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How to Give an Award Ceremony Speech

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Award shows are known for not only the performances, celebrity outfits and the glamour, but also the award acceptance speeches. While you may not be attending the Oscars or Grammys any time soon, you may attend an award ceremony at your job, school, or other organization, and be required to give an acceptance speech. A good speech garners respect from the audience, while a bad one may put people to sleep or confuse them.

Decide ahead of time who will speak if multiple people are part of the potentially winning entity. Either pick one person or decide how long each person may speak.

Make a list of every person you need to thank, such as your family, partners, mentors and other people. You may not have time to thank everyone, so it’s okay to sum up groups, such as “my family” or your marketing team at your place of employment.

Say concisely what the award means to you. Show genuine thanks and appreciation, but do so in a few words. Example: “Ever since I started medical school, I knew this award was something to strive for.”

Ask someone associated with the award ceremony what the time constraints are for an acceptance speech. If he is unsure of a set time, err on the side of keeping the speech brief, such as a minute or less.

Write out the speech. Do not write out every single word, but instead key remarks and people to thank. Type the speech and print it in a font that’s large and easy to read. Make the speech concise and genuine. Avoid showboating or using the moment as an opportunity to push another agenda or your political views.

Practice your speech multiple times. You may get nervous when presenting the speech, so practicing helps you feel comfortable and not forget your words.

Give the speech at the ceremony, breathing normally and making eye contact with the audience at least every two or three sentences. Speak confidently into the microphone, smile and act thankful, without coming off as cocky.


Chris Brower is a writer with a B.A. in English. He also spent time studying journalism and utilizes both to deliver well-written content, paying close attention to audience, and knowing one word could determine whether a product is a success or a failure. He has experience writing articles, press releases, radio scripts, novels, short stories, poems and more.