‘Tis the season for holiday parties and toasts. Do you find yourself reaching for the spiked eggnog before you speak? Consider these tips to ease your mind, and give a great toast:
- Take a deep breath – taking a simple, deep, diaphragmatic breath before you speak is the best way to ease your nerves. Flop a hand on your belly in order to ensure that you are truly breathing from your diaphragm.
- Speak early in the evening – Everyone will be drunk toward the end of the night! Try to get the groups attention early to ensure your message gets across.
- Keep it short – brevity is the soul of wit…and toasting. Try not to ramble on. Have a short attention getter, perhaps a personal story, and then get to the meat of your toast.
- Thank your employees – the point of a holiday toast is to praise your employees and thank them for their hard work. Challenge yourself to think of personal stories for each of the employees you wish to thank. Talk about how they overcame obstacles, displayed strength, and rallied the troops.
- Mention your successes – this is the best time to toot your horn. Mention the higher sales numbers, cut costs, and gains in productivity. Make sure to give shout outs to the department heads responsible for each gain.