Category Archives: Champagne Toast

Tips for Writing a New Year’s Champagne Toast

tips-for-writing-a-new-years-champagne-toastNew Year’s Eve celebrations typically have one thing in common: people expect a champagne toast of some kind right before the final countdown. The art of writing a great toast is not difficult, but you should start working on what you want to say now, so you have a chance to fine tune it.

  • Know Your Audience.  The most important thing to remember for any toast is to know your audience. A group of friends and family might like to hear a personal anecdote about something that happened in the last year, while co-workers want to hear blessings for a good year of business in 2015. Failure to tailor the toast to the audience makes it seem generic and bland.
  • Build Them Up, Then Take Them Down.  One of the primary rules of giving a speech is that you have to take the audience on a journey. In the case of your toast, you want to start your speech with something light, like a joke or a funny story from the previous year. This will get the audience to laugh and become emotionally invested in what you have to say. Be advised that off-color jokes and raunchy stories are unlikely to get you the positive response that you want from your toast. After the initial levity, you can move on to more serious topics, like wishing an ailing family member good health, telling your friends how much they mean to you and how you look forward to sharing the next year with them, or praising the work and dedication of your co-workers or employees. The more serious tone at the end is quickly lifted by the excitement of the ball drop, bringing your audience on a full circle of emotions.
  • Close With Words Of Wisdom.  Close out the toast itself with a line from one of the many famous figures in history and literature who spoke about the future. Benjamin Franklin and T.S. Eliot are great standards, but a Google search of the term “New Year’s Eve toasts” can help you find the right quote.
  • Practice.  The last thing you want to do is go over time and cut into the countdown. At the same time, you don’t want to be done so quickly that there is awkward silence between the end of your toast and the ball drop. Take the time to go over your toast, out loud with a private audience, so you can get a feel for the amount of time you need and how the audience will react. Practice also helps you to memorize the toast for the big night, so you won’t stumble through cue cards or worry about losing your prompt.
  • Keep It Simple.  No matter how good your toast is, the reason people are at the party is to ring in the new year, not to hear you speak. For that reason, you need to be sure to keep your speech as short and sweet as possible. The attention span of your guests may only be about 30 to 90 seconds. Anything longer than that and they will start to tune out and will miss out on your speech. A good rule of thumb is to make the toast no longer than 200 words, or about half a page of double spaced text.

In general, you need to project an aura of confidence when you start to speak. If you spent time in preparation, this shouldn’t be a problem and your toast will go off without a hitch.

Writing that Perfect Champagne Toast

champagne toastEvery occasion or event has its own special moment built right into it. A wedding ceremony is momentous, but for some couples, it might be the cutting of the cake or the exchanging of rings that makes the event that much more special. For a birthday party, it might be blowing out the candles on the cake or opening the gifts that really stop the show. Regardless of what the event is, there’s more than likely going to be a toast with champagne of some sort. There are right and wrong ways to write the perfect champagne toast, but the easiest way to do it right is to fall back on answering the age old question of who, what, when, where, why, and how.

Who – This might be the most important question you’ll answer to write your toast. Who are you toasting? The language you use might depend on the age of your toast recipients, for instance. Whoever that might be, remember that your toast is for them.

What – What are you toasting to? Simply, what is the occasion? Quite naturally, this is where your deepest inspiration will hail from. There are hundreds of prewritten toasts for you to borrow from if you need more inspiration. However, don’t settle for a cookie cutter version of what you wish to say. Make it specific to what the occasion is.

When – If your toast comes at the beginning of the occasion, there could be more people there who are alert. If it comes right after the most special part has passed, your toast will need to grab the guests’ attention. Make sure you play on the emotions and traits of the recipient. When also refers to the time of day or year you will be making your toast. It would be perfect if you could incorporate the current season into your toast. Even the slightest reference will do.

Where – You want to consider where you are going to be making your toast. Is it going to be outside or inside, in a restaurant or in someone’s home, or is it in the backyard or in the living room? The setting is as important as what you are toasting to. Depending on where you are set to deliver your toast, you might want to make it longer, especially in casual settings like a living room.

Why – This could be a difficult question to answer, as it has its layers. On the one hand, you need to know why you were chosen to make a toast. You’ll want your words to reflect your relationship to the recipient. Also, make it a point to prove why you were the best person to make the toast. Don’t be shy! Preference your toast with, “We’ve known each other since”, “As your older brother/sister”, or simply say, “To my dearest friend/coworker”.

How – While there is a list of general rules and toasting etiquette you can refer to in order to make your toast perfect, don’t get caught up following a thousand rules. It will be perfect if it’s from the heart and to the point. Speak clearly and loud enough and make sure you have everyone’s attention before commencing. There’s nothing worse than realizing half your audience missed your toast.

Before you join the festivities during your next big occasion, remember that a toast has its own time. You not only want to make it at the perfect time, but you should make it as perfect as possible. Keep it short and sweet. Remember why you’re toasting and to whom you’re toasting.