When to propose a toastEdit
In the United States, most meetings never see a toast outside of the advanced manual assignment. This seems to be changing; Val Alberts of District 53 introduced toasts to her district when she was District Governor, and now every Executive and Steering Committee meeting and every Conference and collective Toastmaster event in that district starts with a toast.
In the rest of the English-speaking world, a toast (sometimes two or three) is commonplace at meetings. This is something practically everybody does in real life several times a year. It's considered an honour—and let's face it, if people know you're a "Toastmaster", they expect you to do the basic toast properly, right?
Here's how to do it well.
How to Propose a Toast Edit
- When you're introduced, move to the appropriate place. (N.B. remember to have your own glass filled and at hand before you do this.)
- Don't begin until you have a reasonable amount of attention. If you don't get it, ask the chairman to call for quiet or tap your glass with your spoon to suggest the sound of a toast.
- When you have completed your initial remarks, it's time to propose the formal toast. Say something like this:
"Ladies and Gentleman, your glasses are charged (or filled)..."
(if members of the audience's glasses are empty give time to get them filled, not necessarily with alcohol),
(be patient, give the audience a chance to get up out of their chairs and wait for the noise, scraping chairs etc., to subside),
"And drink with me to ..." (your choice of target)
lift your glass, and again say the target of the toast, this time leading the audience.
Toast ideas Edit
(Val Alberts writes:) In District 53, the custom is that proposers must do a toast on something to do with Toastmasters and it must be a positive or humorous toast, such as
- a toast to our District,
- a toast to our members,
- a toast to our collective success
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