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Prepare a good impromptu speech. That’s the inherent contradiction for everyone who is involved in an Oscars night acceptance speech, whether you are Kate Winslet or any of the many hopefuls.

Good impromptu speech
Secret Of A Good Impromptu Speech

On Sunday night the waiting is over as the 2011 Academy Awards (Oscars) ceremony gets underway. So 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. Some possess great comic timing or they are truly 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.

Secret To A Good Impromptu Speech

Some of the Oscars hopefuls are getting prepared. Quebec-based director Denis Villeneuve  has prepared a draft speech. This is because he’s nominated in the best foreign language film category for his film, Incendies.

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. But, for more tips, tou can always consult our post on how to give an acceptance speech.

You can always read more tips on a good impromptu speech with our series of public speaking tips. Alternatively, when you need to boost your public speaking skills you can always book a course or a coaching session. So, please don’t hesitate to get in touch when the time is right.

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About the Author

The Principal Trainer at training business Time to Market. Now based in London, I run presentation and public speaking training courses, coaching sessions and seminars throughout the UK.

  • Denis Villeneuve didn’t get to read his prepared speech last night at the 83rd Oscars ceremony in Hollywood, but at least he was ready…just in case.

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