24 Dec How to deliver your best ever holiday toasts and speeches
With all the holiday cheer and goodwill doing the rounds, you may want to brush up on your toast giving skills – and maybe even prepare to give a speech or two.
Here are the key tips you’ll need to bear in mind:
1. Keep it short.
Any good speech, or toast, is succinct. No one wants to listen to someone who rambles on, forgets what it is they are saying, and who (embarrassingly) punctuates their messages with inappropriate and irrelevant anecdotes.
2. Stick to the point.
Stand up, be heard, but most importantly, remember why you are there. Make your point, stick to the message you need to deliver, and then get on with the party!
3. Be sincere.
Right, you’ve got up there and are taking stock before launching into your speech or toast. Read the vibe and the people before you begin. You only have a couple of seconds before they decide you are or are not worth listening to. And as important as it is to focus on what it is you are saying, you also need to focus on how you are saying it. Sincerity is a big drawcard, and one of the most important aspects when it comes to delivering a speech or toast effectively.
4. Express gratitude.
It is a truism that gratitude, and the expression thereof, is something that really makes people sit up and take notice of what you are saying. If your message is delivered sincerely, chances are that you have captured the audience’s attention. Now follow that through with a sprinkling of gratitude – for the company, hosts, occasion, or just for being alive and present – and watch your speech or toast take on a whole new dimension.
5. Inspire unity.
A truly meaningful message inspires and evokes a sense of camaraderie – it is a reminder of just how powerful togetherness is. Ultimately, if you are with your family and friends over the holidays you will want to emphasise this very important aspect.
If you like more visual reminders, you’re in luck: Check out the slideshow below and use the images as prompts or inspiration for your next toast or speech!
Holiday toasts and speeches are meant to be fun – so don’t get too wrapped up in the technicalities – leave that for the boardroom. You are not being judged here, so enjoy the experience and use it as a relaxed way of brushing up on your public speaking skills.
That being said, however, if you need more detailed pointers, read these pieces:
- Speechwriting 101: Keys to successful speech writing and delivery – Part 1
- Speechwriting 101: Keys to successful speech writing and delivery – Part 2
- Your guide to delivering a toast everyone can drink to
Good luck and happy holidays!