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One of the most important duties of the best man comes at the wedding reception when he has to give the traditional best man speech. Hopefully, the best man will not be of a shy and nervous personality since he will be commanding the attention of all the wedding guests. However, the hardest part may actually be the writing of the speech rather than the delivery of it. 

Much like any other speech, there are three basic parts: the beginning, middle, and closing points. As a best man, it’s a good idea to ask yourself a few questions before you decide on what to say. Think about how well you know the new bride and groom, and why you were asked to be the best man. Come up with a few nice descriptive words for the bride and groom. Think about how the groom has changed (if any) since he got engaged. Don’t forget to include how the couple met and mention if the groom talked to you about her. Of course, some fun little anecdotes about the type of people the new couple is also a lot of fun.

When you add these all together, you can make a great best man speech. As you are thinking about the above questions, you may even realize that the speech is almost writing itself. You want to write a speech that makes people laugh, as well as shed a happy tear or two. Most of all, keep your audience captive.

As you open your speech on the big day, introduce yourself to the crowd, as surely not everyone will know who you are. You should also thank the friends or relatives that are hosting the nuptials. If the couple is paying for the whole wedding, you should include a thank you to them, and a statement that you are glad to be part of this very important day. You should save the jokes for later in the speech.

The middle of the speech is where you can relate some stories you may know about either the bride or groom. If you know one of them better than the other, do your best to keep the anecdotes and toasts equal. This is where you can share your funny stories about them. Keep these amusing but not humiliating. Also, make sure your speech is at least PG-rated, as there will probably be children present. Don’t drone on and on. Keep things short and entertaining so the crowd doesn’t become bored.

In closing, end your speech with a sentimental toast to the happy couple, wishing them a lifetime of happiness. Raise your glass while speaking and don’t forget to drink to your own toast.

If you’re nervous, make a few quick notes and have those nearby for when you make the official speech. Try not to read directly from the notes but instead use them as a guide in case you happen to forget some of the points you wanted to make. Another good tip is to try and refrain from drinking too much until the speech is over. It’s never a good idea to be drunk in front of a crowd in your most important moment of the wedding.

When the time comes for you to give your toast, stand straight and proud, speak clearly and loudly, and stay calm. There is a reason the couple choose you to be their best man on such an important day, so take pride in that fact and enjoy your moment.

 

A touch of “Swan Song” and a dash of “The Stand”…Very good post-apocalyptic tale in the mode and mood of R. McCammon’s “Swan Song” and S. King’s “The Stand”. ★★★★★

Excerpt from Troop of Shadows:

Prologue
Colleyville, Texas
October

Dani cursed the weight of her backpack. The final two items from the ransacked Walgreens, crammed in as an afterthought ten minutes ago, might cost her everything. After surviving the last twelve months of hell only to be thwarted now by a can of Similac and a twelve-pack of Zest soap, would be sadly anticlimactic. Despite running at a full sprint down a dark suburban street, dodging overflowing garbage cans while eluding three men who would steal her hard-won tubes of Neosporin and likely rape and kill her in the process, she snorted at the thought of a fictional headline: Young Woman’s Life Ends Tragically but Zestfully Clean.

Damn it, she would ditch the backpack. She could come back tomorrow night for it, but right now staying alive outweighed any future benefit its contents might provide. As her pursuers rounded the corner behind her, she darted across the front lawn of a house and leaped over a cluster of dead juniper shrubs. A year ago, those shrubs had been green, manicured, and providing curb appeal to the upscale neighborhood; they functioned now as a hurdle component in the obstacle course Dani navigated on most nights.

She angled toward the side of the house and around the corner, only to come to an abrupt stop next to a six-foot barricade. Residents of these sprawling bedroom communities situated between Dallas and Fort Worth clung to their privacy fences as fiercely as their rural counterparts did to their firearms. Why all those day-trading dads and cheerleader moms required such secrecy was beyond Dani. She didn’t care. All that mattered was how difficult they made her nightly forages. Only idiots or people with a death wish traveled alone on the streets anymore. The clever ones navigated through backyards and drainage ditches, shadowed easements and alleyway, avoiding open spaces and other humans.

Especially humans traveling in groups.

Stealth and caution were second nature to her now, and she was pissed at herself for loading up the backpack with more weight than she could easily carry at a full run.

Rookie mistake.

She flung the pack into the undergrowth of a once meticulous garden, making a mental note of the enormous red tip photinia which camouflaged the bundle in a leafy shroud. She hoped to be alive the next day to retrieve it.

She clambered up the fence, finding a toehold on a warped plank, and squirmed over the top. A silver fingernail of a moon did little to illuminate the backyard. Weak starlight reflected off the inky surface of a half-empty, kidney-shaped swimming pool. Her Nikes gripped the concrete deck as she skirted the murky water and made a beeline for the back of the yard that was, of course, separated from its neighbor by a privacy fence. It was a tall one too — a full ten feet. There were no bushes or trees to use for leverage either. She scanned the area for anything that might serve as a step ladder.

Of all the yards she could have chosen for her escape, she’d picked one with a damn ten-foot fence.

Her heart raced from the sprint, but not from panic. Gone was the young woman from a year ago, the full-time floundering college dropout and part-time surly Starbucks barista who spent too much time reading books and not enough time looking for a job that would allow her to move out of her parents’ house. She was too smart for her own good, everyone had told her. She should have taken that secretarial position in North Dallas, but she would have lost her sanity in that environment. The tedious filing, the ringing phones, the office politics — in other words, hell on earth for a girl with an IQ over a hundred and fifty.

Despite the recent horrors, she’d come into her own at last, after twenty-one years of meandering through life unfocused and unchallenged. The extra twenty pounds she’d been carrying courtesy of Freddy’s cheeseburgers and Taco Bell burritos were gone, thanks to her newfound self-discipline and endless hours of Krav Maga training with Sam. Not only had she transformed her body, she’d elevated and strengthened her mind as well. Before the power had gone out, she’d watched countless tutorials on T’ai Chi, Qigong, and Buddhist meditation. During that same window — when people were beginning to get sick, but before most of them had died — she’d combed book stores and libraries within a fifteen-mile radius. When the country went dark and people realized that life-saving information was no longer available with a few keystrokes, Dani had amassed reference material on subjects as diverse as hydroponics and combat first aid, ancient meat drying techniques and bomb making. Between martial arts lessons with Sam, she spent every spare minute absorbing the printed esoteric knowledge like a greedy lizard on a sun-drenched rock.

Knowledge was survival.

When the first of the men slithered over the fence into the backyard, she hadn’t found anything to use as a foothold. Another figure followed behind him. She closed her eyes, took a deep breath and released it from her lungs, slow and measured, then took off at a full run toward them. While she ran, fingers slid down to a leather sheath secured to her belt. Two seconds before she reached the first of her would-be assailants, a Ka-Bar — the grandaddy of tactical knives — was in her hand.

Dani used momentum and every ounce of her one-hundred-twenty pound frame to slam the first man into the second, knocking both assailants off-balance and unprepared for her next move: a vicious stab to the groin of the first. He collapsed to his knees. She followed with a backhand movement, opening up the throat of his companion. A similar gesture to the man with the injured groin silenced his moaning.

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