Local Toastmasters Club offers toasting tips for the wedding party

 Timing may be everything, but wording isn’t far behind.

Consider one of the most famous toasts of all: Humphrey Bogart’s words to Ingrid Bergman – “Here’s looking at you, kid” – in the legendary 1942 film Casablanca.

Now trade “kid” for another endearment. No big deal? Maybe.

But Bogie probably would have achieved another kind of immortality if he’d raised his glass to Bergman and said, “Here’s looking at you … babycakes.”

Likewise, the best man, maid of honor or other wedding VIPs should be aware of the trust that has been placed in them to say exactly the right thing.

A wedding toast should be “brief, personal and customized to the occasion,” says former Toastmasters International president Jana Barnhill. “Most of all, it should be heartfelt.”

Speaking from the heart is the key to an appropriate toast.

To help you put your best foot forward – and not in your mouth – Mount Forest Motivators Toastmasters club in Wellington North offers the following tips:

– pick a topic that is personal but appropriate;

– keep it short; no more than a couple of minutes. Essentially, the best advice in public speaking is to always be brief;

– practice: think about what you want to say, and practice the toast in advance. Use friends as sounding boards beforehand;

– stay sober; being coherent helps;

– be careful with humour. That personal story you consider harmless may not be seen the same way by others. This is not the time to embarrass anyone; and

– dress your best. If you look good, you’ll feel more confident.

In the film Wedding Crashers, Owen Wilson offers good advice: “You’re better off going with something from the heart. Honestly.”  

Remember, your friend or family member has chosen you to fulfill an important role on that special day.

This is your chance to speak with love and make their day complete.

Mount Forest Motivators, which meets at Faith Baptist  Church (located at the corner of London Road and King Street) in Mount Forest on Tuesdays  at 7pm, can help conquer public speaking concerns.

This group has joined forces with 12,000 other clubs as part of Toastmasters International, a non-profit organization serving more than 250,000 members in 106 countries.

For more information about Toastmasters International, visit www.toastmasters.org.

This column was submitted by Irma DeVries of the Mount Forest Motivators Toastmasters Club.