1. While this is a special time for you, your time is limited.
2. Rehearse your speech and try to finish 2 minutes under your allotted time. Brevity is the soul of wit.
3. Respect your audience.
4. If you speak for too long, you infringe upon the other speakers’ time, and create the potential for audience discomfort.
5. Many speakers “get in and can’t get out” — it’s okay to just stop telling a story and move on. Practice it.
6. Some speakers are surprised by their emotions. Talking about parents, family, team mates, coaches and schools can trigger deep and powerful and surprising emotions.
7. The monitor runs the show. It’s essential that the moderator make the ground rules for speakers clear in the rehearsal. If you should exceed your time limit, the monitor will rise. This is the signal to wrap it up quickly.
After many years and events, I believe the moderator has the right to protect his or her audience. Too many times I have heard “he talked too long,” or “she ruined it for others,” or “I’ll never go back to another one of those.” (NOTE: ARTICLE 72 HAS SOME HINTS AND SUGGESTIONS ABOUT SPEAKING AT ATHLETIC BANQUETS)