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Let’s Toast

A toast is a way to honor a person or an occasion. Learning to give and accept toasts can provide many memorable moments in your personal and professional life.

Many of us have witnessed wedding toasts. Often they are stumbling, rambling, or embarrassing sentiments from exhausted wedding attendants. The most memorable for me was the toast I witnessed in which the best man held a piece of chicken in one hand and the microphone in his other hand. So many things were wrong with his toast, including the fact that he revealed personal details of the newlyweds’ lives which were best left unsaid.

Toasts are very important when practicing good business protocol. There may be many occasions when toasts are called for in business. Public speaking is a nightmare for many individuals, but knowing how to give a good toast will prepare you to shine when most people want to hide. In business, knowing how and when to give an appropriate toast can add value to your professional relationships. Appropriate times in business for a toast include:

  • Welcoming a new colleague
  • Saying goodbye to a colleague
  • Launching a new business, product, or service
  • Welcoming an important visitor

The most important thing to remember about toasting is to practice. A toast should be thought out, sincere, and rehearsed. It need not be more than one to two minutes, depending on the occasion.

A formal toast is always given first by the host. This is usually done at the start of dinner and welcomes the persons present. Midway through the meal the host may toast again. Usually, right before the conclusion of the meal (before dessert), the host may offer another toast.

When offering a toast, engage each guest, focusing on the person who is being toasted. Raise your glass, speak clearly, and toast the person of honor.

Remember: the person being toasted never drinks from their glass while being toasted.

Toasting is an opportunity for you to shine. Learn the art of toasting and you will always be prepared.



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Character is power. - Booker T Washington