Cheers! How to deliver a great toast this holiday season!

Surrounded by your friends and family, everyone has just nestled in to the table that’s festively decorated. Your heart is beaming with pride and gratitude and you want to share this feeling with those around you. So, you decide to give a toast!

Does the thought of giving a toast this holiday season give you butterflies? In this blog, I’ll share some toasting tips and teach you an easy toast structure you can use to plan your toast and put those butterflies at ease.


Toasting Tips

Toasts are a special kind of speech where you get to express your gratitude and admiration to your loved ones, work colleagues, and friends. They can be done anytime, but are usually saved for special occasions like a holiday party or wedding.

Tip #1 Sentiment is key.
You want to draw attention to the occasion and reflect on the past. Your toast should be original to the occasion, i.e. don’t recycle your toasts at both of your brothers’ weddings ;-). You want to use specific stories, successes, examples, or other details to express your feelings. This is the time to get mushy and lovey. A word of caution-- if you do not naturally use humor when you speak, don’t try to plan jokes in your toast. Stick to the mushy stuff.

Tip #2 Be in the moment.
You can sketch out what you want to say, and even practice; but, don’t feel like you are bound to say only what you have listed on your paper. This is the time to share whatever comes to mind in the moment. Even though, I’ve outlined a structure you can use below, the main thing is to be in the moment and let your words flow from you. It’s okay if you stumble a bit or forget a story you had planned to share. You are sharing your presence and emotions and that’s what is important for a toast.

Tip #3 Keep it short.
Toasts shouldn’t be more than a few minutes long as you want to share it before people begin eating at the event. Be sure to get everyone’s attention by clinking your glass and have an opening line like, “Before we sit down for dinner, I want to take a moment to honor our successes this year.” If you find yourself rambling, you can call attention to it with a line like, “Obviously, we have so much to be thankful for this year and I could keep sharing. I’ll wrap this up so we can eat by expressing my gratitude one more time for each and everyone of you. Cheers!”

How to write a Toast

Step 1: Pick a theme

You want to have a central point, or theme that you return to time and again in your speech. I like to pick an emotion or word that encapsulates the feeling of the occasion and what I want to share with my audience. Some classic toast themes are gratitude, prosperity, happiness, adoration, generosity, joviality, peace, and the gift of friends and family.

Step 2: Choose a few stories to share

Now, that you have a general theme, you can pick a few stories about the past year or longer to share with you audience. Think about what you audience would like to hear from you.What are you uniquely able to share at the event?
You can also share your hopes and dreams for the future after you reflect on the past.
One note of caution-- Toasts are not the time to share individual inside jokes that only a few people in the audience would understand. They will be confusing and distracting for the majority of the audience and give the room a weird vibe.

Step 3: Structure your speech

You have your theme, you have some stories that highlight your theme and now you just need an easy to follow structure.
  1. Get everyone’s attention: Raise your glass, clink it with a knife, announce loudly you are going to toast.
  2. Draw attention to the occasion in which you are all gathered.
  3. Express gratitude
  4. Share stories
  5. End with something memorable
  6. Toast to all in the room with a final phrase like, “Let’s raise a glass to the New Year.”

Step 4: Speak from your heart

Express genuine emotion and let the words flow through you. Make eye contact with as many people as possible. Speak conversationally. Don’t stress about not following the structure above or sharing a different story than you had planned. It’s the feeling you want to communicate.

As you can see, delivering a toast doesn't have to a nerve-wrecking experience. I wish you all the best this holiday season and into 2020!

Are you planning a toast this holiday season?
December 25, 2019
Profile Picture
$28.00
USD/h

Megan Fisk

5.0
$28.00
USD/h
Flag
English
globe
United States
time
6
Speaks:
English
Native
,
Albanian
B1
Hi there! I’m Dr. Megan Fisk and I would love to help you advance your English skills. I’ve been a college professor for almost 10 years both in the United States and abroad in Kosovo and Nigeria. I have a passion for helping people become better communicators! In fact, my PhD is in Communication and I primarily teach public speaking and leadership classes to college students. That said, I have experience teaching English to every age group from 5 to 75 as I've worked in many community language schools abroad. I work best with students who are B1 and above, as well as students who are looking to study full time in English or improve their English for the workplace. I offer flexible courses depending on your needs (listening, speaking, reading or writing skills). I will teach you the grammar and vocabulary you need for excellent English communication. I create a calm and relaxed learning environment, so you can accomplish your academic and professional goals!
Flag
English
globe
United States
time
6
Speaks:
English
Native
,
Albanian
B1
Hi there! I’m Dr. Megan Fisk and I would love to help you advance your English skills. I’ve been a college professor for almost 10 years both in the United States and abroad in Kosovo and Nigeria. I have a passion for helping people become better communicators! In fact, my PhD is in Communication and I primarily teach public speaking and leadership classes to college students. That said, I have experience teaching English to every age group from 5 to 75 as I've worked in many community language schools abroad. I work best with students who are B1 and above, as well as students who are looking to study full time in English or improve their English for the workplace. I offer flexible courses depending on your needs (listening, speaking, reading or writing skills). I will teach you the grammar and vocabulary you need for excellent English communication. I create a calm and relaxed learning environment, so you can accomplish your academic and professional goals!