Famously, the best man's speech at the wedding is the stuff of nightmares. It's your job to make a large room of strangers laugh, but you're not allowed to swear or tell any stories that are too humiliating because there's going to be children and old people in the audience.

It's not an enviable job, but someone's got to do it. Man up and follow the advice below from someone who's been put in this position not once, but twice!

1. Get help

This is my biggest piece of advice for anyone wishing to tackle a best man's speech. You're not alone, you can ask for help and it'll give you so much brilliant ammunition you didn't have before.

The first port of call is the bride, find out as much behind-the-scenes gossip as you can. Nobody will be in possession of more usable and embarrassing stories and pictures about the groom than his wife-to-be. Find out how they met, where he proposed and anything else she'll give up. Next, go to the groom and ask the same questions and note any discrepancies in the stories that you can exploit.

If your best mate went to Uni without you or has a different circles of friends, get in contact and see if they can give you any nuggets of gold that he's trying to keep quiet. Remember, this is just some light ribbing, you're not looking to discredit him entirely.

Best man's speechCredit: omgimages / Bigstockphoto.com

2. Use visual aids

If the bride or friends are able to get you any pictures of the groom looking silly or in a tame, but compromising position, use them! This helped me to get the biggest laughs and all you need to do is come up with a few funny one-liners to set up the pictures.

Luckily for me, the groom had once let the bride put her make-up and a blonde wig on him and the groom had no idea she'd given me the pictures. The line "I'm embarrassed personally, because I didn't even know Sean Connery and Marilyn Monroe had a love child," pretty much wrote itself.

3. Keep it short

This is the fundamentally amazing news - nobody wants to here the groom's life story. All you've really got to do it thank everyone, mention how beautiful the bride is looking, reel off some funny stories about the groom (with the aid of pictures) and make a toast to the happy couple. Remember, at the end of the day it's their moment, you don't want to hog the limelight and bore the guests.

4. Exs are off limits

This might go without saying, but just in case you didn't get the memo - don't mention the exs. Even if they've been invited and everyone's still going along with the story that they're all friends - don't buy it. There's bound to be some sensitive hidden feelings there and it's not your place to go pulling at that thread.

5. End with a touching toast

While you're grilling the groom for stories ask him when he first knew he loved the bride or was going to propose. Pick the best story and use it as link between your roasting and your final speech.

Something like "For all his faults, the groom is still a lucky man. On the stag do he told me that after a couple of dates that this was the person that he wanted to look after for the rest of his life. So without any further ado..."

This leaves the whole speech on a touching note and leads naturally on to a toast to the bride and groom.