Tips, Hints, & Advice for Best Man or Maid of Honor Toast
- Speak Up - Annunciate and say clearly what you want.
- Slow Down - The easiest way to be better understood is to talk slower. Don't slur words together; articulate the endings of words.
- Know The Audience - The bride and groom's families will be there. It is a fine line between an embarrassing memory and an awkward, embarrassing wedding. Don't bring up old girlfriends, details of anything sexual, or other taboo subjects. If in doubt, ask a few trusted friends.
- Know Your Material - Practice. Write down what you need to.
- Know Yourself - If you have to write down every word, that is better than forgetting something. Your audience wants you to do well, but knows you might not be an experienced speaker.
- Use The Microphone - The microphone works best if it is about 4 - 6 inches from your mouth. If you hold it by your waist, no one is going to hear you. Expect it to sound loud or strange to you. The distance to the speaker will cause a little delay in what you hear or to be loud to your ears. The DJ will make sure everyone can hear you, your job is to provide quality input.
- Use Pauses - Allow silence. It gives people a chance to process what they have heard. Don't fill silences with "Umm, Uhhh" or "You know".
- Minimize Gestures - They can be distracting. Be aware of nervous habits like fidgeting or swaying.
- It's Not About You - Focus on the speech, not your fears. Don't apologize for mistakes or nervousness.
- Smile - Relax, and do your best. You are not a paid speaker, don't try to be something you aren't.
- Start Right - DO NOT tap a microphone to get attention or see if it is on. Instead, say, "Welcome... Hello... May I have your attention, please..." or something similar.
- Raise Your Glass - If you are nervous, place it on the table while you speak, but have it handy.
- Remember The Bride - Often the Best Man focuses on the groom; try to include the bride in your stories. Vice versa for the Maid of Honor.
- Finish - This is actually 2 pieces of advice:
- Don't go on too long. Short and sweet is much better than long and rambling.
- Cue people to the fact that you are finished by saying, "Raise your glasses", "To the bride and groom", "Please join in toasting the happy couple", or something to let them know you are finished.
- Bow Out Early - If public speaking would be too much for you, let the groom know early, so he can find a replacement.
We would like to thank Occasions Disc Jockeys for some of these tips. They have more advice for the Best Man & Maid Of Honor.