RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA, Calif., Dec. 20, 2016 — Along with wrapping paper, wreaths and gifts, raising your glass and delivering a toast is one of staples of the holiday season. Toastmasters International, the global organization devoted to communication and leadership skills development, has helped more than four million men and women become more confident speakers and offers advice to those preparing an upcoming toast.
“Holiday toasts are special because they give the speaker an opportunity to reflect on the past and also look to the year ahead,” says Mike Storkey, Toastmasters 2016-2017 International President. “Preparation, sincerity and confidence are the keys to delivering a well-received toast.”
Toastmasters gives these seven tips to help your holiday toasts sound heartfelt and memorable.
- Be yourself. Don’t change your personality; let it shine through.
- Be prepared. Practice delivering your speech in front of a friend or small group in advance.
- Be brief. A toast should last no longer than three minutes.
- Toast the host. Show your gratitude by thanking the host during your speech.
- Use humor. A joke is fine, as long as it’s tasteful and appropriate. Don’t say anything that could potentially offend or embarrass someone.
- Avoid alcohol. Wait until after the toast to consume alcohol. You’ll want to be in top form when speaking.
- 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.
For more tips on how to deliver a toast with confidence and style, 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/Find-a-Club.
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 345,000 in more than 15,900 clubs in 142 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.