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The best birthday ideas
Tips to help you when making a birthday toast
- They are not overly long, rather short, sweet and to the point
- They are typically a queue to raise a glass and sum up a short speech before having a drink
- Remember to smile!
- You will want to have the toast to be optimistic, positive or funny in wrapping up you speech
- You can start off you toast with: ‘Let us all raise a glass’, ‘Let’s all have a drink for the person’s birthday we are celebrating here tonight’. Raise your glass up.
- You can finish off your toast to queue the time for a drink with a final phrase such as; ‘Bottoms up’, ‘To (Birthday person’s name)’, and then raise your glass again before drinking.
- What a typical toast could look like: Grab a drink, smile, raise your drink, give the speech, raise your drink again, drink, smile, sit down.
How to give a birthday toast – From friend to guest of honor
Here are a few great examples of birthday toasts and speeches for your next occasion:
Birthday toasts example 1
True friends are hard to come by. After all these years, I must say that I am truly blessed to be here to celebrate this beautiful day with you. To the most loyal person I know. Happy Birthday!
Birthday toasts example 2
As we get older, we become more wiser and start to understand what truly matters in life. Not the possessions we hold and the statuses we so claim. I feel what really matters is the people most closest to us as this reflects who we are as human beings.
I must say this person who’s birthday we are celebrating is such a beautiful person inside and out and I am sure we all feel blessed to have this amazing soul in our lives. So let us all raise a toast to celebrate there birthday with many more to come. Cheers!
Birthday toasts example 3
To this fine person standing before me. On your birthday, I wish you nothing but the best on you future endeavours and want you to know that we all are proud of you and love you dearly. As one of the most brilliant minds once said “Stay hungry. Stay foolish”
Birthday toasts example 4
Here is a toast to the most noblest person I know. On this special day, may you be reminded how precious you are to all of us. May you continue to grow in you your wisdom and remember that we love you dearly for all that you are. Happy Birthday!
Birthday toasts example 5
I want to raise a glass to an absolute gentleman, a loving husband, and amazing dad and incredible friend. Words cannot express the way we feel towards you as you continue to radiate your happiness to each and every one of us. You truly are an example of what success is and on that note, i would like us all raise a glass to wish this man a happy birthday!
Birthday toasts example 6
To my one and only gorgeous wife, through each passing birthday, you become more and more beautiful. You are the most kindhearted soul I know and I have to say that I feel truly blessed to be by your side. Happy birthday to the one that I love, my one, my only.
Birthday toasts example 7
Birthday toasts example 8.
Smart, sophisticated, friendly, and beautiful… Now that’s enough about me… Here’s a toast to you my dear friend! Ha-Ha
Birthday toasts example 9
I raise a toast to lying, stealing, cheating and drinking! If you are going to lie… Then lie for a friend. If your are going to steal… Then steal someone’s heart. If you are going to cheat… Then cheat death. And if you are going to drink… Then drink with me!
Birthday toasts example 10
As time passes on and you certainly get older, may you continue in celebrating the joy of life through your inner child and the strength of your fellow youth. Happy birthday!
Birthday toasts example 11
May you always be able to see life in a large way, and as you get older with large print. Ha-Ha! Happy birthday!
Birthday toasts example 12
May your past be dim, your future be bright, and may today be the light the guides you. Happy birthday!
Birthday toasts example 13
May you be blessed with joy, love and light. Just like the way you bring the same into all our lives. Happy birthday!
Birthday toasts example 14
Here is a toast to the beautiful years which you have shared happiness and joy to all of us here today. May you continue to do so and live each day as you do today. Happy Birthday!
Birthday toasts example 15
A birthday toast to one of the most humble, loyal people I know. Let us all raise a glass held high to embrace this momentous occasion. Happy birthday my dear friend with many more to come.
Birthday toasts example 16
Let us raise our glasses to a person who is an inspiration to the rest of us. Happy birthday!
Birthday toasts example 17
May you always see life in a large way, and more importantly… In LARGE print! Ha-Ha! Happy birthday!
Birthday toasts example 18
Raising a toast to you on your birthday! Wishing you all the success, health and happiness you truly deserve. Happy birthday!
Birthday toasts example 19
To a loyal friend, a loving husband and amazing father. May you always savour the warmth of good wine, good company and good memories. Happy birthday!
Birthday toasts example 20
Lets raise a toast on this special day that this amazing person was born. May you follow your heart and chase your dreams for you all the people that love you will always be here to support you.
Birthday toasts example 21
Here’s a birthday toast to the only person I truly look up to. May you continue to be an inspiration to all that you meet and be blessed with health and prosperity.
Birthday toasts example 22
Smart… Sexy… Funny… Beautiful… Well that’s enough about me…Ha-Ha! Here’s a toast to you dear friend. May you be blessed with health and wealth.
Birthday toasts example 23
Even though another year has passed, you seem no older the the last… You’re still immature and a kid at heart who is long overdue to grow up! Ha-Ha! Happy birthday my dear friend. Here’s to never growing up!
Birthday toasts example 24
Here is to you discovering the fountain of youth. It seems that no matter how old you get, you always still seem to defy the laws of aging. The only way we know that your are of course getting older is because your chiropractor and chemist continues to sends you a birthday card every year.
Birthday toasts example 25
Although that we may have promised ourselves that we were going to be calm and civil tonight. With all of us now here together, I think it’s safe to say that I don’t think that’s going to happen… So here’s to the birthday boy! Let us have a drink and make this night another night to remember!
Birthday toasts example 26
Here is a toast to you my dear friend. To all the hard work you have put in over the years, to become the successful person you are today. Let us all raise a glass to the one who inspires us and continues to defy all odds to make them in his favor. Happy birthday!
Look on the sunny side. Birthdays are an important day for lots of us. Don’t make it about getting older. Make his or her birthday complete with a terrific toast.
Why give a toast? Birthday toasts salute the guest of honor. A testimonial. Giving a birthday toast is your gift to the birthday “boy or girl” and all the guests who await something refreshing.
It also offers a quick moment of stardom for the toaster. A special minute of fame. The toast has to be about the guest of honor, of course. A toast isn’t offered to steal the limelight.
A birthday toast is your special moment. A perfect time to profess how the guest of honor means so much to you. How he or she has become a part of your life. Your toast should bring smiles, cheers, maybe even tears. Yes, a great toast has that power.
How to give a toast Call to the attention of the guests a toast is about to get underway. Make sure you have everyone’s attention. Wait until you do. Birthday toasts may be pre-written or impromptu. Whatever works best for you. Be able to convey your message from the heart.
Preparation before the toast You may need to do some research first to get to know more about the guest of honor. You can talk to the “toastee “, family members, and friends for unique stories to share during the event.
Asking the host of the event about the general make-up of the crowd is also useful. That gives you a hint about what to include and what to ignore in your toast. There are also certain etiquettes to muster before calling for a toast. Example: The rim of your class must be kept lower than the others as a form of respect in China. (1)
And Our Expert Says…
- Toasts are most frequently given at celebratory events like a milestone birthday party, an engagement, or a wedding. The person proposing the toast will request all those present to raise their glasses, and drink in honor of the person whose birthday it is or the couple.
- A toast may be a single sentence. For example, “I call on you to raise your glasses and drink to the ongoing good health and happiness of our good friend Jo.”
- Or a speech could end with a toast. For instance wedding speeches generally finish with a toast to the bride and groom. For instance: “To the bride and groom – May we all be invited to your golden wedding celebrations!”
- And toast is sometimes used to mean a brief speech. Confused? Don’t be. The guidelines on this page for preparing a toast are perfect for whatever occasion you’re celebrating: a birthday, wedding or an engagement.
Be ready. Know when you are to offer the toast and the duration. Just worry about the right timing, however, if it is impromptu. Watch for the perfect time, such as when you can get everyone’s attention. A good time could be when the first-course dinner plates are collected. (1)
Creating your toast Here’s a format for a great toast: (2)
⦁ Hook. Begin with one to three lines about the guest of honor (toastee). (2) Hook the guests to your opening line with some of the toastee’s quirks or intriguing tidbits. Your intro can be like this: “(Name of the birthday celebrant) is the first person you’d think of when ….” ⦁ Background. Tell the audience when it is all ears why you’re giving a toast and how you are related to the toastee. (1, 2) One to two lines should suffice. (1) ⦁ Story. Add a story or two depending on how much time you’ve been allotted. One story is good for about a minute or so, but two stories can take from two to five minutes. (2) A perfect story would be humorous, vivid, interactive, and engaging. Make it a fun and unforgettable story of you and the toastee.
Go easy with your stories. Don’t tell it If it will possibly offend the celebrant or any guest. The cheers may turn on you if you try too hard to be funny. You also may call out a guest in the audience, for example, if he or she is in your story. You may say: “(Name of the guest), you were there, too. Back me up here…” End the story with a punchline. It can be a plot twist, a surprise ending, or a lighthearted yet heartwarming moral. (2) ⦁ Clink. This is the part of the speech when you can be sentimental and impart your well wishes, appreciation, and gratitude to the birthday celebrant and all the guests.
Practice. It will help you modulate the tone and volume of your voice. Try to memorize when you practice. This also will free you from reading your notes, which frees you up to interact more with everyone present.
No apologies. Don’t know the guest of honor very well? No worries. make your speech a relay of testimonials from the people who knew the toastee very well and with whom you talked to beforehand.
Keep it short. The aim is to highlight the importance of the event for everybody. Toasts generally precede drinking up. Don’t be afraid of offering a toast. We have some good ideas and inspiration for birthday toasts right here:
Funny Ideas of Birthday Toasts for Friends
Few of us want to hear a long boring toast. Funny birthday toasts are always in style.
- Smart, sophisticated, friendly, and beautiful… Now that’s enough about me… Here’s a toast to you my dear friend! Ha-Ha
- May you die in bed at 95 years, shot by a jealous wife (husband)!
- To a secret that has the whole world (and this whole room) buzzing with excitement and wonder: your real age.
- Cheers to the star of this evening! I believe I drank so many times for your health that I have ravaged my own.
- I’ve drank to your health in taverns, I’ve drank to your health in my home, I’ve drank to your health so damn many times, I believe I’ve ruined my own!
- May your liquor be cold, May your women/men be hot. And may your troubles slide off of you slicker than snot.
Birthday Cheers for Dad to Melt His Heart
Is it Dad’s birthday? Choose what you want to say carefully. After all, it’s Dad. Try one of our birthday cheers:
- I want to raise a glass to an absolute gentleman, a loving husband, and amazing dad. Words cannot express the way we feel towards you as you continue to radiate your happiness to each and every one of us. You truly are an example of what success is and on that note, I would like us all raise a glass to wish this man a happy birthday!
- When things get too difficult for you as well as keeping your promises, just know it in your heart that we, your loved ones, always understands what you’re going through. You can always ask us for help and if you want someone to talk to. Have a Wonderful Birthday Dear Dad!
- Amazing achievements deserve amazing awards. You’ve won many battles and now it’s time to reap your rewards. Today, just relax and enjoy the fruit of your labor for you deserve it! Best Bday Dad!
- This is such a big honor for me to toast you. You are an exemplary father, who possesses all the attributes of honesty, thoughtfulness, love, faithfulness, integrity, gentleness, purity, and devotion. This is literally a terrific day, because, it is your birthday. Wishing you a very happy Birthday my dear dad.
- Dad, I love you, I thank you, and I am honored to call you both my father and my teacher. May you continue from strength to strength.
- I want to take this moment to toast the best dad anyone could ever ask for. Happy Birthday to the best dad ever!
Romantic Toast for Boyfriend to Wish Happy Birthday
The main task of all toasts to your boyfriend is to let him know how important he is to you. Both love and passion should be reflected in your birthday toast. Are you ready to raise a glass and say “Happy birthday” to your bae? Here are some ideas:
- I wanna take this opportunity to tell you this. No matter what happens, good or bad, I will always be right by your side till the end. Happy Bday my Love!
- I would like to offer a toast to the most handsome, loving, and kind-hearted gentleman in my life – my dearest boyfriend! Wonderful Bday my Love! I love you so much!
- The greatest gift I ever received in my life is you. You’re the one that I will always love and cherish for the rest of my life. Hoping you feel the same way too! Cheers to your birthday my love!
- You are an awesome human being, with such a loving heart. You are a rarity in this world and you should never lose that. Happy Birthday! May you keep shining on everyone you meet.
- What could I possibly do without you as part of me? You complete me in ways I cannot even begin to comprehend. Have a great time on your birthday for me, you and everyone here!
- We met a stranger and start our journey with a single ‘Hi’ and a delighted smile on our faces. With time, we shared all our moments, the moments of joy, happiness, and sorrow, the moments of missing and togetherness. I just want to say wherever or with whom you are in life, I will always love you. Cheers to your Birthday.
Creative Samples of Toasting Speeches for Birthday
Birthday speeches are another variety of toasting. But, there is a big difference: speeches are longer. Use one of the following samples of toasting speeches as a guideline:
- As we get older, we become wiser and start to understand what truly matters in life. Not the possessions we hold and the statuses we so claim. I feel what really matters is the people most closest to us as this reflects who we are as human beings. I must say this person who’s birthday we are celebrating is such a beautiful person inside and out and I am sure we all feel blessed to have this amazing soul in our lives. So let us all raise a toast to celebrate their birthday with many more to come. Cheers!
- From the moment I met you, I knew you were a keeper. You still are. You light up every room you enter with your loving, caring, happy, silly, funny, life-of-the-party ways. It gives me and everyone in this room, I’m sure, immense pleasure to be here tonight and celebrate you on your birthday. Happy birthday! Let’s all raise our glasses to the sweetest and youngest person we know! may you celebrate many more birthdays in great health and even greater spirits.
- Many, many, many thanks for all you do. You truly live by the motto of giving everything and expecting nothing in return. I don’t think I know a more thoughtful and generous person. For everyone who knows and loves you, you are our resourceful, loving and health nut, devoted to family and friends, over whom you fuss, spoil and most definitely feed — hungry or not — whenever we come to visit you. For me, today is a chance to say proudly that I feel so fortunate and honored to have you not only as my friend but also as my inspiration. Along with your tremendous love and support, you’ve brought, by example, immense joy and purpose into my life.
- Dearest (NAME), I congratulate you and wish you a happy birthday for growing a year older. It is always nice to be in your company because you are such a fun loving person. It amazes me how you are able to perfect the art of putting smiles on faces of people around you. Indeed, you should be contesting for the award of the “The World’s Funniest”. All my life I’ve never seen anyone that is as loving and caring as you. And in addition to that you have an excellent sense of humor, which makes you the more wonderful. I wouldn’t trade your company for all the gold in the world. How blessed I am to have a magnificent person like you.
- On special days like today, I think we should make merry and let the whole world know that we are celebrating the most important day of the year. I pray for many days like today for you, but I hope you know that more birthdays come with more wrinkles on your face. Anyway, I know you love birthdays and wouldn’t mind having many wrinkles on your face just to celebrate another birthday. May this birthday bring joy and happiness to you.
Best Ideas of Birthday Toasting for Everybody
Going to a birthday party? Don’t forget to prepare a toast in addition to bringing a gift. Here are some good ideas:
- Here is a toast to the noblest person I know. On this special day, may you be reminded how precious you are to all of us. May you continue to grow in you your wisdom and remember that we love you dearly for all that you are. Happy Birthday!
- Here’s a toast, to the most wonderful person I have ever met. Your energy and vibrancy touches anyone who crosses your path. Everyone in this room here today is better for knowing you and we are truly thankful for you being a part of our lives. Happy birthday and may you continue to shine for many more years to come.
- As time passes on and you certainly get older, may you continue in celebrating the joy of life through your inner child and the strength of your fellow youth. Happy birthday!
- May your past be dim, your future be bright, and may today be the light the guides you. Happy birthday!
- Another year has been added to your life. As you look back the recent pages of your life, take comfort and pride in your achievements. Today, take time to relax and enjoy your day because you deserve it!
- Cheers to one of the greatest achievers I’ve ever met! You’re such an amazing person for you have made it through every challenge that came to your life. You’ve been such a great inspiration to people like me. Wonderful Birthday!
Famous Quotes to Use as Birthday Toast for Husband
A birthday toast for a husband from his wife should be deep and caring. Put your heart into it. Here are some famous quotes you can use:
- As Jane Green said, I think the greatest gifts we can give each other in a relationship are the gifts of kindness and communication. Happy birthday, love.
- According to Lao Tzu, being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage. I love you! Happy birthday dear husband.
- I want to agree with Alfred Tennyson, if I had a flower for every time I thought of you… I could walk through my garden forever. Happy birthday to my life partner!
- Barbara De Angelis claimed that we don’t develop courage by being happy every day. We develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity. Happy birthday, my love.
- Quoting Martin Luther, there is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship, communion or company than a good marriage. Happy birthday dear husband, stay blessed.
Clever Toasts for Birthday to Boost Your Mind
Funny toasts are good, but clever is better. It’s easy to choose a toast to put a smile on the faces of all the guests. We can help you be clever:
- To this fine person standing before me. On your birthday, I wish you nothing but the best on you future endeavors and want you to know that we all are proud of you and love you dearly. As one of the most brilliant minds once said “Stay hungry. Stay foolish”.
- Some people drink from a glass half empty and some drink from a glass half full. It’s your birthday, so drink as many glasses as you want.
- May your voyage through life be as happy and free as the dancing waves of the deep blue sea…and may you ride the crest of these waves the rest of your days. Happy birthday!
- So what if you’re another year older. Think of it this way: Technically, at this very moment, you’re not even a day older than yesterday, so cheers to your birthday and the best days of your life yet to come!
- May you have the hindsight to dwell only on the best moments, the foresight to live in the moment and the insight to see beauty in every moment. Happy birthday!
Sentimental Birthday Speech to Impress Guests
Be the person who can make all guests laugh and perhaps even cry while listening to your speech. Here are some sentimental ideas:
- While you all make sure you have a beer or other refreshment handy for a toast, I want to say a few words about what brings us here to celebrate this special day. On your birthday, I’d like to say that the little things you did for me have always made the difference. You are my support and my strength. You made me believe in me. I wish you the best birthday ever! On your birthday, I want to say again, how very much I appreciate all that you have done for me. God has truly blessed me with you! Have an amazing birthday!
- I hope that you have felt very special today and that you know how much you are loved. I am so thankful for you, and I love all the wonderful times we have shared together. You’ve brought so much joy and happiness to my life. No gift could ever show the amount of love and respect I have for you. You’re the greatest gift God has ever given me. You have shown me so much love and support all my life. All the wonderful times I’ve spent with you will be sweet memories for the rest of my life. You are my strength and inspiration. Happy Birthday!
- You’ve brought me some of the most precious memories and happiest moments of my life. I hope your birthday is filled with love, joy, fun and care. I hope you find plenty of reasons to smile on your birthday and throughout the year. This birthday greeting is filled to the brim with loving thoughts, sweet memories, wonderful dreams, and tons of happy smiles. Wishing you a day, this is as special in every way as you are.
- As you celebrate the joys of your birthday, may you be surrounded by love, may you find many peaceful moments, and may you be blessed with happiness. You’ve brought so much joy and happiness to my life – I hope your birthday brings you everything you’re dreaming of. You are always in my prayers and thoughts, and I wish you the best on your special day and every day.
- I hope you’ll enjoy today, whatever you do, and that your day will be special – just like you! My birthday wish for you: I hope you never stop enjoying the small things in life. Because that’s what makes life worth living. I hope you take time to enjoy the present while working for a better future. I hope your year is full of memories, happiness, and adventure.
Special Toast Collection to Celebrate 40th Birthday
40 is big. It’s sort of an age boundary, Don’t puzzle over this task. Here are some 40th birthday toast ideas to help you out:
- Fear not as you age, it’s just a number. It can only be as significant as you wish it to be. Best 40th Birthday!
- Greetings to you. No matter how old you may be, you still look younger than your real age.
- Here’s to aging gracefully! I never believed that it’s possible until I met you. I’ve never known someone with such an effortless beauty as you in our age. Happy 40th Birthday!
- Don’t worry about getting older. Age is strictly a case of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter. Happy 40th birthday!
- The forties are pretty much like the thirties, except it takes longer to recover from a big party. And you start to get more sensible tattoos. Happy 40th birthday!
- Let’s raise a toast to your 40th. Here’s to prune juice!
Touching Toasts for Your Mom on Her 60th Birthday
Your Mom’s 60th birthday is a big deal. It’s emotional for her and the whole family. Choose your words wisely. We can help.
- Today, you have earned something no one can ever take away from you. The greys in your hair and the wrinkles on your face show how much you’ve worked for it. Wonderful 60th Bday Mom!
- I would like to raise a toast to the most amazing woman in the world I know of – my mother. You loved me at my best; you cheered me up at my worst. No one ever does it better than you. You loved me so much without expecting anything in return. And for that, I will always love you as much as I could. Happy 60th Bday Mom!
- I just want to disclose a secret mom; you are a superb mother with grasping all the qualities of patience, courage, spirituality, care, love, and rationality. My life owes you, whatever I am today is just because of your endless efforts and truthfulness. Cheers to my mom, Happy 60th Birthday!
- Let’s all raise our glasses for this lovely lady who is celebrating a major milestone of a birthday. May you always feel the love of your entire family and all your friends. Happy 60th Birthday!
- I just wanted to take the time today to wish my wonderful mother a happy birthday! My mom is an amazing woman. Her wisdom and unceasing patience have made me the person I am today. The root of everything she has taught me over the years epitomizes one simple thing – love. I love you, Mom. Happy 60th birthday!
- Mom, wishing you a “happy 60th birthday” doesn’t seem right. Happy 30th birthday for the second time is more like it. It’s not only because you still have the legs and face of an airline stewardess. It’s also because you’re a whirlwind of pure love, passion, enthusiasm, warmth and humor that’s, well, simply contagious. I see you in the laughter and kindness of our precious family and your many friends. And I see you in me — the best part of me.
Happy Birthday Cheers Images
You can pass on the traditional toast by using one of these images. Just share one or two with the guest of honor.
- DiSandro, D. (2008, December 31). How to Give a Toast. WikiHow; wikiHow. https://www.wikihow.com/Give-a-Toast#Getting-All-of-the-Details
- Edwards, V. (2019, September 4). How to Give an Awesome Toast: Advanced Strategies for… Science of People; Science of People. https://www.scienceofpeople.com/toasts/
Last Updated on May 25, 2021
OUINE'S EVENTS MANAGEMENT
Lets Create Magic!
DEBUTANT’S TOAST AND SPEECHES
When I created the original blog (this is the second version), I did it because I wanted to unlearn what I’ve learned when I was a freelance events coordinator in other companies.
Eventually, when I had my own this has not only become a platform for resource, share the joys I have when doing events but also learn more about this passion I have for doing events and continually share it to other.
Among the things that people are asking me most of the time is how to their respective speeches. Since most of our events are wedding I’ve already done posts about it.
However, since Ouine’s Events have ventured in all other type f events – one of which are debuts, this time I would do this to help parents and debutants do their speech. Here’s a guide to the various speeches in a debut:
DEBUTANT’S TOAST. Often times this are done by the Father of the Debutant (Mother’s can do this too, depending on the client) Here the father and the debutant are give wine glasses with of course, wine (though some parents ask us to pour in ice tea as they don’t want their child to drink wine even if its the debutant’s coming out party).
First, the Dad ensures that everybody is holding a wine glass (or any glass nearby with wine/juice with it). He then goes to a prominent place for everyone to see and then does his toast as follows:
- Introduce himself briefly
- remind the crowd of the reason of the gathering
- a brief important memory about his child’s past
- informs of the crowd the many reasons to celebrate the coming of age of his child. He can enumerate the many good qualities and achievements of his young girl who is now a lady
- He holds his wine glass to eye level and he tells his wish for his young lady
PARENTS SPEECH This is often done by the mother at the end of the debut, sort of similar to a wedding. Again, this can be done by the father if the mother did the Debutant’s Toast already. The speech follows a short and sweet format
- Thank everybody in general then goes to thank specific people who are special to debutant and the family
- Can start with a saying, a line fro a song or poem that she would like to impart to her daughter , and elabortes the meaning of the chosen words
- She then shares a short anecdote about her daughter
- Shares 1 to 3 qualities of her daughter and elaborates on it
- As a woman (or as a man) who’ve seen the world she gives advices to her daughter regarding life in general
- She then caps it with how proud she is of her daughter and the many reasons why she will never stop being her beloved child
- She then closes her speech in thanking everybody
Need coordinators for your event? Contact us at 0917-907-8379 or email us at [email protected]
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18th Debut Birthday Toast Quotes & Sayings
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36 happy birthday wishes found:
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18th birthday speech of thanks
An example speech of what, and how, to say, thank you to family and friends for gathering to celebrate your birthday .
By: Susan Dugdale | Last modified: 04-27-2022
Congratulations on your 18th birthday!
And more congratulations for taking the time to research how to put together a speech thanking your family and friends for coming along to celebrate your transition from childhood to adulthood.
That shows maturity. Or desperation.
In truth, we both know it's probably a mix of both! ☺
What's on this page
- an example 18th birthday speech
- how to prepare a speech of your own - step by step
- why and how to practice your speech
About this 18th birthday thank you speech
Here's the context.
Before writing this example speech I set a scene in my mind. You need to know what that is in order to make sense of what I've written.
I imagined you, the birthday boy, (or girl), in the center of large gathering of family and friends, surrounded on all sides by well-wishers. I saw the love they felt in their eyes, in their smiles, and in the hubble-bubble of happy laughter uniting you all.
At a milestone celebration of this kind there are likely to have been several speeches before this one. Perhaps one from either your father or mother, another from a family friend of longstanding and maybe a few short toasts from your friends.
This example speech will be the last one. Essentially it's a thank you speech acknowledging all the support and love received over the years.
And here's the speech.
As you'll see when you read it through, there's a mix of humor and sincerity.
Try saying it out loud to get a sense of how it might work.
18th birthday thank you speech example
This is a moment I’ve waited a long time for. 18! I am an adult. Yep, I’ve come of age. Hard to believe, isn’t?
(Dad, you were not supposed to agree so quickly.)
I can now vote, drive a car, marry, buy alcohol, a lottery ticket and tobacco, get a tattoo, or join the military without having to ask permission. Let me see. Which one will I do first?
Perhaps a more honest question is, which of those will I continue to do without fear of getting caught?
And while you think about that, I’d like to say thank you.
Mom, Dad, my grand parents; Grandma Jean and Grandpa John, Nana Lulu and Poppa Stewart, my uncles and aunts, sisters and brothers, cousins, friends – thank you.
Those words are pathetically small and I know all the gratitude and love I feel for you will never be contained by them. Even if I repeat them over and over for the next hour or more it won't be enough.
You’ve given me, and continue to give me everything- love, understanding, and support.
18. Despite being a ‘know-it-all’ I know, I don’t. I’m a fledgling adult. I’m bound to flap around a bit, perhaps stumble a little. After all it’s my duty to! Just as it’s your duty to continue correcting my faults and pointing out where I could improve.
I’m lucky to have family and friends willing to put the energy and time into making me a better person! I want to make sure you all know I’m happy to keep my part of the arrangement going for quite some time yet.
The passage between being a child and becoming grown up is seldom straight forward, as those of you who’ve already had your 18 th birthday, and then some, will remember.
I know you want the best for me. It means a lot that you’re witnessing this milestone in my life.
Once more, thank you.
It’s exciting being 18. With your help, I am on my way to becoming the finest version of me I can be.
And please don’t think for a moment, Mom, Dad, or anybody else that, because I’m now officially an adult, I will give up my quest to make the perfect s’more, stop playing Paper, Rock, Scissors, or not want to sit on the ‘birthday throne’ and wear the ‘birthday crown’ at breakfast time.
That, unlike this speech, must not stop!
Benefits of preparing a thank you speech
If you can manage putting a similar speech to mine together, do it. I know it will be hugely appreciated by everyone listening, and the experience you'll gain in the process is invaluable.
The ability to stand up in front of others and confidently speak from your heart will take you places that you probably haven't even begun to dream about, yet!
For more: 14 benefits gained from speaking in public confidently
How to prepare the speech
If you've decided you want to speak at your birthday celebration, then to ensure your speech is the best it can be here are some points to consider.
Before writing the speech:
1. Make a list of names
Think about who you want to specifically mention. Make a list of names beginning with those who have provided the most sustained, continuous support in your life. Remember you don't need to mention everybody. Some people can be grouped.
2. Consider tone
Who is listening to you? What type of language is appropriate or right for the occasion?
You want everybody to understand you - from the oldest to the youngest. Dropping in terms like BAE or saying that you're 'dying' will likely confuse and really upset your grandmother!
That said, to be authentic and genuine, you also need to sound like you. So steer a middle course, and remember you are writing spoken language.
If you want to find out what the characteristics of spoken, as opposed to written, language are click this link to open a pdf I prepared on the subject: Characteristics of spoken language
3. Content - what you are going to say
Decide what you want to say, and make notes.
Here's a printable thank you speech planner from my page on how to write a thank you speech that will guide you through the process with examples along each step of the way. If you're unsure where to begin it will really help.
(Use this link if you want to find out in more detail about the speech writing process .)
Think very carefully before deciding to include anything that could cause an upset. Families are never, ever perfect. For example, it might be tempting to call out your alcoholic uncle. But think again. What would it achieve other than shock? Would anything positive come of it?
I am not saying that people shouldn't be held responsible for the impact their behavior has on others. I think once we become adults we all should be accountable for what we do, which includes finding the best way to initiate change. ☺
4. Get your speech scheduled
Talk to the event organizers to make sure your speech is included in the event schedule.
After you've written the speech
The absolutely best thing you can do for yourself after writing your speech is rehearse it, and rehearse it thoroughly.
Use this link to find out everything you need to know about rehearsing a speech .
Please don't be tempted to 'wing it'; to give it without practicing it first.
Practice let's you know if:
- your cue cards are good enough and give you the prompts you need to move smoothly from point to point
- you're going on too long and need to cut back your speech. (My speech above takes approximately 3 minutes to say.)
- the structure of your speech needs revision because it doesn't fit together well
- and much, much more.
For more about birthday speeches and examples
How to write good birthday speeches - tips and suggestions for content and delivery
An example 40th birthday speech - a short warm welcoming speech from a mother welcoming guests to a dinner party in honor of her daughter's 40th birthday
An example 50th birthday speech - a speech from a long time friend to his friend on his 50th birthday. It's a gentle roast - loving and, teasing.
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People Smarts for Smart People
How to Give an Awesome Toast: Advanced Strategies for Speeches
Table of contents, the perfect toast, the background, 1-2-3 punch, toast felonies, scripts kill, stop superlatives, no qualifications, ditché the cliché, don’t forget nonverbal.
Someone’s getting married. Someone has a big birthday. Someone got a promotion …and you’ve been asked to give a toast. I want to teach you how to give great toasts every time. But first…
Please don’t blow it.
I’m at that wonderful time in a person’s life where wedding invitations roll in on a weekly basis, friends land awesome new jobs, and baby bumps are announced regularly. This means I sit through a lot of toasts…
Toasts that are too long.
Toasts that are horribly inappropriate.
Toasts that fall flat.
And occasionally, very rarely, like as often as I floss (twice a year, right before the dentist), I hear a toast that BLOWS ME AWAY.
A great toast is an event game-changer . People perk up in their seats, guests put away their phones, jovial back slapping and glass clinking increases three-fold. Oh yeah, and the toaster? They become a celebrity. If you ever want 15 minutes of fame, set yourself up to give an awesome toast.
Here’s what will happen: You will put down the microphone and everyone , especially Grandma Dee, will want to talk to you. Uncles and college roommates alike will generously offer to buy you a drink at the all-inclusive bar. The videographer will grant you an exclusive interview and follow you around for a good portion of the evening, until you tell them that you want to eat your surf and turf in private. The waiters will wink at you, the bartender will give you an extra cherry, and the guest of honor (whomever you toasted) will gush and cry and thank you profusely for making them look good.
Bottom Line: Giving a great toast is a gift.
Your amazing toast is a gift to the person you love. It’s a gift to the audience desperate for some entertainment, and, sure, it’s pretty fun to be a rock star for the evening.
After listening to literally hundreds of toasts, I have identified the patterns that differentiate the suck-worthy from the award-winning.
Before diving in, be sure to:
- Bookmark this page for future use.
- Send it to your friend who has a toast coming up.
- Share it on Facebook to increase the chances of someone in your life giving you an awesome toast.
The best toasts follow the same basic structure. When you pull out a blank piece of paper to jot down some ideas, do it in the following format:
People decide if they like your toast within the first seven seconds. If you don’t hook your audience immediately, you will lose them.
The biggest mistake toasters make is: Starting with “I,” “me” or “my.”
- I have known ___ for 5 years…
- My name is ___.
- Me and ___ met back in college.
I’m going to be frank: No one cares about you, your history, or your relationship to the guest of honor—at least not yet. Everyone is gathered for the toastee (the person you are toasting), and that is who they want to hear about. They want to hear embarrassing stories, secrets, and funny tidbits. So, give them what they want. And do it quickly.
Think of your audience like a hungry, hungry toddler. They are starving and you have to give them a little bit to nibble on before you put on their bib and strap them into their high chair. When toasting, you do this with your hook.
The hook is a one- to three-line description of the toastee. It should be juicy, funny, or mysterious. This is the first line of your speech. Let’s say the person you are toasting is named Spencer. Fill in the blank:
- Spencer is ____.
- Tonight you will learn why Spencer ____.
- The best story I have about Spencer starts with ____.
- Spencer is the person you call when you have locked yourself out of your dorm bathroom without clothes. Not only will she bring you a towel and a spare key, she also will keep your secret until you spill it at her wedding.
- Tonight you will learn why Spencer always was called “Mini-Mom.” She carries snacks in her purse, has a first aid kit on hand at all times, and is extremely good at letting you know when you broke a rule.
- The best story I have about Spencer starts with an outdoor toilet. I knew we would be best friends when she was the only person waiting in line at the concert Porta Potties who would give me some of her extra toilet paper. THAT is the definition of true sharing—Mrs. Jones you taught her well.
This hook warms the audience up to you and gives them a promise of salacious and amusing stories ahead.
↑ Table of Contents ↑
Once you have hooked the audience, you do have to give them some background on why you’re giving a toast in the first place. By now, they are moderately intrigued and want some context. HOWEVER, there is a right and wrong way to give background.
- Don’t waste the opportunity for a good joke.
- Don’t skim over the delicious details.
- Don’t make it sound like everyone else’s.
- Punch up the context.
- Keep it short.
- Cue up a story to come later.
For example, you often hear people say, “I met the groom as a freshman in college, and we were roommates for three years.” Or, “I’m the maid of honor and the bride’s little sister.” BORING! Try this instead:
- The groom was the first friendly face I saw during freshman orientation at Emory University. Little did we know that we would end up rooming together for the next three years.
- I am Spencer’s little sister, maid of honor, part-time slave, and chocolate cookie sharer.
- Spencer and I have worked together for the last five years and, as you will learn, she is also the sole reason I was kicked off the office softball team. But first, let me tell you a less embarrassing story…
After your hook and a brief background, you are ready for 1, 2, or 3 stories depending on how much time you have been allotted. Rule of thumb:
- Under 2 minutes: Hook, Background, 1 Story, Clink
- 2-5 minutes: Hook, Background, 2 Stories, Clink
- Over 5 minutes: Hook, Background, 3 Stories, Clink
The stories you pick are key to giving a killer toast. The perfect story has the following elements:
- Someone is a little embarrassed. It can be you, the toastee, or a mutual friend. But you want the audience to cringe just a little.
- Strong sensory elements. A smelly frat house, a drippy burrito, a sticky car seat—the more your audience can picture (and smell and taste) your story, the more they will be captivated.
- Reference audience members. As much as possible reference and call out people in the audience. This can be people who were in your story—George, I’m talking about you! Or a warning to concerned parties—Mom, you better close your ears! It will get you easy laughs and keep people engaged.
- A punch line. This is the hardest one. Sometimes there are great stories for conversation, but not great stories for the stage. Your story has to end on a funny line, a shocking tidbit, or an ahh-shucks gush. You want the audience to be either laughing, shaking their heads and saying ‘oh no,’ or moaning, ‘awwwww.’
- A tie-in. Once you have gotten the big laugh, the “oh no” or the ‘aww,’ it’s time to bring it ’round to them. They want to feel included in your closeness. The best stories end with the audience. The easiest way to do this is to either warn them to look out for a behavior during the event (If you see Spencer run up to the buffet, you’ll know why!) or tell the audience that you will make sure a behavior from the story does/doesn’t happen again. (I’ll make sure Spencer is not late to the altar tomorrow!)
Only OK Story : Spencer and I used to party hard in college. One night, we were getting ready to go to a toga party, and Spencer forgot to wear something under her toga! We get to the frat party and as she is dancing, her toga gets caught on something and rips off. She was so red and so embarrassed and tried to play it off like it happened on purpose, but we all know what really happened. Anyway, she went off to the bathroom and got it all fixed. But it was a crazy night.
Awesome Story : Some of you might know that Spencer is a total party animal. And by party animal I mean goes to bed by 10 p.m. every night, prefers Coke without the rum, and actually volunteers to be the designated driver. So, we should have known better than to convince her to go to a toga party at the local fraternity.—Don’t worry Dad, there were teacher chaperones there (wink, wink, nudge, nudge). Spencer, being a toga party novice, did not get the memo to wear a “just in case” outfit underneath her toga, assuming that the billowing white sheet and four safety pins would cover her aplenty. Fast forward to the middle of the dance floor, Spencer is about to bust into one of her crazy dance moves. (I’m sure she learned that from you, older brother Robert). Anyone who went to college with Spencer—I see the Tri Delta table in the back—knows the Spencer dance move I am talking about. It involves a little shimmy here and a little bouncy there. So, in the middle of this crazy dance move, Spencer’s toga gets stuck on the corner of the beer pong table and rips off of her in one big swoosh. Of course, Spencer pretends this was a purposeful move and ties it into her grand finale, sashaying off the dance floor into the bathroom. Don’t worry everyone, I have made sure her wedding dress is secured with more than just safety pins for dancing later.
After your final story and your last audience tie-in, it’s time for the clink. This is the part of the speech where you can get sappy. It’s your opportunity to offer well wishes, thanks, and gratitude toward the toastee and anyone else in the room. Specifically:
- Thank the hosts.
- Offer good wishes or congratulations.
- Bring in the audience to make those thanks and wishes with you.
The best clinks actually allow the audience to join in with your gratitude and make everyone in the room feel that you speak on their behalf.
Only OK Clink : Lift your glasses in a toast to the bride and groom and their family.
Awesome Clink : Please lift your glasses as we thank Mr. and Mrs. Jones for hosting this lovely evening. To the beautiful bride and groom, may you have a long, healthy life with just as beautiful children. We love you and are so excited for you. Cheers!
I talked about the Toast Do’s, now it’s time to take a few minutes to go over the dreaded Toast Don’ts. I call these Toast Felonies because they absolutely kill your stage presence and charisma.
Full disclosure : These are harsh… and super common. If you want a great toast, you have to throw away the easy stuff, make some cuts, and dig deep. If you have committed one of these toast felonies in the past, it’s okay, I forgive you–but do better next time. When preparing your toast — pretty, pretty please, for all that is holy — never, ever, ever do the following:
This is a really hard one. Do NOT write out your speech. Do NOT type it up word for word. Do NOT read. The moment you read your toast, your charisma dies a slow, painful, embarrassing death.
Scripting is lazy. Yeah, I said it. Scripting your speech is not a gift. It’s a gift card. It’s not as good, not as personal, and makes your audience do the work.
I have never ever heard an awesome toast that was read. Have you? But, have you really?
- Next time someone reads a toast or a speech, look around the room. After about 20 seconds, people’s eyes glaze over, they start pulling out their phones, and they sit back in their chairs.
- Our brains CANNOT pay attention to the tone of voice we use when we read. It’s impossible to engage your audience fully as you read—no matter how vocally expressive you are.
- You get NO credit for being funny. When you read out jokes or funny quips from a page, people don’t laugh as much. They might chuckle, but they will not feel the humor with you.
- You get NO credit for being authentic. When you read out how much you love the toastee, it doesn’t feel as genuine—even if it is. Speak from the heart, don’t read from the heart.
There is an answer. It’s the savior, the angel: bullet points. The beauty of centering your toast around stories is that you know how to tell your stories. In fact, the more fluid and off the cuff you can be, the better. Bullet out each area of your speech and then practice, practice, practice. Remember, this is your gift. This is your friend, family member, or loved one. They are worth it.
A superlative is a word that signifies the most of a trait. For example, here are the superlatives that are used the most often in toasts:
These words are like cotton candy—they sound pretty, but they have no nutritional value. When you say, “The bride is the prettiest, funniest, bestest, girl in the whole world!” you might as well be saying, “The bride is the blah-diest, most blah-diest, blah, blah, blah!” Superlatives are boring AND everyone else will be saying them. If you don’t want your toast to sound like everyone else’s, then cut them. ALL OF THEM. Here’s how:
Every time you want to use a superlative, think of a story or example you can give instead. For example, instead of saying, “Spencer is the kindest person in the world.” Say, “Spencer is my go-to on-call therapist—except she is cheaper. She is always there in a crisis. She is always there when you need someone to binge eat Chunky Monkey ice cream with after a break-up. She is always there when you get fired from your job and you need someone to help you graffiti the bathroom—just kidding, she was just the lookout.”
You know a toast will go badly when someone takes the mic and starts with a litany of apologies and qualifiers. They sound like this: “I’m sorry I’m not a great speaker…” “I don’t know ___ that well, but…” “I’m sorry I had to use note cards.” “I’m sorry I’m drunk.” Starting a toast with a qualifier is like admitting defeat before the race. Interestingly, qualifiers tend to have the opposite effect of what was intended. Instead of offering an excuse or apology, qualifiers actually call attention to whatever you are worried about and irritate the audience. So, STOP it! You have three choices:
- Get over it.
- Your friend has a shoulder to cry on.
- You see them once in a blue moon.
- Your relationship means the world to you.
- You are partners in crime.
Clichés are vapid terms that encourage communication slothfulness. You can’t have an awesome toast while being verbally lazy. And guess what? You can kill clichés with a shockingly simple word weapon. It’s called a thesaurus. Use one, Google one, and ruthlessly cut banal platitudes.
When practicing your speech, don’t forget about your body language in addition to your verbal language. Here are a few nonverbal tips for you:
- Claim the stage. Confident body language is about taking up space. Plant both feet (don’t stand like you have to go pee), roll your shoulders back (don’t look like a turtle) and keep your torso un-blocked. (See the next point—you should be using your hands, not hiding them!)
- Can you embellish your stories with hand gestures , reenactments or voices? The audience loves this. There is no such thing as too corny in a toast.
- When you make a joke, laugh with the audience. When you get on stage or say sweet things about the toastee, smile. It will warm you up and help with nerves.
Toast Quick Tips
I have a few more quick tips for toasts that you should keep in mind:
- When in doubt, ask permission: If you are worried a joke is too embarrassing or inappropriate, then ask a friend or ask the toastee. Better safe than sorry.
- Never curse. Ever. There will be kids. There will be a conservative grandmother. Just don’t.
- Bring a glass. At the end of your toast, you will want to make a toast. Don’t forget to bring up a glass (and practice holding one while you deliver).
Most importantly, remember that your toast is an act of love. I’m being serious here! The greatest gift you can give another human being is sharing your love for them in public. It honors them, it honors your relationship, and it shows others you are proud to have them in your life. So don’t just have an okay toast, have an awesome one.
9 replies on “How to Give an Awesome Toast: Advanced Strategies for Speeches”
This is a great article – Thanks for sharing the do’s and don’ts. I look forward to adopt this techniques to delivery an awesome Toast
Excellent article! Thanks for sharing.
What an amazing article! You covered everything thoroughly. And you’re such a good writer.
I think it’s a great article, not only for toasts, but for speeches and lectures!
My best friend and I have already established that we will be each other’s maid of honor, so I’ve been thinking about what kind of toast I would give at her wedding. This is a great guide for that and really helped me organize my thoughts on her toast. Thank you for sharing these tips!
Thanks for the post. It’s very useful and fun to read.
This post was fantastic to read. I’m very pleased I took the time to read it, as I will be definitely sharing it with my loved ones to support me over my upcoming wedding.
This was perfect timing! My sister gets married in a month! Thank you. My problem is that I always get so emotional in speeches and either forget what I was going to say or I can’t say what I wanted because I’m crying. I’ve tried everything! I’ve tried power posing, visualizing before hand and nothing works. Thoughts?
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Read More in Charisma
- The Art of Toasts
Birthday Toasts and Speeches for Loved Ones
by David Miller · Updated December 15, 2022
The Best Happy Birthday Toasts
- As you turn another year older, take comfort in the fact that there is no such thing as going downhill for overachievers like you. Instead, look forward to conquering the next level, whatever that may be. In the game of life, you are a winner. Happy birthday!
- Today, you’ve earned another merit badge. It is hard won, as all the grey hair and wrinkles will attest. It is one that marks you as warrior, survivor and super-human for having bested life’s strange twists and turns. Happy birthday, and please don’t start a fire with those candles.
- What started as a friendship has become one of the best things I wake up to. My first thoughts in the morning are about you: The last face I see in my sleep whether you are there or not is you. I realize in a moment’s thought that there is no me without you. Happy birthday dear!
- Here’s to our stunningly beautiful birthday, daughter! You brighten up whatever space you enter! It’s difficult to ignore you. Everyone is attracted to you. We adore you to bits! Congratulations on your birthday!
- Happy birthday to you for years to come, we’ll explore them together for a life filled with love, joy, and fun. Happy birthday, darling.
- Good friends are hard to come by. You are worth more than you can ever imagine to me. Happy birthday!
- They say that everyone needs pillars to survive. I found one great foundation in your friendship. Happy birthday!
- To a genuinely lovely person: may you spend each of your birthdays in excellent company…among good friends, family, and very, very nice food. Exactly like today!
- The more birthdays we share, the more I realize I made the right choice walking into your life. Happy birthday!
- You are a blessing beyond measure. Let this birthday give you many returns. Happy birthday!
- I pray that this may be one among many birthdays. You deserve a full life thanks to the joy you bring to others! Happy birthday!
- A fiend that sticks close through it all is a gem. You are such. Happy birthday!
Birthday Toasts Examples
- It is rare to find people that add value to your life. Most people will take away from you. You have simply been valuable all through the time we have shared. Happy birthday!
- You heart is true to the core. You have supported me through my dark times without flinching. I can ever ask for a better fiend. Happy birthday!
- I offer these words on your special day: Never above or below you, but always beside you, my love. Happy birthday.
- You are an inspiration to me. Thanks for being my friend. Happy birthday!
- We get wiser as we age and begin comprehending what matters in life. Not the stuff we own and the statuses we so claim. What truly important, I believe, are the individuals closest to us because they represent who we are as humans.
- I would never have asked for a greater gift this year. May you find what you have shared with others and more this year! Happy birthday friend.
- This birthday is simply more chances for us to get what we did wrong right. It is a chance for us to grow in what we started and push each other to greater height. Am glad am doing this with you. Happy birthday!
- May heaven smile upon you today! May all the angels stop to cheer your achievements! Happy birthday!
- Angels are sent to help us in time of need. I am lucky I got one on a fulltime basis. Happy birthday!
- Words could not express how much you have been an inspiration in my life. A lifetime of birthday presents form me could never measure up!. Happy birthday!
More Birthday Toasts
- Romantic Birthday Toasts
- How to Make a Great Toast. Toasting Tips and Samples.
- Sentimental Birthday Toasts
Hey there! I'm David Miller, a multi-faceted journalist, writer, and designer with a passion for creative expression and a drive to inform and entertain. With a diverse skillset, I bring important stories to life as a journalist, provide a unique perspective through my writing, and add a creative touch to my designs as a designer. My passion for technology, cinema, TV series and books keeps me on the cutting-edge of current events and popular culture. When I'm not working, I can be found reading a book or watching a movie, soaking up inspiration from the latest trends and happenings. I live in Greece with my three kids and cherish the time I get to spend with them, exploring all that this beautiful country has to offer.
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29 Toast Speech
Here’s to those that love us! And for those that do not love us, may God turn their hearts. And if he cannot turn their hearts, may he turn their ankles; so that we may know them, by their limping. Irish Blessing/Curse
Cheers , slainte , skal , prost , and salud ! A toast speech is a type of tribute speech meant to honor someone. Your goal as a speaker should be to make that person feel special and to allow others in the room to be included in the celebration.
Ceremonial Speaking Wheel
All ceremonial speeches should include the trio –narration, magnification, and identification.
When thinking about your toast, don’t just think about the person you are toasting but about everyone in the room and think about how to bring them into your speech. Saying “we” are here to honor the recipient and reminding the audience of shared values helps the audience to be a part of the process. Say things that invite the audience in several times throughout the speech.
Wedding Toast Instead of saying: Amy and I played Barbie as children and always made sure that Barbie found her perfect soulmate. Say : As many of you know, Amy and I played Barbie for hours as children. What you may not know is we always made sure that Barbie found her perfect soulmate.
Graduation Toast Instead of saying: I wish you the best in your journey ahead as you graduate and start your new career. Say: We here, your family and friends, all wish you the best in your journey ahead as you graduate and start your new career
Retirement Toast Instead of saying: Dad, I was so happy you let me come and play in your office even if I ran your stapler out of staples by shooting them at the invisible villains that were hiding under your desk. Say: As many of you here now, dad would sometimes let me come to work with him. And while most of you thought that I was the perfect little bosses’ kids, you may not have known that I was really a super hero executing the invisible villain that I found in dads desk. I killed it with all the staples from dad’s stapler.
The use of story helps the audience to be drawn in and want to listen. In short toasts, you can tell a series of one-sentence stories. In larger toasts, you can tell one long story or numerous little stories. Tell your story in a way that the audience relives the moment with you.
Take a trait of the individual and magnify it. I’m not talking about superfluous embellishment; I’m talking about honest elaboration. For example, you might talk about
- Triumph over obstacles
- Unusual accomplishment
- Superior performance
- Unselfish motive
- Benefit to society
- The greatness of a simple thing
Now you know of the key elements that should be in your speech, let’s talk about the process of building a toast, writing a toast, and delivering a toast.
Gather the Details
What type of toast is it.
Always adapt your toast to the occasion: Wedding, graduation, retirement, business celebration, award celebration, birthday.
Who will attend?
You will give a different speech to your old college roommate on his birthday if it is just you and the gang versus if his conservative parents are in the room. It will be an even different speech if his new employer is present. Remember, a toast is not just about the person being celebrated but it is about others in the room. As you write your toast, keep imagining the key people present at the event.
Are there expectations about how long the toast will be? It is always good to ask. It can be awkward if there are several people toasting and each gives a five-minute toast and you have prepared only a two-minute toast. Typically wedding-type toasts, retirement toasts, and graduation toasts are longer speeches and people speak from notes. On the other hand, shorter toasts are usually memorized
Sit down and just start jotting ideas. Think of your brain as a water faucet. You are not going to get any water until you turn the thing on. Many people complain they can’t think of ideas, but they never actually turn on the idea faucet. Think of brainstorming as turning those ideas on and getting your creative juices flowing. Start brainstorming ideas and memories one day and then give it a day or two to think about more memories.
When I turn off my faucet at home, there are usually a few drips that happen as the rest of the water gets out of the line. Think of your brain that way. Give it time to drip out the last ideas and be there to catch them. They just might be the best ideas of all. Some people find if they brainstorm before bed that they wake up with the best ideas. Always assume that you will forget your ideas, so write them down as soon as you think of them.
For more on brainstorming
Sit Down and Write
At this point, just get your ideas down. Put down more ideas than you will use. Allow yourself to write down some cheesy things—by cheesy, I mean those ideas that are silly, extreme, or not right for the occasion. Just go with it. Write those cheesy ideas down, maybe you will use this somehow but probably not. Most importantly, the creative ideas are hiding in your brain behind the cheesy ones and if you don’t get the cheesy ideas out of the way, you will never get to the next level.
Now. Let’s think about that faucet again. Imagine there is something clogging it. You have to put some pressure on it so you can get it working. I like to think of cheesy ideas as that clog in the line. I have to get the cheesy clog out of the way by giving my mind permission to go there and once that line is clear. I need to be ready for all the great ideas that will come out in force after the clog comes out.
Taking It to The Professional Level
If you want to give your toast the professional edge, try using a theme and then adding in some parallel construction. In this next section, I will show you how that works.
Use a Theme
Pick a theme for your toast and carry it throughout the whole toast. I like to think of the theme as the container that holds the speech together.
For example, Drew gave a best man speech and used the theme of a road trip. He told stories of him and his best friend and their adventures (at least the adventures you the ones that you can tell when mom is in the room). He talked about fighting over which music is played, he told stories about bathroom breaks, and he confessed that his friend was always getting lost. These were fun stories and by hearing them we could all imagine the friendship they shared. In his speech, he told us that whoever was in the passenger seat was called the “roundtrip captain.” He gave the new bride advice on how to navigate the relationship since he knew so much about his friend from all these road trips. The speech wrapped up with Drew telling the bride that she was the map reader now and he passed to her the title of “road trip captain.”
Erin gave a graduation toast to her family members who supported her through college. She used the theme of climbing hills. It was the perfect theme since the University of Arkansas campus that she graduated from seems to be arranged so everything is uphill–both ways. She talked about walking the hills both physically and symbolically. In her speech, she talked about how beautiful the view is from the top. She wrapped up her speech by saying now that she is graduated how she has new hills to climb.
Keep in mind the theme is just the container. If you have only a container, it will seem cliché and sound like a cheap greeting card. The theme is not the speech, it is the container that holds your many stories. Make sure to develop those stories.
Use Parallel Construction
Parallel construction is where you take one sentence and you repeat it. It lets you tell a lot of little stories in a short period. Always have at least 3 sentences, keep them together, and try to give them rhythm.
Consider this format and how it might be used for the different toast types.
At a Wedding Toast
I remember when ___ I remember when ___ I remember when ___ I knew you were the “one” because… I knew you were the “one” because… I knew you were the “one” because…
At a Retirement Toast
Many of you know dad for selling insurance, but I know dad for selling me on the idea to go to college Many of you know dad for working long hours at the office, but I know dad for working long hours on school projects that I only mentioned to him the night before they were due. Many of you know dad as a business profession, but I know dad as my super hero. Many of you know dad for …., but I know dad for …. Many of you know dad for …., but I know dad for …. Many of you know dad for …., but I know dad for ….
When picking a speech pattern for the toast, consider the audience and occasion. Many toasts are just one to two minutes while others can be five to seven minutes.
Short Toasts Pattern
- Let us raise our glass to… Today, I would like to recognize…
- Make a list of attributes/accomplishments of the person. With each statement there is a building sensation –each statement you make is better than the next.
- Build to a climax. Create a building sensation using parallel construction.
- Raise your glass near the end.
- End with a poem, quote, or wish them well. (I really think a well-chosen quote makes these speeches special…it is worth the time to look for one to make it really special)
Note: Typically short toasts are memorized and longer toasts are written as a manuscript.
Wedding Toasts Possible Patterns
Give Their New Spouse the Manual of How to Get Along with Them
- Tell a story or two about your friendship with your friend
- Tell a story about when your friend met the person they are marrying. What did they say about this person? What were your first impressions? Tell anything about the two of them together? What are they like as a couple? How do you know they are right for each other? Tell something you observe about them when they are together?
- Give the person advice on how to navigate life with your friend since you know them so well. Think of this as passing on the manual.
- Tell three stories about the couple.
- Maybe, how they met, the engagement, and a story they tell on themselves.
- Maybe, three ways you know they are in love.
- Maybe, three things you noticed about how they care for each other.
I Knew It Was Love…
- Tell five ways that you knew it was love. Tell a story attached to each of the ways
- Tell what your friend was like before and how they are better now than they are with the one they love.
Note: Never mention old girlfriend/boyfriends, never give away secrets to clueless family members (they are living together, that you and your friend snuck out in high school), and always keep it positive. You likely have inside information about the person you are toasting–their wedding is not the time to reveal it.
Retirement Toast Possible Patterns
If you are a work colleague of the person retiring:
- These are the three things that set this person apart.
- These are the three things that I learned from this person.
If you are the child or the spouse of the person retiring:
- Talk about what their career looked like from your position. How were they dedicated?
- How did it help you benefit from their job and friends? What did you learn from watching them work?
Note: It can be fun to use their job as the theme. For example, if the person is a coach make the whole speech in the theme of a game. If the person is in sales, use marketing terms to hold it together. If they collected something interesting that was displayed in the office, it lends itself to the theme.
Graduation Toast Possible Patterns
Looking back, looking ahead
- Tell a few stories about them before graduation and tell what you expect to see in the future.
We’ve come through a lot together, Here’s some advice for your next step.
- Tell stories of your relationship, how that relationship talks about character attributes that led them to graduate.
- Give advice on how to navigate the next step.
Top Ten List
- Ten things you need to know about (surviving college, having your first real job, etc.).
- This can be especially fun coming from the sibling that is in college to the one headed to college.
- Top ten things you learned in school that you can use in life.
- Top ten things about you that will make you successful.
Let Us Not Forget
- A series of memories that you and most of the group present share. Great for a group of friends
- Find some great meaning to it all. What did it all mean? what did you learn?
Note: It can be fun to use their major, their future job, or their hobbies as the theme.
Anniversary Toast Patterns
- Maybe how they met, the engagement, and a story they tell on themselves.
- Tell five ways that you knew it was love and tell a story attached to each of the ways. Interview five of their friends and tell the five stories from their friends about love.
How They Taught You What Love Is
- What have you learned by watching them love each other well?
A Biography of Love
- Tell a story about their love when they met when they overcame when they did things together.
- Tell a timeline of love events and stories about every major milestone.
Ending a Toast Speech
Typically, a toast speech ends with a thoughtful saying, witty quote, or poem. There are many toast websites with great one-liners or short poems you can use to end a toast. If it is a longer toast, consider using a theme and connecting the ending with the theme.
“May misfortunes chase you all of your life and never catch up.” “As you slide down the banister of life may the splinters never point the wrong way.”
Short, Short Toasts
There may be times you are called to give a quick, one to three-sentence toast. It is a good idea to have a few memorized quotes ready that can be woven into a short, short toast.
Here is to those who’ve seen us at our best and seen us at our worst and can’t tell the difference. May you live for as long as you want, and never want for as long as you live! May we get what we want, but never what we deserve. May you always lie, cheat, and steal. Lie beside the one you love, cheat the devil, and steal away from bad company. Here’s to friends and family who know us well but love us just the same. Let us drink to bread, for without bread, there would be no toast. “Here’s to that long straight piece in Tetris.”
How Do You Hold the Glass?
Both wine and champagne glasses should be held by the stem, not by the bowl. “You should always hold the glass by the stem, no matter what the shape or size of the glass or the type of wine,” says Michael Greenlee, the sommelier and wine director of Gotham Bar and Grill, in New York City. “The most common mistake I see in restaurants and at dinner parties is people holding a wineglass by the bowl.”
Three reasons to hold the glass by the stem:
- The glass is pretty; you don’t want your fingerprints to mess it up.
- Putting your hand on the glass would block seeing the color of the wine or block your ability to watch the bubbles dance in the champagne.
- White wine and champagne are chilled, and red wine is served a room temperature. The temperature influences the taste and your hands on the glass will warm up the beverage and change it from its optimal temperature.
What Do You Do When Listening to a Toast?
Those who are listening to someone being toasted should hold their glass when the toast is being made. At the end of the toast, listeners should raise their glasses, tilt the glass towards the person being toasted, and then take a sip.
What Do You Do If You Are the One Being Toasted?
When you are being toasted, you should sit and listen. Smile and nod to let the person toasting know you are listening. You should not hold or lift your glass. Once the toast is over and everyone has had a sip, then you may nod and/or say, “Thank You.” One of the more common questions I get is, “Do I drink to myself?” and the answer is “no, you do not drink to yourself.”
Should We Clink our Glasses?
Check five different etiquette specialists and you will get five different answers. Some groups clink and some groups don’t clink. It is best to take your lead from those with the highest power of those in the center of the event. For example, if you have dinner with your co-workers and your boss is present, see what the boss does. If you are at a wedding, see what the head table does and copy.
The larger the group, the less likely there will be glass touching because it is difficult to touch everyone’s glasses. If you are in a clinking group, when you touch the bowl of the glasses together, you should always look them in the eye and smile.
“As with many of our food traditions, the clinking of glasses traces its root to the health and safety of the drinker. In this case, it goes back to the tendency of nobles to kill each other off by poisoning their food! Wine was very commonly drunk during medieval days because it was one of the only safe liquids available. Water was often polluted, and milk was both useful for other things and thought to be for children only. As the wine was often full of sediment, a poison was easily introduced into it. To prove that his wine was safe, the host would pour a bit of his guest’s wine into his own glass and drink it first, to prove it was safe. If the guest trusted his host, however, he would merely clink his flagon against that of his host’s when his host offered his cup for the sample. The ‘clink’ (or perhaps ‘clunk’ back then, since wood or metal was more common for drinking vessels) was a sign of trust and honesty.” Text from Wineintro. Clinking of Wine Glasses and Toasts. Retrieved March 28, 2008, from http://www.wineintro.com/champagne/clinkglass.html
Hold up your glass while giving a toast.
Never toast with an empty glass, it is considered bad luck.
Always hold the glass by the stem.
Avoid getting the beautiful glasses smudged. That means, not touching the bowl. It also means sipping from the same place on the glass.
Always drink to the person being toasted. If you don’t take a sip then it means that you disagree with the nice things that were said about the person. If you are full of liquid or prefer not to sip the alcohol, just put your lips to the glass and fake it.
If you oversee the filling of the glasses, hold the wine bottle near the bottom and only fill glasses halfway up to give the wine room to breathe. Always offer wine to others before pouring your own wine.
In some regions, people will gently use a knife to tap the glass to bring the group to attention.
At some weddings, the quests may tap their glasses to mean the bride and groom should kiss.
Brainstorm About Your Person
Read through these questions and try to answer them about your person. Not all the questions will relate, and that is OK. That question may trigger an unrelated memory that you can use.
Story What is the story of the two of you as children? What is the first memory you have of this person? How did you meet? What is the story of the two of you as teens? What is the story of the two of you as adults? What is an adventure you had together? When did you do something involving this person that didn’t work out as planned? What is a story that is often told about this person? What is a struggle this person has overcome or a story of where you overcame together? What story will history remember about this person? What story will you tell your kids one day? Why is this person special to you in a way that no one else knows? When did you and this person make a difficult situation fun? How have you seen this person grow?
Stuff What do they collect? What are their hobbies? What types of things are important to them? (Pets, cars, shoes) What are they known for having? (Name brand clothes, a great boat) What does their house/car/backpack say about them? What do you have of theirs that means a lot to you? How is their favorite movie, favorite superhero, favorite song a reflection of them?
The Person What are the physical characteristics that become part of their persona (Tall, big feet, curly hair)? What are they known for emotionally (being kind, being passionate, being stubborn)? What are the phrases they say often? What are they famous for? (Cooking, getting lost)
Relationship How did you meet? What has kept your relationship with this person going? What has been the highlight of the relationship? What do their friends say about them?
When and how did they meet? What were your first impressions of them as a couple? What did your friend say about the first time they met? If you were given three wishes for them as a couple, what would they be?
Toast Speech Samples from College Students Toasting Other College Students
Today, I would like to raise my glass (raise your glass) to by the far the most gifted athlete in our class. She showed us what it takes to be a student athlete at the University of Arkansas. She opened up her heart and shared the stories about her mother with us. I know we were all touched. She taught us how to improve our puts and She taught us that golf can be fun. We even learned that even the best athletes get nervous sometimes. In the words of Roy, tin cup, McEvoy, “I hit it again because that shot was a defining moment, and when a defining moment comes along, you define the moment… or the moment defines you.” To Ana, may you always define the moment and not let it define you! I ask students to toast their classmates and to give reference to things that student has said or done in class, consider the following speech ending that references three of the student’s former speeches. Sean here this is to you for all you have given us. May your bike never fail you (reference to speech on changing a tire), May your sense of nature keep you wandering (reference to speech on camping) and may your lessons live on, in this lifetime and the next (reference to speech on missionary work).
To someone who Has opened her heart and mind to this class With hopes that they too will join in her efforts to serve God and humanity
To someone who Has made us all feel as if her papaw was our own Pitching and swinging the bat
To someone who Has made each person in this class believe As if we can make a difference in the world One Krispy Kreme doughnut at a time
Anne Frank said, “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment Before starting to improve the world. “
To Haley, we toast to you (raise glass) For you have already begun improving the world.
Best Man Toasts the Couple by Joe Burlingame
Thank you all for gathering here tonight on the beautiful occasion to celebrate the love of Korey and Paola. My name is Joe Burlingame and I know many of you have traveled from long distances to be here and we are so grateful that y’all came. Since the lovely maid of honor spoke so highly of Paola I am going to try and make Korey seem like he is worthy.
When Korey told me that things were getting serious and that he was going to propose,
My initial reaction was “Woah, Korey I am flattered but I am perfectly content with being fraternity brothers,” but everybody knew he was talking about Paola. Korey and I’s relationship started about 5 years ago And to this day I remember my first impression–it was like any first impression when we first meet an accounting major/// Aw—wk–kward.
Our friendship though took off like a rocket ship, and before we knew it we were roommates up to the time he betrayed me and found a permanent roommate. I won’t say any names but she is in this room.
In the 4 years, I lived with Korey, I have found 3 things that make him the perfect roommate.
First, Korey loves spontaneous trips. Korey and I went to 6-7 concerts one semester. We only bought tickets in advance for one and that was because it was the one band I wanted to go see. The others were concerts that Korey had caught wind of last-minute and persuaded me to go. One concert, in particular, was the night of Korey and Paola’s first date. They had gone and got coffee and macaroons I think it was maybe an hour-long date. When he got back Korey talked about it as if they had spent a year with each other. Paola I knew then that you had to be special if you had him talking about you for that long.
Second, Korey is a humble servant. Korey if there is a characteristic that describes you it is being a humble servant. I would complain about how hot it was mowing our yard, but you would not only mow ours but our elderly neighbor’s yard as well. You thought you were invisible– I saw it all. Whether it be cleaning dishes, cooking, or constantly going to our neighbors to see if they needed anything done, you were a servant and I was thankful for you.
Paola I am jealous, I am now going to have to clean and cook for myself now. Nik Birchfield said it best “Korey doesn’t just talk the talk but walks the walk”
Lastly, Korey is someone who is thoughtful. I remember when we first moved in Korey brought in this huge water jug of change and a little wooden chest, I asked what the heck is that for. He responded with “Man I plan on getting married and in order to get married you need a ring.” I was blown away– I never would have thought of that.
Paola I regret that we never really got to hang out. When I saw Korey take that jug of bills and come back with a ring and he started describing why he picked this specific ring out because it matched your characteristics I knew we would be friends.
Korey and I were roommates the night before he was going to pop the question. He practiced a lot with what he was going to say. I know because he practiced on me. I don’t know how many times we practiced the scenario but I could tell you that the words he was going to say to you were heartfelt and genuine
Paola I was able to have the perfect roommate for a few years, but now you will have the perfect roommate for life.
To Paola and Korey!
Hilarious Father of the Bride Toast
This toast is a good example of how to tell a funny story in a speech. This father’s story is brilliant, and his long pauses are perfect for this speech. He goes from having you crying from laughter to tearing up with sentiment.
Atlasobscura. Raise a glass to our readers’ favorite drinking toasts. https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/best-drinking-toasts-and-cheers
Burlingame, J. Best man toast. Advanced Public Speaking. University of Arkansas.
Chidi-Ogbonna, K. (2018). Nine wine etiquette habits to know. https://thefinestitallianwine.com
Real Simple (n.d.). From how to hold a wine glass http://www.realsimple.com/realsimple/content/0,21770,712709,00.html
Revelations Video. The most hilarious father of the bride toast.[Video] YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOKduRf7o4k Standard YouTube License.
Wineintro. (2008). Clinking of wine glasses and toasts. http://www.wineintro.com/champagne/clinkglass.html
- Toasting © Zan is licensed under a CC BY (Attribution) license
- matthieu-joannon-6ciLddToTgM-unsplash © Mattheiu Joannon is licensed under a CC BY (Attribution) license
- holding wine glass is licensed under a CC0 (Creative Commons Zero) license
- marcel-gross-marcelgross-ch-sHTwDYKti6Q-unsplash © Marcel Gross is licensed under a CC BY (Attribution) license
Advanced Public Speaking by Lynn Meade is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.
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How to Make a Birthday Toast
Have you been tapped to make a 75th birthday toast? You’ve probably wondering how to make a memorable toast that celebrates the guest of honor’s unique qualities and that everyone at the party will enjoy.
No need to get too stressed, though. Just read on to find out what you need to know to make a classy 75th birthday toast or speech.
This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, visit my disclosure page .
- Prepare Ahead of Time
The best way to get started is to take a few minutes and think about the guest of honor. What is your relationship – are you making a 75th birthday toast for your Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa, other relative or friend?
The type of relationship you have, and the length of time you’ve known the guest of honor will make a difference in the toast that you give. Has this person taught you life lessons? Have they been a best friend in good times or bad?
Now reflect for a couple of minutes about the guest of honor. Write down a few words that come to your mind whenever you think of this person. What are his or her hobbies, interests, passions? What do you immediately think of when you picture this person?
For example, if I were writing a 75th birthday toast for my dad, some of the things I know he loves are fishing, coffee, beer, history, poetry, and the Georgia Bulldogs. I would try to incorporate some of our shared experiences of these into my toast.
I’d advise writing your toast on note cards that you can take with you to the event. You might be a bit nervous when you’re speaking so the cards will make a handy reference!
- How Long Should a 75th Birthday Toast Be?
Short and sweet is the best answer! As a general rule, your toast should be well under 5 minutes. Aim for 2-3 minutes if possible (be sure to time yourself when you’re practicing)!
You want to take enough time to celebrate and honor the birthday guy or gal, but remember – it’s not YOUR day. You don’t want to steal the spotlight from the guest of honor.
- What to Talk About
Start your toast by thanking the guests for attending. You’ll also want to thank the hosts for organizing the event. Try to add a brief compliment to the hosts about something special at the party (the decorations or cake, for example).
If this is a larger party where not everyone will know your relationship to the guest of honor, you’ll want to add a sentence or two explaining how you know him or her and what your relationship is. You can skip this if everyone at the party already knows this.
Since this is a 75th birthday party, you can talk a bit about how much life has changed in three-quarters of a century. Don’t overdo this, however – you’re not giving a history lecture! Feel free to skip this is your speech is running long.
Highlight some of the guest of honor’s achievements. They’ve probably accomplished quite a bit in 75 years! They’ve probably raised a family, had a career, volunteered, traveled. What about athletic or scholastic achievements from their younger years?
I think personal anecdotes are usually the most enjoyable, and most meaningful to both the guest of honor and the party attendees. Prepare one or two stories that highlight the person’s character and passions. Share what you’ve learned from the guest of honor, or how he or she has helped you in difficult times.
Wrap it up by congratulating the honoree on reaching this milestone birthday. You may wish to add a 75th birthday wish or a funny quote about growing older, such as “The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age,” by Lucille Ball. Another fun quote by Dennis Wolfberg: “There’s one advantage to being 102. There’s no peer pressure.”
End by asking everyone to raise a glass and toast to the guest of honor’s 75th birthday.
- Who Is Your Audience?
Think about who will be in attendance at the party. If this is a gathering of close friends who all know the honoree well, you can probably rely on a few inside jokes or history that everyone has shared.
If this is a larger gathering of both friends and more casual acquaintences, you can’t assume that everyone knows the guest of honor as well. Inside jokes or references won’t go over as well.
- Dos and Don’ts of Making a 75th Birthday Toast
- Do practice ahead of time. If possible, have someone else critique your toast before the big event.
- Do keep it short. You’re there to entertain the guests.
- Don’t embarrass anyone, especially the guest of honor. A 75th birthday celebration should be a joyful and fun event for everyone!If you’re in doubt about anything, leave it out.
- Don’t be shy about expressing your honest emotions about the honoree, but don’t become a blubbering mess. A milestone birthday is a sentimental occasion, and a few sentimental tears are ok, but you don’t want anyone sobbing.
- Don’t get raunchy. Keep it clean!
- How to Actually Give the Toast at the Party
So the hard work is done, and you’ve written your toast. You’ve practiced it and feel comfortable with what you’re going to say. Here’s how to actually give the toast:
- Discuss ahead of time with the host when would be the best time to give a toast. Just before cutting the cake or eating a meal would be ideal choices.
- Get a clean glass before making the toast. You don’t want anyone distracted by lipstick or fingerprint marks!
- Don’t hold the glass while you’re toasting – it’s too easy to slosh if you gesture while speaking. Put the glass on a table within easy reach.
- When the time is appropriate, get everyone’s attention. You can either ding a knife on a drinking glass or just loudly ask to say a few words.
- If you have note cards, hold them at a low level rather than directly in front of your face. Don’t read word for word from the cards, but feel free to use them as a reference.
- Speak loudly and clearly so that everyone can understand you.
- At the very end, pick up your glass and invite everyone to toast in honor of the 75th birthday.
Congratulations! You’ve just made an incredible and memorable 75th birthday toast – now go enjoy the rest of the party!
You Might Also Like:
- 75th Birthday Wishes, Quotes and Poems
- 25 Best Birthday Gifts for 75 Year Olds
- Brilliant 75th Birthday Ideas for Mom
- 75th Birthday Ideas Your Dad Will Love!
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