So you're his best mate, it only makes sense that he'd ask you to be the best man. The only problem is that he doesn't know about your crippling fear of giving public speeches.
You've arranged the stag do, you've remembered the rings and got him to the church on time... surely that's enough, isn't it? No, sadly, it's not enough. You're still expected to give a memorable, sentimental and, most important, funny speech to a hundred people you've probably never met.
Well the great news is that you've got a number of factors on your side to make sure things all turn out rosy in the end.
1. You've got time
Only the most evil groom would wait until the last minute to appoint a best man and expect a decent speech. The chances are he's give you a good three or four month's warning to get your ducks in order. It's important to utilise this time wisely. It's no use at all to be still scribbling notes on your napkin as the speeches move down the table towards you.
2. You're allowed to ask for help
This is my biggest piece of advice for anyone facing a best man's speech: ask for help. Go to the bride, go to the groom, go to the groom's mates that aren't in your friend circle and ask them all for any stories or incidents that can help your speech. Not only does this give you more than enough ammunition to build your speech around, it also makes sure it's an original speech rather than a generic internet speech.
3. Everyone's on your side
The great news on the day is that people want you to do a good job. Unlike in boardroom presentations, there's no haters wishing you'll muck it all up. Everyone knows that it's not an easy job and you've got the bottle to go through with it so they're willing you to do well.
There's a curious atmosphere during the speeches; it's very much like a fuse waiting to ignite and the slightest humorous comment will set them all off. Once that happens a couple of times, it does wonders for your confidence.
4. People are drinking
It's been the social lubricant for thousands of years and you'll certainly want it in plentiful supply before the speeches. When people are in a good mood and there's alcohol available this plays right into your hands and turns averagely comical quips into hilarious barnstormers.
Just make sure you don't drink too much. An embarrassingly slurred best man's speech doesn't make for good watching on the wedding video.
5. You've got the fun speech
Unless your mate's marrying Billy Connolly's daughter, the chances are you're going to be giving the funniest speech. The father of the bride's speech is more often than not a short but touching recollection with a few standard jokes. The groom's speech usually consists of running through the list of people that he needs to thank.
The best man's got the fun job if anything. He gets to tastefully roast the groom, pull out any embarrassing stories and wish the couple well from everyone. If you've got to do a spot of public speaking, at least you can get some digs in on your mate while you're doing it.