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January 2023
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Tips for Toasting


Do it early. There is no hard-and-fast rule for when to toast. If you’re at an in-person event, you’ll want to do it after most people have arrived and before people start to leave. If there is alcohol being served, it’s best to raise your glass before people have imbibed too many alcoholic beverages. A heckler at a toast isn’t much fun.

Get their attention. You can either clink the side of your glass with a fork or stand up and ask for attention. Wait for people to notice you and quiet down (you may have to clink or speak more than once).

Give a brief introduction. Once you have people’s attention, offer a brief introduction of who you are, the fact that you want to toast, and a few words about why you’re offering the toast. For instance, “I’m Susan, and I’ve been Jerry’s supervisor for the past eight years. I’d like to take a few moments to acknowledge how much Jerry means to us.”

Raise your glass. If your speech is less than a minute, you can lift your glass at the start of a toast and encourage others to do the same. But three minutes can be an awkward amount of time for people to be holding up their glasses. If you’ve tapped your glass for attention, simply hold it at waist level while you deliver the toast, and then raise it at the end and visually encourage others to do the same.

The ending. End your toast with a brief summation or a celebratory call to action. It may be something as simple as “to the coming year!” or “to Jerry’s new adventure!”

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