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Top 7 Ways To Finesse The Art Of Toasting

By Jacqueline Whitmore

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The ancient ritual of toasting is synonymous with the holidays and other special occasions. As early as sixth century B.C., the Greeks were toasting to the health of their friends for a highly practical reason -- to assure their friends that the wine they were about to drink wasn't tainted with poison.

To spike the wine with poison had become an all-too-common means of dealing with social and interpersonal problems -- disposing of an enemy or political rival, or to circumvent a messy divorce. Thus, it became a pledge of friendship for the host to pour wine from a common decanter, drink it before his guests, and satisfied that it was safe, the guests would then raise their glasses and drink.

Today, toasting is an act of kindness because it makes others feel special; it is an art because its effectiveness depends on intuition, timing, and a well-articulated message.

Follow these seven tips to enhance your toasting etiquette:

  1. Remember the three Bs when toasting: Begin, be brief and be seated. Begin by recognizing the person(s) you're toasting and be as eloquent and creative as possible. Be brief. Avoid more than just a few sentences. Don't confuse a toast with a "roast." Be seated immediately following your toast to the guest(s) of honor. End on a positive note. Give that person an opportunity to respond to your toast.

  2. There are two traditional toasts. One is offered at the beginning of the meal to welcome everyone and the other is proposed to the guest of honor at the beginning of the dessert course.

  3. It is acceptable in the U.S. -- but not always necessary -- to clank glasses when toasting. Persons of other cultures simply lift their glass in honor of the person being toasted.

  4. Never tap the side of your glass with a utensil to get attention or to quiet everyone in the room. The glass may be made of fine crystal and could break.

  5. No one at the table should make a toast to the guest of honor without allowing the host to do so first. After the host makes the initial toast, the guest of honor should rise and respond with a toast.

  6. Never drink a toast or stand when it's being offered to you. This is the equivalent of congratulating yourself. Other guests may then propose a toast following the guest of honor.

  7. Never refuse to participate in a toast. If you do not drink alcohol, it is perfectly acceptable to toast with water or another non-alcoholic beverage.

Today's Top7Business article was submitted by Jacqueline Whitmore, founder and director of The Protocol School of Palm Beach. She presents seminars in business etiquette, international protocol and customer services strategies. For more information, call (561) 586-9026 or email her at info@etiquetteexpert.com. To receive Whitmore's free ezine, THE PROTOCOL POST, visit her Web site at http://www.etiquetteexpert.com

Source: http://Top7Business.com/?expert=Jacqueline_Whitmore

Article Submitted On: December 29, 2000