Ex-England players benefit from remote public speaking workshop.

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Four PCA England Masters players are making the most of their time in lockdown as they attended a Zoom workshop designed to improve their public speaking skills.

Nick Compton, Matthew Hoggard, Mark Ramprakash and Owais Shah dialled into the session led by Duncan ‘Boo’ Holmes, co-founder of public speaking coaching company Speak the Speech.

The webinar was hosted as part of the PCA’s Personal Development and Welfare Programme that is in place to enable current and former players to excel and develop sustainable performance within and outside of cricket.

Areas covered throughout the morning included body language, creating the right energy, vocal control and content. Skills picked up by the quartet will assist them when it comes to anything from after dinner speeches right through to media interviews.

It is a valuable skill set for PCA members to have, as many players are reliant on excellent communication throughout both their professional careers and post-cricket lives.

"Being able to speak confidently, clearly and articulately is important as many opportunities will entail some form of speaking and presenting."


That sentiment is echoed by former opening batsman Compton. Despite making regular media appearances throughout a 14-year first-class career with the likes of England and Middlesex, the 36-year-old was still able to recognise the benefits of the session.

“As a former professional sportsman, being able to speak confidently, clearly and articulately is important as many opportunities will entail some form of speaking and presenting.

“I found the course informative and very helpful when finding a consistent process to follow such as body language, content, tone and being committed to your subject. Not everyone finds that speaking comes naturally so it’s important to have things we can all improve and get better at.”

Speak the Speech has had a good relationship with the PCA over a number of years and have helped individuals to become more confident communicators for over 20 years. It provides high quality, bespoke coaching to athletes and sports people around the globe.

Co-founder Holmes reflected on an enjoyable morning spent with four household names from the world of English cricket: “The beauty of the workshop was that everyone had an individual style. No one was asked to change – I was simply there to help the players become a slightly brighter, bigger and more confident version of themselves.

“It was fantastic to work with the guys and I thank them for being so open and engaged.”

Find out more about Speak the Speech.