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  • Writer's pictureShelley Bamberger

How to Toast (Virtually) to 2021

The holidays are here! This season, your Zoom meetings might include giving toasts – for work, virtual holiday parties, ir retirement celebrations. It’s your chance to celebrate your colleagues’ success in this unprecedented Covid year, while showing your values, humor and speaking skills.

Here’s how to make sure your toast is the talk of the town.

1. Be bright, be brief, be gone. Don’t wing it! Many toasts turn into aimless rambling, especially if you’ve had a few. A prepared speech will always be shorter and funnier than a ramble. Know what you’re going to say – and even practice it before the event. Keep it brief.

In other words, be the toast you wish to see in the world.

2. It's Not About You. Whether you're toasting one particular colleague or wishing the whole office a ‘happy holidays’, make it about THEM. Avoid overusing the pronoun "I." The more you say about THEM, the more it says about you.

Compare these examples:

"If you know me, you know I'm proud to say that I have the best colleagues in the world, and I just want to wish you all a Happy New Year."


"May our 2021 be as extraordinary, generous and successful as each of you."

3. Make ‘em laugh. Make ‘em cry. Quick-hitting anecdotes are best.

For example, if you're toasting your colleague Walter, you might say:

“Walter shares two positive qualities with Covid-19: we can't stop talking about him, and he's forever changed the way we work together.”


“People look up to Walter – and not just because he’s 6-foot-2."

Create your own by googling short, funny quotes, and juxtaposing them with sayings from around the office.

4. Be specific. Work in some data or numbers.

“How’s this for a career? 35 years of service. Seven times named employee of the year. 16 job promotions at last count. And as for salary increases, he would probably say: ‘I didn’t keep score.’ ”

5. Memorize your last line. Have a definite ending vs. just trailing off.

“Felicia, one thing we all agree on is: “You’ve taught us things that will last a lifetime. You may be retiring, but you’ll keep on inspiring. (raise glass) To Felicia..."

Jazz up your virtual presentation skills in 2021, or interview for your next opportunity. Book a session with I-Cue:

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