Public Speaking Lessons from the Oscars

This Sunday, Hollywood stars filled the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles to celebrate the 85th annual Academy Awards. The glamour, fashion and makeup sparkled across the city. But looking beyond the sparkle, you have to ask yourself, what lessons can we take from the Oscars?

Know your story

Knowing your story is important whether you are a business professional or an Oscar award winner. In order to represent your organization’s brand, you must know your story and you must be able to tell it genuinely.

The delivery of your story greatly impacts the way you are perceived by your audience. In order to gain trust from your audience, you must deliver your messages with authenticity. Throughout many Oscar interviews and acceptance speeches, celebrities thank their colleagues and express appreciation. The audience recognizes these elements in the speeches; however, the most impactful speeches are from those who share more personal stories. During the 85th annual Academy Awards, Ben Affleck shared how he felt the first time he was at the Oscars and how much he has grown in his career since. His personal story gave his audience clear insight into why he is passionate about his career, which makes him more relatable and helps to further develop his brand.

Make your story memorable

Often times, we tend to steer clear from standing out with the fear of our message being misinterpreted. However, thinking outside of the box and taking your audience by surprise can lead to a more memorable brand experience. For example, Jennifer Lawrence certainly stood out when she tripped on the stairs prior to accepting her Oscar for best actress.

Although falling wasn’t a part of her plan, Lawrence joked about the embarrassing mishap and kept moving forward with her acceptance speech. Not only did she incorporate humor to the situation, she expressed emotion and sincerity in her speech, which resonated with the audience. After the award ceremony, reporters asked Lawrence how she prepared for the day — and handled her fall. She responded with honesty, which made her brand more relatable and memorable to those watching from around the world.

Rehearse, rehearse, and rehearse

Any PR professional will tell you: rehearsal and preparation are key to a successful speech or public appearance. While workers finished up with the small details to perfect the red carpet, the performers rehearsed each and every line and joke planned for the ceremony. The actors and actresses recited their lines in front of an audience of show workers, which can be an important step to preparing before speaking publicly. Whether it is a pet, family member, colleague or friend, it is beneficial to practice your speech or talking points with a small audience. This provides the speaker with the opportunity for feedback on the delivery of the speech.

While rehearsing is crucial to display a flawless speech, it is also important to remember anything could change; therefore, it is important to always be prepared for a bump in the road. If something unexpected comes along during your speaking engagement, speech or media interview, roll with the punches – but always remember to stay on message.

Photo Credit: The Telegraph

Leave a Reply