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When You Make a Toast Keep it Short and Not About You

Holidays used to mean celebrations. Thanksgiving, Chanukah, Christmas, New Years and Kwanzaa all meant parties in pre-Pandemic days. Now, most parties have to go virtual if they are going to happen at all.

Parties frequently mean toasts. Toasts will still be part of most virtual parties. So what if you’re asked to make a toast to celebrate any occasion?

It’s Not About You

A toast is a mini speech, so prepare for it just like you would get ready for a presentation at work. Many people avoid giving toasts because they dislike speaking in public. It’s nerve wracking to summarize your best wishes in two minutes. It will be easier if you speak from the heart.

Remember, it’s not about you.

The guests are assembled to celebrate the holiday, the bride and groom or the new graduate. We’ve all sat through toasts that rambled on and on. If you do that, guests will begin fidgeting while the honorees stare at their shoes, too embarrassed to look up. So keep your toast short.

Use a Quote

If you don’t feel that you’re a particularly creative person, you can search the web for an appropriate quote. Sites like Brainy Post and Good Reads have dozens of quotes you can adapt to your toast. Don’t laugh, but you can also peruse greeting cards for quotes, or borrow a line from a movie.

One we particularly like for a wedding toast is the famous line from the movie, “Jerry McGuire.” You might say something like:

Quoting the line “you had me at hello” from “Jerry McGuire,” if ever there was a couple that had each other at the first hello it’s John and Mary. That’s how well suited they are to each other.

Keep it private – don’t mention the times they broke up before finally getting together for good.

A Business Toast

Sometime during your career you may be asked to toast a business associate who is retiring or a client who’s just won a big promotion.

If you don’t know the person well, find someone who does so you can weave personal anecdotes into your toast. What do you want the people in the audience to know about this person? By the way, be sure you learn how to pronounce the honoree’s name correctly with the proper title.

If you know the person, it’s OK to share a funny anecdote, as long as it’s short. But read the toast to someone else first. You may think it’s funny but others may not and it could backfire on you. It’s more important to be sincere than funny.

Practice at Being Your Best

Follow these simple rules to make a toast that will be remembered long after the party is over.

Don’t leave your success up to chance, take a look at our primer on virtual communications to transition to a successful virtual party. Then sit down. Your job is over. Enjoy the occasion.

When You Make a Toast Keep it Short and Not About You
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