No matter how much you try and avoid the situation, giving a toast is pretty much a given if you are involved in some significant way in a wedding. Whether groom, best man, father of the groom or some other special guest, toasting opportunities abound at wedding events. From the engagement party and wedding showers to bachelor parties, rehearsal dinners and, of course, the wedding reception, guests will be waiting with anticipation for your words of humor, wisdom, and love that ends with a lifted champagne glass. To ensure the best impression, learn how to gab effortlessly in front of a crowd with these simple tips.

Planning: Even if you consider yourself an extroverted, natural-born talker, it is still imperative to put pen to paper and write out, at a minimum, an outline of your talking points. If you do plan to write out the entire speech, remember not to read it directly from the paper – the audience will feel disconnected. When planning out what to say, aim for about 4 through 6 minutes of content, which has been proven to be the optimal length for the audience’s attention span.

Writing: There are many styles of toasts; some are knee-slappers that are intended to be a good-natured “roast” of the honoree. Before you try this type of speech, you need to know the honoree very well, have a feel for the audience, and know that this won’t turn into an embarrassing situation. Other toasts are very sentimental and can be real tear-jerkers, as can be expected at an event as momentous an emotional as a wedding – heartfelt toasts are great, just don’t make it a downer. Most toasts given by men at a wedding event include introductions, acknowledgements of thanks, anecdotes and stories, quotes or readings and advice.

Delivering: When the time comes to deliver your toast, remember to speak clearly, slowly and loudly enough the back of the room can hear you. If you need notecards to keep you on point, remember not to read entirely from them – glance around the room and try to make eye contact with the bride, groom and other guests. Do not give a toast if you are inebriated, both your slurred words and impromptu comments may embarrass you the next day. After the toast, it is a thoughtful gesture to provide the honoree with a copy of the speech that they can keep forever.

If you are worried about coming up with a wedding toast on your own, can help you develop a custom speech that will capture your feelings with the perfect words. A toast-writing service can really make your moment in the spotlight and huge success – with so much less stress on you!