July 12, 2019

How to Give a Toast

Your best friend is getting married, or your buddy at work is about to get a big promotion. You’ve been asked to give a toast to commemorate the event, and you don’t know the first thing about giving a toast. Lucky for you, we are here to walk you through the process.

You don’t need to be an expert speaker to say a toast. Some of the best toasts come from the heart, but there are limits to what you should and shouldn’t say during a toast. Below we will give you a few tips on giving toasts. For more life hacks that every man should know, check out the Dr. Squatch blog.

Keep it Appropriate to Venue

Always consider the audience and the venue when making your toast. When deciding what to say, craft your words based on the reason for the toast. If you’re giving a toast at a celebration, speak on that person’s accomplishments relative to the celebration.

For weddings, congratulate the happy couple and talk about what you admire about their relationship. For funerals, speak about the person’s accomplishments, what brought them joy, or anything inspiring about their life.

In general, you should focus on toasts that are positive and celebrate the person you’re toasting. You want to avoid having the toast turn into a roast.

When deciding what to say, craft your words based on the reason for the toast. If you’re giving a toast at a celebration, speak on that person’s accomplishments relative to the occasion.

Keep it Short

When giving a toast, get to your points quickly and keep your toasts succinct. In general, you shouldn’t go more than a couple of minutes for your toast. Going any longer will bore your audience and take away from your message.

If you plan on listing accomplishments for a person, focus on a short list. If you want to integrate any forms of inspirational quotes or biblical verses, pick one or two quick quotes to use.

You’re looking for the best words for your toast, not lengthy platitudes. The best toasts last 30 seconds or less. If you must go longer, definitely don’t go over two minutes. That will give you plenty of time to honor the person and keep the event moving along.

Use Humor Sparingly

While TV and movies like to insert jokes or anecdotes into toasts for laughs or to embarrass the person you’re toasting, humor is not necessarily a good idea in real life. As a general rule, it’s a good idea to use humor sparingly, and never as a way to embarrass the honoree.

Using inappropriate or embarrassing humor does not honor the person you’re toasting. It does the opposite. You’ll end up embarrassing yourself more than the person you’re toasting, and you risk damaging your friendship with that person.

Using inappropriate or embarrassing humor does not honor the person you’re toasting. It does the opposite. You’ll end up embarrassing yourself more than the person you’re toasting, and you risk damaging your friendship with that person.

Practice Your Toast Ahead of Time

Like most things in life, a toast goes better if you have rehearsed it. Take the time to go over the thoughts you’d like to present about the honoree and spend ample time before the event rehearsing what you’re going to say, including how you’re going to say it.

Get in front of a mirror, friend, or spouse and go through the entire act of giving the toast from asking people to raise their glasses to presenting your thoughts. Also, prepare to say a toast without a microphone.

Smaller events or those on a tight budget may not have a microphone or sounds system. Work on projecting your voice to a crowd. We don’t mean yell but work on speaking from the center of your chest so that your voice carries throughout the room.

Giving the Toast

Now that you know the basics of giving a toast, it’s time to go over how to present it. Below is a simple blueprint on how to say a toast that works perfectly for any occasion.

  1. Move to a prominent place in the room, preferably in front of the crowd. If you’re at an occasion like a wedding and are already at the front of the room, stand up and draw everyone’s attention. Do so by tapping on a wine glass or even grab a mic and ask for everyone’s attention.
  1. Introduce yourself, raise your glass just above waist level, and ask the other guests to join you in a toast. Keep in mind that some people don’t drink alcohol, so don’t put any focus on the type of drink. Instead, you can use something generic such as “raise your glasses and join me in a toast.”
  1. Wait briefly for everyone to raise their glasses to join you in the toast.
  1. Raise your glass to about eye level and give your toast. Alternatively, you can hold your glass out toward the person or people you’re honoring to give the toast.
  1. Raise your glass above your head and give a final salute as a conclusion such as, ”To the happy couple.”
  1. Drink and take your seat. If the person stands up to shake your hand or hug you, reciprocate before sitting down.

By using the tips and blueprint above, you will give a killer toast every time. Those honored will look back at your toast with fond memories, and you may even become “that guy” friends, family, and co-workers turn to when an occasion calls for a toast.