Aug 12 2011 by Stuart Wilson, Ayrshire Post (main ed)
HE’S often the most nervous person at a wedding – and he’s not even getting married.
Best man duties can be both an honour and a curse to even the coolest of customers.
And finding that perfect speech has become an art in itself for generations of blokes stepping up to the plate.
Now an Ayrshire group is bidding to take the stress from the big occasion by issuing their own step-by-step guide to speeches.
Gaffes, guffaws and downright insults all require timing for the perfect delivery.
And Troon Round Table, who are producing the guide, are determined to help future best men who are in a sweat.
John Payne, Round Table president, said: “Round Table has been built around providing a network of advice and camaraderie for men aged 18-45 since 1927, and therefore our members are well placed for understanding the stress of being a best man.
“We are appealing to people to send us their favourite best man stories, anecdotes and if possible speeches.
“We know that many people have their weddings filmed nowadays, so we’re hoping to receive some great clips of what to do and say or, perhaps, examples of what not to do and say.
“Our aim is to use the responses we receive from people in Ayrshire, and those from Round Table’s network of more than 500 tables, to produce a simple but authoritative guide to delivering the perfect best man’s speech, created by those who know best – the men who’ve been there.”
First man debutant, Keith Boyle, is one of many who had sweat pouring from his brow when he took to the stage.
Keith, of Drongan, revealed: “I spent a whole year preparing my speech and couldn’t believe how much work it took.
“I kept going back to my original draft to add bits or take other parts out – that’s definitely the way to do it.
“I’m really glad we did the speeches before the meal because I started to get very nervous when it came close to my moment.
“But it was a great experience and a real honour to do it for my mate, Michael, and I got a lot of good feedback so hopefully my preparation paid off.”
People who think they have tips, examples or footage that should be shared or will help the Troon Round Table create its guide should email firstname.lastname@example.org.