Are you the father of the bride, the best man or the lucky one who got a promotion? In life, you will find many opportunities to hold a speech. Culture also dictates if you have a certain role at a party, you ought to give a toast. But, how exactly do you deliver the speech of the night? Here are six tips that could help you deliver the best toast of the evening.
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1. Narrow Down Your Focus
Before writing down all the funny punch lines you can come up with you should decide what the key message of your speech should be. For people to remember it has to be “about” something. Thus, your primary obstacle to figure out is if the audience only remembers ONE thing from my speech, what should that be? One sentence.
This technique is the same technique used by reporters when writing news articles. Before writing the body, they decide the focus of the article by writing down ONE sentence that sums up the entire objective. Why is this important in a speech? Because it is painfully awkward to sit through a toast with no purpose or direction, where you end up having to toast to something that doesn’t mean anything.
Thus, you should decide what your focus should be before you add all the other points. Say you are giving a toast at a wedding. You want to say many things to the couple, but a toast has to be short. The thing you want the couple to know above all else is that love is gentle and kind. Then write that down: “Love is gentle and kind.” After doing that, you should use your focus sentence to remain on point the whole way through.
2. Avoid The Empty Glasses
This tip is super simple but very helpful. For some dumb reason, I happen to always be the one at the table with the empty glass when we are about to toast. And I’m not alone. By the end of toasts, you will often see three or four people at the tables quickly trying to fill their empty glass before the toasting ends.
Sometimes, because glasses are filled in such a hurry the toast ends up being a very wet toast. This is easily avoided. As the speaker you can begin your toast by reminding people that by the end there will be a toast, meaning they should fill their glasses now. Immediately, crisis averted. This doesn’t have to be an awkward public service announcement; just a little remark that helps save spilled wine and the tablecloth.