Making a Toast with Advance Notice
If you are asked to give a toast and are given advance notice, all the same advice mentioned previously applies. However, you have the advantage of preparing the remarks in advance, and you have the opportunity to rehearse, so you do not have to use notes. There is nothing worse than someone standing up to toast his “lifelong, very best friend in the world” with feeling and passion and pulling out note cards or sheets of paper to tell the audience how important this person is to him!
A toast is an honor; it is moment to salute an honoree not embarrasses or humiliate him. It certainly is not the time to drag out the moment and make the entire assemblage feel awkward. Whoever started the long-winded dragged out story after story form of toasting did no one any favors. This form of toasting is humiliating, debasing, and counter to what a toast is supposed to do.
So perform a toast as it was originally designed to be: an honor to someone—brief, succinct, and dignified. The person making the toast should at all costs avoid these things, which are serious gaffes:
- Talking about yourself other than in reference to how you know the honoree.
- Talking too long; a toast should last no longer than 2 minutes.
- Using cliché passé phrases (the guests have heard them all many times before)
Setting Up the Toast
The toaster should make sure the wine glasses are full and that his glass is sparking clean. The toast is most likely to be given under bright lights, and the toaster does not want his glass to be dirty or cloudy.
The toaster needs to make sure the honoree is present.
The toaster needs to get the attention of the guests. This could take a minute or so.
The Body Language of the Toaster
- Stand up straight. (Shoulders level to floor)
- Act confidently.
- Don’t raise or lower your head. (This affects your vocal cords.)
- Make eye contact as you look around the room.
- Maintain eye contact with attendees.
- Hold your glass at waist height.
- Do not gesture with your glass.
- Raise your glass to eye level at the end of your toast in the direction of the honoree.
- The toaster may be the first person to drink.
- When you are toasting in a formal setting, don’t clink glasses.