Saturday, March 23rd, 2019

5 Tips to Giving a Great Acceptance Speech

By Narges Nirumvala on Oct 03 2011 • Filed under The Power Communicator

How to Prepare for Business Award Ceremony (Photo of Award)Accepting an award can be one of the most gratifying moments in a persons’ career. Giving an acceptance speech under tremendous emotional pressure and in front of hundreds of people can be a nerve wracking experience, and can leave the best of us tongue tied. With the award and gala season upon us, here are five tips to help you make the best impression at the podium:

Dress your best

You get nominated for an award through the local chamber or business woman’s association – what’s the first thing you do? Go shopping for something new to wear of course! For most award ceremonies you want to look glamorous, but still professional. Remember, you’ll want to use photos of the awards on future marketing materials so don’t wear anything too revealing or too crazy. You want to stand out, so consider wearing a colour that complements your skin tone instead of boring old black.

Speak from the heart

Don’t just tell them how you feel, show them how you feel. If you’re overwhelmed, take a moment, it will add to the drama of the speech. If you want to scream with excitement, that’s great too! Tell them a personal story or share some of the sacrifices you have had to make to reach this point in your life. Make it personal and real for your audience.

Watch your filler words

When you’re nervous, one of the first things to happen is…um, err, ah…you know what I’m talking about, those ugly filler words that say nothing and take away from your credibility. Working on your pace and breathing will help control the onslaught of filler words. It’s not an overnight process, so practise this well in advance.

Be prepared, but not too prepared

You know you’ve been nominated, so now the work begins. Research the award and the other nominees. Invite friends and family to the awards gala so you have friendly faces to look at when you get to the podium. Remember to thank people and be gracious, but please don’t pull out a list! Great speeches are a balance of good writing and spontaneous bursts of brilliance.

Be quirky

This is one you probably haven’t heard before. People try too hard to be funny and usually bomb as a result. Instead why not be quirky? For example, you could thank someone unexpected, like a teacher from your school days or your psychiatrist! It will make your speech more interesting and probably get more laughs than you think.

Remember just the fact that you’ve been nominated means that people have noticed your hard work and accomplishments. It is an honour just to be nominated – that’s not just something people say, it’s true! Share the good news of your award nomination and/or win in your bio, on your website, on your social media profiles and anywhere else you can think of. That way your accomplishments will live on forever.


Journal Assignment:

Part 1: Think of a business award you'd like to win. (If you don't know of any, look online to see if your local Chamber of Commerce, Board of Trade, or business groups offer awards.) Imagine you've been nominated. Following the tips in this post, craft your acceptance speech. When you're happy with what you've got, practice it in front of a mirror. See, hear, and envision your success!

Part 2: Look up the requirements for that award and apply for it. If you don't yet meet the requirements for it, put together an action plan with a timeline and work on making yourself eligible for the award in the future. Being nominated for awards is good PR, so make it a part of your marketing strategy to apply for at least one business award each year.


1 Comment

  1. Perfect timing for this post. I was nominated for a social media marketer award in Atlanta. Who knows if I’ll win .. but if I do I’m now so much better prepared to say thank you in a ‘quiry’ fun way.

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