How to give a great best man toast
One of the reasons best man toasts can be so unpredictable is that giving a best man toast is such a unique experience. It's something many men never do, while those who do give a best man toast may only do it once in a lifetime. It's understandable to be nervous when asked to give a best man toast, but there are a few tricks of the trade a best man can employ to calm those nerves and ensure his toast is memorable for all the right reasons.
Practice makes perfect
Few people are capable of standing in front of a crowd of people and speaking off the cuff. A best man should take this into account and practice his speech before the big day. A spur-of-the-moment speech may provide an adrenaline rush, but such an endeavor may come off as if you didn't care enough to put the effort into writing a thoughtful toast ahead of time. In addition, practicing the toast once it's been written will make you feel more comfortable and confident in front of the crowd. If possible, practice in front of a friend or family member so you can solicit feedback. A friend or relative might be able to help you fine-tune the speech, which in turn can calm your nerves once you're handed the microphone.
Getting liquored up prior to your toast is a recipe for disaster. Though it may seem like a good idea to employ alcohol to calm your nerves and lower your inhibitions, it's not a good idea. Consuming alcohol before your toast increases the chance that you will end up embarrassing the bride and groom as well as yourself.
Get to the point
Men and women who have attended their fair share of wedding receptions no doubt have sat through a long-winded toast from the best man or maid of honor. Such toasts can bring a festive reception to a grinding halt, and guests will likely tune out before the best man or maid of honor gets to the point. Being succinct should be a goal for a best man with regard to his toast. Avoid long-winded walks down Memory Lane in favor of a toast that thoughtfully cuts to the chase and lets everyone get back to celebrating.
Spin a yarn
While it's important to be brief, don't be so brief that no one at the reception learns about your relationship to the groom. Share a humorous anecdote from your mutual past to illustrate the type of relationship you and the groom share with one another. This story should have an element of humor but don't include anything too embarrassing, and all ex-girlfriends should be considered off-limits.
Congratulate the couple
Because nerves play such a significant part in many best man toasts, it can be easy to forget to congratulate both the bride and groom. Don't just toast the groom at the end of your best man speech; toast his new bride as well.