As 2012 comes to an end, we are faced with religious holidays and New Year’s Eve – all times to reflect on the past year and look forward to the next.
What a great time to write down the highlights of the year – good and bad – and think about the lessons learned from those experiences.
Do you hope to live more in the moment? Plan more for the future?
Will you let go of bad memories and vow to make new, happier ones?
Instead of just saying “Cheers” at your next celebration, take out 1-3 of the life lessons you learned this year. And start off with “May we all…” and then end with “cheers.”
It will make the event more meaningful and help you make public your lessons. This will both humble you by showing you can always learn from the past, and bring you hope by saying aloud what you want for the future.
The power of speaking the truth aloud – whether good or bad – is one of the must underrated parts of the toast. I think that many people become nervous about speaking, and hesitate to do so, because they subconsciously understand this power.
But few acknowledge it. And it is a good thing. Here’s mine:
“May we all tell those we love that we love them more often, because we never know when they will leave us.
May we all take charge of the messes in our life so that they do not stop us from moving forward.
And may we all grab the opportunities put before us and not be afraid to see where they take us.
The holiday season is upon us! Halloween kicks it off with Thanksgiving, Chanukah, Christmas and New Year’s Eve fast on its heels.
‘Tis the season for toasts. What are you going to say? Unlike event toasts, a holiday toast is usually short and sweet, taking only seconds. In fact, “cheers” is probably as good as anything.
Click here for how to say “Cheers” (or their version of it) in 50 languages!
Start memorizing the Azerbaijani (Nush ohlsun), Icelandic (Sk-owl), and Thai (Chok dee) versions before you hit your party circuit.
After all of these months of discussing toasts, the question still remains: What do you do after the last toast is made, the last drink downed?
All of that work – writing, editing, practicing, stressing – and now it’s all forgotten?
Here are a few ideas for preserving your words:
Anyone out there do something else with theirs?
The first draft of anything is sh-t.
Write, read aloud, edit, repeat…repeat…repeat…
When writing a speech, whether a short toast or a 30-minute lecture, make the time to read the speech aloud and edit and edit and edit. Even Ernest Hemingway acknowledged that not even a genius can write a perfect first draft.
You are looking for the following when you read aloud:
When editing, don’t force a line to work after 2-3 tries…sometimes you have to use the “delete” key …even on your favorite line.
It will only hurt for a minute…
In fact, you can post your favorite line that you couldn’t use in the space below! I’ll start with one of my most recent ones:
“We have survived Civil Wars, World Wars and Culture Wars. This is nothing but a skirmish in our history. We will certainly survive this assault on our economy.”
Speaker stumbled over “Culture Wars” (say it 3 times fast…it is difficult). Every time he backtracked and said it right, but he just could not say it straight through…Dang…
Found this interesting tidbit from the U.S.-China Business Council on toasting etiquette in China:
Anyone know toasting etiquette from another culture?
Wedding toasts, as we’ve previously discussed, can be nerve wracking for the one expected to deliver this emotionally charged two minutes.
The key issue is usually due to the pressure you put on yourself to perform perfectly and to summarize a lifetime of memories into less than 500 words. That’s when my clients turn to me – I help keep them calm and focused.
If you are anticipating having to give such a toast, I recommend that you buy an inexpensive spiral notebook to write down all of the advice, memories and other thoughts cluttering your mind. This info can be beautifully crafted into a nice book for a great gift after the happy couple returns from their honeymoon.
You can either write short stories – how you met your spouse, or a funny story about the first Thanksgiving dinner you cooked as a married couple – or just clip out one-line pieces of advice – “Don’t go to bed mad.” You can scrapbook the advice around wedding photos, baby photos and high school pics of the couple.
The key is not to overwhelm yourself during this special time. Professional scrapbookers and writers can be hired for a small fee!