My process for writing a best man speech began with me writing it word-for-word, essay style. I found that, pretty much, the first ideas to pop in my head ended up being the main content for the speech. I then stripped that back down to quite brief notes and divided it into logical sections and practiced each section separately. After a few run throughs, each section had evolved so I expanded the notes again to cover the new bits or altered turn of phrase. In the end I had a few extra points that were really just one-liners and didn’t fit in well, rather than disrupt the flow, I binned them completely. I figured I would rather have a shorter speech that one filled with waffle. In my last practice, it took 9mins 30secs – I have no idea how long it took on the day – I spoke too quickly but then had the odd pause for the audience to recover(?), so I would guess a similar time. This ‘essay-note-sections-practice-revised notes’ system worked well I think.
I promised myself it would be written way earlier, and practiced way more, but I am not sure that would have made much difference. In a way, I think over practicing can be dangerous – too learned and if you get lost, you’re stuffed. So just blag it.