Tips for Making a Toast
Knowing how to make a toast is a valuable social skill which can assist you in a number of situations. From weddings to dinner parties, knowing how to make a toast will allow you to memorably express your feelings to friends and loved ones.
Know Your Audience
Before you can make a toast, it’s a good idea to know what kind of audience you’re speaking to. If it’s a black tie event, then the toast should probably be of a formal nature. On the other hand, the toast can be informal if everyone at the event is wearing casual attire. Know your audience and prepare accordingly.
It’s also important to avoid too many inside references. By inside references, I mean comments or jokes which only a small percent of the crowd will understand. The toast should be enjoyed by everyone, so keep your comments as general as possible.
Don’t Be Afraid To Steal
When you make a toast, nobody is expecting you to be the next William Shakespeare. By that, I mean that nobody is expecting you to craft a masterpiece entirely from scratch. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with including portions of famous poems or speeches in your toast.
Practice Makes Perfect
If you know in advance that you’ll be making a toast, it’s a good idea to practice. Try using flash cards to help with memorizing your toast, and it’s also a good idea to practice in front of an audience (even if it‘s only one or two people).
Time yourself when practicing the toast. A good toast should last no more than three or four minutes.
Don’t Focus On Yourself
During your toast, make sure to focus on the guest of honor and not yourself. Remember that the audience is not there for your personal amusement. Avoid using the word “I” too much.
Making The Toast
Once you’ve had a chance to prepare, it’s now time to make the toast. Before you get started, make sure everyone has a filled glass. Otherwise, people will be getting refills and be distracted during your toast.
Whether you decide to stand or sit, you’ll next need to get everyone’s attention. You can announce something such as, “I’d like to make a toast,” or “Could I have everyone’s attention, please?”.
Once all eyes are on you, make sure to face the guest of honor. During your toast, speak loudly and slowly so that everyone can hear and understand you.
When your toast is complete, raise your glass to the guest of honor, tip it slightly towards them, and then take a sip. This will be a cue for the rest of the audience to follow along.
At some occasions, people may also clink glasses instead of just waving them. If you do this, make sure to gently clink the glasses. Otherwise, you may shatter the glass and spill your beverage.
Don’t Drink And Toast
Make sure to limit your drinking prior to giving the toast. If you get drunk beforehand, you may find it much more difficult to remember what you memorized. And while it may draw some laughs from the crowd, it will ultimately make you look like a fool.