Toasts are just mini speeches – speeches that will linger forever in the memory of those being toasted.
When people come to me for help with their toasts – usually wedding toasts by the father-of-the-bride/groom – they are really asking for help with focusing their thoughts than in actually coming up with the right words.
Most of you fretting over a simple, short toast for a big family event are really fretting over how you will get a lifetime of thoughts down to 2-3 minutes. You can start by focusing on the basic 5-part format (see May 2012).
Write 1-2 sentences for the first and fifth parts (welcome and congrats), and only 2-3 sentences each for the second, third and fourth parts. Oh, and keep the sentences to 20 words if possible, but no more than 30 words. You don’t want to gasp for air mid-sentence!
It sounds hard to get a lifetime into 500 words or less, but this exercise will force you to choose each word carefully…as a result, your words will have more impact and emotion – filler words dilute the message.
If you still need help, you know where to find me.