Thursday, September 19th, 2019

How to Give a Great Special Occasion Toast

By Narges Nirumvala on Jan 04 2012 • Filed under The Power Communicator

How to Give a Great Special Occasion Toast (photo)There are many reasons people get together throughout the year, from holidays (like Fesitvus, Diwali, Hanukkah, Christmas, New Years, etc.) to family dinners, from weddings to corporate parties. Regardless of what the special occasion is, you should be able to give a great toast or mini-speech that will inspire in your audience a sense of joy and togetherness.

Here are some tips to make your toast special for any occasion:

Don’t drink and speak.

Now I know that during a special occasion people drink and that’s fine. What I’m saying is don’t get inebriated and then speak – you’re going to sound like an idiot, slur your speech and make a fool of yourself! Speaking sober is my recommendation – drink after, not before.

Share a personal story.

Nothing touches people more than a personal story or experience shared. Keep it short though, don’t ramble on. There is an art to storytelling and that’s something I always work on with my clients.

Don’t tell an Internet joke.

Unless you have amazing comedic timing, telling an Internet joke is never a good idea. If you tell your personal story right, you will be able to infuse it with natural humour and get people laughing anyway.

Use the full potential of your voice.

When you give a toast you typically raise your glass right? Well you do the same thing with your voice – use its full potential and make it as varied as possible. This is a tough one for many people and something I work hard on with my executive speech coaching clients. Try your best – your audience will appreciate it.

Use BIG body language and gestures.

A toast is a grand gesture that should fill the room with warm, positive energy that enthrals your friends and family. That’s not going to happen if you are slouching with a frown on your face. So stand up straight, smile and use big arm and hand gestures to really liven things up.

Practise on your family or co-workers.

It’s always a good idea to write down what you’re going to say (don’t read it though – memorize it) and practise on people you trust and get their honest opinion.

We went through six keys to giving a great special occasion toast. If you’ve enjoyed my column over the year I would love to hear from you, so remember to keep in touch with me by leaving a comment below.


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