Talk tips

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - LIFESTYLE -

1. Pre­pare and per­son­alise your toast. Don’t use a prewrit­ten toast you found on the In­ter­net. Use your own words to pay trib­ute to the bride and groom. 2. Know your au­di­ence. Ask the bride and groom for some feed­back on who will be at the wed­ding. In most cases, you’re prob­a­bly deal­ing with a “G-rated” au­di­ence. Keep it light and have some fun with your toast, but if one of those anec­do­tal ac­counts would of­fend your grand­mother, don’t use it. 3. Don’t be afraid to laugh at your­self. Don’t take your­self too se­ri­ously. In fact, self­dep­re­cat­ing hu­mour can en­dear you to the au­di­ence. 4. Don’t try to be funny if you’re not. If you’re not com­fort­able us­ing hu­mour, then just be sin­cere. Say­ing it “from the heart” al­ways works. 5. Use point-form notes. Rather than writ­ing out your en­tire toast, use an in­dex card to record your thoughts, then use that out­line as a guide to help you ex­pand upon those thoughts dur­ing your toast. That process will en­able you to speak more nat­u­rally to the au­di­ence. 6. Limit your speak­ing time. A wed­ding toast should be no longer than three to five min­utes. To go be­yond that is to strain the at­ten­tion of the au­di­ence. To stay within that time frame, you will need to re­hearse your toast and time your­self as you do so. 7. Re­hearse at the re­cep­tion venue. Stud­ies have shown that stu­dents who study in the room where they will take an exam ac­tu­ally get bet­ter grades. If you can re­hearse your toast in the room where you will de­liver it, you will be far more con­fi­dent when you “go live” at the wed­ding. 8. Limit your al­co­hol in­take – “liq­uid courage” is a bad idea. Even a few drinks can make some peo­ple flushed and un­steady, and slurred, drunken di­a­tribes are in­ex­cus­able. 9. Learn how to use a mi­cro­phone. If pos­si­ble, get some di­rec­tion from the wed­ding DJ be­fore the re­cep­tion. 10. Close with class. Con­clude your toast by talk­ing about why you’re so happy for the cou­ple. Then pause for a moment, look at the au­di­ence and ask them to rise. Smile, raise your glass and say: “Ladies and gentle­men, to the bride and groom!” – Tom Haibeck, author of Wed­dingToast­sMadeEasy

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