How to Give a Toast

Whether you're asked to say a few words at the dinner table or in front of 250 wedding guests, proposing a toast can be stressful. With a little preparation, you can turn your private moment of anxiety into a public moment of shared happiness.

You will need

  • A festive occasion
  • A guest of honor
  • A captive audience
  • And a glass of bubbly

Step 1 Jot down notes Jot down some notes about the person or event you are celebrating. Come up with a personal anecdote that entertains the crowd while complimenting the honoree.

Step 2 Plot outline Plot an informal outline that has a beginning, middle, and end, so you don’t end up rambling.

Step 3 Practice speech Practice your speech until you are comfortable giving it without notes. Time your delivery until you get the toast under two minutes.

Step 4 Request audience's attention When it’s time to deliver your speech, politely request the audience’s attention: stand, chime your fork on your glass, and pause for a moment as the crowd stops talking and turns to face you.

Step 5 Introduce yourself Begin by introducing yourself and explaining your relationship to the honoree.

Step 6 Make eye contact Make eye contact with the audience during your speech, but end the toast with your eyes on the guest of honor.

Step 7 Raise your glass Raise your glass of bubbly and ask everyone to join you in taking a sip. You’ve done your job—now relax, knowing that with just a few words, you’ve made a difference in the life of someone who matters to you.