Awards Acceptance Speech Ideas

    If you are great at what you do, at some point you will be recognized and rewarded.  When you win an award and have to give an acceptance speech, what should you say?  The key is to make your words brief, meaningful, and humble.

    Acceptance Speech An award winner giving his speech at Seattle Business's "Best Places to Work" Awards Gala.

    Preparing For Your Speech

    Before beginning to write your speech, it's helpful to gather information.  Ask these questions:

    Do I have to give a speech?  No need to worry about preparing something if you don't have to say anything when receiving your award!

    How much time do I have to give my speech? This helps determine how brief you need to be.

    When will I be giving my speech?  Knowing the program ahead of time can help you relax before having to speak.

    Writing Your Speech

    When stepping up to the podium at an awards gala, the goal is to keep your acceptance speech short, impactful and humble. Here are key ingredients to include in an acceptance speech:

    Start with thanks.  Thank the organization for the award, and state how honored you are to receive it.  Mention the award by name.  Make it about the organization, not yourself.

    Personalize the speech.  Next tell a brief inspirational story about what the award means not only to you, but to the greater good.  If possible, make this statement bigger than yourself.  This is what makes a speech memorable.

    More thanks, but keep it short.  Thank those who helped you professionally, followed by those that inspired you personally.

    Wrap Up.  End with a general thank you, statement of gratitude, or call to action.

    What Not To Do

    Avoid the following when delivering an acceptance speech:

    Rambling on and on.  If possible, come prepared and practice before the event, so you don't sound like a babbling mess.

    Making Jokes.  Usually jokes in a speech are a good thing, but not so in an acceptance speech.  Jokes trivialize the award, which insults the organization and the other nominees.  Save the self-deprecating comments for another time.

    If you follow these general tips, your speech will convey how humbled you are to receive the recognition. Your award acceptance speech will come across full of grace and humility. Congratulations on your award!

    Cheers, Jessica

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