Etiquette Tip of the Month

Syndi Seid, Founder of Advanced EtiquetteToasting Practices for all occasions

With Spring in full bloom and a number of special events upon us---graduations, Mother's and Father's Day, weddings, job promotions, retirements, and the like---here are a few tips on how to give and receive a toast..


Always take time to prepare and write down your toast. Make it fun, brief, and simple. When describing an honoree, speak from the heart sharing a fun and amusing story in your own words, for no longer than one minute. Conclude by inviting everyone to raise their glass and join you in a toast to the honoree.

Never use a piece of flatware and a glass as your way of getting people's attention. Rather, alert key people in the room ahead of time to help you get their table and area quiet when the time arrives. Say, in a loud projecting voice, "May I have your attention please." Repeat as needed, continuing to look around the room to get everyone's attention.

Remember to make good eye contact with the honoree by raising your glass to shoulder height in front of you, and gesturing toward the honoree and others around you, stating, "Cheers!", "Here's to you (and/or his/her name)."

TOAST-RECEIVER: As the honoree, ...
Always remain seated through the entire toast being proposed to you.

Never raise your glass along with the others when you are being toasted and honored. Otherwise, it appears you are toasting yourself.

Remember you should return a toast of thanks immediately following the one you were given. Whether the toast-giver stood during his/her remarks or remained seated, you must do the same. Do thank the host for hosting the event in your honor; do say a few words about the event for no more than one minute; then conclude by inviting one and all to join you in another round of toasting, by saying, "and thank you one and all for being here."

Bonus Tip: The clinking of glasses is a popular and fun activity. Nevertheless, when toasting an honoree it is not performed. Simply raise your glass to shoulder height in front of you, make good eye contact with the honoree and others, and gently gesture toward the honoree.

Happy Toasting!

P.S. I want to thank everyone who sent messages about last month's bathroom etiquette tip regarding which way a roll of toilet tissue is to be unrolled from its holder. I appreciated everyone taking the time to write. Keep it coming. My first reaction was, "gosh, people really do read these." Thank you! No doubt this is a debate which could go on for some time. Etiquette is afterall ever evolving.

To view our past Etiquette Tips of the Month, please choose a topic below:

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