Prize Giving: Presenter's Speech
We all remember our school Prize Givings, when we sat through it all just hoping that this might be the year we got a cup, a book, or even just a mention. They’re definitely emotionally charged things – a year’s worth of hope, worry and endeavour boiled down to one agonisingly intense hour of suspense. It’s small wonder that being asked to speak at them can seem a bit of a difficult “gig”!
The trick is to remember that you’re playing to three quite different audiences, simultaneously – the kids, their parents and the teaching staff. Too much discussion on the latest youthful “must-have” and the pupils will love you, but you’ll leave most mums, dads and teachers in the cold – and so on. Scattering enough juicy tit-bits for all three throughout your speech takes a bit of thought, but it’s by no means an impossible task.
This template should help you get a general idea of some of the ways you can successfully engage with your audience and give you a few thoughts on the sorts of things you might like to say.
1. IntroductionThe best Prize Giving speeches get going fairly quickly and catch the attention of everyone who’s listening from the start. The Head Teacher, Chairman of the Governors, Head of the PTA or some other notable will have already given you a big introduction, so you don’t need to begin by telling everyone who you are.
- Acknowledge the people who are present
- Say how honoured you feel to have been asked
- Grab everyone’s attention – make an apparently bold statement or set yourself a provoking question, to leave the audience intrigued to know how you’ll answer it.
Example: School Governors, Headmaster, teachers, parents and pupils, thank you for asking me to come to present your prizes and I feel very honoured to be doing that today. I remember sitting through my own school Prize Days (a few years ago / all those years ago / long ago, when dinosaurs roamed the earth) and time after time, there was something that always bothered me. Why do we do this? I mean, what is the point of prizes?
2. Say Something MeaningfulWe’ve all sat through those interminably dull Prize Giving speeches when it didn’t matter if you were a parent, teacher or child – you had absolutely no idea what the old duffer on the podium was talking about! Try to say something meaningful that everyone can understand.
- How does your life experience or job relate to schools and prizes?
- What lessons did you learn at school that helped you at work, or what lessons have you learnt at work that would be useful to share?
- Whatever you do, be interesting!
3. The Inspirational ConclusionFollow your theme through and leave pupils inspired to study, teachers to keep teaching and parents to keep dreaming of those fantastic exam results to come.
- Make your point clearly
- Consider using a suitable quotation or create your own motto – something short and easily remembered
- Tie up any loose ends – and answer your initial question if you haven’t already.
Well done – you’ve kept your audience interested and inspired; now all that remains is a whole lot of handshakes!