Prepare an impromptu speech. That’s the inherent contradiction for everyone involved in a good Oscars night acceptance speech.
On Sunday night the waiting is over as the 2011 Academy Awards (Oscars) ceremony gets underway and we can look forward to a series of breathless and emotional acceptance speeches.
Breathless, emotional, tearful and hesitant are characteristics of a typical Oscars speech. There are always exceptions and these can be fun, possessed of great comic timing or meaningful–ranging from Colin Firth’s to Richard Attenborough’s efforts.
This year the organisers of the 83rd awards ceremony (the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences) have issued guidelines to all their nominees in each of the awards categories. The guide extends to the duration of an acceptance speech, the content and delivery. A speaker will have some 45 seconds of acceptance speech in which to get across all their thanks…before the background orchestra starts to drown them out.
Some of the Oscars hopefuls are getting prepared. Quebec-based director Denis Villeneuve who is nominated in the best foreign language film category for Incendies has prepared a draft speech:
I’m used to improvising, but in this case I know I will be too nervous and I’d be scared about forgetting people.
I prefer to prepare and not win, than win and not be ready. I’m exaggerating, but I can’t improvise.
Denis has noted how the best impromptu speeches are those that are well-prepared and then easily-delivered. So he intends to be ready should the name Incendies be in that envelope. Fingers crossed, Denis.
The Principal Trainer at training business Time to Market. Based in Oxford, I run presentation and public speaking training courses, coaching sessions and seminars throughout the UK. Andrew Ivey on Google+
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