It’s Award Time! We have just had the Golden Globe Awards and soon there will be the Academy Awards. Along with receiving awards goes the acceptance speech. It is amazing how something as simple as saying thank you and acknowledging people can become a disaster.
So what should you consider when preparing your acceptance speech?
First – Prepare. Sounds obvious but many don’t prepare and that can become a recipe for disaster immediately. It’s okay to anticipate winning and to prepare a concise, thoughtful speech. You only have a short time and a prepared speech will allow you to make the most of that short time. Preparing will also give you the opportunity to think outside of the box – perhaps you may want to use verse or song or add a story. Oh, and if you don’t win, never mind, you will have it ready to tweak next time.
Second – Be Concise. This is dictated by the short amount of time that you will be allocated. If you ramble and waffle you will run out of time and probably forget someone you really should have thanked! You will look professional and confident. You can still make an impact with a short well thought out speech. Even more you need to be coherent and clear with what you are saying.
Third – Structure. Even though the speech is short it still needs structure. The word thankyou said several times with a list of names is not really very effective. If you want a memorable speech put some structure in – make it a well-rounded speech. Think about the words you want to use. Using the right word to connect with your audience can mean the difference between an ordinary speech and an exceptional effective speech.
Fourth – Emotion. Yes it is an emotional time – you have achieved something you have worked for. You may have been attempting to win for a period of time and finally you have got there. Yes express your emotions but watch that you don’t let your emotions overshadow what you want to say. Your emotions could cloud your message and your wonderful thoughts.
Fifth – Be Genuine. Authenticity and passion will get you a long way. Sharing your excitement and thoughts at this time will make a great connection with the audience. You don’t have to be polished – just be ready, concise, coherent and genuine.
Sixth – Know Your Audience. This impacts on what you say and if you want to add humour how that will work with your audience. Adverse comments or inappropriate humour could alienate your audience. You want your acceptance speech to be remembered for the right reasons.
And Finally – Ums and Ers. These are what I call vocal pauses for thought. Whenever you have an occasion where emotion and impromptu speaking occur, you have an occasion when the ums and ers are likely to multiply. You are nervous, you are excited, you are pushed for time and you are thinking about what you are going to say. It is very easy for the jaw to drop and that vocal pause for thought to occur. A ums and ers will not impact; it is when you have nearly every second word is an um that it starts to detract from your message. Preparation, slowing down, closing the mouth to think and breathing will help you to give your acceptance speech the way you want it to be done and to be memorable the way you would like it to be memorable.
So when you are preparing that acceptance speech think about this checklist and prepare your speech with the outcome you want to achieve in mind.
For those of us watching – the challenge is to think about the checklist and see which acceptance speeches work and which don’t. Which items on the checklist were used and which should have been used. Love you to come back and leave your comments and thoughts.
Oh, one last thing to think about – acceptance speeches are not just for the Academy Awards and Golden Globe. There are a lot of business awards out there – you might want to think about your acceptance speech for that next business award you receive!
Award Winning Public Speaking Mentor Coach Author
Trish typically works with published authors helping them to turn their books into keynote presentations and with introverts giving them the confidence to come out from behind their computers and share their message and passion.
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