Welcome to my ClassyTip for this week which focuses on:
- "To Your Health" Making a Toast - Tip #20
Do you want to add a special touch to an occasion your hosting? You may want to acknowledge the reason for the event and give special recognition to one of the guests. Offering a “toast” will provide you with both opportunities, as it’s a gracious way to welcome guests, to recognize someone’s accomplishments, and to honor a person on their special day. It’s a gesture that adds a special touch to any occasion, even a casual get together.
This tradition of “toasting” dates back centuries. The Greeks and Romans toasted their pagan gods, and early Norsemen toasted each other for success before going into battle. The first recorded toast occurred when King Vortigen of England hosted a feast for his Saxon allies in 450 AD. It was a toast to good health and fortune, and today people toast to good health, good fortune, good luck, success and happiness.
A toast is a moment within the celebration that focuses everyone’s attention. And since the process includes everyone, I’ll go over the details for you.
At certain formal occasions, such as State or military dinners and wedding receptions, the toasts are part of the protocol for that event. This protocol will identify who makes what toasts and when they are made. This structure is critical for orchestrating the correct order that must be followed.
- Guest of Honor
You will however, keep your eyes on the person who is toasting you, and graciously accept the toast using your eyes and facial expression.
When the host’s toast honoring you is finished; you, in turn, will offer your own toast back to the host/hostess. You may remain seated, look at the host, lift your wineglass, and say “thank you”. Or you may say a few more words to your host, but the essence of the toast is to thank the host for the celebration.
- Other Guests
When a toast is being proposed, look at the person being toasted, and remain looking at that person during the toast. You’ll have your wine or champagne glass in your hand, and when the toast is completed and the host raises his glass, you’ll also raise your glass. Then you’ll take a sip from your wineglass.
- Types of Toasts
At an informal event, spontaneous toasts may be offered by any of the guests.
A toast should be short and always in a positive, uplifting tone. Humor can certainly be used, as long as it’s appropriate. However, if you’re not comfortable using humor, it isn’t critical to the success of a good toast.
Toasting the guest of honor -
It’s not necessary to "clink glasses" before sipping the wine. But should you find yourself at a table where this is occurring, politely participate.
The guest of honor
at an informal event –
simple toast – "To
The following are several translations for this phrase.
- Consuming Alcohol
You may be visiting a country with a tradition of multiple toasts. An example is in the Far East, where toasts will occur continuously throughout the evening.
In China, the host will offer the first toast, and then others will continue toasting during a banquet. And in Korea it’s considered impolite to drink alone. So another person at the table will make eye contact with you as a sign to "have a drink together". Then a short time later another person will make a verbal toast, including you in the process, for the next sip or drink of wine or alcohol. And so this continues throughout the evening.
If you’re attending an event where there’s continual toasting, and you’re not a heavy drinker, cautiously take a very small sip of wine for each toast, since you won’t know how many toasts will take place. This way you’re able to remain comfortable and in control during the evening.
- Non-alcoholic beverage
Some etiquette books recommend "pretending to sip" by holding the glass next to your lips. If you’re comfortable doing this, you certainly can. But for some, even the aroma and fumes of alcohol can be a problem. In this case, use either your water glass or even an empty glass, when you raise a glass during the toast.
- A side note: Throughout the world, your health is always a good excuse not to drink alcohol. You don’t need to elaborate, just ask the waiter for something non-alcoholic to drink. If you feel you awkward and want to say something to a dinner partner, a simple “I’m in training right now” or “The doctor said I need to avoid it for now” is all that’s necessary.
The classy person understands that an appropriate toast can add a special touch to an occasion. He or she will develop the skill and plan for the opportunity; so when the occasion arises, a simple but eloquent toast will be.
I'm Looking forward to sending you another of my ClassyTips next week. Until then, have a great week, and don't forget to visit my Forum that answers your questions on 'Becoming the Best You Can Be'.
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