How to incorporate a slideshow into your best man’s speech
Here at County Wedding Magazines HQ we've heard it many times before "they could relax once the speeches were given".
This anxiety of the wedding speeches affects not only the groom but also the groomsmen. Whether you enjoy public speaking or not, there's a lot of pressure on the best man to remember to thank the bride, do justice to the groom without revealing his worst stories, and crucially be funny - but not so funny you ruin the big day!
No matter how confident the bestman is, or how often they may do presentations at work, this is still a daunting task. If you've a wedding on the horizon and need some tips, James Robinson, Marketing Manager at presentation design agency Buffalo 7 offers his top tips on incorporating a slideshow in to the speech to help with proceedings...
Choose the right tools for the job
"You can't go wrong with Powerpoint. It truly is a remarkable piece of kit, the golden tier of presentation software and perfect if you're looking for extra support on your best man's speech. The handy compression tool means that you can insert imagery directly into your slides, and if you want to get really out there, there's plenty of video and audio editing options to play around with too."
Test your tech before the day
"First things first - make sure the venue allows you to run a slideshow! After that, it's vital that you do a test-run before the big day. Everyone's sat in meetings before where the speaker has fumbled connecting their screen to their presentation - you don't want that to happen at a wedding, as you'll ruin the entire flow of the couple's day. If the couple are at the venue before the wedding day, try and tag along and do a dry run of your speech. If not - make sure to run through at home. Be on the lookout for any potentially difficult tech problems!"
Tip - use a big font
"Remember, the room you'll be in is probably going to be bigger than the average office meeting room. If you do decide to do your best man's speech with supporting slides, make sure that the font is big enough that the people in the back can read them."
Use the slides, but don't rely on them
"The slides might make you feel more comfortable - you can essentially use them as a bit of a crutch to take focus away from you - but don't overdo it. In a perfect world, you want slides to serve as a punchline to what you're saying. A funny picture to illustrate a story from the stag do for example. Some university pictures of the groom looking a mess. Remember that the audience is there to listen to you, and the slides are there to support you."
Remember to use break slides
"One way to bring the focus back to you is by using break slides. These are used in business pitches to give the audience a break and allow them to turn their attention back to you. So this could just be a blank or generic slide (a picture of the bride and groom or the venue for example) - this is recommended if you want to slow things down for a serious part of your speech."
Make sure to practice
"Ultimately, becoming comfortable speaking in front of an audience comes down to practice. It's the same as exercising a muscle. By all means, start practicing with the full best man's speech in front of you, then cut it down to key sentences, and keep reducing the amount of text until you can present the whole speech with just one flash of the slides. Either use notes on the slides or cards to prompt you if you get stuck."
Keep it loose
"Rehearsing every word, every gesture and mapping out your steps can lead to a robotic performance. And if it doesn't go exactly to plan, you'll freak out because it's not what you rehearsed. A good way to achieve perfect imperfection is to limit your reliance on reading - get that speech in your head. You know the groom - you know the stories. So keep it loose and your audience will thank you for it."Be interactive - use the guests "Regularly checking in with the other wedding guests, or encouraging them to get involved with the odd comment or joke can really help the flow of a best man's speech. Takes a bit of pressure off you, and audiences will listen more if they're more involved."
Learn to laugh at yourself
"We've all listened to best man's speeches where the best man starts to stumble over their words, panics and makes a mistake and then over corrects it. The worst thing you can do, following a mistake, is pretend it didn't happen. By making a joke of your screw up, you take back control. In fact, we're probably all a little bit too comfortable when it comes to self-deprecation, so watch out you don't take it too far."
Remember - you love the bride and groom and this is a great day
"At the end of the day, whether you use slides for support or not, if you do get stuck remember. You love the bride and groom. It's an honour to be asked to do a best man's speech. So have fun, and if all else fails - compliment the bride!"