With families gathering for the holidays, you just might have to give a toast. And if you want to do it well, think FSP: Focus, Story, Passion.

Focus: Remember that people don’t like long rambling toasts. Make one point about the person that you’re toasting. “I want to make a toast to our host, Jeffrey. Jeffrey is one of the most generous people I know.” In this case the point is that the person is generous. That’s simple and it’s only one point as opposed to saying “Jeffrey is generous, funny, and friendly.”

Story: Great toasts give a feel for the person being toasted with a simple story. “About a year ago, I went with Jeffrey to a Braves game and he had two extra tickets. He saw two teenagers who didn’t look like they had any money. So Jeffrey just gave them the tickets. No only that. He bought them hotdogs, sodas and popcorn. That’s the kind of generous person he is.” From there you simply raise your glass and say “So here’s a toast to Jeffrey and his generosity.”

Passion: The key to speaking well in any situation is speaking with intensity and passion. So many people get up in front of people and speak in a dull monotone. They sound like they’re reading the phone book. Set yourself apart by practicing your toast several times and speaking with the same animation that you use when you’re relaxed and speaking excitedly with a close friend.

So when the holiday spirit strikes and it’s your turn to give a toast, think Focus, Stories, and Passion. You’ll knock ‘em dead.

Joey Asher

Joey AsherJoey Asher has worked with thousands of business people helping them learn how to communicate in a way that connects with clients. His new book 15 Minutes Including Q&A: a Plan to Save the World from Lousy Presentations” is available now. He is also the author three previous books including “How to Win a Pitch: The Five Fundamentals That Will Distinguish You from the Competition”, “Selling and Communication Skills for Lawyers” and “Even A Geek Can Speak.”