5 Keys To Toasting & 4 Holiday Party Survival Tips!

For your team it’s a party, but for you, the leader, it’s not. Here are tips for toasting and surviving the holiday party excerpted from business consultant Roz Usheroff.

The Art of Toasting

The concept of toasting is to honor someone who has made a difference or contribution during the past year. Here are some invaluable tips:

  1. Protocol dictates that the host always makes the first toast. If you are a guest who wishes to make a toast as well, you need to seek permission from the host.
  2. Toasts should be light, short and non-political. The length should run from one to three minutes, maximum. A tasteful story is great when it can be related to the person you are honoring.
  3. Timing is everything: If champagne were served at the beginning of the dinner, you would toast immediately. If not, toasting should take place at desert or when coffee is being served. This ensures that everyone has a beverage to toast with. Using your water glass to toast with is perfectly acceptable if you are not drinking wine.
  4. If you are being toasted as the guest of honor, remain seated, smile, and look at everyone. Refrain from toasting yourself. After the toast honoring you is completed, you can stand and raise your glass to reciprocate with your words of appreciation.
  5. To toast, raise your glass, look the toaster in the eye, and nod your head in a sort of bow before sipping.

Party Survival Tips

  1. At a party, should you find yourself surrounded by strangers, introduce yourself. Look for groups of three or more because if there are only two people, they may be having an intimate conversation. Smile as you approach. Wait for a break in the conversation or an opening in the group. Extend your hand to the person closest to you and then introduce yourself. Continue with introductions.
  2. If you are uncomfortable waiting alone until your friends arrive, seek out an individual who is standing alone (and hopefully looks as uncomfortable as you feel). Bring humor into your introduction to break the ice, i.e. “I’m waiting for some friends and I don’t know anyone here. Would you kindly adopt me for a few minutes?” or “There’s more traffic in here, than there is out on the roads!”
  3. If you really want to meet people, stand by the buffet table where people are more apt to linger. Remember to smile so you don’t look like you’re the food inspector.
  4. Prepare for small talk. Be genuinely interested in what the other person is sharing with you. Ask open-ended questions and refrain from interjecting your thoughts until the person has finished their story.

All the best for enjoyable holidays!

Ho, Ho, Ho,


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