Retirement toasts can include heartfelt sentiments and good wishes for all future endeavors. They can be a wonderful and funny addition to a party and a mood lightening event.
There is a difference between a toast and a speech. The major difference is time. A speech can be several minutes to an hour. A toast is two or three sentences. Often a toast will follow a speech.
Toasting is not new. It has been a part of every culture in recorded history.
A rambling, directionless retirement toast is not acceptable. Plan what you are going to say. Write it on a note card.
Practice your delivery. Project your voice and say it slowly enough that everyone will hear every word. Remember your audience is hearing this for the first time.
A toast is typically short and has two part: 1) a short message offering good wishes and, 2) a statement that everyone agrees to.
For example, "I have known Tom for 30 years. He is known as a hard worker and a damn good golfer. So here's to you, Tom. May your golf game continue to improve".
Make sure that glasses are full before the toasts begin. I've been told it is "bad luck" to toast with an empty glass.
Typically the toast is during the dessert course when there is a dinner. Know where your honored guest is seated. Get everyone's attention by tapping a dinner knife against a glass.
Stand, make eye contact with the toastee, lift your glass in that direction, and deliver your toast.
Do tell about an incident with the honoree - particularly if is humorous and not embarrassing.
Do not ever be offensive. If a topic is questionable in your mind, do not mention it.
Do not assume that you can come up with something interesting spontaneously.
Do keep your humor clean and in good taste.
Do be careful with humor. It can miss the mark and be embarrassing.
Do stand. Audience can remain seated. Honoree remains seated.
Do enjoy giving a retirement toast. Be charming.
Do not "ramble". Be prepared.
Do mention the honoree's name.
Say: "He or she [use name] is a person that we all love. Here's to [name]. Cheers!"
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