Are you hosting a New Year’s Eve celebration and putting the final touches on your toast? There is still time to add that final layer of polish to your speech and to make a quick mental checklist to refer to before you raise your glass.
These 10 tips for delivering the perfect toast on New Year’s Eve below will help you set the tone for an elegant evening.
1. Plan ahead
If you haven’t yet spent time carefully composing your toast, step away from your screen, take a deep breath and put a pen to paper. Know that your speech doesn’t have to be long (and really shouldn’t be)…just thoughtful and well delivered. Speak clearly and without hesitation when you welcome your guests.
2. The host of the event should offer the first toast but circumstances may vary.
You may not be the host, but instead, the one selected by your host to offer a festive greeting; a good host will give you plenty of time to craft your toast. If there is a particular guest of honor, generally he or she is toasted before the dessert course at a sit down dinner.
3. Make sure the glasses are full.
After all, a New Year’s toast isn’t nearly as special if Aunt Susan must gulp down water instead of her favorite champagne. Other beverage options include sparkling or still water, fruit juice or soda.
4. Remember the four S’s: Stand, Smile, Say it and Sit.
Always stand up when you are making a toast to a large group of people. Raise your glass, smile, make eye contact with person or group you are toasting, and say something heartfelt. Take your seat and continue to enjoy the party.
5. Keep it simple.
A toast should last less than a minute. Mention a special accomplishment or personal attribute of the person to whom you are honoring.
6. Your attention please.
Let others know you will be making a toast at a particular time and ask for their help in quieting their tables. Try not to whistle or bang against a glass to try and get the attention of your guests.
7. Avoid the stand up comedy routine.
Unless you are a seasoned comedian, don’t take the risk that your joke will illicit a big laugh. Chances are your timing will be off and so will your toast. Nothing is worse than a joke gone wrong.
8. Raise your glass, not your blood pressure.
Don’t get offended if someone accidentally forgets to clink glasses with you. The correct protocol is to raise your glass towards the middle of the table and forgo the clank and splash of liquid.
9. If you are the recipient of the toast, put your glass down.
Never drink to yourself. It’s along the same lines as clapping for yourself when someone honors you with a compliment.
10. Not participating in a toast is bad manners.
After you’ve delivered your toast as the event host, chances are other guests will follow suit with toasts of their own. Even if you don’t consider the person being toasted your close and personal friend, always raise your glass in his or her honor.
Happy New Year,