Choosing your anecdotes
Telling a few choice stories about the groom is a common, and lovely way of celebrating him. And a focus on the positive does not preclude some gentle teasing! However, it is very important that you choose your anecdotes carefully. Remember the order of priority of your audience. Can the bride feel welcomed and admired if you talk about previous girlfriends?
Can the groom feel loved and popular if you tell stories about parts of his life and personality that he is genuinely sensitive about? It doesn’t matter if it’s a good story. If it treads on the sensitivities (and yes, the groom will feel sensitive on his wedding day, even if you doubt he has a feeling in his body the rest of the time!) of the two main people, then you drop the story. End of. Think harder, ask around and find something else.
By now you should be in quite good shape with your speech preparation. Don’t bother writing the whole thing out. Think about each section and the choice of words you might say, and jot down the odd really good phrase. Think about how you’re going to start and end each story/section. But mostly practice telling the stories in your head or out loud. Getting used to the spoken, rather than the written word, will make the speech much easier on the day.
Speak from the heart
Mostly though, remember the intention is to celebrate and to let these two people know that they are loved. So speak from the heart and get gushy before the toast. That’s your job. If you only achieve that, then you have still been successful.
If you offer a long, funny, inventive dissection of the groom’s character but forget to mention his bride, or celebrate their love, you’ve failed. This one is the whole point. The best man speech can be a difficult task. Speak-Easily, have provided an insight into ways to be more confident when conducting a best man speech.