Here are a few more tips to follow to make an impressive and memorable acceptance speech.
Control your Emotions
A little emotion goes a long way. If you have had a tough life and poured all your energy into winning the academy award, it is sure to get emotional, but you need the right amount of emotions during your acceptance speech. If you are just blabbering on the stage, it is not very interesting for the audience. You are not conveying anything to them, so keep yourself together at this moment. One of the beauties of rehearsing for your acceptance speech is that you can show the right amount of emotions on the spot. If you are emotional on stage, words are still coming out of your mouth because you thought of them and rehearsed to say them. If you just take the attitude that “I don’t want to say anything until I get up there”, the emotions of the moment might overwhelm you, and you will not be able to say anything. So the target is that you want emotions in your speech but not so much that you are just blabbering and can’t get through your acceptance speech.
Never read your acceptance speech
There are a few things you should avoid doing during your acceptance speech. One of the most important is reading your speech. It is the worst thing you can do with your acceptance speech. It seems like you are reading the meeting minutes, devoid of personality, emotions, and sincerity. It’s fine to have some notes, but you certainly should not have a word-for-word scripted speech. No matter how nervous you could be, you have to accept and understand that you cannot read the whole acceptance speech. You have to look up at the audience, talk to them, and thank some people. You want to make a connection with the audience feeling natural and genuine.
Do not thank more than a handful of people in your speech or even fewer. If you have more people to thank, send them a personal note or create your video to post on your youtube channel. If you are winning an academy award, they usually have a thank you camp behind the stage where you can thank as many people as you want for as long as you want. Do not take a long list of names on stage and don’t read, as these are some of the biggest blunders that people make in their acceptance speech.
Using notes smartly in the acceptance speech
There is nothing more dreadful than someone’s head-down, monotone, boring reading. However, if you need a few notes to remind you of something like a name that is hard to pronounce or some facts, it’s fine to have a couple of notes with you. Remember your acceptance speech will be a few minutes long in most cases or even less than a minute for major tv award shows. So, it will all go wrong if you get up with a gigantic page or notes for the speech because you will not be able to cover all that. However, if you want to have notes, there are good and bad ways of doing it. Getting up on the stage with a big piece of paper gives the impression to the audience that the winner will deliver a long boring speech. They get uncomfortable and lack interest in listening to that person. It sends a very negative message to the audience.
It’s not that you cannot use notes but how you use them. Do not visibly hold the notes. For men, they can keep them in their pockets. Women can hold them in their hands if they don’t have pockets, but in a way that doesn’t get much noticed. Then you can walk up on stage with your hands-free, and the most important thing is, for the first couple of seconds, to look at the audience, which will signal to the people that you are relaxed, comfortable, and confident. You just want to talk to them. While looking at the audience, you can take out your notes, not holding them too high or close to your face. You can drop them on the dice (if there is one) to free your hands. If there are no dice, keep them in your hand, occasionally glance down at them and keep them in large fonts so that you can read them from a distance. Use them as long as you need them and when you are done, put them away and keep going with your speech and then walk off stage. In this way, many people will not even notice that you used notes. Do not use notes in a way that draws the audience’s attention to them, waving your page around or taking out your glasses to read it because the font size is too small to read. Use a large enough font that will allow you to read easily from a reasonable distance without making it obvious that you are reading.
Pitfalls to avoid in an acceptance speech
A few other pitfalls can get you in trouble if you do not avoid them during your speech. Don’t tell people you are nervous and waste time on it. It does not look good to do that in front of the audience. You can tell your family or friends later that you are nervous but do not waste valuable time on boring things. Do not waste time telling people that you don’t have much time for the speech and that you are not sure of what to say or how to start or thank all the people you want to because you do not have much time. Instead of commenting on time, use the time you have to say something valuable and get the most out of it. Use every second to say something interesting to the audience or to thank people. Don’t talk about your speech, for instance when you were thinking about what to say, how you came up with what you will say, but just speak. Get to the point and say what you are there for. If you avoid these pitfalls, you get enough time to focus on saying something exciting and sincerely thanking people.
If you win an award, show your public speaking skills with a great acceptance speech. Be genuine in your acknowledgments and don’t read a long list of names. Have one interesting or entertaining thing to say or tell a short story. Focus on your audience and not on yourself, telling them how nervous you were or what you thought you were going to say in your speech. Practice your acceptance speech in advance, on video, as many times as necessary to see yourself as you want to appear. Then, when you win an award, you can simply walk up the stage and deliver the acceptance speech you have prepared, representing yourself in absolutely fantastic shape.