Tips For Giving A Successful Toast

by My Web Writers

 

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.

Staging your Toast
Get your toast off to a great start by setting the right stage. If you are giving a toast to a specific person or multiple individuals, make sure that you stand near or face them. As you make your decision as to where to stand with respect to the guest or guests of honor, take into consideration that you don’t want to be squeezed into a tight, unattractive place. You should have room to gesture and to easily make eye contact with both those you are toasting and the audience. Timing is also an important part of staging. Don’t deliver the toast until you have everyone’s attention. You can politely get their attention by standing up and chiming your fork on your glass. Since every toast ends with the traditional raising and drinking a glass of bubbly, make sure that everyone in the audience has a glass with bubbly either already poured inside of it or available for them to pour prior to the start of your 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.
Delivering your Toast
It’s time to deliver. The stage is set, the material finalized and it is time to face the audience. Here are some basic suggestions on how to make sure that the material you have refined and rehearsed for weeks prior to giving the toast comes across successfully :
  • 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.

Still feeling a little nervous about the toast? Here are some additional tactics that can bring down your anxiety level. Bring a prop. Tell a joke.

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.

Here’s to another year older and another year wiser. Here’s to the connections we’ve made and the friendships we’ve built. But most importantly, as we approach 2012, here’s to you. May you find success in your business ventures, may you be able to express what you wish to express (or hire someone who can say it better than you), and may you and your loved ones enjoy peace and happiness throughout the year and years to come. Cheers!
~Marni

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2 Comments

Filed under Giving a Toast, Speeches

2 responses to “Tips For Giving A Successful Toast

  1. Pingback: Five Shoppers to Keep in Mind When Writing Holiday Copy | My Web Writers - Website Content & Editing Ideas

  2. Pingback: Five Tips to Building Client Relationships from Bruce, the Shelter Dog | My Web Writers - Website Content & Editing Ideas

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