If you find it too hard to stand up and give a full speech, then you may want to do a toast instead.
A good toast doesn’t have to be long. It can last anywhere from few seconds up to couple of minutes, but the general idea is that the toast is much shorter than the speech.
Here’s some tips on how to make a good toast.
A good toast has a good opening and a good closing. Start by introducing yourself, so that you have your audience’s attention. Follow your introduction with something interesting or funny, whatever suits your style. The beginning of your toast is the time when people are focusing at you and really hearing what you say. The beginning is what people will remember best.
Say something about the bride and groom that not everyone knows. It should be nothing embarrassing, but rather some nice fact about them or your relationship with them. Please don’t start on a long story. That way you can be sure that people will tune you off. Remember toasts are meant to be short.
It is a custom to close by wishing the couple all the best in the future and raising glasses. In my country we usually wish people “a long and joyful life together” but every country has its own customary close.
Time your toast.
Make sure it is not too long. You don’t really have to worry that much about its being too short because that is the way a toast is supposed to be. Try to say at least three or four sentences.
All though you might find it awkward to talk in front of all those people, keep in mind that talking fast will not make it better because people might not get everything you are saying. If you talk slowly and if you have short pauses between your sentences, you will look more confident than if you speak fast. Plus you get a little time to gather your thoughts between sentences or pauses.
Because your toast will be very short, you should not need to write it down. This is very good because it makes you look more professional. Because you will not read from any index card or paper, you can look up at the people you are talking to–this makes you connect to your audience.
Keep the spotlight on the newlyweds.
The toast is for the newlyweds so please look in their direction and talk about them. Don’t talk only about one of them — talk about them both, this is their day. Don’t toast anything else. Remember that the purpose of a toast is to say something nice about bridal couple.
Although the toast is a very short one, this is easy it is to forget when all the guests are staring at you. That is why it is so important to practice the toast. Just speak in front of a mirror at home (that has worked very well for me) or in the car while you’re driving. It does wonders to practice because that minimizes the risk of forgetting some parts or all of the toast.