Even if you're a habitual procrastinator, plan ahead just this once. Preparing in advance for your speech is one of the best ways to ensure its success. We've all heard last-minute speeches from the maid of honor or best man, and they're not pretty -- there's nothing worse than sitting through a speech that was obviously scribbled on a cocktail napkin seconds before. And blindly stumbling through your speech like a deer in headlights can lead to a lot of babbling and possibly saying things you wish you hadn't mentioned!
Having a plan won't only help calm your nerves, but will also help you think about all the important things you want to mention. Wanting to tell the hilarious story about the time you first met the groom and then forgetting to is likely to leave you feeling flustered and possibly regretful.
Make sure you have plenty of time to practice your speech. This will help you come up with good transitions as well as make sure you're good to go on time restraints. Plan to write your speech up to three weeks in advance of the wedding, and don't feel bashful about practicing in front of friends. Have someone time you, and don't forget to ask for feedback!