You’re speaking at your club’s annual dinner (or, if it’s a golf club, one of the many dinner’s this year). You want to be original, but there’s a limit to how far you can veer from the overview of the season, or a player-by-player breakdown of achievements. If so, we’d be delighted to help. Between us, we’ve belonged to local cricket, football, rugby, tennis and golf clubs, and we’ve heard our fair share of soporific speeches. Fortunately, we’ve also written a number of punchy, original and relevant ones that have been talked about for years to come.
The trick is to have a very clear structure in mind from the start. That structure needs to break your content into two areas: the ‘must haves’ – ie the topics that will be expected of you, ranging from thankyous to the groundsman and tea ladies through to the toast to the Club. More importantly are the ‘might haves’ – the ideas that could take your speech to the next level by entertaining your audience in a way that will surprise, amuse and capture their attention.
The keys to the second area are originality and relevance. If your cricket club has just had its worst season in its history, a comparison to the Bangladeshi test team may bring it to life. If your golf club has just changed its constitution as a result of the Equality Act, a comparison to the suffragette movement might help make light of a serious issue.
When we’re not writing speeches we’re generally watching or playing sport, and of all the speeches we write, this is the one we enjoy most. Here’s a reference from a client who spoke at a cricket dinner last autumn:
“Well done you Sir! I think it’s brilliant, I love it! It just genuinely worries me that on the evening when doing the speech, I really don’t think I’m going to be able to stop myself cracking up in fits of laughter when I cover the bit in particular relating to our club chairman– You are a genius!!!”
Andy D, Nov 2011
Please call us on +44 20 8245 8999 if you’d like some help editing or writing a speech of your own.
Hi Lawrence, Just a quick thank you for all your help with the speech. It seemed to go down very well. People laughed at the right places and were very complimentary afterwards.