Along with driving a standard-shift car and making an omelet, everyone should be able to offer a successful toast. Here are a few tips to turn even the shyest among us into veritable poets:
- Breathe and try to relax. Remember that it's not a statement before a congressional subcommittee. It's just a gathering of friends who are probably already a little better for wine and cocktails.
- Focus on the subject of your toast rather than how you look or sound.
- People appreciate sincerity, so just say what you feel. If you simply cannot come up with the words yourself, find a short poem that expresses your feelings.
- Realize that the people at the party are already happy about the occasion and will applaud no matter what you say. There's no need to be overly poignant or thrilling or original to evoke more happiness about the occasion.
- If you have advance notice that you'll be offering a toast, practice, practice, practice.
- Keep it simple. Never underestimate the power of "Congrats on this happy occasion, you deserve it!"