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Gems You Can Steal from Acceptance Speeches To Make Your Presentations Rock

by | Jun 18, 2019 | 2 comments

Hosted by James Corden, who gets an A+, the 73rd Annual Tony Awards recently recognized achievement in Broadway productions during the 2018-19 season.

While you are not Broadway actors, you are on lots of different stages delivering prepared, impromptu and digital remarks. Your “stages” include the elevator, the loud and thriving popular restaurant where you are entertaining clients, your board room, the conference panel you’re moderating, your quarterly email remarks, and/or your neighbor on the plane.

In all of the arenas, borrow the techniques used by these two Tony Award winners.

The Speak For Yourself® 1st Place WINNER for Best Tony Award Acceptance Speech goes to Andre De Shields for Best Featured Actor in a Musical – “Hadestown”. With poise and presence, Andre shares three cardinal rules for his longevity and ability.

YOUR TAKE-AWAYS: Use the Magic Power of 3. Take your data and categorize in three silos, sections, reasons for whatever you are trying to convey. Go one step further, number your list out loud (if this is an oral vs. digital message). Andre says, “Number One… Number Two…”

The Speak For Yourself® 2nd Place WINNER for Best Tony Award Acceptance Speech goes to Elaine May for Best Actress in a Play – “The Waverly Gallery”. With humor and grace, Elaine thanks others while doing a great set-up that cracks up the audience with its spoiler-alert punch line.

YOUR TAKE-AWAYS: Show your executive presence. You are the decision maker. Yet… can you sit back and find and share the humor? Elaine demonstrates the fine line of getting the laugh without negating herself, while also crediting others. You can do the same. Praise others and find the humor, even when it is you getting the credit/award.

Let me close with Andre’s wise three cardinal rules for his longevity:

  1. Surround yourself with people whose eyes light up when they see you coming.
  2. Slowly is the fastest way to get to where you want to be.
  3. The top of one mountain is the bottom of the next, so keep climbing.

© SpeakForYourself.com/blog             © 123RF Stock Photo

Karen Cortell Reisman, M.S., author of 3 books and President of Speak For Yourself®, works with decision makers on how to speak with gravitas. It’s all in how you speak for yourself. Karen also speaks about her cousin, Albert Einstein, in a message about hope, resilience and brassieres.

#PresentationSkills #BusinessCommunication #OrganizationalCommunication

Karen Cortell Reisman, MS, Executive Communication Author & Speaker


  1. Susan J Mecca

    excellent, quick blog with two good take aways. Thanks Karen!

    • Karen Cortell Reisman

      Susan – Glad our blog is helpful along with being short and fun! Thanks for reading. Karen

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