How to Give a Toast

May, 2011 · By Coryanne Ettiene

I’m such an extrovert that I forget that some people buckle up at the thought of public speaking.  While others struggle with what to say, I struggle with how to limit what I want to say… I could ramble on all night which is why everyone could use a reminder on how to deliver the perfect toast.  Adding a toast to a dinner with friends, family celebrations or a special event is a great way to commemorate the festivities and those in attendance.  Toasts are typically incorporated into special events like engagement parties, weddings and funerals, however adding a toast to a simple evening with friends can turn your night into a meaningful one by adding a few poignant words.  Delivering the perfect toast is easier said than done, follow these simple suggestions for an effortless toast.

How to give a toast by Coryanne Ettiene

  • Keep your toast short, simple and to the point.
  • Focus on the recipient, not yourself.  This is your moment to ensure they shine in the best light.
  • State the obvious, and mention the person you are toasting by name, and your relationship to them.
  • If you are delivering a toast to more than one person, give each recipient equal time in your speech.
  • Interject humor by sharing 1-2 anecdotes about the recipient.  The perfect toast should make everyone laugh, and where appropriate, cry.
  • If this is a formal toast, practice in front of the mirror and leave the note cards at home – a great toast is delivered from the heart.

Timing is everything, before delivering your toast limit your alcohol consumption, and don’t begin the toast until everyone has a full glass and your complete attention.

  • Make eye contact.
  • Stand up.
  • Raise your glass in your right hand.
  • Speak slowly and clearly.
  • End on a high note.  When raising your glass, make your toast specific and clear, for example,  “To the perfect Toast!”
  • Toasts can be offered with champagne, wine, a mixed drink or a mocktail, however not tea, coffee or water.


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