How to Make a Toast

What better source for how to make a toast than the Toastmaster magazine for communicators and leaders which had an article Here’s to Toasting! in December 2017 issue. Paul Dickson, who is referenced in the article, is a freelance writer of more than 65 non-fiction books, mostly on American English language and popular culture. He has written two books on toasting:

Toasts are an important way in many cultures to recognize, celebrate, and share a moment with others by calling attention to the extra meaning and significance of an event. These moments of celebration can be made more precious by bringing people together in expressing good wishes.

Like any speech, toasts should be concise (2 minutes maximum except for special occasions like weddings or funerals) with beginning, body of 2 or 3 points, and a conclusion but in a short toast there are a few words at the end that people can repeat with you.

The short script of the toast itself might go like this:

  • Introduction
  • topic and good wishes
  • Raise your glass
  • “Please raise your glass and repeat after me”
  • Express a few words on the topic that everyone can say together
  • “Cheers!”

PS. The Art of Manliness blog has written a very good post on the history of toasting, how toasting has gone out of fashion, and what some of the benefits are that make it worth bringing back as a new and improved way of celebrating. That blog also has suggestions that apply equally to men and women on how to give a toast.