Many guests step tentatively into their first club meeting with hopes of practicing a speech for a wedding or similar special occasion. During this time of year, happy couples in many parts of the world join with families and friends in a ceremony to begin their lives together. Where there’s a gathering, there’s a need to celebrate the occasion with a heartfelt toast.
Below is a list of proven tips for delivering a memorable toast with confidence and finesse.
- Identify yourself. Open with a brief explanation of your relationship to the couple before beginning the toast.
- Be prepared. The best toasts include an opening, a body and a conclusion.
- Stay on topic. Although you may be nervous, stay focused on the couple and their special day.
- Get personal. A toast should be original, heartfelt and customized for the occasion.
- Use humor but avoid telling potentially embarrassing stories and using offensive language.
- Be creative. Avoid clichés and consider using a relevant quote to illustrate your words.
- Be brief. A toast should last no longer than three minutes.
- Stand; lift your glass by the stem and say, “I’d like to propose a toast.” Pause to allow guests to shift their attention toward you and give them time to lift their glasses. When you start speaking, lower your glass to about waist height.
- Practice makes perfect. Rehearse your message in advance in front of a group of friends.