So you’ve been asked to give a toast. No – not the kind of toast sung about by Heywood Banks while playing a toaster. You have been asked to stand before your peers on a special occasion and reflect upon the past while wishing well for the future. At the conclusion of your toast everyone will raise their glasses and second your sentiments with an expression of cheers before taking a drink. As if standing in front of everyone to deliver a toast isn’t nerve-racking enough, the pressure associated with sharing thoughts with which everyone agrees and wishes to second can be paralyzing. Following the tips provided under the three most important aspects of giving a toast (the right staging, the right material, and the right delivery) will help you in giving a successful toast.
Material for your Toast
When putting together the material for your toast, which you should be working on at least two weeks to a month BEFORE the event, you should follow some basic guidelines.
- Know your audience. Once you know the make-up and personality of your audience, you can customize the content accordingly. For example, if you have an unruly, crazy crowd, then you can afford to push the envelope. If there are children in the audience, then make sure your toast is entertaining in an unoffensive way.
- Limit the toast to three to five minutes. Remember, they call it a toast because it is not a speech. You can stay within that time limit if you have refined the content of your toast. How do you refine it? Don’t get wordy. Stay on subject. Don’t digress from what you have prepared and practiced.
- Make sure your toast has an opening, body and conclusion. In the opening, introduce yourself and acknowledge the occasion or people who have brought you all together in celebration of the occasion you are toasting. In the body, make it your own. Express what you admire about the person or persons. Share experiences that don’t embarrass, offend, or denigrate. See that the tone is sincere, complimentary, and postive. In the ending, express your best wishes, share some parting words of wisdom, tie in a famous quote, or any other form of famous closing words. Overall, make the material of your toast fit the occasion and the audience.
- speak slowly,
- articulate your words,
- use vocal variety,
- make sure everyone can hear you,
- don’t speak in an inebriated state,
- have a smile on your face,
- have your glass ready to raise at the end of the toast.
Looking for more information on giving a toast or need help finding popular toasts? Check out the following websites or videos:
Toasts, Trivia, and Quotes
How to Give a Good Toast
How to Propose a Toast – This video actually recognizes that the practices crucial to a successful toast are also relevant to delivering a great speech of any kind.
Here’s to… Making a Holiday Toast
How do you Say Cheers in Every Language
A Toast to You
In conclusion, My Web Writers would like to offer their own toast.