Getting and Giving Awards

Are you going to be presenting an Award, or are you perhaps the recipient?

shakinghands jpgEither way, you want to make a great impression on your audience as a person who took control, had perfect timing and was interesting to listen to. The following 6 tips will help you gain the confidence you need to deliver your speech successfully.

1.      Presenting: Tell a story that ties the recipient to the award. The how, why, where and when details.
        Accepting: Practice your acceptance speech out loud. Record yourself and time it. You want to keep it short. Make your points in order of most importance to least, just in case you get interrupted.
2.    Presenting: Hold the award as if it is very valuable. Stand on an angle so the audience can see the recipient and the reward. Look directly at the recipient and hand them this very precious item. Remember to wear your friendliest smile.
       Accepting:  Accept the award with gratitude and don’t apologize for anything. The audience wants you to succeed they enjoy an informative, entertaining speech.
3.    Presenting: Let the person remain seated until you finish the introduction. It’s uncomfortable for all, having the person you are talking about standing silently beside you. Use a hand gesture to invite them up and make sure you pronounce their name correctly.
      Accepting: Smile! Then after a slight, but drawn out pause address the audience. Limit ‘ums’ and ‘ahs’ by sticking to your practiced speech.
4.   Presenting: Arrive early and walk around the speaker area, check out the microphone and any other visual aids.
      Accepting: Try to meet and greet audience members as they arrive.  It will be easier to make your speech to friends who are wishing you the best, than it would be to a room full of strangers.
5.   Presenting: All Certificates must be filled out completely and signed. Double, or better still, triple check that the person’s name is spelled correctly.
     Accepting: When it comes to thanking people remember to include your spouse, or rumors will fly. You could thank the pioneers of your industry and some the other people who worked alongside you on the project.
6.    Presenting: Give the impression that you are in complete control of this event, even if inside you are experiencing a minor anxiety attack. Make it look easy and your audience will be great fans of yours.
       Accepting: Keep an eye on your audience. Are they glued to your every word? Are they yawning? If you get signs boredom part way through your speech, then tie it up early and say, ‘thank you and goodnight’.

Whether you are giving or receiving recognition for business and community endeavors remember to keep a sense of humor. If things go wrong, and they will, then say something funny and put everyone in the room at ease. If the microphone stops working you could keep mouthing the words and then say, “Sorry I thought you could read lips”, or if the lights go out “everyone’s a critic”.  Have a few jokes ready for just in case situations. Award winning speeches can be a challenge to write but it is a celebration so relax a little and enjoy the event.

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