SOURCE: Mad Props Productions

June 23, 2008 16:09 ET

Do's and Don'ts For Making a Great Toast

Mad Props Productions Provides Tips

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - June 23, 2008) - Fear of public speaking (or "glossophobia") is reported as one of the top ten fears by most people (numbers vary depending on the source). Though weddings, bar mitzvahs and anniversary parties may seem like small, intimate gatherings, the thought of making a toast can elicit the panic response in many people.

To make a great, memorable toast, consider some of the do's and don'ts from Christy and Jonny Sheehan, the husband-and-wife team that runs Mad Props Productions, a New York-based film production company that specializes in producing tribute videos for weddings, birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions.

"When we shoot footage for tribute videos, we encourage people to speak from their hearts," says Christy Sheehan. "It's good to infuse humor in your toast or tribute, if it comes naturally to you, but don't try too hard. Be yourself."

Here are more tips on making great toasts from Christy and Jonny Sheehan:

"Don't try too hard. Rather than scrounging the internet for cliché sayings and toasts, simply think about what message you want to communicate, jot down a few points to touch on and let the ideas naturally flow together. The fact that it is sincere will mean the most to the guest or guests of honor. Allow your genuine emotions to come through.

Keep it short. Less is more when giving a toast; everyone at the rehearsal dinner isn't privy to inside jokes you may share from childhood. If you're coordinating an event, ensure that speeches don't go too long by creating a lineup and time limit for each speaker. This will keep things moving and keep the audience engaged.

Be careful with embarrassing stories. Before you tell an 'absolutely hilarious' story that could embarrass the guest of honor, consider whether or not he or she wants everyone to hear it. If not, skip it.

Don't drink too much. Sometimes people think that having a few drinks will loosen them up before they have to give a toast, but this can backfire. Alcohol slows you down, so you won't think or speak as quickly as normal, and slurred speeches are memorable for all the wrong reasons.

Breathe. Before you get up to make your toast, breathe deeply for a few breaths. Slowing down your breath will relax your diaphragm, so your voice won't be shaky and you'll feel more centered."

About Mad Props Productions:

Mad Props Productions creates both short- and long-form broadcast-quality films to honor the lives of everyday people. Clients hire them to produce tribute videos to honor people's birthdays, retirements, upcoming weddings and other major events or to create family documentaries. Mad Props now offers a "Director's Cut" service, editing people's photo and video collections to show the most meaningful images and organizing them either thematically or chronologically.

Serving clients throughout the U.S. and parts of Canada, Mad Props' rates start at $2,500 for a "Director's Cut" and $5,000 for a short-form tribute video; custom packages are available. For more information, visit or call 718-288-6023.

Contact Information

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