Etiquette rules: how to make a toast at the table when you are a guest
Most holiday meals are hard to imagine without short speeches with a glass of wine, which we traditionally call toasts. But remember how hard it can be to wait for someone too eloquent to finish speaking. Or how awkward it can be to make a toast when it's your turn. The rules of etiquette allow you not to miss in such a situation.
OBOZREVATEL tells how to properly prepare your table speech. And how to behave while making toasts.
How to make toasts
The right of the first toast always belongs to the hosts of the party. This moment should not be delayed. As soon as the drinks are brought out before the start of the meal, it is the right time. Also a good moment for a toast is just before dessert.
If the host of the feast for some reason does not want or can not make a toast, the first speech must necessarily be in his honor. It should be proclaimed by someone close to him.
Group toasts are best avoided, except in situations where it is really appropriate. For example, at a wedding, when everyone drinks for the newlyweds, during the celebration of a team victory or honoring the achievements of some company.
Before making a toast, you need to stand up and draw everyone's attention to yourself. Some people tap their fork on the glass or cough, but such gestures are best avoided. It is much better to say directly: "It's time for the next toast".
During the speech it is necessary to give all your attention to the person to whom it is dedicated - look in the eyes, address directly.
What to say during the toast
It is not worth preparing an entire speech or stand-up. Especially if the holiday is not in your honor, you are not in the inner circle of the celebrants or eloquence is not your specialty. All attention should be on your words, not on you personally. The toast should also not exhaust the listeners, but entertain or touch them. Therefore, telling a short story from life, sharing a warm memory may be appropriate, but retelling all the common adventures, whatever they may be - no.
Toxic jokes, ridicule, sarcasm are almost never appropriate when giving a toast. There is no need to embarrass the hosts of the celebration. The exception is when the table is a company for which it is acceptable. Benevolence, sincerity and polite humor - these are the components of a really good toast.
A good step is to prepare the toast in advance. Write the speech on a card, rehearse it several times in front of a mirror. It is also acceptable to take a cheat sheet with you. But it is still better to speak without peeking at the text.
Sincerity in making a toast is more important than eloquence. Therefore, try to speak in short and simple phrases, as during everyday communication, but putting genuine feelings into them.
How to listen to toasts
The person being toasted should not stand up during the speech, but listen attentively and respond to jokes or appeals.
The addressee of the toast does not drink after it is announced. But is obliged to thank for kind words and wishes with a smile or a nod of the head. If you like the toast very much, you can clap your hands.
It is not necessary to drain your glass to the bottom after the toast. You can only sip your drink. But it is quite acceptable to drink something non-alcoholic at the same time. The opinion that toasts are compatible only with alcohol is a myth.
When someone expresses his wishes, all others at the table stop eating and listen attentively. The utensils should be put aside. Picking at the plate is a manifestation of disrespect to both the speaker and the addressee of the toast.
It is not necessary to clink glasses after finishing the toast. Especially if the table is large and there are many people at it. There is no need to reach over the dishes and decorations - you may knock something over, get your clothes into the sauce or set yourself on fire with a candle on the table. Just raise your glass and join in the wishes by saying: "Here's to you/cheers/happy birthday" or another suitably short greeting.
Earlier OBOZREVATEL told how according to the rules of etiquette to behave politely during a conversation.