Pitching & Presenting

Making a New Year’s Toast – Five Tips From TJ Walker

Making a New Year’s Toast – Five Tips From TJ Walker

TJ Walker is a great resource on public speaking and media training.

Yesterday he posted a timely piece on making a New Year’s toast.

Much of it involves fundamentals such as those one can acquire at Toastmasters or even a good book on public speaking or presentation skills.

And that’s ok by me.  I’ve always maintained that the true masters don’t forego the fundamentals, but rather, they always use the fundamentals, to the point that they come naturally.

Stick with the fundamentals and your authentic character will shine through.

So here are TJ’s five tips for making a New Year’s toast.  You can apply them to almost any toast, any time of the year.

  1. Don’t Memorize.  Don’t try to get too fancy with something too formal.  Just speak from the heart.
  2. Don’t Read From A Script.  That’s makes the whole thing seem about as personal as a public company’s board meeting.
  3. Don’t Try To Be Comprehensive.  Trying to cover everybody in the room is counter-productive.  Just focus on one idea, some element of good cheer, like wishing that you could spend more time with everyone.
  4. Don’t Wait Too Long.  Don’t wait for that magic moment.  Too many people think, “Is this the right time?”  Next thing you know, the new year is already here.
  5. It’s Not About the Actual Words.  It’s about the joy you express.  So hold your glass up, look people in the eye, and simply have fun.  Don’t beat yourself up for not saying the perfect word.  Don’t even worry about having the perfect glass.  Whatever glass you have, just have fun.

Here’s TJ’s video piece below.  For more of his mojo, you can find him at TJ Walker Interactive.


TJ is edgy (and I just love edgy).  He takes no prisoners when it comes to critiquing poor speeches, yet he also recognizes effective communicating and authenticity, which is so critical in the Brave New WorldI receive TJ’s e-shot, and I recommend it for anyone who has to speak in public or in front of the media.

People often ask me, what is the single, biggest piece of advice I have for those preparing to speak in public is.

Invariably I say, “Make it feel like a conversation.

“Sure you’re doing most of the talking, but the audience will feel comfortable if it feels like a natural conversation.”

And that aligns with what TJ says in this short piece.

Happy New Year!

Photo by Sarah Ross.  http://www.flickr.com/photos/23680544@N07/4233896822/

Video by TJ Walker Interactive.