How to Make a Toast: 12 Tips to Get You Over the Jitters!

Last Updated on April 7, 2022 by Bill Allen

How to Make a GREAT Toast People Remember!

If you are nervous about being called on to make a toast, relax, after reading our guide on how to make a toast you’ll be ready to make a toast at any occasion.

If you’re unsure what to do or feel a bit uncomfortable when expected to raise a toast, you are not alone. A lot of people get the jitters when speaking in public or in front of a gathering of even family and friends. Just remember the focus of the toast is on the recipient; It is an experience you both will share.

Toasts should be reserved for special occasions such as birthdays, wedding, and anniversary receptions, and confined to those present who are key figures in the festivities. The main reasons for giving a toast are:

  1. To congratulate the person(s) for an accomplishment like having a baby or buying a house.
  2. To offer good wishes to one or more people who about to embark on a venture or personal relationship.
  3. To express appreciation for assistance or support by the person the person toasted.
  4. To remember someone who may not be present.
  5. To give assurance of one’s blessing to a person who has made an important decision.

Practice, Practice, Practice…

If possible prepare your toast before the occasion and practice in front of a mirror. Believe me, it’ll help. Think about how you are standing, are you standing tall or are you slouching?

The more you practice, the more comfortable you’ll get with listing to your own voice. Soon you’ll be able to simply stand up and do it without needing to stand in front of a mirror any longer. But until that time comes, keep practicing. Just 10 minutes in front of a mirror is enough to notice how you’re coming across and fix any “mistakes” you feel are present.

When you stand straight, you command more attention. And it is also better for your diaphragm when starting to speak.

When you do speak, let it come from your stomach. You can even tighten it a bit. This will give your voice a more fluid and commanding tone. This can be really helpful at larger gatherings when there is a lot of noise, or space where your voice needs to ring through.

It’s Time to Give Your Toast

Stand up at what seems like the appropriate moment, before, during, or at the end of dinner. Raise your wine glass whether it has an alcoholic beverage, soda, or plain water, and announce firmly,” I propose a toast to…”

Refer to the person in formal (’Dr.Brown”), informal, (’Trudy”), or colloquial (”Sis”) depending on the occasion and your relationship to the person toasted.

Keep your remarks brief and to the point. If you are good at telling jokes, feel free to use the occasion to make a pertinent point. However be sensitive in choosing your remark. This is not the time to bring up embarrassing anecdotes. Confirm you remarks to no more than two or three minutes out of consideration of others.

When you finish your remarks, raise your glass and wait until others do the same. Then take a sip. Everyone else will follow suit.

If two or more toasts are in order, either make them yourself while you have the attention of the group or say you are turning the floor over to someone else who has a few words to say. If appropriate, encourage a few words from the toastee.

When toasting, it customary to use wine. Although you can use other alcoholic beverages, or one of the drinks listed in our list of upscale drinks, something like jello shots might not be very appropriate.

The Little Black Book of Cocktails

Tid Bit: I thought this was interesting. The term toast became popular in the 18th century when guests at dinners in England praised their hostess for being as tempting as a favorite gourmet dish of the day: Spiced toast!