3 Speaking Tips From Oscar Winners: Legendary speeches at Oscars 2015

Were the Oscars taken over by motivational speakers this year?  Is John Legend the next Tony Robbins? Judging by the results, it certainly seems so.

Rather than giving mindless thank yous, this year’s winners shared MESSAGES. You can change the world in less than one minute, and speakers can definitely learn a thing or two from this.
TIP ONE: Have a call-to-action – A call-to-action is an instruction to the audience to do something. At the end of J.K. Simmons’ emotional acceptance speech, he told the 1 billion plus people watching, “Go call your parents… If you’re lucky enough to have a parent or two alive, call them! Don’t text. Don’t email. Call them! Listen to them for as long as they want to talk to you."  Now that’s a powerful call-to-action!
TIP TWO:  Have a point of view – Several winners used their time at the podium to share their feelings on different issues.  Patricia Arquette spoke out for feminism when she declared: “It's our time to have wage equality” as she accepted her Oscar for Boyhood.
Reese Witherspoon echoed my blog “Don’t Waste your Red Carpet Time” (link is external)when she called out Hollywood for ignoring real issues in favor of chat about dresses as part of the #askhermore campaign.
John Legend, who won for Best Song, made a strong statement. “Selma is now because the struggle for justice is right now… We live in the most incarcerated country in the world. There are more black men under correctional control today then were under slavery in 1850.” Wow! I had tears in my eyes.
Best Actor Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything) spoke about ALS while Best Actress Julianne Moore (Still Alice) used her time to talk about Alzheimer's.Birdman director Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu called for respect for Mexican immigrants during his acceptance speech. “We are with you, we see you, we love you, and march on.”
TIP THREE: Reveal your own journey from mess to success.  Perhaps no one gave a more powerful speech than Graham Moore, who won the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for The Imitation Game. He used his time at the podium to give a highly personal speech about suicide awareness and depression. "I tried to commit suicide at 16, and now I'm standing here," he said. "I would like for this moment to be for that kid out there who feels like she doesn’t fit in anywhere. You do. Stay weird. Stay different, and then when it's your turn and you are standing on this stage, please pass the same message along."
Wow! It’s been a long time since the Oscars speeches were as substantial and motivational as this.  Hooray for Hollywood!

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Judy's Blog

Judy Carter blogs on comedy, storytelling and public speaking techniques, using personal stories and her adventures as a stand-up comic turned motivational public speaker. Her weekly blogs are read by fans of her books, “The Comedy Bible” (Simon and Schuster) and “The Message of You” (St. Martin’s Press), which include comics, speakers, and entrepreneurs. She is also known for teaching the value of humor and storytelling to businesses as a leadership and stress reduction tool.