The Award Acceptance Speech

Tips and tricks from our readers.

Giving a good award acceptance speech can be hard. After all, you need to be humble, but still sincere. Honored, but not arrogant. Here are 4 tips our users have submitted about giving good acceptance speeches.

  • "I love what Russell Crowe did when accepting his award for Gladiators. Short and pointed. He said, 'For those of you who have been on the downside of disadvantage, it's possible.'"

  • "It is nice to recognize your spouse, etc, but no one wants to hear a long winded list of thanks. Be polite, but keep that part brief. Maybe tell something inspirational like how you overcame challenges to get the award. Choose something personal, relevant and inspirational, but not an ego trip or overblow tough luck story. Consider what you would want to hear from an award winner."

  • "A good award acceptance speech should sound like it is from the heart and honest. A long list of names can be boring and there is always the fear that someone has been left out. I remember that several years ago Reese Witherspoon accepted an award and thanked the people who catered the food on her set and her parents for always making her make her bed. I remember those, I have no idea who the other names she listed are and don't remember that part of the speach at all. A little joke at the start of the speech may be good...if it's a good joke, otherwise it is just annoying. Also, don't thank God. It sounds fake and is usually said by those whose lifestyle contridict God anyway. "I would like to thank God for my hardcore rap record full of cuss words and negative comments" is just stupid to me. A good speech should just be real, honest and should have the feelings the winner is feeling translated into words so we all can understand how great it is. I hope this helps!"

  • Some Ideas
    1. "DO NOT say that you're so surprised by winning that you had nothing prepared. Everyone knows when they're nominated that they have the potential to win. By saying you have nothing prepared, you're essentially acting like you knew you'd win...but you didn't want to seem like it, so you didn't prepare anything useful to say. This, in turn, can cause you to forget everyone important who helped you get to the level of achievement you've now accomplished.
    2. Don't say that you'd like to thank God for everything unless you truly believe. It sounds so corny and fake to thank God for something if you don't have a clue why you're saying it.
    3. Don't say you have no idea how you won against such a strong pool of competitors. When people do this, they generally talk about the amazing accomplishments of each nominated person in the crowd. This essentially either makes you look like a kiss a$$ or a completely arrogant fool.
    4. Do allow genuine emotions to come out. If you're so moved that you want to cry, go ahead. Any attempt to self-monitor your emotions will look like you don't know what you're doing.
    5. Don't drown the audience in a sea of every other accomplishment you've ever had that you didn't get recognized for."

You've already won the award - giving a great award acceptance speech is the easy part!

If you still don't know quite what to say, check out Occasional Words. Click on the Business section.

Happy speaking!

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