MikeIn today’s society, toasts aren’t as common at social gatherings as they were a couple of decades ago. In the past, the art of public speaking and giving toasts was an esteemed skill that people practiced regularly. Although public speaking isn’t as popular today as it once was, there’s a very good reason why people have been giving toasts at parties for such a long time – they’re an excellent way to kick off a celebration!
While it may seem old-timey to give a toast at your next party, saying a few brief words from the heart can make your guests feel at home, appreciated, and help the celebration get started. If you’re hosting or attending a party that’s struggling to develop a fun atmosphere, giving a short party toast can give your shindig the little push it needs to get off the ground! In other words, knowing how to give a toast is an incredibly useful skill to have – whether you’re going to a wedding reception or hosting a pool party at your house.
Unfortunately, giving a meaningful toast is about more than standing up, tapping a glass, and saying a few words. It’s a delicate art that requires a bit of forethought before executing. Giving an engaging party toast can become a complicated task. But there are a couple of tips and strategies that you can use to ensure that your toast is heard and well-received by your party guests. In this AUXGOD blog, we’ll go over the top 5 tips for giving a killer party toast!
Tip 1: Find the Right Time
One of the most crucial (and often overlooked) success factors for a party toast is knowing when to deliver it. If you give your toast too soon, it will likely fall on deaf ears. On the other hand, toast too late, and your party guests will already be too distracted by the shindig to listen.
The solution? Waiting long enough to give a party toast so that the celebration’s atmosphere has started, but not so long that your guests are too engaged or drunk to listen. If you try to give your party toast before your friends have had time to warm up to the shindig, it will feel awkward and forced. But if you procrastinate with giving your toast and the party atmosphere builds up too much, your guests won’t want to interrupt their fun to listen to your toast.
The perfect time to give your toast is once everyone has arrived, had a drink, and a buzz is beginning to form. This lets you ensure that everyone is gathered and in a celebratory mood but still down-to-earth enough to listen. If you’re hosting a dinner party, the ideal time for a party toast is when everyone takes a seat at the table before they’ve started their meals. If you’re hosting a less structured house party, on the other hand, you’ll need to pay a bit more attention to the party buzz and how guests are interacting.
Tip 2: Involve Everyone
If you want your guests to participate in your party toast, you need to give them a reason! In other words, you need to make your toast specific enough to be impactful but general enough so that everyone can relate to it (more on this approach in Tip 4).
The first step to involving everyone, as you might’ve guessed, is to make sure that all your party guests are there! There’s no point launching into a party toast if people are scattered all-around your house. Next, find a value that everyone in your group can relate to. You can choose a unique value that is specific to your friend group or use a generic one like wealth, health, happiness, and success.
Tip 3: Keep it Brief
For someone who’s not used to giving party toasts regularly, it’s easy to think that a toast is the same as a short speech. Although they might seem similar, the one thing that makes a toast different from a speech is its duration. If you want your toast to make an impact and add to the party atmosphere, you need to keep it brief.
At the end of the day, your party toast is an interruption for your guests. Your friends will be happy to hear what you have to say, but their attention spans are limited. If you launch into a five-minute dissertation about the state of society, your guests will tune out and start playing a movie in their heads. As such, we suggest keeping your toasts at a maximum of 60-seconds, with the sweet-spot being from 15-30 seconds. Send your message clearly and concisely, and your guest will be much more receptive!
Tip 4: Use the Two-Step Toast Formula
We’ve shown you when to give your toast, how to make it engaging, and how long you should speak. Now, it’s time to actually help you figure out what to say! You can have the best delivery in the world, but if your party toast is just a hodgepodge of meaningless platitudes, your guests won’t respond well. In other words, you need a toast framework that you can use to structure what you say and how you say it!
Introducing: The Two-Step Toast Formula! Also known as the Specific-General approach, this party toast balances specificity with relevance to help you create an engaging toast that speaks to your listeners. Here’s how you can use this framework:
First, start specific. Choose one of your guests and highlight one of their recent accomplishments. This can be anything from getting a new job to having a baby to simply being an epic person to be around. Once you’ve highlighted a person at your party, segue to a more general topic that everyone can relate to. For example, if you congratulated a friend on getting a new job, finish your party toast with an ode to success and prosperity for everyone!
This two-step formula is an excellent party toast framework because it balances specificity with relevance. When you highlight a specific person, you engage your guests and show them that you care about others. Then, by switching to a more generic topic, you bring your toast full circle and include all of your guests in the kind sentiment!
Of course, not every toast needs to follow this framework. As you get more comfortable giving toasts, you can experiment with the formula or even improvise your party toast completely. But this Two-Step Formula is an excellent place to get started!
Tip 5: Get Inspiration from These Famous Toasts!
Need some more inspiration for your next toast? Here are some great examples of party toasts throughout history:
“May we generally be happy, generally be witty, generally be honest, but above all always be interesting.”
― Daniel Handler, The Basic Eight
“Here's to all the guys better looking than us. May they all die first.”
― Richard Kadrey, Sandman Slim
“Here's champagne for our real friends, and real pain for our sham friends.”
― Mardy Grothe
“May your pens never run out of ink, your computer never run out of power, and your brain never run out of brilliant ideas.”
― Jessica Lave, Quiet on the Set: A Novel
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