Friday, November 21, 2008

Work on raising your glass

Here's some advice for having a good Thanksgiving toast, if you're from a family of toasters:

According to Chris Witt, an executive speech coach with more than 25 years of experience, the first thing to remember is the intent of a toast onThanksgiving, which is something like the intent of the meal itself - to bring everyone together in a spirit of gratitude.

"A toast is meant to be warm, welcoming and gracious," said Witt, author of the newly released book, Real Leaders Don't Do Powerpoint. He recommendsthe following tips so your readers don't come off sounding like a turkey:

1) Get everyone's attention
2) Make sure people's glasses are full
3) Make a general statement that sums up the group's experience of the past year
4) Make a toast, which is something like a wish or a (secular) prayer
5) Raise your glass

"The basic things to avoid when making a holiday toast are these: Don't go too long, don't try to be humorous and don't make anyone feel excluded."