A GUIDE TO TOASTING
a common act at social
Prepared by Carol
Toasting is as old as civilization itself. Like many symbols, Toasting goes
back to the ancient Greeks who began toasting with wine as a good faith
gesture, showing that the drink was not contaminated with poison.
Later, the Romans refined the custom
by placing a piece of burnt bread in the glass, to mellow the flavour of the
wine (and to hide any un-dissolved poison). The toast concept expanded until
it became a safe drink that first honoured the gods an later honoured people.
Until the 1700's, Toasts were
predominately made as a wish to "good health" and later became hopes
for "happiness" and "good fortune" as well.
Toasts are offered for a variety of
occasions : weddings, banquets, anniversaries, birthdays, retirement parties,
dinner parties, before eating, before a keynote speaker and for the
celebration of an accomplishment to name a few examples.
A toast is a mini speech and, as such, it should have structure. A
toast is considered a tribute and should:
- refer to the occasion,
- reflect the theme,
- refer to the achievement of the recipient,
- express good will,
- be formally proposed (tribute)
Reflection, comparison and suspense can also be included in the body.
A Toast is made to someone, rather than to inanimate objects which are not
endowed with spirit or life. There are rare occasions when A Toast to
"something" such as "Spring" may be appropriate.
As part of your Toast, you ask the guest to "Please rise and charge
your glasses to:_________________" The phrase is then repeated by
you and the guests in attendance. For added impact, the phrase should be
short and easy to repeat.
The word "charge" has numerous meanings including:
- to assume heraldic bearing,
- to level,
- to place responsibility on,
- to bring into a position for attack, and
- to fill to the brim.
The current thought is that "to charge" is to "level".
Toasts are not applauded, the fact that everyone assembled expresses
approval by joining in the tribute, acclaims the person being toasted.
If seated, stand when offering the Toast
- Avoid signalling for quiet by rapping on the drinking vessel with a
- Do not toast the guest of honour before the host has the opportunity.
- Champagne, wine, whiskey and beer are acceptable libations for a Toast
and non-alcoholic beverages as well.
- If necessary, toast with water or an empty glass rahter thatn not
- Do not raise your glass when you are the person being toasted.
Remain seated and respond with a "Thank you".
- Clinking glasses is thought to ward off the devil, as it is the sound
similar to the tinkling of a bell.
- In some wedding ceremonies, the glass is shattered, however for other
occasions, refrain from smashing your glass in the fireplace.
A toast is tastier, if it is original. A simple toast is the most
Be simple, be brief, be yourself and be prepared.
Toasts are a test of
your ability to find appropriate words to say what you
A good Toast is hard to find but a good Toast will be remembered. It
is an opportunity for creative expression. The sentiments:
"Salud", "Prosit", "Se he", or "L'Chaim"
for example, can be expanded upon to imprint your message.
A Toast can be a: poem, public prayer, proverb, bit of wit, secret
sentiment to be shared. Avoid long windy political addresses.
Allow good judgment to prevail. As we say in Alberta, "If you
haven't struck oil in the first two minutes, stop boring".
Example of a Toast
as a Mini Speech
Text of the Toast to Emma Collins on the occasion of Charter Night, October 5,
1999 at the Derrick Golf Club
"District Governor, Honoured Toastmasters and Special Guests;
There is an expression, 'What's in a Name?' TM has over 230 clubs in
District 42 and each club has not only a charter number but a name as well.
'What's in a name?'. Wells, some clubs have business names such as Shell, Esso,
Tower Talk and Commerce. Some clubs have fun names such as the Honkers,
Stubble-Jumpers, the Wanabes and the Bottom Line. There is but one club with
the name of a person. The Peter Kossowan Communicators.
This evening we are gathered together to charter yet a second club, this
one named: the Emma Collins Advanced Toastmasters Club
'What's in a Name?' A number of vibrant Toastmasters came together
under the name of Emma Collins which they feel symbolizes a high standard of
excellence. Emma Collins, with her ongoing, outstanding contribution to
Toastmasters enhances its spirit and ideals. Emma Collins, with her warmth,
compassion and commitment emulates a philosophy that we all respect.
It is an honour to be a member of a club with this name.
Ladies and gentlemen, please rise and charge your glasses... and share a toast
with me to: Our distinguished Emma Collins".
(Audience and Speaker Response)
"Our Distinguished Emma Collins"
C. Litteljohn, 1:25 minutes
Examples of Toasts
of Years Past
- "Here's to us all. God Bless
us every one".
Charles Dickens in a Christmas
- "Here's mud in your
From World War II and a wish of
good fortune to farmers
- Here's looking at you kid".
- "Down the Hatch!"
"Bottoms Up!" "Cheers!"
- "May you live as long as you
want and may you never want as long as you live".
- "If at first you don't
succeed, adjust your goals."
- "May the work that you have
be the play that you love".
- "Happy Birthday to