The Speech Surgery: funny photo inclusions yay or nay?

Social media has changed the importance of images in a best man's speech - read on to find out why with Heidi Ellert McDermott, founder of Speechy & author of The Modern Couple's Guide to Wedding Speeches

group of men in suits lifting another man in suit Credit: Photo by Joeyy Lee on Unsplash

My husband has been asked to be his brother's best man. We have lots of funny photos of his brother through the years. Should we utilise them in the speech?

A decade ago, nearly every best man speech involved a PowerPoint presentation of embarrassing photos of the groom. These days are over. Maybe it's because social media now allows people to look back at laugh at their mates 'fedora' or 'drop crotch' years without needing to wait for a wedding. Or, maybe it's just because using PowerPoint is generally awkward and clunky anywhere other than the boardroom.

Whatever the case, I encourage the speakers I work with to pull the plug on technology and focus on great storytelling instead. Yes, use the photos to bring back classic memories and reference the 'fedora' era but don't interrupt your narrative flow with PowerPoint slides.

Remind your husband that, as the groom's sibling, he already has a head start and there's plenty of comedic themes to play with. Here's a few themes/lines he could play with...

BIRTH ORDER
- 'We're incredibly similar, it's just that when he was born, the universe looked at him thought, "yeah, he's alright. But we've got two years to make a better one.'
- OR... 'Being brothers, we're incredibly similar, it's just that I used up all the good genes when I was born. Sorry about that, (groom's partner).'

THE PARENTS
- 'A best man speech is always a dubious challenge but more so, when trying to give an honest impression of my brother whilst simultaneously not getting in trouble with mum.'
- 'Our parents were strict. We weren't allowed to watch Hollyoaks or eat sugar after 4 pm. Well, mum, there's a three-tier cake over there with our name on it, and YOU can't do anything about if we choose to shove our faces in it later.'

THE FAVOURITE
- 'My brother was always 'the favourite' And to illustrate the point, here it is... the 'wonderful' painting that my brother did, aged 11, that still hangs in our parent's living room. Now can we all just agree that they may have viewed his talents in a somewhat delusional light?'

Brothers have a wealth of material to play with – so no need to resort to rolling out the PowerPoint pics.

For more inspiration: speechy.com/best-man-speech-example

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