Archives for June 2017

Now or Forever

“Speak now, or forever hold your peace,” ministers have cautioned wedding guests, since forever. But, according to BRIDES Magazine, there was no peace for the one in five new husbands whose brides were mortified by the toasts their Best Men gave.

In her latest nonfiction, Off the Cuff/ What to Say at a Moment’s Notice, communication skills coach, Anne Ready admonishes,“when in doubt, leave it out.” And, be sure to:

  • Personalize your toast, appropriately.
  • Be humorous, yet respectful.
  • Begin by outlining the key points you want to express, then expand but…
  • Follow the KISS principle “Keep It Short, Sweetheart.”
  • And finally, ask yourself what unique perspective you bring to the reception like these:

possible one-liners for toasting:

If it wasn’t for marriage, men would spend our whole lives thinking we had no faults at all.

-Married best man

I share Goethe’s wisdom with you, “We are shaped and fashioned by what we love.”

-Grandmother of the groom

If you steal, may you steal one another’s hearts. If you fight, may you fight for one another.

-Maid of Honor

All woman should know how to take care of children. Most of them will have a husband someday.

   -Divorced aunt

The entire sum of existence is the magic of being needed by just one other person.

-Single best man

May you never forget what is worth remembering and never remember what is best forgotten.

-Mother of the bride

Now will you all drink a toast with me…that their love guides them through life and echoes in eternity.

-Father of the bride





Pomp and Circumstance

Trending now is Graduation Speech Bingo for about-to-be graduates to play during the long, hot hours sitting in commencement caps and gowns with giddy parents watching their every move. The game is to see how many trite phrases are used: find your passion, it starts with us, today is the first day of the rest of your life.

Here are some examples and exceptions:


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Will Ferrell, University of Southern California  2017

Comedian Will Ferrell humorously recounted his early failures in a light-hearted commencement speech at University of Southern California. Providing graduates with a sense of comfort and reassurance, he ended with a butchered imitation of the late Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love you.”


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Hillary Clinton, Wellesly College 2017

Former Secretary of State and Presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton explained that life doesn’t always go according to plan, but that’s not a valid reason to give up on your dreams. Secretary Clinton was on the same stage 48 years earlier as a student speaker conveying the same message; to stand up and fight for what you believe.


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Mark Zuckerberg, Harvard University 2017

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook co-founder and Harvard University dropout, poked fun at himself with…“If I get through this speech, it’ll be the first time I actually finish something at Harvard.”


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President Donald Trump, Liberty University 2017

President Donald Trump lashed out at the media during the US Coast Guard Academy commencement with “no politician in history has been treated worse or more unfairly.” And again at Liberty Christian University, he reflected on his own persistence with “never ever give up”…without crediting Winston Churchill’s six words of success “never never never never give up.”


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Dame Helen Mirren, Tulane University 2017

Dame Helen Mirren related to her college audience with “like a hangover, neither triumphs nor disasters last forever.”