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April 2024
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Tips for Toasting

By Staff

Drawing of two hands holding glasses for a toast

As a Toastmaster, you‘re more likely to be called upon to deliver a toast at an event than others. Review these tips to ensure you’re prepared to answer the call to ring in the new year or applaud the host of a holiday party.

  • Get their attention. Tap your glass with a fork or stand up and ask for people to turn their attention to you.
  • Seize the right moment. Before getting the audience’s attention, read the room. If energy levels are high, the time might be right, but always be sensitive to the host if there is one. They may prefer to give you a cue.
  • Give a brief introduction. Don’t assume everyone in the room knows who you are, especially at a large event. Give your name and share either your job title or how you are related to the host.
  • Keep it short. Somewhere between two to three minutes seems to be the sweet spot.
  • Mean what you say. Be sincere in your message and delivery. Your intention is more important than anything else.
  • Toast, don’t roast. If your toast is focused on a particular individual, don’t dwell on the negative or make anyone feel uncomfortable. Keep it positive and inclusive.
  • Stick to a single theme. Decide what your focus will be for the toast, like the host or the event. Then stay on that track, just as you might do with a Table Topic. Don’t make it more complicated than it needs to be.
  • Raise your glass. Toward the end of your toast, lift your glass to encourage others to join you.
  • End with a call to action. Keep it light and celebratory. Something like, “To the coming year!” or “Cheers to our hosts!”

In this video, Ramona J. Smith, the 2018 World Champion of Public Speaking, prepares you to give a memorable toast that your friends and family will talk about for years to come. Cheers!


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