Do you wish that you were one of those people who could deliver a clever toast at the drop of a hat? Do you resist the urge to stand and offer a toast because you aren’t sure of the proper etiquette and protocol?
Composing and delivering a toast that is eloquent, poignant, heartfelt or even witty can be a challenge. The ability to deliver a toast is an art. Mastering the ability can turn the simplest occasion into a memorable event.
There are many kinds of toasts but to keep it simple we’re going to focus on the three traditional toasts. They are:
- The welcome toast: Delivered by the host at the beginning of an event.
- The event toast: Delivered by the host or MC acknowledging the guest of honor, event, or occasion. This toast is generally given at dessert of immediately after.
- The thank you toast: Delivered by the guest of honor demonstrating appreciation to the host.
If you want to lift your glass, but are fearful of committing a faux pas, follow these few pointers:
- When giving a toast at a large table, always stand.
- Never tap the side of your glass with a utensil to get attention.
- The host is the one to start the process. If there is a guest of honor, after the host has made the toast about the occasion, the guest of honor may rise and respond with a toast to thank the host.
- Follow the four 4B’s for delivering a successful toast: be prepared, begin, be brief, and be seated.
- Don’t touch your glass while you are being toasted. This is the equivalent of congratulating yourself.
- Do not turn your glass downward if you’re a non-drinker. It is perfectly acceptable to toast with water or any other non-alcoholic beverage.
- And last, but not least: Sip, don’t guzzle.
There are so many occasions where a toast is appropriate and engaging. If you know you’re attending a special occasion, it helps to be prepared. Write down what you intend to say. Keep it short and practice delivering the toast out loud until you feel comfortable and confident giving it.
A well-delivered toast is a gracious gesture that can make a simple moment special.
“No toast except his own should last longer than 60 seconds.”
- Mark Twain