RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA, Calif., Nov. 18, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Whether it's during the Thanksgiving turkey feast or just after midnight at New Year's, you may be asked (or take it upon yourself) to give a toast over the next few weeks. Toastmasters International, the global organization devoted to communication and leadership skills development, offers a list of 10 do's and don'ts that will help you deliver an exceptional toast this holiday season.
- Do identify yourself. Although you may be surrounded by friends and family, it's customary to provide a brief explanation of who you are before beginning the toast.
- Don't make the speech about you. Just because you're the one speaking, doesn't mean it's an opportunity to talk about yourself.
- Do toast the host. Show your gratitude at the event by thanking the host during your speech.
- Don't drink too much alcohol before speaking. You'll want to be in top form when delivering the toast.
- Do use humor. Jokes and funny anecdotes are acceptable as long as they're positive and not offensive.
- Don't use inappropriate language. Avoid using profanity and telling potentially embarrassing stories.
- Do practice. Rehearse your message in front of an audience prior to the holiday.
- Don't apologize. If you make a mistake, there's no need to say you're sorry. Pick up where you left off and keep going.
- Do raise your glass. At the end of the toast, stand; lift your glass by the stem and say, "I'd like to propose a toast." Pause to allow guests to shift their attention toward you and give them time to lift their glasses. Be sure to lower your glass to about waist height.
- Don't talk too much. A toast should last no longer than three minutes.
"Delivering a holiday toast presents a great opportunity for the speaker to reflect on the past year and look toward the future," says Jim Kokocki, Toastmasters 2015-16 International President. "Well-received toasts are given by someone who is appreciative, optimistic and poised."
For tips on how to make your words count when delivering a toast, visit Toastmasters' How to Give a Toast video. To practice your toasts or speeches, find a Toastmasters club near you by visiting www.toastmasters.org/findaclub.
About Toastmasters International
Toastmasters International is a worldwide nonprofit educational organization that empowers individuals to become more effective communicators and leaders. Headquartered in Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., the organization's membership exceeds 332,000 in more than 15,400 clubs in 135 countries. Since 1924, Toastmasters International has helped people from diverse backgrounds become more confident speakers, communicators and leaders. For information about local Toastmasters clubs, please visit www.toastmasters.org. Follow @Toastmasters on Twitter.
SOURCE Toastmasters International