Monday, October 15, 2012

Three Tricks and Treats for Toasting

Learn how to ward off ghosts and goblins before taking the stage.

Halloween is a good time to be scared, but a bad time to have the hebejebes before you stand up at a party and give a toast. If you feel the tension creeping into your shoulders or your stomach tightening up it's time to relax and regain your composure. I offer three simple tricks that produce sweet treats to soothe the soul for a short soliloquy. 

Trick #1 – Listen to your favorite song or radio program.
Treat #1 – Music truly calms the savage beast whether it’s in your head, heart or tummy. I take advantage of today’s technology and have two categories of tunes on my smart phone that I can listen to at a moment’s notice. First up is my piano bar playlist. This set has more than 50 songs I love to sing. Spooky spirits and negatives nerves are vanquished  and I’m in a fantabulous mood well before the first chorus. Second is a set of NPR’s comedy Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me! podcasts. I can laugh and test my news knowledge while figuring out what's real and what’s made up by the cast of comedians.

Treat #2 – This simple two-step process of quickly inhaling through your nose for three seconds then exhaling through your mouth for six seconds releases nervous energy. It puts you back in command of your voice with more control, power and energy. I have done this on my way to the microphone when all eyes are on me. It appears that I am merely collecting my thoughts before I begin my toast.

Trick #3 – Wet your whistle and sip a half cup of water.
Treat #3 – When you remain hydrated you can prevent dry mouth syndrome. I always have a bottle of water handy especially when I’m scheduled to speak. And even though my toast will be less than three minutes long, I can sip the rest of the water and clear the cotton cobwebs that might form.

Typically only one of these tricks is necessary to halt the hobgoblins.

Bonus – Three Halloween Toasts:

Black cats prowl and pumpkins gleam,
May luck be yours this Halloween.

* * *

Halloween is sure to fright
Goblins scream throughout the night
Monsters chase you to the house
The kids are back – save your spouse

* * *

There's a goblin at my window,
A monster at my door.
The pumpkin at my table
Keeps smiling more and more.

Your turn: What are your tricks and treats for toasting?

Michael VarmaMichael Varma is an award-winning instructor, professional magician, and once was excused from jury duty…by his cat. He has authored Tasteful Toasts, a series of educational puzzle books (Mental Blocks), created games (Arithmesticks), and frequently performs at the Magic Castle in Hollywood, California.

Yes, you can email Michael for a free guest pass to the Magic Castle ~ and you don’t need to subscribe to his funny and informational blog…but it would be worth it.
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