The perfect speech or toast is a tricky thing to craft. Some simply spout off a few pleasantries and use it as a way to welcome guests to their event, but what some event planners and party hosts don’t realise is that the toast is an amazing opportunity to expand your business. So, when you’re party planning, keep some of our favorite tips in mind before you give that killer speech:
Use the power-posture to feel at ease.
Never slouch while giving a speech. Research shows that standing up straight and tall for two minutes increases testosterone levels by 20% and decreases cortisol levels by about 25% in our brains. As a result, you’ll naturally be more confident and relaxed while giving the toast.
Move it, move it.
The psychologist Albert Mehrabian once said words convey 7% of a message, the vocal expressions convey 38%, and body language conveys 55% . People like to feel like you’re speaking to them as you would speak to a friend while you’re making a toast, so don’t keep your hands to your sides.
Gesture naturally as you would with your friends or family. Use your hands and arms to illustrate what you’re speaking about. Movement helps keep an audience engaged. On that note, make sure you attend to the visual needs of the audience. Consider standing on a platform so everyone can see you, and feel free to walk around while you talk. This makes you look casual and relaxed, and will inspire the attendees to feel the same way.
Keep a content marketing strategy in mind while writing your toast.
71% of B2B marketers use content marketing to generate leads. So wouldn’t it make sense to use some of these principles in your toast as well? Consider offering up a unique point of view about a timely topic, or tell a personal story that directly relates to the reason for the party.
In his review for Peter Guber’s best-selling book “Tell to Win,” Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh said it best: “The stories we tell—about our companies, our products, and ourselves—are what elicit people’s emotional reactions and drive word of mouth.”
When you’re giving a toast, you’ve got your audience’s undivided attention for a few short minutes. Make sure you tell them something they’ll remember long after the event is over.
Keep it short and sweet.
According to a recent study, our attention spans have dropped in recent years. So, make sure you keep your toast or speech as concise as possible. Two or three minutes is plenty. If you have the tendency to ramble on and on, practice it ahead of time and time yourself. Above all, make it relevant, to the point, and don’t go on and on.
The earlier, the better.
Give the toast early on—no more than 30 minutes into the event. It sets the stage for the event, makes guests feel welcome, and gives them a sense of what to expect.
Thank them for coming.
According to recent polls, an estimated 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated. While this might be a no brainer, it’s certainly worth noting. You can never thank people enough, and appreciation never gets old.
As long as you follow these simple steps, your toast should be an absolute smash.
Ben Hindman is the co-founder and CEO of Splash, an event marketing platform that helps event planners make their events look as amazing online as they do in person.