Did you know that when it comes to fear, we humans fear public speaking more than we fear snakes, flying and (gulp) death? No wonder we see best men or maids of honor gulping down champagne for a little liquid courage right before they give their wedding toasts.
If you are expected to give a toast at an upcoming wedding or even at your parents’ next dinner party, check out this list of tips we created for skittish toasters.
- Prepare Your Toast in Advance. Toasts mean a lot to the host(s) or the recipient, so this is not the time to “wing it.” Think about what you want to say, write it down, then try out your toast in front of your mirror.
- Practice, Practice, Practice. When you feel comfortable with your chosen words, try out your toast in front of a close friend or family member. And, remember to practice it several times – If you practice your toast enough times, your muscle memory will kick in if you become too anxious to remember what to say.
When You Give Your Toast –
- Expect to be a Little Nervous. As I said before, some people would rather encounter an anaconda instead of giving a toast in front of others. So, embrace the nerves and take a deep breath. Your pounding heart, your sweaty palms and your trembling hands will subside. You will be fine!
- Get Out of Your Seat. Don’t tap your glass to grab the attention of the guests. Stand up instead. Staying seated will not help you command the attention of the rest of the guests. So, stand up and project from your diaphragm. Guests will notice that you are giving a toast and help bring the attention to you.
- Start with a “hello,” and introduce yourself. While everyone is saying hello back, breathe in and let out a nice cleansing breath.
- Raise Your Glass. It doesn’t matter if you are drinking anything, raise your glass so that you are a part of the toast. SIDE NOTE: The toast recipients are not supposed to raise their glass, so don’t wait for them before you take a sip.
Here are three things to avoid when you give a toast.
- Avoid inside jokes. They may not come across as funny and they may make some of your guests feel left out.
- Avoid curse words. Saying curse words may offend one or two of your wedding guests.
- Avoid embarrassing the host/hostess. It may seem like a fun idea, but you don’t want anyone to feel humiliated during dinner.
- Avoid mentioning politics, religion and race. All of these topics could lead to animosity and heated discussions and hurt feelings. And, that’s no fun! At all.
Salud! Love and Soul Always, Kawania