The Do's and Don'ts for Giving a ToastThe Dos and Don’ts for Giving a Toast

As the New Year is approaching, many of us begin to reflect on the past year and start to contemplate the future. It is possible you will be celebrating the holidays or New Year’s Eve at a special gathering, and you could be giving a toast to mark the occasion. There are many ways to celebrate the past and welcome the future while wishing everyone the best.

Do Plan Ahead

If you are the host of the party, you would be the one expected to do a toast. While you want the toast to seem natural and not contrived, even taking a few minutes to organize your thoughts and jot them down could make a huge difference.

Don’t Improvise

Sometimes you may be called upon spontaneously to offer a toast, and sure, then you have to improvise. But, if you know you will give the toast, avoid just rattling off random thoughts. Take the opportunity to comprise something that is thoughtful and eloquent.

Do Keep it Short and Simple

Say what you mean, mean what you say, and for goodness sakes, just say it! Keep the toast to a minute or less. Be succinct but heartfelt.

Don’t Go on a Tangent

Nothing is more awkward than your audience’s eyes glazing over as you go on, and on, and on. Keep everyone engaged by getting to the point quickly and as lively is appropriate.

Do Get Everyone’s Attention (Politely)

Stand up, clear your throat, and politely ask for everyone’s attention in a clear and authoritative manner. Usually, there will be a wave of response and the room will collectively notice something is about to occur and quiet down.

Don’t Clink Your Glass

Avoid standing and banging on the side of your glass with a fork. Also, never whistle. You don’t want conversation to come abruptly to a screeching halt. It could be considered as rude. When starting the toast, it is best to start on a good note.

Do What Comes Naturally

If you are known as being goofy, use it. If you are known as being serious, use it. If you are known as being sarcastic, use it. Work your personality into the speech. Giving a toast will come off as more natural and genuine.

Don’t Perform Standup

Nothing will send out the crickets faster than a bombed joke, am I right? Seriously, though, a one minute toast is not the place to try to be a comedian, especially if that is not your forte.

Do Raise Your Glass

In a room filled with a large group of people, it is certainly appropriate to collectively raise your glass at the end of the toast and offer a “Here, here!” Make sure to look around the room and make eye contact, though with as many people as you can.

Don’t Have to Touch Glasses

Unless you are amidst a small group, it is not necessary to clink glasses with every person. But, we will reiterate, make eye contact with as many people as you can, especially if you are clinking glasses with everyone. (Some people consider it bad luck not to make eye contact!)

Do Toast the Host

If you are the host, you may be giving a toast, but if you are not, make sure you say thank you to the founder of the feast or party. A mention at either the start of the end of the speech is polite and sufficient.

Don’t Drink to Yourself

When someone is toasting you, humbly keep your glass on the table or hold your glass down in front of you. At the end of the toast, bow your head in modest acknowledgment and offer heartfelt thanks and a smile.

If you are stuck for inspiration for giving a toast, click here for some great toasts. Make sure to stop into Festival Wine and Spirits to pick up a great bottle of bubbly for your holiday toast. We have everything you need to add a special something to all your holiday gatherings this season.