Share this Page URL

Chapter 22. Entertaining Speeches > The Envelope, Please: Presenting an Award - Pg. 184

Entertaining Speeches 184 Today, toast and roast masters are expected to set the tone for the entire event. With toasts and roasts, the skill of the speaker is really put to the test. Toastmasters are expected to be sharp and witty (which of course you are, or you wouldn't have been invited to be the host). But no rule says that you have to spend miserable hours hunting for great jokes. You're much better off not telling any jokes at all than telling a joke poorly. On the other hand, if you've got any talent in the joke department, now's the time to display it. Talk Soup The toastmaster is the chairperson, the host. The toastmaster has three important tasks: to run the program smoothly, to hold the audience's attention, and to discourage strife. A roastmaster is a type of toastmaster; a roastmaster presides over a roast or honorary event. Toasts Follow these guidelines to make your toasts memorable: · · · · · · · Make a general statement about the theme of the gathering. Introduce the head table. (Don't introduce the speaker; that will be done later.) Have the audience hold their applause until the end. Make sure your toast is appropriate. Invite the guests to join in a toast to the honoree(s). Ask a designated person at the head table to introduce the speaker. When the speaker is finished, express thanks. And Roasts Follow these guidelines for hosting a successful roast: · Probe what you know about the honoree to find a fresh slant on his or her life and accomplish- ments. · Provide specific examples of your honoree's character and accomplishments. · Suit your remarks to the general tone of the evening. · Err on the side of good taste; no matter how good a line may be, skip it if you--or the honoree --might regret it in the morning. · Avoid humor if you are not comfortable with it. The Envelope, Please: Presenting an Award We all deserve recognition for a job well done. Saving someone's life, saving the company some money, saving customers' time: They all merit public acknowledgment. Keep your speech factual and straightforward. This is even more important if you have to present an award to someone you've never met. In this situation, don't pretend that you are the honoree's best buddy. Instead, interview the person's friends, family, or colleagues to get some information that shows why the person deserves the award. Share this information with the audience, acknowl- edging your sources.