Category Archives: Giving a Toast

Five Video Perfect, Speech Opener Ideas

My Web WritersVideo Perfect Speech Ideas

If you’re not using video yet– you should be.  When using video as a way to communicate mass messages, these following five ideas will help you to open with strong and compelling calls-to-attention and to pique your audiences’ interests.

1. Start with a demonstration.

Video presentations can do what would not be nearly as effective in front of a large, live audience. You can open your speech with a hands-on demonstration, talent, or trick – especially one that can be zoomed in on. Many people learn by doing and so a speech that begins with an immediate action captures interest and improves retention. This makes the audience want to know the connection between your demonstration and what you’re about to say next. We like the Shindigz video collection because of the quality and quantity of helpful tips and the ways in which these party products are demonstrated by Wendy and Mary.

2. Add emotion.

A video speech or presentation is also a key opportunity to employ an emotional appeal to your audience. You can begin with a montage of photos with a voiceover, words or a story from someone else or tell a story that is personal to you. Music can greatly enhance the effect of this. Another important benefit of this speech opener is that it helps to create a relationship with the audience. Through video you can sometimes lose that “human element” that you get from a live presentation, but by incorporating emotion you ensure this important element is still present right from the start. We think the Dove Real Beauty Sketches demonstrate how to effectively tug at heartstrings.

3. Incorporate humor.

The use of humor is a tried-and-true technique for many different styles of speeches. Remember that with video, you have the advantage of zooming in on facial expressions to really emphasize the humor in a story.  Telling a joke is a perfect speech opener idea for this medium because it helps to break the ice and set a warm and friendly tone. Whether dry or sarcastic, humor like Apple Coasting will bring a welcome chuckle.

4. Reference another well known speech or video clip.

Countless video clips have risen to stardom overnight after going viral on social media. These have become just about as well known as classic novels, especially depending upon the generation you ask. Including a short clip from a well known viral video as the opener of your own video speech is a great way to capture an audience’s attention and to prime them for your message. Ideally, such a clip should be relatable to the rest of your speech. With the many, many viral videos to choose from, you should be able to find something that can be woven into almost any message.  We think this Cimorelli and Matty B spoof of Cary Rae Jepson’s Call Me Maybe is a fun way for up-and-coming singers to partner and credit a well-known singer.

5. Do something completely unexpected.

Finally, video speeches are a great opportunity to do something completely unexpected and harness this as an effective opener to capture your audience’s attention. You’re able to zoom-in, edit, add special features and use props much more easily than you could in front of a large, live audience. So stretch your creativity and really think outside the box for an unexpected opener like a special effects trick, goofy song or sound effect. This can be in relation to the topic of the rest of your video speech or it could be a complete contrast that will keep the audience guessing.

There are many great opportunities to open your video speech that will capture your audience’s attention, build your credibility and set the stage for a powerful message.  These are just five to help get you started. They key is to remember that you must tailor your message to your audience and your medium. A video presentation or speech has unique challenges and advantages of which you should be aware and take into consideration. With the right opener and ever-advancing technology, your message can travel as far and as fast as your viewers are inspired to take it!    ~Stephanie & Jean

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Resolve to Include Video in Your Content

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Filed under Giving a Toast, Introductions, Speech Openers, Speeches, Video Production, YouTube

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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Filed under Giving a Toast, Speeches