With families gathering for the holidays, you just might have to give a toast. And if you want to do it well, think FSP: Focus, Story, Passion.
Those are the three steps to a great toast.
Focus : No one likes long rambling toasts. Make one point about the person that you’re toasting. “I want to make a toast to our host, Jeffrey. Jeffrey is one of the most generous people I know.” In this case the one point is that the person is generous. That’s better than saying “Jeffrey is generous, funny, and friendly.” Uh, that would be three points.
Story: Great toasts give a feel for the person being toasted with a simple story. “About a year ago, I went with Jeffrey to a Braves game and he had two extra tickets. He saw two teenagers who didn’t look like they had any money. So Jeffrey just gave them the tickets. Not only that, he bought them hotdogs, sodas and popcorn. That’s the kind of generous person he is.” From there you simply raise your glass and say “So here’s a toast to Jeffrey and his generosity.”
Passion: The key to speaking well in any situation is speaking with intensity and passion. So many people get up in front of people and speak in a dull monotone. They sound like they’re reading the telephone book. Set yourself apart by practicing your toast several times and speaking with the same animation that you use when you’re relaxed and speaking excitedly with a close friend.
So when the holiday spirit strikes and it’s your turn to give a toast, think Focus, Stories, and Passion. You’ll knock ‘em dead.