Whenever you attend a wedding, birthday or special gathering, there is a good chance you will participate in a special toast at some stage during the event. It may be to wish the couple happiness as they start the journey of marriage, to congratulate the birthday girl or just embarrass your little brother – we’re sure we have all heard one of those toasts before. But if your name gets called up for the next toast, what are the essentials you need to know to deliver an unforgettable toast?
1. It’s not about you
As dynamic as you may be, always remember that a toast puts the spotlight on the honouree, not you.
2. Three minutes or less
Keep it snappy. Droning on for 15 minutes will bore the audience (look for a glazing of the eyes), tire their arms, and take away from time better spent drinking the wine and mingling with friends.
Practice first and you’ll be less intimidated and better prepared to deliver a smooth performance. If you don’t have time to rehearse due to long work hours, or if you cannot find a practice audience, you may consider commandeering a dull meeting in the office conference room, passing out some wine, and boldly practicing your toast.
4. Toast confidently
Speak loudly and clearly and stand tall.
5. Drink to your toast
It’s hard to fathom, but one of the biggest mistakes a toaster makes is forgetting to take a drink to his own toast. It is also unforgivable to clink glasses with another and simply put down your beverage without even taking a sip. The hearty swig at the end of the toast is the exclamation point!
6. Escape routes
If you feel a torrent of flop-sweat coming on or a monumental choke, end it quickly with something akin to, “Congratulations, I look forward to doing this again on your 50th!”
DID YOU KNOW: The term “toast” originated from the British, who would add burnt toast to the evening’s wine for a unique flavour when honouring someone special. And while we believe great wine tastes perfect as is, if you would like to add burnt toast, that is your call. We do ask that your choice of toasted bread be somewhat masculine, such as pumpernickel. Please do not insult the wine with a nine-grain flaxseed variety.