Propose a Toast - Do's and Don'ts of Toasting at the Office Party

By Rachel Swiednicki


‘Tis the season for mounting stress, flaring tempers and frantic scrambling around, since time is of the essence. No wonder—in the midst of it all, you also have to run a small business. Thrown into the mix: the office holiday party.

The office holiday party is a good time to show your employees how much you appreciate them and recognize their hard work throughout the past year. And it’s an opportunity for you—their employer—to express your thanks, pass along key messages, provide motivation and express future goals.

This calls for a toast—while you have the attention of everyone’s eyes and ears, eagerly awaiting your words.

Get ready by creating a road map of your speech, outlining the all of the points you’d like to make.

  • Start strong with a ‘grabber’ – a joke, a survey – something you can use to grab attention and will relate back to your subject.

  • Next, relate your story and don’t be afraid to touch upon people in your audience, but be sure not to embarrass anyone.

  • When closing, relate back to your ‘grabber’ or go over key points.

  • Try to avoid reading from a piece of paper; you need to engage your audience.

  • Be conscious of time. If you ramble on, you will lose their interest. Keep it short and never speak at the end of the party—the best time to get attention is at the beginning.

  • If you are introducing a guest speaker, be sure to draw on their creditability when introducing them to your audience.

Last, never drink too much before your toast. To stay relaxed, go for a walk, find a quiet spot to stand and rehearse, and do some deep breathing exercises.

For more information and useful tips click here.


Rachel Swiednicki is a professional communicator, with ten years of experience in the communications industry. Eight of those years were spent as a journalist before moving into a career in public relations / corporate communications

By Adam

December 14, 2009