I’ve been getting a lot of visits to my site lately from people looking for ideas on giving Opening Day speeches. Many baseball and softball leagues are starting their seasons this weekend. So, here are a few tips from my experience as a Little League president that may help.
1. Be brief
Next to graduation speeches, there is no speech that people are less willing to sit (or in the case of the kids and many adults, stand) through than an Opening Day speech. Keep your speech short.
2. Be enthusiastic
Opening Day sets the tone of the season ahead. Keep your speech positive and cheerful. Stress the fun and excitement children and parents can expect in the season ahead.
3. Be grateful
Recognize the hard work of the parents, coaches, volunteers, and the kids who made the season possible.
4. Be appropriate
This goes without saying, but an event with young children and families is not the time for your off-color joke or your commentary about politicians you dislike.
5. Be a teacher
Parents get children involved in sports so that they can learn something of value. An Opening Day speech is a good place to impart a very quick bit of wisdom. My favorite is about sportsmanship and mutual respect: “Inside the fence, we play hard to win. Outside the fence, we are all friends and part of one community.”
6. Be done
Once again, keep your speech short, and then get off the field so the kids can play. Opening Day is all about them!