to incorporate into your speech, write in a card or simply share as advice to the newlyweds.

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Write a Heartwarming Best Man Speech: Tips and Examples!

best man speech written out

I like building and growing simple yet powerful products for the world and the worldwide web.

Published Date : October 30, 2020

Reading Time :

Another wedding is around the corner; this time, it’s your best friend’s or maybe your relatives’ marriage ceremony. You received the honor of being the best man. It is now time to plan an epic bachelor party and prepare to write a legendary best man speech .

Based on statistics , over 77% of people have public speaking -related anxiety. If you are one of the 77%, I will share helpful tips on writing a best-man speech to help you be less anxious about presenting your toast.

You can watch this video to help overcome your fear of public speaking :

In addition to having a virtual speech coach app, Orai’s specialty is public speaking . We will help you get your best man speech structure and presentation organized.

If you aren’t particularly interested in:

  • Understanding the intricacies of a remarkable best-man speech
  • Getting essential tips for best man speech ideas
  • Creating your best man speech template
  • Best man speech examples, brother

If you are only interested in my final tips and notes, scroll until the last subheading before the conclusion.

Basic Best Man Speech Tips

The honor of being the best man comes with some responsibilities, although not as much as a maid of honor. However, planning a bachelor party seems trivial compared to giving a speech on your best friend’s most memorable day.

So, how do you start and ace your best man’s speech ? You do it like every other speech type, except with some nuances I will discuss next.

Here are some helpful tips to ensure smooth delivery and reduce your chance of getting jittery.

1. Early Preparation is Crucial

You will need to avoid procrastination. Just because the wedding seems far away doesn’t mean you should not start preparing.

It will be best to avoid the “words will flow when I am out there mentality.” Start writing your best man speech two to four months before the wedding if possible. 

This timeframe seems unrealistic, so why? 

As the wedding approaches, more events keep you very busy. One of the worst things to combine at a wedding is a lack of preparation and anxiety.

Some ways to start preparing include:

  • Think of stories that show how a groom is a great person
  • Ask for how they met if you weren’t there.
  • You can also prepare to reminisce on the first time you met the bride before or after they became a couple.
  • Think of jokes and quotes you will share

2. Open With a Cool Line

An excellent way to boost your confidence is to grab your audience’s attention in a friendly and calm manner. The best man’s opening lines set the tone for the speech , so go for an excellent one-liner.

The opening line of your best man speech gives your (most likely tipsy or drunk) audience a reason to listen to you and stay intrigued.

3. Make Best Man Speech Joke with Tact

For the best man speech joke, here are some helpful tactical tips.

  • Avoid teasing the bride, except when you all run in the same circle.
  • Since you are closer to the groom, he can be the center of jokes.
  • Try to avoid inside jokes until you are alone with the groom.
  • Being sensitive while joking helps avoid the air of awkwardness

4. Practice Makes Perfect

Let’s start this section by looking at this video: 

Having a well-written speech is only a minute part of the best man speech delivery is crucial. One best practice for delivery is a rehearsal.

Try to present your speech to an audience that can relate to it, like another groomsman or other wedding guests. It is best to ensure that the person you are practicing in front of can give you honest feedback; otherwise, try the Orai app .

Practice will help you get rid of fillers. You could also get tips to reduce using fillers from this video:

5. Writing is an Excellent Memory Aid

As excellent as your memory is, writing down your speech or the toast highlights always helps. Why?

  • A written speech helps you feel more confident. 
  • You can stay on track when you write down your major points.
  • Being nervous can make you forget a carefully planned speech , so writing it out will help.

You don’t need to write out every last detail of your speech , so a large piece of paper may be unnecessary. You can use a notecard or your mobile phone notes app to write.

6. Be Creative with Variety

One of the ultimate weapons of a remarkable best-man speech is variety. It is quite anticlimactic to have a boring presentation that isn’t:

An excellent best-man speech will let you feel all these emotions and more. Your speeches’ emotional multitone makes the couples’ love story more beautiful and makes your toast heartwarming.

7. Enunciate Your Words Properly for Clarity

You should take charge as a best man when you receive the mic. Avoid mumbling, monotonous tones, being inaudible, and talking too fast or slow. 

Think “Zac Efron” vibes, speech pacing, and confidence when giving your best man speech . A monotonous speech will bore the guests, and if people start straining to hear you clearly, they become uninterested.

Even if you are introverted, you can try being confident and apply these tips in your own way. If you feel like you need a shot for a boost of confidence , have one, but avoid being drunk or intoxicated.

This video may help with pacing:

Best man speech

8. Have a Plan B

There is a high chance that your incredible and well-prepared speech won’t be well-received. Or maybe you made a bad joke that only you find funny. 

A plan-b phrase becomes very helpful at this point. Since the day is about the lovely couple, you can compliment them to get your audience gushing again.

If a joke you made ruined the mood the first time, it’s best to avoid it until you have your audience’s full attention. 

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How do you write a best man’s speech?

Whether you have writer’s block or not, the best man’s speech duty has been entrusted to you, so you must deliver. 

The best way to write your speech is to follow the best man speech template discussed in the next subheading as a guide. 

A rule of thumb is to personalize your best man speech template to fit the bride and groom of the day. Without further ado, let’s move on to the outline.

Creating the Best Man Speech Template

Writing anything from scratch without a template or an outline is a leading cause of writer’s block. It is quite overwhelming to start writing a best-man speech . Therefore, we will share the best man speech template or a toast writing design.

An essential idiom to remember as you organize your best man speech template is that “a rough sketch is better than no picture at all.”

Here is an excellent best-man speech template to follow:

  • Make an outstanding one-liner to open with
  • Express gratitude to the couple and the speakers before you
  • Congratulations are in order, so congratulations to the newlyweds.
  • Say something nice about the bride, but avoid flattery.
  • Tease the groom a bit with a tactical joke
  • If it’s part of your duty, read the messages of guests who could not attend the wedding.
  • Finish your speech with a lovely poem, quote a book, or share some famous lines (this could end up being an inside joke on their ten-year vow renewal if everyone isn’t too drunk to remember.)
  • Don’t forget to propose a toast to the newlyweds.

How Long Should a Best Man Speech Be?

Since the best man’s speech is informal, being extremely serious about it is unnecessary. However, that doesn’t mean you should talk the ears off of the wedding guests. 

The length of your speech will depend significantly on the type of wedding event. A long, formal wedding may call for a longer toast than a wedding on a trip to Vegas.

A five-minute speech can convey everything you want to say and still be meaningful and entertaining. If you need more time, try to keep things brief because your guests may not enjoy your sentiment if they aren’t drunk.

Tactical Topics to Avoid

Although the married couple may know everything about each other, and you may know all about the groom, some topics are off-limits.

Even some topics you and the groom find extremely funny may be offensive to someone else. So, here are some topics to avoid.

Best Man Speech Ideas for Your Remarkable Toast

When coming up with the best man speech , brother ideas and all, you will need to consider:

  • The groom’s personality: is he someone who can take or joke, or is he sensitive and serious? 
  • Will their guests enjoy a lighthearted joke?
  • Can you tell a lovely story about him that the guests may not know?
  • A bit of embarrassing the groom is welcome, especially with stories from his youth.
  • If you aren’t a standup comedian, don’t force it. It always ends up being a pitiful sight to watch.

Best man speech

Best Man Speech Opening Lines

The speech intro comes next after the best man’s speech opening lines. The direction you decide to go with your introduction depends entirely on you; hence, I will share my best-man speech template for introductions.

  • Start with an address directed at the audience, thank them for their attendance, and if you feel nice, you can give some compliments.
  • Next, you can thank the couple for the opportunity to give your speech and express gratitude to their parents.
  • Next, introduce yourself and share how you know the groom; this is the perfect place to share a memory or tell a joke if you can (no pressure).
  • You can credit the previous speaker and add open loops to prepare your audience for your speech .

One-liners and Best Man Speech Jokes

If you want yours to be a funny best-man speech , you can start your one-liner with one of the groom’s funny quirks.

The trick here is to ensure the joke is relatable and funny to everyone so they can all appreciate it.

Here are some inspirations

If you thrive on dark humor, I’d advise avoiding making jokes during weddings to keep everyone happy.

Best Man Speech Examples for Brother

There are many examples of the best-man speech , like the one in this video: 

Unlike the best man in the video, you may not be the bride’s brother, so you may not make the bride and groom go through an emotional roller coaster.

However, here are some examples of the best man speech .

Speech for Different Types of Best Men

There are different types of best man speeches and many categories of best men, so your approach may vary.

A helpful tip is to watch wedding movies where the best man wasn’t high or drunk during his speech . It may inspire you on what to add and things to avoid.

Example Best Man Speech for Best Friend

The best man speech for best friend is unique and can take any direction. You can enjoy the effect of an emotional rollercoaster and go for funny, heartfelt, romantic, or a combination.

The Short Speech

With a short speech , you can go with a symbolic theme like a spark, a sign, or any cute thing people say about relationships.

Here, you can give a quote, talk briefly about the couple, and make a toast.

A Heartfelt Speech

With a heartfelt speech , you can make a joke about the effort it took to try writing and a decision to wing it and speak from your heart at the beginning.

Next, you can go for stories about watching them fall in love each day or how they became your family. The main deal is to give your best man speech from your heart.

Funny Best Man Speech Example

Funny best-man speech examples are challenging to represent since the jokes depend on you and your audience. However, you can joke about your relationship with the groom or imply that he wrote your speech .

What is the Best Wedding Speech for the Brother 

Just like the best friend, the best man’s speech brother has a large room of opportunities. You can make jokes or share heartwarming childhood memories with the groom.

Best man speech

You can choose to be sentimental or take a funny path. To end, you can express gratitude for getting a new sister and finish on a light note.

More on the Brother’s Speech

Some helpful best-man speech brother tips are:

  • Since it’s your brother, you can be as personal as you want.
  • Don’t avoid practice because it’s your brother. Take time to practice.
  • Your whole speech doesn’t need to be centered around jabs.
  • Nerves and emotions are typical, so practicing will help you keep them in check.

Final Memorable Best Man Speech Writing Tips and Notes

As promised at the beginning for those that skipped, here are some crucial points to note when writing and presenting your best man speech :

  • Be Prepared
  • Alcohol may help take the edge off, but being drunk or wasted may make you say things you will regret later.
  • Don’t forget to express gratitude
  • Stories are helpful
  • Creating controversy isn’t right, so avoid topics that could cause disputes.
  • Inside jokes are annoying.
  • Be brief. Rambling will get tiring since there are other people to listen to
  • A nice quote is an excellent way to end.
  • Propose a toast with a raised glass
  • Be original, and you can let out a sigh of relief for theatrical effects.

How should I structure my best man speech, from the opening to the conclusion?

Master your best man speech ! Greet & thank everyone, introduce yourself with a funny story, and acknowledge previous speakers. Craft your intro based on the groom’s personality: funny anecdotes, embarrassing youth stories, or heartfelt moments work well. Remember to: prepare, express gratitude, use stories, avoid controversy, be brief, and end strong with a toast or quote. These tips will guide you towards a memorable and well-received speech !

How can I prepare a memorable best man speech for a wedding?

Make your best man speech unforgettable! Highlight the groom’s personality with funny stories, unique anecdotes, and genuine emotions. Start strong with a captivating line and heartfelt gratitude. Practice conquering nerves and prioritizing originality, conciseness , and sincerity. Aim for a speech that reflects the groom, adds a personal touch, and leaves a positive mark on the celebration – that’s the winning formula!

Giving a best man speech may be daunting, but you can ensure that yours is memorable and remarkable. You can study public speaking tips beforehand and check out Orai to practice your speech :

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Biden's State of the Union address, annotated and fact-checked

By Zachary B. Wolf and Sean O’Key, CNN

Published March 8, 2024

It may have been President Joe Biden’s final State of the Union address. Or possibly the last of his first term. As Biden and former President Donald Trump prepare for a 2024 general election rematch, a vigorous Biden went off script at times, directly addressing Republicans and making the case that his administration has improved the country and people’s lives.

Here’s what he said and key ad-libs, along with context and fact checks from CNN’s fact check team.

Good evening.

Mr. Speaker. Madam Vice President. Members of Congress. My Fellow Americans.

In January 1941, President Franklin Roosevelt came to this chamber to speak to the nation.

He said, “I address you at a moment unprecedented in the history of the Union."

Hitler was on the march. War was raging in Europe.

President Roosevelt’s purpose was to wake up the Congress and alert the American people that this was no ordinary moment.

Freedom and democracy were under assault in the world.

Roosevelt’s “Four Freedoms” speech closed with a vision of spreading American democracy to the world. That’s a very Biden sentiment .

Tonight I come to the same chamber to address the nation.

Now it is we who face an unprecedented moment in the history of the Union.

And yes, my purpose tonight is to both wake up this Congress, and alert the American people that this is no ordinary moment either.

It’s notable that Biden was essentially comparing the threat against democracy today, both here and abroad, to the threat posed by Adolf Hitler in Germany in 1941.

Not since President Lincoln and the Civil War have freedom and democracy been under assault here at home as they are today.

What makes our moment rare is that freedom and democracy are under attack, both at home and overseas, at the very same time.

Biden’s challenge in this election is to make Americans believe his quest to save democracy is an urgent matter. The rise of Trump from the political desert suggests many Americans are tiring of the message.

Overseas, Putin of Russia is on the march, invading Ukraine and sowing chaos throughout Europe and beyond.

If anybody in this room thinks Putin will stop at Ukraine, I assure you, he will not.

But Ukraine can stop Putin if we stand with Ukraine and provide the weapons it needs to defend itself. That is all Ukraine is asking. They are not asking for American soldiers.

In fact, there are no American soldiers at war in Ukraine. And I am determined to keep it that way.

This was an important pledge for Americans to hear. French President Emmanuel Macron recently suggested European troops could be called to Ukraine .

But now assistance for Ukraine is being blocked by those who want us to walk away from our leadership in the world.

The Senate passed a bill to give Ukraine an additional $60 billion in US aid, but Speaker Mike Johnson, who sat over Biden’s left shoulder during the speech, has not schedule d a vote in the House .

It wasn’t that long ago when a Republican President, Ronald Reagan, thundered, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall."

Now, my predecessor, a former Republican President, tells Putin, “Do whatever the hell you want."

Reagan’s words were an important moment in US history. Watch it here. Trump, he who shall not be named in this speech, said recently that he told a European leader that Russia should be able to “ do whatever the hell they want ” to European countries that don’t spend enough on defense.

A former American President actually said that, bowing down to a Russian leader.

It’s outrageous. It’s dangerous. It’s unacceptable.

This “bowing down” line has become a staple of Biden’s speeches.

America is a founding member of NATO the military alliance of democratic nations created after World War II to prevent war and keep the peace.

Today, we’ve made NATO stronger than ever.

We welcomed Finland to the Alliance last year, and just this morning, Sweden officially joined NATO, and their Prime Minister is here tonight.

Mr. Prime Minister, welcome to NATO, the strongest military alliance the world has ever known.

Sweden was able to join NATO after Turkey and Hungary dropped objections. Coincidentally, Trump is set to meet with Hungary’s Putin-friendly prime minister, Viktor Orban, at Mar-a-Lago on Friday.

I say this to Congress: we must stand up to Putin. Send me the Bipartisan National Security Bill.

History is watching.

If the United States walks away now, it will put Ukraine at risk.

Europe at risk. The free world at risk, emboldening others who wish to do us harm.

My message to President Putin is simple.

We will not walk away. We will not bow down. I will not bow down.

History is watching, just like history watched three years ago on January 6th.

This was an important turn, from standing up to Putin to the threat of insurrectionists at home. Trump’s affinity for Putin is no secret. Trump argues he would be able to contain Putin better than Biden.

Insurrectionists stormed this very Capitol and placed a dagger at the throat of American democracy.

Many of you were here on that darkest of days.

We all saw with our own eyes these insurrectionists were not patriots.

They had come to stop the peaceful transfer of power and to overturn the will of the people.

Everyone saw it, but many Republican lawmakers now downplay the threat posed by the January 6, 2021, insurrection. Johnson was among the lawmakers who objected to the counting of electoral votes in key states Biden won in 2020.

January 6th and the lies about the 2020 election, and the plots to steal the election, posed the gravest threat to our democracy since the Civil War.

But they failed. America stood strong and democracy prevailed.

But we must be honest the threat remains and democracy must be defended.

My predecessor and some of you here seek to bury the truth of January 6th.

I will not do that.

A lot of Americans might want to move on from 2020, but Biden will try to remind them at every turn. He’ll get help from Trump, who is also still very focused on 2020. Trump has fashioned his campaign as a weapon of “retribution.”

This is a moment to speak the truth and bury the lies.

And here’s the simplest truth. You can’t love your country only when you win.

As I’ve done ever since being elected to office, I ask you all, without regard to party, to join together and defend our democracy!

Remember your oath of office to defend against all threats foreign and domestic.

Respect free and fair elections! Restore trust in our institutions! And make clear –political violence has absolutely no place in America!

Biden frequently uses this line about having to love your country when you lose too. The erosion of faith in US institutions is a troubling development reflected in multiple polls .

And history is watching another assault on freedom.

Joining us tonight is Latorya Beasley, a social worker from Birmingham, Alabama . 14 months ago tonight, she and her husband welcomed a baby girl thanks to the miracle of IVF.

She scheduled treatments to have a second child, but t he Alabama Supreme Court shut down IVF treatments across the state , unleashed by the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade.

She was told her dream would have to wait.

Here’s a list of all of the people who sat with first lady Jill Biden.

Notably, some Alabama clinics have resumed treatment under a bipartisan law hastily passed in that state. But Democrats will continue to make this argument about abortion restrictions being an assault on freedom.

What her family has gone through should never have happened. And unless Congress acts, it could happen again.

So tonight, let’s stand up for families like hers!

To my friends across the aisle, don’t keep families waiting any longer. Guarantee the right to IVF nationwide!

This will be an interesting request to monitor, since it could theoretically gain bipartisan support.

Like most Americans, I believe Roe v. Wade got it right. And I thank Vice President Harris for being an incredible leader, defending reproductive freedom and so much more.

But my predecessor came to office determined to see Roe v. Wade overturned.

He’s the reason it was overturned. In fact, he brags about it.

Look at the chaos that has resulted.

Most Americans support abortion rights in some form, but the parties are hopelessly split. It will help Trump with his base to brag about overturning Roe v. Wade. It will help Biden with his base to blame Trump.

Joining us tonight is Kate Cox, a wife and mother from Dallas.

When she became pregnant again, the fetus had a fatal condition.

Her doctors told Kate that her own life and her ability to have children in the future were at risk if she didn’t act.

Because Texas law banned abortion, Kate and her husband had to leave the state to get the care she needed.

What her family has gone through should never have happened as well. But it is happening to so many others.

CNN’s Betsy Klein notes that Biden leaned on the personal stories of two of the guests in the first lady’s box: Latorya Beasley, an Alabama mother who had to pause in vitro fertilization treatment, and Kate Cox , the Texas mother of two who had to leave her state for access to a lifesaving abortion. And he pointed to a patchwork of abortion rights laws around the country.

But Republicans would have as much trouble passing a nationwide abortion ban as Democrats would have passing a bill to codify Roe v. Wade.

There are state laws banning the right to choose, criminalizing doctors, and forcing survivors of rape and incest to leave their states as well to get the care they need.

Many of you in this Chamber and my predecessor are promising to pass a national ban on reproductive freedom.

My God, what freedoms will you take away next?

In its decision to overturn Roe v. Wade the Supreme Court majority wrote, “Women are not without – electoral or political power.”

No kidding.

Clearly, those bragging about overturning Roe v. Wade have no clue about the power of women in America.

They found out though when reproductive freedom was on the ballot and won in 2022, 2023, and they will find out again, in 2024.

Democratic candidates will do everything they can to raise the abortion rights issue during the general election. Even voters in red states have chosen to support abortion rights when given the chance. There could be abortion-related ballot questions in key states, including Florida .

If Americans send me a Congress that supports the right to choose , I promise you, I will restore Roe v. Wade as the law of the land again!

This math doesn’t work. Passing legislation to protect abortion rights nationwide and restore Roe would surely require 60 votes in the Senate. Democrats currently have 51 seats, and there are few opportunities for pickups in 2024. Two Republicans, Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, publicly support a national abortion rights law. That’s not nearly enough.

America cannot go back. I am here tonight to show the way forward. Because I know how far we’ve come.

Four years ago next week, before I came to office, our country was hit by the worst pandemic and the worst economic crisis in a century.

Remember the fear. Record job losses. Remember the spike in crime. And the murder rate.

A raging virus that would take more than 1 million American lives and leave millions of loved ones behind.

Biden’s figure needs context. Many lives were lost to Covid-19 during the Trump administration, but the US didn’t reach its millionth death until May 2022 when Biden was in office.

A mental health crisis of isolation and loneliness.

A president, my predecessor, who failed the most basic duty. Any President owes the American people the duty to care.

That is unforgivable.

I came to office determined to get us through one of the toughest periods in our nation’s history .

It is sometimes hard to remember that the Covid-19 pandemic started during the Trump administration and dominated the start of the Biden administration.

And we have. It doesn’t make the news but in thousands of cities and towns the American people are writing the greatest comeback story never told.

So let’s tell that story here and now.

America’s comeback is building a future of American possibilities, building an economy from the middle out and the bottom up , not the top down, investing in all of America, in all Americans to make sure everyone has a fair shot and we leave no one behind!

Republicans frequently try to label Biden as a socialist for spending taxpayer money. But Democrats and Biden argue the public has an interest in trying to make sure opportunities are accessible to everyone.

The pandemic no longer controls our lives. The vaccines that saved us from COVID are now being used to help beat cancer.

Turning setback into comeback.

That's America!

I inherited an economy that was on the brink. Now our economy is the envy of the world!

15 million new jobs in just three years - that's a record!

Biden’s claim is correct: the US economy added about 14.8 million jobs between Biden’s first full month in office, February 2021, and January 2024, more jobs than were added in any previous four-year presidential term. However, it’s important to note that Biden took office in an unusual pandemic context that makes meaningful comparison to other periods very difficult.

Unemployment at 50-year lows.

This needs context. The unemployment rate did hit a five-decade low during two months of early 2023 , 3.4%, and it has since remained close to that level — but the latest available unemployment rate, 3.7% for January, is higher than the rate was during nine months under President Donald Trump in 2019 and pre-pandemic 2020. (The rate then skyrocketed on account of the pandemic, and it was 6.4% the month Biden took office in January 2021.)

A record 16 million Americans are starting small businesses and each one is an act of hope.

With historic job growth and small business growth for Black, Hispanic, and Asian-Americans.

800,000 new manufacturing jobs in America and counting.

Biden’s figure is correct. The US economy added 791,000 manufacturing jobs from Biden’s first full month in office, February 2021, through January 2024, the last month for which Bureau of Labor Statistics data is available — though it’s worth noting that the growth largely occurred in 2021 and 2022 (with 746,000 manufacturing jobs added starting in February 2021) before a relatively flat 2023.

More people have health insurance today than ever before.

The racial wealth gap is the smallest it’s been in 20 years.

Wages keep going up and inflation keeps coming down!

Inflation has dropped from 9% to 3% – the lowest in the world!

Convincing Americans that their economy is good and improving may be Biden’s most important task in his reelection campaign. Because despite all of that data he rattled off, people are having trouble making ends meet. He’ll have more work to do to convince them .

And trending lower.

And now instead of importing foreign products and exporting American jobs, we’re exporting American products and creating American jobs – right here in America where they belong!

And the American people are beginning to feel it.

Consumer studies show consumer confidence is soaring.

Buy American has been the law of the land since the 1930s.

Past administrations including my predecessor failed to Buy American.

Not any more.

On my watch, federal projects like helping to build American roads bridges and highways will be made with American products built by American workers creating good-paying American jobs!

Thanks to my Chips and Science Act the United States is investing more in research and development than ever before.

Biden did oversee the passage of multiple, bipartisan bills to improve the country. The bipartisan infrastructure law is meant to improve things across the country. Propping up a semiconductor chip industry is also meant to make the US more independent from China.

During the pandemic a shortage of semiconductor chips drove up prices for everything from cell phones to automobiles.

Well instead of having to import semiconductor chips, which America invented I might add, private companies are now investing billions of dollars to build new chip factories here in America!

Creating tens of thousands of jobs many of them paying over $100,000 a year and don’t require a college degree.

In fact my policies have attracted $650 Billion of private sector investments in clean energy and advanced manufacturing creating tens of thousands of jobs here in America!

Thanks to our Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, 46,000 new projects have been announced across your communities – modernizing our roads and bridges, ports and airports, and public transit systems.

A futuristic airport terminal, a fish passage and ski town bus lanes: Here are some of the projects being built through the infrastructure law.

Removing poisonous lead pipes so every child can drink clean water without risk of getting brain damage.

Providing affordable high speed internet for every American no matter where you live.

Urban, suburban, and rural communities — in red states and blue.

Record investments in tribal communities.

Because of my investments, family farms are better be able to stay in the family and children and grandchildren won’t have to leave home to make a living.

It’s transformative.

A great comeback story is Belvidere, Illinois. Home to an auto plant for nearly 60 years.

Before I came to office the plant was on its way to shutting down.

Thousands of workers feared for their livelihoods. Hope was fading.

Then I was elected to office and we raised Belvidere repeatedly with the auto company knowing unions make all the difference.

The UAW worked like hell to keep the plant open and get those jobs back. And together, we succeeded!

Instead of an auto factory shutting down an auto factory is re-opening and a new state-of-the art battery factory is being built to power those cars.

Instead of a town being left behind it’s a community moving forward again!

Because instead of watching auto jobs of the future go overseas 4,000 union workers with higher wages will be building that future, in Belvidere, here in America!

Here tonight is UAW President, Shawn Fain, a great friend, and a great labor leader.

And Dawn Simms, a third generation UAW worker in Belvidere.

Shawn, I was proud to be the first President in American history to walk a picket line.

Biden attended a U nited A uto W orkers rally in Belvidere with UAW President Shawn Fain last year. He also became the first president to join a picket line when he stood with workers in Michigan.

And today Dawn has a job in her hometown providing stability for her family and pride and dignity.

Showing once again, Wall Street didn’t build this country!

The middle class built this country! And unions built the middle class!

Both Biden and Trump will try to argue they are looking out for the middle class. The turn of White voters without college degrees away from Democrats and toward Republicans has been a major shift in politics that drove the rise of Trump.

When Americans get knocked down, we get back up!

We keep going!

That’s America! That’s you, the American people!

It’s because of you America is coming back!

It’s because of you, our future is brighter!

Never has a State of the Union transcript included so many exclamations. Biden presented as a vigorous and energized leader here, far from the doddering old man he has been portrayed as by Republicans.

And it’s because of you that tonight we can proudly say the State of our Union is strong and getting stronger!

Tonight I want to talk about the future of possibilities that we can build together.

A future where the days of trickle-down economics are over and the wealthy and biggest corporations no longer get all the breaks.

I grew up in a home where not a lot trickled down on my Dad’s kitchen table.

That’s why I’m determined to turn things around so the middle class does well the poor have a way up and the wealthy still does well.

After earlier praising Reagan’s foreign policy, here Biden trashed the guiding principle of Reagan’s economic policy (and Republicans who have worked tirelessly to cut taxes for a generation).

We all do well.

And there’s more to do to make sure you’re feeling the benefits of all we’re doing.

Americans pay more for prescription drugs than anywhere else.

It’s wrong and I’m ending it.

With a law I proposed and signed and not one Republican voted for we finally beat Big Pharma!

This is the Inflation Reduction Act , a post-Covid-19 recovery plan that Democrats loaded up with other policy priorities and were able to pass without Republican votes by bending budget rules.

Democrats had been trying for years to pass a law that would allow Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices . This is a first step.

Instead of paying $400 a month for insulin seniors with diabetes only have to pay $35 a month!

And now I want to cap the cost of insulin at $35 a month for every American who needs it!

For years people have talked about it but I finally got it done and gave Medicare the power to negotiate lower prices for prescription drugs just like the VA does for our veterans.

That’s not just saving seniors money.

It’s saving taxpayers money cutting the federal deficit by $160 billion because Medicare will no longer have to pay exorbitant prices to Big Pharma.

It’s true that two of the main drug price provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act, which Democrats pushed through Congress in 2022, are expected to reduce the deficit by $160 billion, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. In total, the law’s drug measures are expected to reduce the deficit by $237 billion, though delaying the implementation of a Trump administration drug rebate rule accounts for the difference.

This year Medicare is negotiating lower prices for some of the costliest drugs on the market that treat everything from heart disease to arthritis.

Now it’s time to go further and give Medicare the power to negotiate lower prices for 500 drugs over the next decade.

That will not only save lives it will save taxpayers another $200 Billion!

Starting next year that same law caps total prescription drug costs for seniors on Medicare at $2,000 a year even for expensive cancer drugs that can cost $10,000, $12,000, $15,000 a year.

Now I want to cap prescription drug costs at $2,000 a year for everyone!

Another major contrast between Trump and Biden. Trump still wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act . Biden seemed to be veering toward “Medicare for All” here.

Folks Obamacare, known as the Affordable Care Act is still a very big deal.

Over one hundred million of you can no longer be denied health insurance because of pre-existing conditions.

But my predecessor and many in this chamber want to take that protection away by repealing the Affordable Care Act I won’t let that happen!

We stopped you 50 times before and we will stop you again!

In fact I am protecting it and expanding it.

I enacted tax credits that save $800 per person per year reducing health care premiums for millions of working families.

Those tax credits expire next year.

I want to make those savings permanent!

Women are more than half of our population but research on women’s health has always been underfunded.

That’s why we’re launching the first-ever White House Initiative on Women’s Health Research, led by Jill who is doing an incredible job as First Lady.

Creating a commission or new office is a classic State of the Union maneuver. That this speech focused on women’s health is not surprising since Democrats are so focused on the issue.

Pass my plan for $12 Billion to transform women’s health research and benefit millions of lives across America!

I know the cost of housing is so important to you .

If inflation keeps coming down mortgage rates will come down as well.

But I’m not waiting.

I want to provide an annual tax credit that will give Americans $400 a month for the next two years as mortgage rates come down to put toward their mortgage when they buy a first home or trade up for a little more space.

My Administration is also eliminating title insurance fees for federally backed mortgages.

When you refinance your home this can save you $1,000 or more.

These are all very specific ideas to put people at ease about the cost of buying and renting, major issues that are affecting how people view the economy . But Biden can’t accomplish all of this. He will need Congress to enact tax credits. He will need inflation to continue to come down to bring down mortgage rates .

For millions of renters, we’re cracking down on big landlords who break antitrust laws by price-fixing and driving up rents.

I’ve cut red tape so more builders can get federal financing, which is already helping build a record 1.7 million housing units nationwide.

Now pass my plan to build and renovate 2 million affordable homes and bring those rents down!

To remain the strongest economy in the world we need the best education system in the world.

I want to give every child a good start by providing access to pre-school for 3- and 4-year-olds.

He’s actually wanted to enact universal pre-K for some time. But Democrats could not come up with the votes to include that program in the Inflation Reduction Act.

Studies show that children who go to pre-school are nearly 50% more likely to finish high school and go on to earn a 2- or 4-year degree no matter their background.

I want to expand high-quality tutoring and summer learning time and see to it that every child learns to read by third grade.

I’m also connecting businesses and high schools so students get hands-on experience and a path to a good-paying job whether or not they go to college.

And I want to make college more affordable.

Let’s continue increasing Pell Grants for working- and middle-class families and increase our record investments in HBCUs and Hispanic and Minority-serving Institutions

I fixed student loan programs to reduce the burden of student debt for nearly 4 Million Americans including nurses firefighters and others in public service like Keenan Jones a public-school educator in Minnesota who’s here with us tonight.

Biden has done quite a bit to forgive federal student loan debt, canceling about $138 billion so far. Here’s a good visualization of that . But his most expansive plan, which he hoped to do through executive action and would have canceled up to $20,000 for borrowers who make less than $125,000 a year, was rejected by the Supreme Court.

He’s educated hundreds of students so they can go to college now he can help his own daughter pay for college.

Such relief is good for the economy because folks are now able to buy a home start a business even start a family.

While we’re at it I want to give public school teachers a raise!

Now let me speak to a question of fundamental fairness for all Americans.

I’ve been delivering real results in a fiscally responsible way.

I’ve already cut the federal deficit by over one trillion dollars.

Biden’s claim leaves out such critical context that it is misleading. While the annual federal budget deficit was more than $1 trillion lower in the 2023 fiscal year than it was in both the 2020 fiscal year (under President Donald Trump) and the 2021 fiscal year (partially under Trump and partially under Biden), analysts have repeatedly noted that Biden’s own actions, including laws he has signed and executive orders he has issued, have had the overall effect of worsening annual deficits, not reducing them. As in past remarks , Biden didn’t explain that the primary reason the deficit fell by a record amount during his tenure was that it had skyrocketed to a record high at the end of Trump’s term because of bipartisan emergency pandemic relief spending, then fell as expected when that spending expired as planned.

I signed a bipartisan budget deal that will cut another trillion dollars over the next decade.

And now it’s my goal to cut the federal deficit $3 trillion more by making big corporations and the very wealthy finally pay their fair share.

Look, I’m a capitalist.

If you want to make a million bucks – great!

Just pay your fair share in taxes.

A fair tax code is how we invest in the things –

that make a country great, health care, education, defense, and more.

But here’s the deal.

The last administration enacted a $2 Trillion tax cut that overwhelmingly benefits the very wealthy and the biggest corporations and exploded the federal deficit.

They added more to the national debt than in any presidential term in American history.

Biden’s numbers are correct; the national debt rose from about $19.9 trillion to about $27.8 trillion during Trump’s tenure, an increase of about 39% and more than in any other four-year presidential term, in part because of Trump’s major tax cuts. But it is an oversimplification to blame presidents alone for debt incurred during their tenures. Some of the Trump-era increase in the debt was due to the trillions of dollars in emergency Covid-19 pandemic relief spending that passed with bipartisan support and because of spending required by safety-net programs, such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, that were created by previous presidents.

For folks at home does anybody really think the tax code is fair?

Do you really think the wealthy and big corporations need another $2 trillion in tax breaks?

I sure don’t. I’m going to keep fighting like hell to make it fair!

Under my plan nobody earning less than $400,000 will pay an additional penny in federal taxes.

Nobody. Not one penny.

In fact the Child Tax Credit I passed during the pandemic cut taxes for millions of working families and cut child poverty in HALF.

Restore the Child Tax Credit because no child should go hungry in this country!

The way to make the tax code fair is to make big corporations and the very wealthy finally pay their share.

In 2020 55 of the biggest companies in America made $40 billion in profits and paid zero in federal income taxes.

Not any more!

Thanks to the law I wrote and signed big companies now have to pay a minimum of 15%.

Biden’s “not anymore” claim is false, an exaggeration. While his 15% corporate minimum tax will reduce the number of big companies that don’t pay any federal taxes, it’s not true that “not anymore” will any big company — such as the ones on the list of 55 companies Biden mentioned — ever do so. That’s because the minimum tax, on the “book income” companies report to investors, only applies to companies with at least $1 billion in average annual income. According to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, only 14 of the companies on its list of 55 non-payers reported having US pre-tax income of at least $1 billion.

But that’s still less than working people pay in federal taxes.

It’s time to raise the corporate minimum tax to at least 21% so every big corporation finally begins to pay their fair share.

I also want to end the tax breaks for Big Pharma, Big Oil, private jets, and massive executive pay!

End it now!

There are 1,000 billionaires in America.

You know what the average federal tax rate for these billionaires is? 8.2 percent!

That’s far less than the vast majority of Americans pay.

No billionaire should pay a lower tax rate than a teacher, a sanitation worker, a nurse!

That’s why I’ve proposed a minimum tax of 25% for billionaires. Just 25%.

That would raise $500 Billion over the next 10 years.

Imagine what that could do for America. Imagine a future with affordable child care so millions of families can get the care they need and still go to work and help grow the economy.

Imagine a future with paid leave because no one should have to choose between working and taking care of yourself or a sick family member.

Imagine a future with home care and elder care so seniors and people living with disabilities can stay in their homes and family caregivers get paid what they deserve!

Tonight, let’s all agree once again to stand up for seniors!

Many of my Republican friends want to put Social Security on the chopping block.

If anyone here tries to cut Social Security or Medicare or raise the retirement age I will stop them!

Working people who built this country pay more into Social Security than millionaires and billionaires do. It’s not fair.

We have two ways to go on Social Security.

Republicans will cut Social Security and give more tax cuts to the wealthy.

Biden went off script here, engaging in a back-and-forth with Republicans on the House floor. Republicans jeered when he said they would cut Social Security . Many in their party say they will do no such thing.

“That’s the proposal — oh no? You guys don’t want another $2 trillion tax cut?” Biden said. “I kind of thought that’s what your plan was. Well, that's good to hear.”

I will protect and strengthen Social Security and make the wealthy pay their fair share!

Too many corporations raise their prices to pad their profits charging you more and more for less and less.

That’s why we’re cracking down on corporations that engage in price gouging or deceptive pricing from food to health care to housing.

In fact, snack companies think you won’t notice when they charge you just as much for the same size bag but with fewer chips in it.

Pass Senator Bob Casey’s bill to put a stop to shrinkflation !

While a lot of people seem to blame Biden for inflation and cite government spending, he’d like to blame corporations.

CNN’s Bryan Mena notes while there is evidence that companies have reduced the size of their products, according to Labor Department data, the reason is usually to cut costs during times of high inflation and is a widespread practice. Companies do this because consumers are more sensitive to price changes than the size of a product becoming smaller, according to research. “Shrinkflation” due to corporate greed is a hasty generalization.

I’m also getting rid of junk fees those hidden fees added at the end of your bills without your knowledge. My administration just announced we’re cutting credit card late fees from $32 to just $8.

The banks and credit card companies don’t like it.

I’m saving American families $20 billion a year with all of the junk fees I’m eliminating .

And I’m not stopping there.

If this sounded familiar, that’s because he talked about junk fees at last year’s State of the Union .

My Administration has proposed rules to make cable, travel, utilities and online ticket sellers tell you the total price upfront so there are no surprises.

It matters.

This was his chance to say the words “ Taylor Swift .” Fail.

And so does this.

In November, my team began serious negotiations with a bipartisan group of Senators.

The result was a bipartisan bill with the toughest set of border security reforms we’ve ever seen in this country .

He went off script again here. CNN’s Priscilla Alvarez notes that Biden baited Republicans with praise for the bipartisan Senate border bill .

“Oh, you don’t like that bill, huh? That conservatives got together and said it was a good bill. I’ll be darned. That’s amazing,” Biden said, as some Republicans grumbled in the crowd.

Republican Sen. James Lankford, a key negotiator on the bipartisan border deal who faced pushback from members of his own party, stared ahead, appearing to nod as Biden ticked through elements of the bill -- including how it would shore up federal resources and include an emergency authority that would allow him to shut down the border if certain triggers are met.

That bipartisan deal would hire 1,500 more border security agents and officers.

100 more immigration judges to help tackle a backload of 2 million cases.

4,300 more asylum officers and new policies so they can resolve cases in 6 months instead of 6 years.

100 more high-tech drug detection machines to significantly increase the ability to screen and stop vehicles from smuggling fentanyl into America.

This bill would save lives and bring order to the border.

It would also give me as President new emergency authority to temporarily shut down the border when the number of migrants at the border is overwhelming.

The Border Patrol Union endorsed the bill.

The Chamber of Commerce endorsed the bill.

I believe that given the opportunity a majority of the House and Senate would endorse it as well.

But unfortunately, politics have derailed it so far.

I’m told my predecessor called Republicans in Congress and demanded they block the bill . He feels it would be a political win for me and a political loser for him.

It’s not about him or me.

Biden was interrupted here by GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who shouted at him about Laken Riley , the Georgia nursing student killed, allegedly by an undocumented immigrant. It’s an incident that has driven claims that migrants are criminals.

Biden picked up a pin that read “Say Her Name Laken Riley” and directly addressed the parents of Laken Riley, who had been invited to the speech by a congressman.

“Lincoln (sic) Riley, an innocent young woman who was killed by an illegal. That's right. But how many of the thousands of people being killed by illegals - to her parents, I say my heart goes out to you. Having lost children myself, I understand.”

It is interesting that Biden also referred to the undocumented migrant who is suspected in Riley’s killing with the derogatory term “illegal.” Read more.

It’d be a winner for America!

My Republican friends you owe it to the American people to get this bill done.

We need to act.

And if my predecessor is watching instead of playing politics and pressuring members of Congress to block this bill, join me in telling Congress to pass it!

We can do it together. But here’s what I will not do.

I will not demonize immigrants saying they “poison the blood of our country” as he said in his own words.

I will not separate families.

I will not ban people from America because of their faith.

Trump’s rhetoric on immigration has gotten increasingly heated. He frequently refers to people crossing the border as “murderers,” for instance. The “poisoning the blood” line Trump uses is similar to a passage in Hitler’s manifesto “Mein Kampf.”

Unlike my predecessor, on my first day in office I introduced a comprehensive plan to fix our immigration system, secure the border, and provide a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers and so much more.

Because unlike my predecessor, I know who we are as Americans.

We are the only nation in the world with a heart and soul that draws from old and new.

Home to Native Americans whose ancestors have been here for thousands of years. Home to people from every place on Earth.

Some came freely.

Some chained by force.

Some when famine struck, like my ancestral family in Ireland.

Some to flee persecution.

Some to chase dreams that are impossible anywhere but here in America.

That’s America, where we all come from somewhere, but we are all Americans.

We can fight about the border, or we can fix it. I’m ready to fix it.

Send me the border bill now!

Biden both eloquently talked about how the US is a nation of immigrants and also called on Congress to give him the power to close the border. His shift on the issue has been remarkable.

A transformational moment in our history happened 59 years ago today in Selma, Alabama.

Hundreds of foot soldiers for justice marched across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, named after a Grand Dragon of the KKK, to claim their fundamental right to vote.

They were beaten bloodied and left for dead.

Our late friend and former colleague John Lewis was at the march.

We miss him.

Joining us tonight are other marchers who were there including Betty May Fikes, known as the "Voice of Selma”.

A daughter of gospel singers and preachers, she sang songs of prayer and protest on that Bloody Sunday,

to help shake the nation’s conscience. Five months later, the Voting Rights Act was signed into law.

But 59 years later, there are forces taking us back in time.

Voter suppression. Election subversion. Unlimited dark money. Extreme gerrymandering.

John Lewis was a great friend to many of us here. But if you truly want to honor him and all the heroes who marched with him, then it’s time for more than just talk.

Pass and send me the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act!

If Democrats could not pass a new national voting standard when they controlled the House during Biden’s first two years in office, they will not be able to do it now, while Republicans control the chamber.

And stop denying another core value of America our diversity across American life.

Banning books.

It’s wrong!

Instead of erasing history, let’s make history!

I want to protect other fundamental rights!

Pass the Equality Act, and my message to transgender Americans: I have your back!

Pass the PRO Act for workers rights! And raise the federal minimum wage because every worker has the right to earn a decent living!

We are also making history by confronting the climate crisis, not denying it.

I’m taking the most significant action on climate ever in the history of the world.

I am cutting our carbon emissions in half by 2030.

The climate crisis may be an existential problem for humanity, but it did not rate mention in the first half of this State of the Union address. That said, Biden, with help from the Inflation Reduction Act, has done more than previous presidents to address the issue. But n ot enough to satisfy activists . Trump, meanwhile, likes to poke fun at climate efforts.

Creating tens of thousands of clean-energy jobs, like the IBEW workers building and installing 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations.

Conserving 30% of America’s lands and waters by 2030.

Taking historic action on environmental justice for fence-line communities smothered by the legacy of pollution.

And patterned after the Peace Corps and Ameri Corps, I’ve launched a Climate Corps to put 20,000 young people to work at the forefront of our clean energy future.

I’ll triple that number this decade.

All Americans deserve the freedom to be safe, and America is safer today than when I took office.

The year before I took office, murders went up 30% nationwide the biggest increase in history.

That was then.

Now, through my American Rescue Plan, which every Republican voted against, I’ve made the largest investment in public safety ever.

Last year, the murder rate saw the sharpest decrease in history, and violent crime fell to one of the lowest levels in more than 50 years.

This is true, at least based on preliminary 2023 data that should be treated with caution. The preliminary 2023 data published by the FBI, running through the third quarter of the year, showed that violent crime was down 8.2% compared to the same period in 2022 — a decline that would be “historically large” for a year, crime data expert Jeff Asher wrote in a December article. The data generally confirms Biden’s description of violent crime falling across the nation, though some communities have seen increases. Asher wrote: “The quarterly data shows violent crime down in big cities, small cities, suburban counties, and rural counties, pretty much across the board.”

But we have more to do.

Help cities and towns invest in more community police officers, more mental health workers, and more community violence intervention.

Give communities the tools to crack down on gun crime, retail crime, and carjacking.

Keep building public trust, as I’ve been doing by taking executive action on police reform, and calling for it to be the law of the land, directing my Cabinet to review the federal classification of marijuana, and expunging thousands of convictions for mere possession , because no one should be jailed for using or possessing marijuana!

Biden’s mass clemency for federal offenses of simple marijuana possession, announced before the m idterm elections in 2022 , was seen as a first step to national decriminalization.

To take on crimes of domestic violence, I am ramping up federal enforcement of the Violence Against Women Act, that I proudly wrote, so we can finally end the scourge of violence against women in America!

And there’s another kind of violence I want to stop.

With us tonight is Jasmine, whose 9-year-old sister Jackie was murdered with 21 classmates and teachers at her elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.

Soon after it happened, Jill and I went to Uvalde and spent hours with the families.

We heard their message, and so should everyone in this chamber do something.

I did do something by establishing the first-ever Office of Gun Violence Prevention in the White House that Vice President Harris is leading.

Meanwhile, my predecessor told the NRA he’s proud he did nothing on guns when he was President.

After another school shooting in Iowa he said we should just “get over it.”

I say we must stop it.

I’m proud we beat the NRA when I signed the most significant gun safety law in nearly 30 years!

Now we must beat the NRA again!

I’m demanding a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines!

Pass universal background checks!

Again, none of this will happen without a major change in Congress.

None of this violates the Second Amendment or vilifies responsible gun owners.

As we manage challenges at home, we’re also managing crises abroad including in the Middle East.

I know the last five months have been gut-wrenching for so many people, for the Israeli people, the Palestinian people, and so many here in America.

This crisis began on October 7th with a massacre by the terrorist group Hamas.

1,200 innocent people women and girls men and boys slaughtered, many enduring sexual violence.

The deadliest day for the Jewish people since the Holocaust.

250 hostages taken.

Here in the chamber tonight are American families whose loved ones are still being held by Hamas.

I pledge to all the families that we will not rest until we bring their loved ones home.

We will also work around the clock to bring home Evan and Paul, Americans being unjustly detained all around the world.

Israel has a right to go after Hamas.

This is an incredibly important issue for Biden. Nothing else splits Democrats at the moment like Israel. Biden is a self-proclaimed Zionist. While he has increasingly called out the conservative government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, it’s not nearly enough to satisfy the large portion of Democrats who are motivated by the plight of Palestinians who are stuck and starving in Gaza .

Hamas could end this conflict today by releasing the hostages, laying down arms, and surrendering those responsible for October 7th.

Israel has an added burden because Hamas hides and operates among the civilian population. But Israel also has a fundamental responsibility to protect innocent civilians in Gaza.

This war has taken a greater toll on innocent civilians than all previous wars in Gaza combined.

More than 30,000 Palestinians have been killed.

Most of whom are not Hamas.

Thousands and thousands are innocent women and children.

Girls and boys also orphaned.

Nearly 2 million more Palestinians under bombardment or displaced.

Homes destroyed, neighborhoods in rubble, cities in ruin.

Families without food, water, medicine.

It’s heartbreaking.

We’ve been working non-stop to establish an immediate ceasefire that would last for at least six weeks.

It is notable that while Biden said the US is working for an immediate ceasefire, he did not say permanent. Israel wants the ability to revisit any ceasefire after six weeks.

Biden’s optimism for a ceasefire seems to have cooled. He had previously predicted there would be a ceasefire by this past Monday. In the meantime, the world was horrified by the killing of more than 100 Palestinians trying to get food from an Israeli aid truck.

As Biden spoke, House Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib — the sole Palestinian American member of Congress — held a sign reading “Ceasefire Now.”

It would get the hostages home, ease the intolerable humanitarian crisis, and build toward something more enduring.

The United States has been leading international efforts to get more humanitarian assistance into Gaza.

Tonight, I’m directing the U.S. military to lead an emergency mission to establish a temporary pier in the Mediterranean on the Gaza coast that can receive large ships carrying food, water, medicine and temporary shelters.

No U.S. boots will be on the ground.

This temporary pier would enable a massive increase in the amount of humanitarian assistance getting into Gaza every day.

This pier sounds like an incredible engineering feat. It’s not clear how soon it can be achieved. Also, this was the second time in the speech where Biden pledged that US troops will not get involved in an international conflict.

But Israel must also do its part.

Israel must allow more aid into Gaza and ensure that humanitarian workers aren’t caught in the cross fire.

To the leadership of Israel I say this.

Humanitarian assistance cannot be a secondary consideration or a bargaining chip.

Protecting and saving innocent lives has to be a priority.

As we look to the future, the only real solution is a two-state solution.

I say this as a lifelong supporter of Israel and the only American president to visit Israel in wartime.

This is a public warning to Israel and an insistence that Israel must allow a Palestinian state. But it is not particularly stern considering the tens of thousands of Palestinians who have died .

There is no other path that guarantees Israel’s security and democracy.

There is no other path that guarantees Palestinians can live with peace and dignity.

There is no other path that guarantees peace between Israel and all of its Arab neighbors, including Saudi Arabia.

Creating stability in the Middle East also means containing the threat posed by Iran.

That’s why I built a coalition of more than a dozen countries to defend international shipping and freedom of navigation in the Red Sea.

I’ve ordered strikes to degrade Houthi capabilities and defend U.S. Forces in the region.

As Commander in Chief, I will not hesitate to direct further measures to protect our people and military personnel.

The strikes have not so far had a deterrent effect.

For years, all I’ve heard from my Republican friends and so many others is China’s on the rise and America is falling behind.

They’ve got it backward.

America is rising.

We have the best economy in the world.

Since I’ve come to office, our GDP is up.

He is welcome to say this. Most Americans do not currently seem to believe it.

And our trade deficit with China is down to the lowest point in over a decade.

We’re standing up against China’s unfair economic practices.

And standing up for peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.

I’ve revitalized our partnerships and alliances in the Pacific.

I’ve made sure that the most advanced American technologies can’t be used in China’s weapons.

Frankly for all his tough talk on China, it never occurred to my predecessor to do that.

We want competition with China, but not conflict.

And we’re in a stronger position to win the competition for the 21st Century against China or anyone else for that matter.

Here at home I’ve signed over 400 bipartisan bills.

But there’s more to do to pass my Unity Agenda.

Strengthen penalties on fentanyl trafficking.

Pass bipartisan privacy legislation to protect our children online.

CNN's Brian Fung notes that this call for a bill to regulate social media platforms is the third time in as many years that Biden has criticized the social media industry in his State of the Union speech.

Notably, however, Biden’s call specifically highlighted legislation to protect children’s privacy — not any of the myriad bills circulating that would impose targeted restrictions on social media companies .

The House could vote soon on a separate bill meant to pressure TikTok’s China-linked parent company to spin off the app used by 170 million Americans.

Harness the promise of A.I. and protect us from its peril.

Ban A.I. voice impersonation and more!

Fung also notes that Biden knows personally about this. A fake robocall campaign cloned his voice and targeted thousands of New Hampshire primary voters in what authorities have described as an AI-enabled election meddling attempt.

But US lawmakers have struggled to advance any meaningful AI legislation in the roughly one year since Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer made a rare and personal effort to put AI at the top of the congressional agenda.

Even as disinformation experts warn of AI’s threats to elections and public discourse, few expect Congress to pass legislation reining in the AI industry during a divisive election year.

And keep our one truly sacred obligation, to train and equip those we send into harm’s way and care for them and their families when they come home, and when they don’t.

That’s why I signed the PACT Act, one of the most significant laws ever, helping millions of veterans who were exposed to toxins and who now are battling more than 100 cancers.

Many of them didn’t come home.

We owe them and their families.

And we owe it to ourselves to keep supporting our new health research agency called ARPA-H and remind us that we can do big things like end cancer as we know it!

Let me close with this.

I know I may not look like it, but I’ve been around a while.

And when you get to my age certain things become clearer than ever before.

I know the American story.

Again and again I’ve seen the contest between competing forces in the battle for the soul of our nation.

Between those who want to pull America back to the past and those who want to move America into the future.

My lifetime has taught me to embrace freedom and democracy.

A future based on the core values that have defined America.

Honesty. Decency. Dignity. Equality.

To respect everyone. To give everyone a fair shot. To give hate no safe harbor.

Now some other people my age see a different story.

An American story of resentment, revenge, and retribution.

That’s not me.

Biden put forward an energetic persona in this speech. And he pointed out that Trump is his age. Actually, Trump is four years younger.

The name “Trump” did not appear in the speech. But he was clearly top of mind. Trump has promised to be his supporters’ “retribution” and still does not admit to losing the 2020 election. Biden’s burden will be to convince voters who are wavering that trying to upend democracy should disqualify Trump.

I was born amid World War II when America stood for freedom in the world.

I grew up in Scranton, Pennsylvania and Claymont, Delaware among working people who built this country.

I watched in horror as two of my heroes, Dr. King and Bobby Kennedy, were assassinated and their legacies inspired me to pursue a career in service.

A public defender, county councilman, elected United States Senator at 29, then Vice President, to our first Black President, now President, with our first woman Vice President.

In my career I’ve been told I’m too young and I’m too old.

Whether young or old, I’ve always known what endures.

Our North Star.

The very idea of America, that we are all created equal and deserve to be treated equally throughout our lives.

We’ve never fully lived up to that idea, but we’ve never walked away from it either.

And I won’t walk away from it now.

My fellow Americans the issue facing our nation isn’t how old we are it’s how old our ideas are?

Hate, anger, revenge, retribution are among the oldest of ideas.

But you can’t lead America with ancient ideas that only take us back.

To lead America, the land of possibilities, you need a vision for the future of what America can and should be.

Tonight you’ve heard mine.

I see a future where we defend democracy not diminish it.

I see a future where we restore the right to choose and protect other freedoms not take them away.

I see a future where the middle class finally has a fair shot and the wealthy finally have to pay their fair share in taxes.

I see a future where we save the planet from the climate crisis and our country from gun violence.

Above all, I see a future for all Americans!

I see a country for all Americans!

And I will always be a president for all Americans!

Because I believe in America!

I believe in you the American people.

You’re the reason I’ve never been more optimistic about our future!

The speech ended with many more exclamations and a vigorous Biden pumping people up.

So let’s build that future together!

Let’s remember who we are!

We are the United States of America.

There is nothing beyond our capacity when we act together!

May God bless you all.

May God protect our troops.


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Face Forward

What’s So Funny About a Naked Man?

John Cena’s skit at the Academy Awards underscores an intractable gender imbalance, even as it gets legitimate laughs.

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A naked man holds the nomination for best costume design over his genitals.

By Rhonda Garelick

Rhonda Garelick writes the Face Forward column exploring fashion, politics and beauty.

John Cena’s ‘streaker manqué’ routine at the Oscars was pretty funny. In an obvious setup, host Jimmy Kimmel asked, “Can you imagine if a nude man ran across the stage today?” upon which a seemingly undressed Mr. Cena popped his head out from behind the curtain to say, “I changed my mind, I don’t want to do the streaker bit.” When Mr. Kimmel reminded him that it was all for comedy, Mr. Cena replied with faux seriousness, “the male body is not a joke.”

But it was a joke. And soon, an entirely naked, and remarkably buff, Mr. Cena came onstage to introduce the Best Costume Design, nervously grasping the sealed Oscar envelope over his genitals, as a makeshift fig leaf. The audience howled as he inched along, hobbling sideways with painstaking little steps — trying to keep his envelope level and his private parts covered. Then, in a bit of television magic, he was draped in a toga-like, one-shouldered robe with a tasseled rope belt. Bit over, crowd delighted, and an obvious point made about the importance of costume.

The routine had deep roots in Academy history, harkening back to a famous episode at the 1974 Oscars, when a streaker interrupted the proceedings (just as the very refined David Niven was introducing Elizabeth Taylor), but its relevance extends into the present day.

Humor happens when recognition meets surprise. We laugh when something routine suddenly transforms into something unexpected. An exactingly chiseled, naked male body onstage is only funny because it is unexpected — because, that is, it does not belong to a woman. Seeing a naked woman on stage at the Oscars could never be funny, simply because it’s the norm to see female bodies in various states of revealing dress on the red carpet, and in movies as well. The humor of Mr. Cena’s performance actually derived from how clearly it mirrored what the women are always doing — right down to the mincing, precarious steps.

We tune into the Oscars to see spectacular women in spectacular gowns. Those gowns are also intricately made framing devices for women’s bodies, which are usually vastly more visible than the men’s. Although there is now far more diversity of style and body type welcomed at these events, most of the fashion still spotlights breasts, buttocks and thighs.

There are oceans of gleaming, bare female flesh. Skirts are slit to the waist, necklines to the navel — sometimes both at the same time. Sometimes dresses are actually transparent. Both Florence Pugh (in a silver Del Core number) and Becky G wore peek-a-boo bustiers that freed the nipple visually. It is not always comfortable to wear such clothes. They require special undergarments, body tape, excellent posture and constant vigilance to avoid what’s come to be called a “wardrobe malfunction.” Women dressed like this are exactly as nervous as Mr. Cena was only pretending to be — and for far longer than the few minutes his gag lasted.

Oscar dresses are couture, obvious works of art produced by countless hours of skilled human labor. But so too are the bodies beneath them — female flesh honed to near Greek-statue perfection by dint of meticulous diet, exercise and, sometimes, surgical intervention.

And just as Greek statues sit atop pedestals in museums, Hollywood goddesses typically perch on vertiginous high heeled shoes, which forces them to take unnatural, overly careful steps — just as Mr Cena did — to avoid toppling over. Here too, he was, in effect, parodying his female counterparts. (Remember Jennifer Lawrence face-planting at the 2013 Oscars as she made her way onstage in a cumbersome gown and shoes?)

An uber-fit naked man pretending to be frantic as he exposed himself at the Oscars was more than funny, it was a mini-meditation on the still-enormous gender gap at fashion’s highest level. Emma Stone would understand. Some sort of gown snafu forced her to end her acceptance speech with, ‘Don’t look at the back of my dress.”

Why should you not thank your publicist if you win an Oscar?

The idea, some think, is that publicists work behind the scenes to promote you, so they should be kept in the background. But the Oscars are the ultimate promotion, so I agree that if they helped get you there, they are worth a thank you.

How did the award get the nickname “Oscars”?

There’s some debate. Some say the statue reminded academy librarian Margaret Herrick of her uncle Oscar. Others say Bette Davis said its derriere reminded her of her second husband, Harmon Oscar Nelson. Hollywood gossip columnist Sidney Skolsky said he gave the nickname. It’s not, as far as we know, named for the Grouch.

What’s the deal with the floating straps trend seen on the red carpet?

The working theory is that the straps were a design accent that allowed the actresses (Emily Blunt and Florence Pugh, both representing “Oppenheimer”) to safely stand out — to inject just the right amount of strangeness and direction into their look, without verging too far into risk-taking, worst-dressed territory. The futuristic floating straps were polarizing, but memorable . And at the end of the day, the gowns you remember are the gowns that won the night.

Why aren’t stunts an Oscar category?

They should be! (In my opinion.) The Screen Actors Guild Awards honor the stunt people for film and TV already. But adding a category to the Oscars is a fraught process, and has been known to go haywire. (Anyone remember the “achievement in popular film” Oscar, which was introduced in 2018 and then scrapped a week later after an outcry?) Still, there is hope: There have reportedly been talks within the academy about a stunt Oscar.

How do they choose presenters? Some folks, besides past winners, seem random.

This is part previous winners, part actors who were in some of the nominated films and part publicists working overtime. A number of presenters have projects to promote, so it’s good for them to get face time on the show for those future (and current) releases.

Do the actors announcing the nominees write their own introductions?

They usually do not. Often, their intros are put together by the show’s writers, and the actors don’t get much time with the material, which is why some read the lines so awkwardly. The exception is usually with comedian presenters, like John Mulaney, who no doubt wrote his funny/oddball bit about “Field of Dreams” that he delivered when presenting the Oscar for best sound this year.

Rhonda Garelick writes the Face Forward column for The Times’s Style section. She is the D.E. Hughes Jr. Distinguished Chair for English and Professor of Journalism by courtesy at Southern Methodist University. More about Rhonda Garelick

Our Coverage of the 2024 Oscars

The 96th academy awards were presented on march 10 in los angeles..

Our Critics’ Take: The Oscars were torn between the golden past and the thorny present. But to our critics Manohla Dargis and Alissa Wilkinson, the show mostly worked .

A ‘Just Ken’ Spectacle: In one of the most anticipated and exuberant moments of Oscar night , Ryan Gosling took the stage to perform “ I’m Just Ken ” from “Barbie.”

Cillian Murphy’s Career: If you’re looking to expand your knowledge of the Irish actor’s work after his now Oscar-winning performance  as the physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer, here are some excellent options .

Bro-Brooches: This year, several male stars wore baubles  more often associated with granny’s jewel box than Hollywood heartthrobs.

Inside the After Parties:  Here’s what we saw at the Governors Ball  and Vanity Fair’s party , where the famous (and the fame-adjacent) celebrated into the night.

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Republicans baffled by Katie Britt’s State of the Union response: ‘One of our biggest disasters’

The 42-year-old Alabama senator is a rising Republican star but her kitchen table speech did not land well even in her own party

  • Joe Biden delivers feisty State of the Union address with vision for his second term
  • ‘Not fair at all’: Sex trafficking victim says Britt distorted her story

Katie Britt’s Republican response to Joe Biden’s State of the Union address drew reactions ranging from the baffled to the satirical to the appalled, even among fellow rightwingers.

“What the hell am I watching right now?” an unnamed Trump adviser told Rolling Stone.

“It’s one of our biggest disasters ever,” another unnamed Republican strategist told the Daily Beast.

Delivering the official State of the Union response can be a thankless task, as the former Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal and the Florida senator Marco Rubio , deliverers of previously panned speeches, would ruefully attest.

Nonetheless, the 42-year-old Alabama senator is a rising Republican star, widely respected on Capitol Hill and her selection to respond to Biden was a golden opportunity to introduce herself to the wider American electorate.

In his address Biden used his bully pulpit effectively, attacking Republicans in a fiery speech and inviting a strong response . But Britt’s speech, delivered with overt theatricality, oscillating in tone between the wholesome and the wholly horrific, did not land well even in her own party.

Charlie Kirk, founder of the far-right Turning Point USA youth group, said : “I’m sure Katie Britt is a sweet mom and person, but this speech is not what we need. Joe Biden just declared war on the American right and Katie Britt is talking like she’s hosting a cooking show, whispering about how Democrats ‘dont get it’.”

That pointed to widespread confusion over the setting for such a figure to give such an important speech: a kitchen.

As a Gallup poll showed 57% of American voters think the US would be better off if more women were in elected office, Alyssa Farah Griffin, a Trump aide turned never-Trumper, said : “Senator Katie Britt is a very impressive person … I do not understand the decision to put her in a KITCHEN for one of the most important speeches she’s ever given.”

Speaking to CNN, Griffin added : “The staging of this was bizarre to me. Women can be both wives and mothers and also stateswomen, so to put her in a kitchen, not at a podium or in the Senate chamber where she was elected after running a hard-fought race, I think fell very flat and was completely confusing to some women watching it.”

Allie Beth Stuckey , host of the Relatable podcast, which “analyses culture, news and politics from a biblical perspective”, said : “Ok, GOP. Never again. I know y’all were going for the relatable mom speaking in her kitchen from her heart, but it didn’t work. Just a straight, strong speech will do in the future. Thanks.”

Kirk asked followers if they liked the speech. Blue-ticked conservative verdicts included “Man, it was so disappointing”, “No, very babysitter-reading-a-bedtime story-like”, “way too dramatic”, and “the up and down emotion was bizarre”.

Among satirical responses, Tom Nichols, an anti-Trump conservative columnist, spoke for many when he said : “There is no way that this Katie Britt address does not end up as part of the Saturday Night Live cold open.”

Elsewhere, the gonzo filmmaker Tom Arnold said : “Katie Britt is so bad she couldn’t be in one of my movies.”

Julia Ioffe, Washington correspondent for Puck News, said : “Imagine you’re sleeping over at a friend’s house and you get up in the middle of the night to pee and you hear a weird sound so you follow it to the kitchen, where your friend’s mom is drunk, crying, and rambling about the national debt. Those are the vibes from Katie Britt right now.”

From the other side of the political spectrum, however, the gun control advocate Shannon Watts highlighted a darker side to Britt’s performance, as expressed in a particularly lurid passage.

With wavering voice, the senator described meeting a migrant woman who she said described being “sex trafficked by the cartels starting at the age of 12” and who, Britt said, spoke of being repeatedly raped “on a mattress in a shoebox of a room”.

Watts said : “Senator Katie Britt says sexual assault is the worst thing that can happen to a woman while encouraging Americans to vote for a convicted sexual predator.”

Last month, Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for president, was ordered to pay $83.3m in a civil defamation case arising from a rape allegation a judge said was “substantially true”. Accused of sexual assault or misconduct by more than 20 other women, Trump also faces trial this month on 34 charges arising from hush-money payments to an adult film star who claimed an affair.

Britt endorsed Trump last December.

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Biggest moments from the 2024 Oscars, from Emma Stone's surprise win to naked John Cena

best man speech written out

The 96th Academy Awards is now a wrap .

People cried, winced, laughed. A famous guy came out naked . Two actors from the year's biggest hit movies went at each other . Slash from Guns N' Roses was on hand to riff , and Andrea Bocelli to serenade .

If you missed some or all of the Oscars' big night , we've tallied the ceremony's more memorable moments, which ranged from an emotional acceptance speech by Da'Vine Joy Randolph to a beefy John Cena giving the well-dressed audience a glimpse of his birthday suit.

Here are more of the Oscars' best (and worst) moments from 2024:

A stunned and disheveled Emma Stone beats out Lily Gladstone for best actress (and rips her Louis Vuitton gown)

Emma Stone was a wonderfully hot mess as she got over her shock upon hearing her name as best actress winner (for “Poor Things”) and dashed up to the stage, grabbing at her back.

“My dress is broken,” she said. “I think it happened during (Ryan Gosling’s performance of) ‘I’m Just Ken.’ ”

Sure enough, her pale green gown had sprung a gap. “Don’t look at it,” she said as she walked off the stage later.

Stone was teary and weepy in the extreme as she thanked family and praised her fellow nominees, who included the odds-on favorite for the award, Lily Gladstone from “Killers of the Flower Moon.”

The award, she said, “is about a team that came together to become greater than the sum of its parts, which is the best part of making movies.”

When host Jimmy Kimmel returned to the stage, he looked in Stone’s direction and quipped, “Make sure you tear up the envelope,” a reference to the infamous 2017 mix-up when "La La Land" was erroneously announced as best picture after presenters were accidentally handed Emma Stone’s best actress envelope. ( The real best picture winner was “Moonlight.”)

Ryan Gosling delivers with a rollicking performance (with Slash!) of 'I'm Just Ken'

Come on − who would have predicted a Ken doll would get a standing ovation at the Oscars for a rocking performance?

Believe it, people. "Barbie" star (and supporting actor nominee) Ryan Gosling whipped the crowd into a frenzy with a rollicking rendition of "I'm Just Ken," one of the night's nominees for best song. Gosling, who performed the tune with the song's co-writer Mark Ronson, started in the audience before hitting the stage for a Busby Berkeley musical-worthy romp that really picked up steam when the fierce guitar solo in the song was rendered by none other than a black-leather-wrapped Slash. (And for eagle-eyed rock fans, the number also featured Wolfgang Van Halen providing his tasty bit of shredding as well.)

Kimmel held up a pair of pink pants after the performance and announced, "Look what I got off Ryan Gosling's body; can we start the bidding at $10,000?" Kimmel then pointed over to Bradley Cooper's mother, Gloria Campano, who jokingly raised her hand.

Host Jimmy Kimmel rubs Robert Downey Jr.'s nose the wrong way with joke about his drug-addled past

Kimmel managed to keep the show moving without incident, although early in the evening, he seemed to irk nominee and later best supporting actor winner Robert Downey Jr. when he made a joke at the expense of the actor's drug-addled past.

“This is the highest point of Robert Downey Jr.’s long and illustrious career. Well, one of the highest points,” Kimmel said as Downey pointed to his nose. “Was it too on the nose or was that a drug motion you made?” Downey then could be seen miming, "Let's move on."

Once onstage to accept his first Oscar, Downey promptly thanked "my terrible childhood and the academy, in that order."

A teary Da'Vine Joy Randolph gives an emotional speech as best supporting actress for 'The Holdovers'

Da'Vine Joy Randolph was already weeping as she headed to the stage to accept her award for best supporting actress. Although she had already collected a bushelful of awards for her performance in "The Holdovers," the singer-turned-actress was undone by her Oscar moment. But not so much that she didn't also provide the Hollywood crowd with a knowing laugh.

"I didn’t think I was supposed to be doing this as a career. I started off as a singer, but my mother said: 'Go across that street to the theater department. There’s something for you there,' " Randolph said, referring to her early years of training as an opera singer. But toward the end of her heartfelt speech, she abruptly veered off to thank her publicist, allowing that although this wasn't normally done, "you don't have a publicist like I have a publicist."

After the commercial break, Kimmel reminded the frazzled actress that she actually forgot to mention the publicist's name. She then quickly mouthed a name for the camera and smiled.

Surprise! Vanessa Hudgens' pregnancy reveal was the talk of the Oscars red carpet

Before the ceremony started, the red carpet was buzzing not just about the glamorous movie stars but also the very showy pregnancy of Vanessa Hudgens , co-host of ABC's Oscars pre-show telecast.

“I clearly have a lot to be excited for,” she said as the broadcast kicked off, placing a hand near the midsection of her black Vera Wang gown. Although she didn't bring up her mom-to-be status with the celebrities she interviewed, many congratulated her on the big news.

Emily Blunt ('Oppenheimer') and Ryan Gosling ('Barbie') engage in a hilarious 'Barbenheimer' smackdown

As Emily Blunt and Ryan Gosling strolled out on stage to present a montage celebrating stuntmen and stuntwomen, no one had a sense that things would devolve into a winking catfight.

The duo, stars of the biggest movies of the year, "Oppenheimer" and "Barbie" respectively, started fake-sniping at each other, with Gosling saying the "Barbenheimer" phenomenon wasn't called "Oppenbarbie" for a reason: "You've been riding 'Barbie's coattails all summer."

Blunt shot Gosling a glare. "Thanks for Ken-splaining that to me, Mr. 'I need to paint my abs on to get nominated.' You don't see Robert Downey doing that!" It was some of the best acting of the night.

A very buff John Cena presents an Oscar in the nude

Half a century ago, the Oscars were famously interrupted when actor David Niven was upstaged by a streaker. Kimmel mentioned that historic moment and seemed to be prompting a repeat moment. When nothing happened, he walked over to the wings and upbraided John Cena, the onetime wrestler now actor, who was supposed to streak across the stage.

"I changed my mind," Cena protested. "The male body is not a joke." But Kimmel shamed him into doing it anyway, and the exceedingly buff and hairless Cena crab-walked sideways across the stage, his privates seemingly covered only by a large envelope. "Costumes are really important," Cena said before giving the best costume award to "Poor Things."

Jimmy Kimmel reads Donald Trump's diss aloud at the Oscars

Jimmy Kimmel took a moment before Al Pacino presented the best picture Oscar (to "Oppenheimer") to read a critical social media post by Donald Trump, in which the former president bashed Kimmel's hosting job on Truth Social.

“Has there ever been a worse host than Jimmy Kimmel at the Oscars?” Kimmel read to the audience. “Get rid of Kimmel and perhaps replace him with another washed up, but cheap, ABC ‘talent,’ George Slopanopoulos,” a reference to “This Week” host George Stephanopoulos.

Given that it was his show, Kimmel got the last word in, jabbing Trump about his myriad legal problems: “Isn’t it past your jail time?”

To revisit this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories .

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The Zone of Interest ’s Oscars Speech Controversy, Explained

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By Savannah Walsh

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While accepting the award for best international feature at the Oscars 2024 , The Zone of Interest director Jonathan Glazer became the evening’s first filmmaker to acknowledge the ongoing conflict in Gaza. When making his German-language film, which depicts the evil complacency of a Nazi commandant and his family as they live comfortably next to Auschwitz, Glazer said he wanted to acknowledge current atrocities. “All our choices are made to reflect and confront us in the present. Not to say, ‘Look what they did then,’ rather ‘look what we do now,’” he said alongside producers James Wilson and Len Blavatnik. “Our film shows where dehumanization leads at its worst. It’s shaped all of our past and present.”

It’s what Glazer says next that has been misquoted, misunderstood, or taken out of context by some, leading to social media backlash. “Right now, we stand here as men who refute their Jewishness and the Holocaust being hijacked by an occupation, which has led to conflict for so many innocent people,” Glazer, who himself is Jewish, continued. Thanks to some awkward phrasing, some onlookers blatantly misinterpreted Glazer to say that he was publicly refuting his Jewishness, not that part of his identity was being “hijacked” for war.

Abraham Foxman, director emeritus of the Anti-Defamation League, tweeted , “I am pleased that Zone of Interest was won the best international film at the Oscars—but as a survivor of the Holocaust I am shocked the director would slap the memory of over 1 million Jews who died because they were Jews by announcing he refutes his Jewishness. Shame on you.” Newsweek opinion columnist Batya Ungar-Sargon, who also criticized Glazer, wrote on X , “I simply cannot fathom the moral rot in someone’s soul that leads them to win an award for a movie about the Holocaust and with the platform given to them, to accept that award by saying, “We stand here as men who refute their Jewishness.”

Many were quick to correct those posts . In reaction to a particularly inflammatory tweet from conservative journalist John Podhoretz, another user wrote , “100% how you know Glazer nailed it.” Others, including Sorry to Bother You filmmaker Boots Riley, openly celebrated Glazer’s stance. “Salute to Jonathan Glazer,” Riley tweeted . “Not just for speaking out against the atrocities in Gaza & saying that his movie is about the present day- but I finally saw Zone Of Interest last night. Since Under The Skin he has shown that you should not wait til post to figure out sound design.” ( Zone went on to win best sound at the 2024 Oscars as well.)

“Whether the victims of October the seventh in Israel or the ongoing attack on Gaza—all the victims of this dehumanization. How do we resist?” Glazer concluded before citing as a model Alexandra, a character in the film inspired by a real resistance fighter, before dedicating the movie “to her memory and her resistance.”

The filmmaker previously spoke to Vanity Fair about meeting the then 90-year-old Alexandra during pre-production on The Zone of Interest . “She was a local Polish, non-Jewish girl who lived locally and felt compelled to do what she could for prisoners,” Glazer explained. “And part of the thing she did was to leave food for them in construction sites at night, where she was less in danger than she would’ve been obviously during the day. It was the simple, pure goodness in her that made me feel like I could carry on with this project because there was an opposition to this dark force.”

Wilson, a producer on the project, also warned against current complacency during genocide while accepting an award at the BAFTAs last month. “Those walls aren’t new from before or during or since the Holocaust,” he said of the characters’ thin barrier between home and hell. “And it seems stark right now that we should care about innocent people being killed in Gaza or Yemen in the same way we think about innocent people being killed in Mariupol or in Israel.”

Photos From Inside the 2024 Vanity Fair Oscar Party

By Kara Warner

Oscar Predictions 2024: Who Will Win in Every Category

By David Canfield

Glazer wasn’t the only attendee of the 96th Academy Awards to get political at the show . Mstyslav Chernov, the director behind best-documentary-feature winner 20 Days in Mariupol, also used his acceptance speech as an opportunity for advocacy, as did best-actor winner Cillian Murphy , who dedicated his win “to the peacemakers everywhere.” Several other celebrities wore red Artists4Ceasefire pins, including Billie Eilish, Mark Ronson, Ava DuVernay, Mark Ruffalo, Riz Ahmed, Mahershala Ali, and Ramy Youssef. According to The New York Times , the organization said in a statement that the red lapel pins signify a call for increased humanitarian aid and the release of “all of the hostages.” Members of the Anatomy of a Fall team also wore Palestine flag buttons at the Oscars. “Too many dead people since the seventh of October,” actor Swann Arlaud told VF ’s David Canfield . “It has to stop. It’s about humanity. Cease-fire.”

The Ultimate Guide to the 2024 Oscars

The Biggest Moments From the Oscars 2024

Inside the 2024 Vanity Fair Oscar Party

See Every Look From the Oscars Red Carpet

Emma Stone Was Just as Surprised by her Best Actress Win as You Were

From Emma Stone to LeBron James , Stars Collided at the 2024 VF Oscar Party

Billie Eilish, Lily Gladstone, and More Stars of Mark Seliger’s 2024 Oscar Party Portraits

All the Glam From the Oscar Party Red Carpet

11 Spectacular Stars Unite for the 30th Annual Hollywood Issue

Stay in the know and subscribe to Vanity Fair for just $2.50 $1 per month.

Savannah Walsh

Staff writer.

“Too Many Endings, Man”: How The Lord of the Rings Conquered the Oscars

By Anthony Breznican

Prince William Wants to “See an End to the Fighting” in Gaza

By Erin Vanderhoof

In Defense of a (Probably) Very Predictable Oscars

By Caleb Ecarma

Robert Downey Jr.: The Inevitable Oscars 2024 Winner

By Eve Batey

The Oscars Are Changing Faster Than Ever. Here’s Why

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Oppenheimer’s Golden Best-Picture Win at the Oscars 2024

By Katey Rich


  1. Tips For Writing The Perfect Best Man Speech For Your Brother's Wedding

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    Check your posture if your voice is a little shaky before the speech. Roll back your shoulders and tuck your shoulder blades down towards your back. Slightly lift your chest and chin as you speak. Make eye contact: Throughout the speech, you should change your eye contact with different audience members.

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    End on a sentimental note with your well wishes. Pro tip: Brainstorm 3-5 anecdotes you like, sleep on it, then narrow down your options to your Top 2. 3. Nail the opening line. The most memorable opening line for a best man speech is funny, grabs the audience's attention, and offers a twist at the end. For example:

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