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ENGLEWOOD, Colo., Dec. 8, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Now that the holiday season is in full swing, it's the time of year when you may be asked (or take it upon yourself) to give a toast in front of friends, family, and colleagues. Whether you're the type of person who looks forward to saying a few words at the upcoming holiday party, or you cringe at the very thought of being asked to do so, it's important that you're ready if called upon.
To help you prepare, Toastmasters International, the global organization devoted to public speaking, communication, and leadership skills development, gives these five tips for making a meaningful and memorable holiday toast.
- Give the toast some thought. You don't want to sound overly rehearsed, but you should still prepare your words ahead of time. Even a holiday dinner toast should have some meaning and structure to it to keep everyone engaged. Highlighting the year's memorable accomplishments and significant events, whether at a work or family holiday party, sets a positive tone for the celebration.
- Give the toast early. There is no hard-and-fast rule for when to toast. If you're at an in-person holiday event, you'll want to do it after most people have arrived and before people start to leave. If there is alcohol being served, it's best to raise your glass before people have imbibed too many alcoholic beverages. A heckler at a toast isn't much fun.
- Get their attention. You can either clink the side of your glass with a fork or stand up and ask for attention. Wait for people to notice you and quiet down (you may have to clink more than once). Once you have people's attention, offer a brief introduction of who you are, state that you want to toast, and say a few words about why you're offering the toast.
- Raise your glass. If your speech is less than a minute, you can lift your glass at the start of the toast and encourage others to do the same. But three minutes can be an awkward amount of time for people to be holding up their glasses. If you've tapped your glass for attention, simply hold it at waist level while you deliver the toast, and then raise it at the end and visually encourage others to do the same.
- Wrap up briefly. End your toast with a brief summation or a celebratory call to action. It may be something as simple as "To the coming year!" or "Cheers!"
"Toasting gives people the opportunity to reflect on the past and to inspire the audience with their optimism for the future," says Margaret Page, Toastmasters 2021-22 International President. "Given what we have collectively experienced since the beginning of the pandemic, celebrating through the ritual of toasting is definitely one tool to move the fulcrum toward a more positive emotional state."
For tips on how to make your words count when delivering a toast, visit the Toastmaster magazine article, Cheers to New Beginnings! To practice your toasts or speeches, find a Toastmasters club near you by visiting www.toastmasters.org/Find.
About Toastmasters International
Toastmasters International is a worldwide nonprofit educational organization that empowers individuals to become more effective communicators and leaders. Headquartered in Englewood, Colo., the organization's membership exceeds 300,000 in more than 15,800 clubs in 149 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
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