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Preparing and Delivering a Good Toast
At some point in the future you will probably deliver some form of Special Occasion speech. As a manager one of your employees will retire or receive an award, and it will fall to you to make a speech. A loved one will die and your family, knowing you’ve taken a communication class, will ask you to give the eulogy. If it hasn’t happened yet, you may be asked to make a toast at a wedding, an anniversary or graduation dinner, or even a roast. My scariest was being asked to talk about my job at my daughter’s elementary school career day — screw that up and not only does she get made fun of, but I spend my entire life paying for the mistake! So let’s get you some practice in a safe environment, your own home (or wherever you choose).
First, re-read Chapter 12 making sure to focus on the explanation of a toast. Let the text sink in a bit then follow the two links below. Read the article (Esquire) and watch the video, maybe even consider joining Toastmasters..
How to Give a Better Toast (Esquire), How to Give a Toast (Toastmasters International)
Now prepare a toast (you pick the occasion and tone). Your toast should be between one and three minutes long — more than five minutes earns a zero. It should also follow the guidelines/suggestions in the article and video, as well as the course information on outlining. Remember, outline your toast don’t write it out verbatim! You won’t read the thing in reality. So don’t practice that way.
Once you are ready, type up a brief but detailed description of the context (what is the relation of the the person being toasted to you, what is the occasion, and what is the setting?) and post it to this week’s Forum. Then record your toast on VoiceThread (see the Toast assignment) making sure to share with the class. This will give you the opportunity to listen to each others’ toasts and comment upon them.

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