Today we escape (a little) from the gymnastics world to talk about delivering a quality, memorable toast at a Holiday Party. We just had our Holiday Party last night and as the owner of the gyms I felt it important to get up and say a few words. My goal was for my staff to know that I really appreciate all their hard work and that I look forward to working with them each and every day.
The actual point of ANY toast is to get your audience to like themselves (and you) a little bit more than before you started speaking. Think about the toast beforehand. Maybe make some notes-BUT, when you are standing up in front of everyone. NO NOTES. I think that if you have notes, it seems less sincere.
When delivering the message itself- think about what you would say about your employees to a group of other club owners. Leave out the negative- AND THERE IS YOUR TOAST.
Key Technical Matters
- The toast should come early. Maybe it’s not the first thing, but it should happen near the beginning.
- It’s OK to yell at people to get them to be quiet. Anyway, whatever follows, “HEY! SHUT UP!” will seem magnanimous by comparison.
- You have to be standing up.
- You have to hold your drink chest-high during the entire toast. If, while holding your drink chest-high during the entire toast, your arm gets tired, then it’s probably time to wrap it up. Arm fatigue is a natural toast timer!
- Stay in one place. Leave “working the room” to the motivation speakers.
- Any sort of “traditional Irish toast” that you found on the internet is not recommended. Most of these fail at being funny, cute or sincere. It just says, “I really don’t care enough to think of something on my own”
- If you are giving the toast and your boss is in the room, do NOT poke fun at your boss during the toast.
- If your boss is NOT in the room, do NOT poke fun of your boss during the toast.
- If you are the boss, you may (and probably should) poke fun at your self.
- Do not use the term “poke fun” during a toast.
- Or any other time.
- When in doubt, say: “Cheers to us and screw everybody else.” That always works.