While it may seem simple to grab the microphone and talk in front of a room filled with people, some of whom you know very well and others very little, it can require a bit of work.
Memorable toasts stand out for a few reasons. First, they engage the entire audience, not just the person that’s being “toasted”; second, they are clear and concise; and finally, they include just the right amount of personal details that make it anything but generic.
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.
A toast, whether at a wedding or a good friend’s birthday party, is usually done in front of an audience 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.
Your toast should grow to a point. Before you guide the audience to raise their glass, give the person you are toasting well wishes, hopes for the future, and a line or two about why you appreciate them so much.
The key to giving a powerful toast is making 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.
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