Picture this…you’ve just learned that you’ve been chosen to be an award recipient! First reaction is shock or hopefully delight (could it really be true?). This is closely followed by paralyzing fear when you learn that you’re expected to “say a few words.” After you pick yourself up off the floor, you now realize you don’t have a clue as to how to proceed.
In my business, it’s not uncommon for clients to contact me for this exact reason because they’re seeking guidance on this special occasion. After all, they want to sound their best! Here are my top 7 tips to get you started when it’s your turn:
1. Know the name of your award as well as the criteria for receiving it.
2. Find out who is expected to be attending the event (representative sample of guests).
3. Keep your remarks succinct (up to 3 minutes).
4. Write out your remarks ensuring that they connect to the award and possibly include a relevant anecdote that is meaningful.
5. Avoid a laundry list of people to thank.
6. Practice and record yourself saying your speech ensuring that you sound authentic and conversational.
7. If possible, practice your acceptance speech in the actual venue, so that you get comfortable in the setting.
Remember that this is an experience to savor vs. dread. It’s an honor to be recognized and if you speak from your heart your message will be heard and remembered.