“To raise a toast” refers to the action of raising one’s glass high when wishing or congratulating or honouring someone. Toasts were predominately made to wish “good health” and later became hopes for “happiness” and “good fortune” also. It is always done with a drink that may be champagne (preferably) or a wine or beer or anything. The person who raises the toast holds his or her glass high and speaks a few words about the honouree (the person for whom the toast is for) and others listen attentively. It should be simple and interesting. After the person is done with his speaking part everyone take a sip from their glass to pay honour.
Toasts are offered for a variety of occasions like weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, retirement parties, dinner parties, reunions, before a keynote speaker, for the celebration of an accomplishment and many more. A Toast can be a: poem, public prayer, proverb, bit of wit, secret sentiment to be shared. Avoid long windy political addresses. It is an opportunity for creative expression.
Since raising a toast is a part of public speaking only, so the tips that should be considered while preparing for a toast are also more or less. Here are the main points:
- refer to the occasion,
- reflect the theme,
- refer to the achievement of the recipient,
- express good will,
- be formal.
You must be as prepared to give a speech while raising a toast as you prepare for the other public speaking projects. Dale Carnegie said, ‘There are always three speeches for every one you actually give. The one you practiced, the one you gave, and the one you wish you gave.’
Obviously you would not want your public speaking speech to have too many foghorns like “uhh”, “ummm” and so on.
You may face may such instances where, out of the blues, you are asked to make presentations or to boost up the confidence of the team for their work or may be to introduce a speaker or to congratulate the couple at their wedding. This is the test of your public speaking skills, how well you can speak even without being informed beforehand.
Here are a few tips to be kept in mind while raising a toast:
- If seated, stand when offering a toast.
- Toast with water or an empty glass rather that not participating at all.
- Make sure that everyone has filled the glass before you begin.
- Prepare in advance if you have the knowledge of the event or the person for whom you have to raise the toast. You can have something written for yourself so that you remember what to say but do not sit down to write the whole speech. You may write the keywords on a paper or make flash cards for the key words. This would help you to recall the order of speech.
- Practice your speech well in advance and also just before you deliver it.
- Have a strong opening so that it grabs attention of everyone indulged in other conversations.
- Keep your speech short and simple yet expressing your feelings to the best. Try to cover it up in 60sec.
- Face the person you are toasting. Look at the person as you make the toast and raise your glass to him/her. After you are done with the toast, then clink the glass with the recipient if he/she is nearby.
- Do not raise your glass when you are the recipient of the toast. A word of Thanks would suffice. No need to stand unless you have to say something.
- Start by stating the name of the honouree and your relationship to him or her.
- It is not necessary to clink the glasses when the group is too large. Just raise the glass and take a sip. In a small group, while you clink the glass with other person, look into his/her eyes.
Follow these tips, keep working on your public speaking skills and make your toast the best one.
At ‘Anurag Aggarwal Institute of Public Speaking’ you are provided training in Public Speaking, Personality Development , Presentation Skills and Communication Skills. For more details on the course, visit www.anuragaggarwal.com
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