Giving A Toast

WRITTEN April 12, 2018 Author: Jen Glantz

Being asked to give a toast, whether at a conference, a birthday party, or a wedding, is always an honor.

It sounds simple enough – just grab the microphone and say a few words in front of a group of people, some of whom you know very well and others very little. But in reality, put in the work to make it memorable for you and the honoree.

A memorable toast will stand out for a few reasons. First, it will engage the entire audience, not just the person that’s being “toasted.” Second, it will be clear and concise. Finally, it will have just the right amount of personality and details to make it anything but generic.

Use these four tips when preparing to give a toast:

Keep it Short

The best toasts are the ones that are short and sweet. Time your speech, adding in pauses for audience engagement. Keep your speech under five minutes, unless you believe it’s appropriate to speak for longer, or the host has asked you to speak for a certain amount of time.

Skip the Inside Jokes

A toast, whether at a wedding or a good friend’s birthday party, is usually done in front of an audience with a wide variety of people. Leave out any inside jokes that the majority of ears listening won’t understand. Cater the speech to everyone in the room, while also making it personal to whomever it’s directed.

End with Well Wishes

Let your toast grow and progress to end with a message. Before you guide the audience to raise their glasses, give the person or people you are toasting well wishes, hopes for the future, and a line or two about why you appreciate them so much.

Practice, Practice, Practice

The key to giving a powerful toast is to make it sound conversational and personable. Practice your speech, several times, out loud before the event. Become familiar enough with the material that you don’t have to look at a piece of paper throughout the entire toast.

Giving a toast is a great honor, but it can take a good amount of work to create and deliver. Remember to speak to your audience, keep it short & sweet, and practice. Be ready, so that you can let your personality shine through with every word, joke, and wish for the future.

This content is a part of our Public Speaking curriculum. If you’re looking for ways to improve your communication skills, register for one of our public classes.

Image by Kevin Dooley

Other Resources:

How to Give an Awesome Toast

Giving A Quality Toast is Easier Than You Think

How to Give an Elegant, Unforgettable Toast

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