It’s usually famous actors and actresses who get talked about the most when it comes to acceptance speeches at the Academy Awards. This year the greatest buzz was around the winner of best adapted screenplay, of all things.
The winner, Graham Moore, spoke with great passion and emotion in his acceptance speech. He confessed to feeling so lonely depressed and different when he was 16 that he tried to kill himself. His message to everyone watching, especially young people, was that it’s okay to be different, life can get better, and there is hope for people who don’t seem to fit in.
Moore’s message tied in perfectly with themes from his movie “The Imitation Game.”
So what made Moore’s speech special?
1. It was highly personal, not generic.
2. He expressed emotional weakness, not generic gratitude.
3. The message was authentic to himself, and his movie, so his speech didn’t seem like the exploitation of an opportunity to promote a random political cause.
4. He was emotional, but kept it together. You don’t want to look a blubbering fool, but you also don’t want to look as polished and relaxed as if you’d been expecting this moment for the last year.
Graham Moore is a perfect example of why it always pays to plan for and prepare a great speech. Because if you present in a compelling manner, you can always stand out, even if you are surrounded by movie stars in designer dresses.
TJ Walker coaches celebrities executives on how to give acceptance speeches. Contact Media Training Worldwide at 212-764-4955.