The Captain’s Speech

The Captain’s Speech

Are you are filled with fear at the thought of standing up and making a Captain’s speech at your golf club or golf society?

Are you frightened that you might forget your words and dry up. Are you are scared stupid that you might make a fool of yourself?.

Do you sometimes wish that you had never accepted the role of Captain?. 

Well dont worry, here are a few pointers that will hopefully help you work through the process and make your Captain’s speeches a lot easier, and enjoyable for your audience.

 

“Nobody else ever seems to get nervous”.

First of all lets get one thing straight. Everyone gets nervous before they speak.

You are not alone.

The best actors and actresses in the world admit that they only give a good performance when they are nervous. Many actors say that it is the occasions when they are not nervous that they give a poor performance.  

So the first advice is that you are not alone – everyone gets nervous.

However, we can reduce the nerves by following a few basic steps.

 “I can’t remember it all”

The first tip is – You don’t need to remember it all. 

There are very few people who can remember a whole speech and joke, the first time. 

Most politicians read from an autocue, even at a political conference. Actors only remember their lines because they have spent days and weeks learning and learning it again.

For Captain’s speeches, We don’t have the technology or the time to do any of this. 

Write it down

So my advice is: write it all down and read it. That’s what I do. I prepare it all on my PC using Microsoft Word. I use a large font size, typically size 14, Arial style so that I can read it even if I forget my specs, and large enough so that I can hold it away from my face without squinting at it. 

There is nothing worse than someone reading a speech and holding the paper in front of his face or dropping their head down to the paper.

Hold the speech away from and below your face, and speak slowly, with pauses between each line, so that you can keep your eyes on the audience for the majority of the time.

Eye contact is the key thing that keeps your audience’s attention.

Practice this and you will get perfect at giving your Captains’ speeches

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Your Captain’s Speech – preparation, preparation, preparation

There are very few people who can just stand up and talk “off the cuff” without any preparation.

Some try it and fail; others seem to be doing it but have probably given the same talk a hundred times before. If you know your subject well then you can probably just about get away with it. 

I have stood up and made a Captain’s speech without notes a couple of times during my Captaincy year, but only when it has been the same basic speech that I have given ten times before in as many weeks. 

Otherwise I prepared diligently for each event. 

Even if you feel that you would prefer not to read the speech, then it is still best to prepare the speech and write it down beforehand, as this allows your brain to more easily remember the sequence and content. You might then only need to remember the keywords of each part of the speech, and the content should then coming flowing into your brain. 

If you still have problems remembering the speech this way, then read it. You will feel much more comfortable and your audience will enjoy it more. 

Download a useful speech template

You can download a simple template that I created that makes composing your speech very easy. Please visit the eGolfShare download page.  

Before I retired and was in business, the old adage used to be that for any given length of speech you need to spend at least ten times that amount of time preparing, and that is what I have stuck to, and that is what I recommend that you stick to. If you do then you will come across to your audience as an “old hand” and no one will notice your nervousness. 

Let’s say that a typical Captain’s speech may last five to ten minutes, then you need to spend about an hour preparing it in advance, certainly for the first one or two. 

After you have done the first one or two then this time will reduce as you are then re-using the same basic formula and will be becoming more comfortable and confident.

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