Giving The Perfect Toast

Photo Credit – Miha Photography

According to, there are 4 main components to writing and delivering the perfect toast….

1.) The Hook – 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 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 ____.

2.) The Background – Now that you’ve caught everyone’s attention, and you have them hooked, give them an explanation of why you’re giving the toast in the first place.

3.) The 1-2-3 Punch – 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

4.) The Clink – 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.