Some people seem to be natural-born public speakers. Others (myself included) would rather stay in the background. Some people love giving presentations on topics they know something about, but ask them to give an impromptu speech or propose a toast and they get tongue-tied. It is important to work on it, But in the reality you don’t really have to say too much, you just have to be sincere and get it out right.
Here are some tips that will help you
- Make sure that everyone’s glass is filled.
- Remember to have fruit juice or water available for those who don’t drink alcohol.
- Stand in a prominent place so everyone can see you.
- If necessary, call everyone to attention by clinking on your glass with a spoon.
- Hold your own glass in front of you, level with your chest.
- Introduce yourself briefly. Say something about why you’ve gathered together.
- Keep these introductory remarks short – not longer than a minute and a half.
- Don’t use insider jokes or references that the other guests might not understand.
- Mention something about the past, about the present and state a hope or a wish for the future of the person being honoured or for the parties gathered at the event.
- Raise your glass so it is in front of you above eye-level and say “To ....” If you keep it short, people will repeat the toast.
During this short speech, everyone holds their filled glasses in front of them. At the conclusion of the statement, the speaker raises his or her glass as a signal that everyone should drink at the same time. In informal settings, people clink their glasses together, but this is not usual in the business world.
Useful language for toasts
- It is my honour to propose a toast to...
- I’d like to propose a toast to...
- Now would you all like to stand up and join me in a toast to the organising committee?
- It’s been wonderful working with you. To a job well done!
- I don’t know how you managed in such a short time. Thank you very much. To a great team!
- The office won’t be the same without you.
- We don’t know what we’ll do without you.
- May your neighbours respect you, trouble neglect you, angels protect you and heaven accept you. (Irish blessing)