How To Propose A Toast

Learn how to propose a toast and provide good wishes eloquently when the occasion arises. A toast is a way to raise a drink and honor someone. Many times a toast is used when a couple gets married, when someone is retiring, when a team wins a sports event or when a person is celebrating a birthday. Whatever the occasion, proposing a toast is a special way of highlighting the person or persons being honored.

To propose a toast, you will need:

  • Glasses with alcoholic or other beverage
  • Attention of the guests
  • Speech notes
  • Book of toasts for inspiration
  1. Make sure everyone has a drink. If possible, make sure each guest has a glass of champagne. After the toast, everyone drinking to the honored person is a customary tradition.
  2. Get everyone's attention. Stand on a stage and speak into a microphone if these props are available. Whistle to get people's attention. In some way, make sure everyone is quiet so your toast can be heard.
  3. Get the honorees to stand near you. To toast someone, it's appropriate for them to be somewhat near you so you can shake their hand or raise your glass and speak to them in a voice without having to shout.
  4. Take notes ahead of time and have your notes ready. It's a good idea to be prepared with some notes of what you will say during the toast. Jot down the main points, including the honoree's name, the occasion, reasons they are being toasted, interesting personal anecdotes to share and a summation to close the toast.
  5. Read a book of toasts for inspiration. There are entire books written on proposing toasts. Skim one or two books to get some ideas of what is appropriate and what isn't. Some toasts can be given in the form of a poem or other toasts are serious. Do what you're comfortable with to propose a toast to honor the person.
  6. Propose the toast. Ask the guests to help you toast the person by raising their glasses. Keep the glass raised during your toast. Keep the toast brief, but with some meat to it. When you finish the toast, stop talking and say the words "To ____ (insert the name or names)." Drink from your glass and the other guests will follow your lead to toast the person.
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