Apr 22, 2016

9 tips for giving a fabulous toast

I’ll let you in on a little secret: Speaking in front of people brings on butterflies for just about everyone. But when you’re celebrating with friends and loved ones, offering up a short toast is a sweet way to acknowledge the occasion.

Here’s our how-to for giving a truly great toast:

  1. Typically, the host has first dibs on making a toast. But if there isn’t an official host (say, you all got together at a restaurant) or yours isn’t making a move, the guest of honor or another person can jump in. One exception: Don’t toast at a wedding unless you’re asked in advance.
  1. Give thanks—to the host or hostess, as well as to the group for being there. A little gratitude goes a long way and sets a warm, welcoming tone.
  1. If it’s a big group, note your relationship to the guest of honor. You don’t want people wondering, Who the heck is this woman? instead of listening to what you’re saying.
  1. Pick a theme—friendship, adventure, love, whatever might be appropriate for your gathering. Weave in a few specific details, a couple memorable moments or an amusing story. But don’t embarrass, ramble or share inside jokes (unless everyone there is a part of it). Think intimate and inclusive.
  1. Say nice things about the guest of honor. After all, heartfelt words always win.
  1. Keep it short and sweet—a minute or so for a small group, a few minutes tops for a wedding. If anything, leave them wanting more, so you can all quickly move on to the sipping and celebrating.
  1. Including a cute quote is fine, but avoid any major clichés and only serve up a joke if you’re pretty confident it will be well-received. Remember, make it meaningful and memorable (in a good way!).
  1. A strong closing is crucial. Invite everyone to raise a glass and end with well wishes (something like “May you always…,” “To [name], the best…,” or “I wish you…” will do the trick).
  1. If it’s a formal toast, such as one given at a wedding reception, write it down beforehand. And no matter what the situation, a little practice makes you sound polished and confident—always a positive thing.

So let’s raise a glass to our toast-making futures… May you find the perfect words and the ideal delivery to honor your very special occasions.

What is your top tip for giving a toast?

Darling Cup

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