Confidently Step into the Toasting Season

Some historians have suggested that clinking glasses together when toasting was done in order to scare away any evil spirits; others simply say clinking glasses is a way of adding a personal gesture to the good wishes being offered.

Either way, toasting has evolved as an opportunity to acknowledge the sentiments of an occasion or person, or both.  With the season upon us, where opportunities to offer toasts abound, we would like to offer a few tips that may help you deliver an enthusiastic toast during this holiday toasting season.

Less is More

When asked about the biggest mistakes people make when delivering a toast, Pamela Flori, former Editor in Chief of Town and Country magazine, confirmed that people talk too long and forget the toast is about the occasion or someone else—not about the person delivering the toast. Keep it brief. Toast does not mean speech. Outside of a wedding setting, 1-2 minutes is ample time for most toasts.

Be Timely and Polite

Wait for the right moment to gain the attention of the guests. Simply stand, raise your glass, and ask for everyone’s attention—without tapping your glass.  With your glass in hand, state the nature of the toast (an individual, an occasion, an accomplishment). Thank the host or person responsible for bringing together the group (if it is someone other than you).

Make it Personal

Think about what you are going to say ahead of time. Share an anecdote or two related to the event, person or accomplishment. When considering the story you want to share, keep in mind the sentiment you would like to communicate and ensure that it is appropriate for the event (e.g., serious, fun, high energy, emotional).  Create a feeling of warmth by making eye contact, both with the person you are toasting and with the audience. Speak slowly and deliberately. Make every word count!

Invite Agreement

When you finish speaking, provide an opportunity for everyone to demonstrate their agreement with your sentiments by raising and clinking glasses.  To guide the guests to lift their glasses, say something like “Please join me in a toast to (Joe, the New Year) while raising your glass and extending it to clink with other guests.

As you are clinking your glass with someone, consider making direct eye contact with those whose glass you “clink.”

Remember Toasting Etiquette

If you are the object of the toast, protocol says that you graciously accept the toast without raising your glass or drinking. Raising and drinking from your glass is the equivalent of congratulating yourself.

Protocol also says that if you are the recipient of a toast, that you should “return” the toast.  A return toast can be as straightforward as thanking the person who offered the toast as well as whoever arranged the gathering.

So, as we move towards the end of the year, all of us at 2Connect would like to raise our glasses and offer a toast of gratitude for 2012 and a prosperous New Year.


The 2Connect Team

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