How to Write (and Give!) a Successful Toast


Whether you’ve been asked weeks in advance or a few days before a big event to prepare a toast, speaking in front of a crowd can give even the most confident public speakers a few jitters. Dardis is here to help with answers to common toasting questions.

How do I start a toast?

This part’s easy. Welcome your audience, introduce yourself and explain why you’re speaking. This adds purpose to your toast and gives you a few seconds to get everyone’s attention.

What should I say?

Think about why you’re toasting—are you honoring someone? Celebrating a team’s accomplishment? Try one of these prompts to get you started:

  • How would your career be different if the guest of honor or team wasn’t a part of it?
  • Name a time when you felt really inspired by your honored guest or team.
  • What has the team or honored guest done to further the company’s success?

Do I have to be funny?

Not unless it feels natural. Trying too hard to make people laugh can end badly (think: inside jokes or unintentionally hurtful comments). If unsure, skip the jokes. No one will mind a simple, heartfelt speech.

How long should my toast be?

Not very—keep in mind that five minutes feels a lot longer than it actually is and to the audience it can seem like an eternity. Run through what you’ll say beforehand a few times with a stopwatch. Best aim to go no longer than 1-2 minutes, especially if you’re not the only person speaking.