With the holiday season comes great responsibility… that is, if it’s your duty to give the annual toast at a family or friend get-together. And if “become a better public speaker” is one of your New Year’s resolutions, giving a toast can be the stepping stone you need to check that item off list.
In the spirit of giving, here are our tips for how to give a great holiday toast.
Some toasts are impromptu so planning is a bit difficult. But, if you receive the task to be the holiday toastmaster or if you have something special to say, make some notes ahead of time.
If you feel extra secure bringing the notes with you – do it! Practice what you are going to say in front of a mirror if it helps you formulate your ideas.
Choose the Right Time
Don’t deliver a toast when the turkey is being carved – timing is everything!
The perfect time to give your toast is when people’s bellies and glasses are full. It’s best not to try to grab everyone’s attention when they are mid-bite. When you feel like the timing is just right, stand up from your seat and ask for everyone’s attention.
Make Eye Contact
As you speak, it’s important to make eye contact with the people around you. Eye contact helps you connect with your audiences and shows that you are focused and in the moment. This is especially important if you are speaking about someone that is present at the event.
Be Short and to the Point
No one wants to listen to a speech all night – they want to mingle with the other guests. This is where planning ahead will come in handy!
Don’t let your toast drag on. It might be tempting to ramble, but a short, simple and to the point toast is more effective and will leave a more lasting impression.
Be Mindful of Your Audience
When giving your toast, it’s important to be mindful of your audience. Don’t speak in a secret language full of inside jokes that only some people in attendance will understand. Your toast should be something that everyone can relate to.
Talk Boutique is a full-service speaker representation and coaching company specializing in helping those who have a message to convey do so with engagement and clarity.