Practice makes perfect.
You might think it’s just a case of arriving at the reception and reading your best man’s poem straight from the page, but you need to get the rhythm right for it to sound perfect.
I often use commas mid-sentence to give you an idea on how it should go, or when to take a pause. Practice speaking aloud until you get it just right. When I write the poem, I will go over it again and again until it sounds right to me. Adding, subtracting and altering words until I can say it aloud in a certain way – you need to play with the way it sounds until you get it just right. Delivery is important and will give you much more confidence during the speech.
Some people like to practice in a mirror, but I just speak it aloud. As soon as you feel the rhythm, you’ll know just how to deliver the final draft and get the best out of your audience – after all, you want the crowd to be hanging on your every word and laughing in the right spots.
You’ll know when you’ve got it right because you’ll have to take pauses while they stop laughing – and that’s a nice feeling!
p.s. Make sure you have a spare drink available while you’re making a speech because your throat will very often go dry (don’t drink from the glass you’ll need for toasting the bride and groom at the end).