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.
- 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.