I don’t much care for awards shows. Every now and then, however, I will see someone who impresses or even inspires me, like when Cuba Gooding Jr. won an Oscar for his role in Jerry Mcguire or when Roberto Benigni won an Oscar in 1998 for Life is Beautiful.  For the most part I see a room full of people who haven’t had a job in months who are just happy to be dressed up and out of the house.
My wife enjoys awards shows, so when the Screen Actors Guild Awards aired on January 23rdwe watched it. I was actually quite impressed with Sandra Bullock and especially Betty White who hails back to an era where class and decorum were the order of the day. I was completely underwhelmed by Drew Barrymore. When the award for best actress in a television movie or miniseries was announced, Drew Barrymore’s name was called. She gave the customary “oh my God I can’t believe it’s me” look to her fellow aisle mates then made the triumphant march to the stage to accept her prize. This is where the wheels came off !!!!
I am a professional speaker. I believe that a person’s ability to effectively communicate thoughts, ideas, and gratitude is paramount in fomenting success regardless of profession. Apparently Drew Barrymore doesn’t think so. As she accepted her award, she began to stutter and stumble over her words in a cutesy and contrived display of ums & ands.  When the awkward moment began to turn uncomfortable, she said “usually improv is a good thing….it’s backfiring on me very badly right now”. I have news for you Drew, IT’S NOT IMPROV….IT’S A SPEECH !!!!.  Considering that you have been in the movie business since before ET phoned home, it is a speech that you should have been prepared for!!!!!!
In a matter of seconds she went, in my eyes, from brilliant to buffoon, from star to stammer, from “bless my stars” to “bless her heart”, all because she was painfully unprepared.
There are certain moments where the right words delivered with eloquence, passion and skill can create, what my friend Scott Mckain calls, a mountain top experience. In sales, these moments happen EVERYDAY. Are you prepared? Have you developed the skill and “material” to inspire people to action?
Three ways to prepare for your awards speech:

Continually be on the lookout for real life experiences, stories, and anecdotes that can be recalled and delivered with dexterity at a moments notice.  Become an expert in your field and your client’s by reading books, articles and web copy about topics that relate to the field.  Keep a file.

      Never miss an opportunity to listen to great speakers speak. Don’t steal their material, take note of their style and technique then create your own.
      As good as you think you are, YOU’RE NOT!!!.  I don’t care how many successful wedding toasts you’ve given. Until you’ve delivered a thousand speeches or presentations, you still have room for improvement. Even then, you still can find ways to become better. JOIN TOASTMASTERS…NOW!


  1. Kelly Swanson on February 19, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    YOU ROCK! Thanks for the great post. Loved it. Good job Patrick.

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