Speaking About Soccer

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What makes a great speech?

Humor. Brevity. Meaning. Emotion. Love. Those were the hallmarks of some touching remarks I heard over the weekend.

And no, it wasn’t a TED talk or a corporate retreat. It was a high-school soccer banquet. Seen through the eyes of a freshman parent.

The most impressive part was the level of preparation. Each graduating senior had a freshman talk about what they learned from that player.

And whether they pulled a piece of paper or an iPhone out of their pocket, they had all clearly put thought into what they were going to say.

After the freshmen had their say, some of the seniors shone the spotlight on their coaches.

A few memorable mantras from the many vignettes –

  • No matter what happens, you have to make the best of it
  • Some of the biggest learnings happen off the field
  • Someday I hope I can make people feel as special as my coach made me feel.

Whether they were talking about soccer, or life or both, a lot of great lessons had been role modeled, learned and shared.

What struck me the most was the level of poise these young athletes demonstrated. That’s what comes from having many opportunities to speak in group settings.

They showed how much inspiration – not to mention humor – you can bring to a very short speech.

There’s no need to hem or haw or spend a long time leading up to the punchline.

They simply shared what was in their hearts.

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Caroline Leach

Hi, I'm Caroline Leach. I help people and organizations tell their stories. I'm a Marketing VP at AT&T, a former Communications VP at DIRECTV and an enthusiastic alum of the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. This blog, Social Media Savvy for Corporate Professionals, shows you how to build your personal brand, advance your career and embrace your future. It helps you promote your employer and your network too. Opinions expressed in this blog are my own. Your comments are welcomed and encouraged. I'd love to hear from you!

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