Tips & Guidelines for
speech: Toast giving
| Public Speaking |
Impromptu Speech |
Ice Breaking ( first) Speech|
May all your toasts be received in the spirit
they are proposed
Interested in a few tips on how to propose a
good toast? These days, the tradition of toasting is as rare as place cards
– useful for a few formal events, but rarely executed well.
Should you find yourself at a wedding and asked to offer a toast, you want
to be prepared with something wittier than “May you be happy.” To make sure
you put your best foot forward – and not in your mouth – here are some tips
from someone who should know: Toastmasters International President Gary
A toast should be “brief, personal and customized to the occasion,” he says.
“Most of all, it should be heartfelt.” So don’t try to copy an existing
toast, but pick a topic that is personal but appropriate.
You don’t drink alcohol? No problem; you can still offer a toast with
sparkling juice. Never refuse to participate in a toast. It’s more polite to
participate with an empty glass or a glass of water than not to participate
· Keep it short – no more than a couple of minutes. Brevity is the soul
· Practice. Think about what you want to say, and practice the toast in
advance. Use friends as sounding boards beforehand.
· Speak slowly, clearly and loudly (if no microphone is available).
· Be positive. This is not the time to recite the groom’s college pranks.
· Stay sober. Being coherent helps.
· Dress your best. If you look good, you’ll feel more confident.
· Use humor – but keep it clean. Don’t refer to “inside jokes” only a few
people will understand.
· In summary – End on a bright note. Be sincere, be brief, be seated.
· If you are on the receiving end of the toast, stay seated and don’t drink
the toast to yourself. At the end of the toasts, it’s your turn to make some
At a formal event, it is recommended the person offering the toast stand,
get the guests’ attention, lift glass by the stem and say “I propose a
toast.” Allow time for the guests to fill and lift their glasses and shift
their attention toward you. Then offer your comments, take a sip, and
inviting others to do the same. At small dinner parties, however, there is
no need to stand for the toast. Just lift your glass by the stem, speak and
touch the glass of the person or persons involved.
Consider one of the most famous toasts of all: Humphrey Bogart’s words to
Ingrid Bergman – “Here’s looking at you, kid” – in the legendary 1941 film
Casablanca. Now trade “kid” for another endearment. No big deal? Maybe. But
Bogie probably would have achieved another kind of immortality if he’d
raised his glass to Bergman and said, “Here’s looking at you … babycakes!”