Oscar Speeches and the 3 G’s

Oscar acceptance speeches

All this talk about which film will win the best film award, The King’s Speech, Black Swan or The Social Network, has got me thinking about the Oscars.
And when you think about the Oscars, you can’t help but think about those awful acceptance speeches.

These guys may be trained actors who know how to use their voice and deliver lines, but when it comes to a real speech, they couldn’t lead a congregation in silent prayer.

But why should we expect actors to be any good at giving speeches?

This is what Professor Max Atkinson has to say:

“After all, their skill is to deliver other people’s lines in a way that portrays characters other than themselves, which is a very different business from writing your own lines and coming across as yourself.”

Fair comment Prof.
So if you’re an Oscar nominee looking for advice before you pen your acceptance speech, fear not dear friend, your acceptance speech doesn’t have to be a blubber fest, easypublicspeaking is here for you.

Advice from Crocodile Dundee

Fortunately Mr Paul Hogan, Crocodile Dundee himself, has looked into the problem and has some useful advice for the winners when they deliver their speeches.
His advice can be summed up in the three G’s.

  • Be Gracious
  • Be Grateful
  • Get off

I don’t think that I can improve on that so just sit back and let Mr Hogan spin his straw words of wisdom into golden nuggets of advice.

There you have it dear friends, the 3 G’s of golden advice from Mr Hogan himself.
And in closing I’d like to thank my mother, my father, my…………
I love you all, goodnight.

Time for you to have your say

So what do you think?
Why are acceptance speeches so bad?
What’s the most cringeworthy acceptance speech you’ve ever heard. The one that made you wriggle with embarrassment?
Are there any Brits out there who changed their nationality after watching Kate Winslet’s acceptance speech at the 2009 Golden Globe awards?
Let me have your thoughts on anything and everything in the comments below.

My thanks and gratitude to:

Professor Max Atkinson for his post on Award Speeches
Prayitno for the Oscar photo thumbnail on flickr
Melanie Kissell over at SOLO MOMPRENEUR for showing me how to write short sharp posts

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  1. Paul Hogan is a hoot!

    “Get off” is my favorite part of everyone’s acceptance speech at the Oscars.

    I remember when Sally Fields said, “They love me! They love me! They really love me.” *Cringe*

    Isn’t it uncanny that someone mentioned in your credits has the same surname as me? What are the chances?!

    Splendiferous post! (short, super sharp, and easy to comment on) 🙂
    Melanie Kissell´s last great post ..Don’t Work Hard At Finding Ways Of Saying Very LittleMy Profile

    • Hi Melanie
      Paul Hogan’s speech is a great example of how to give a speech.
      I didn’t say much about it in the post but did you notice how he pauses and waits for the laughter to die down before he continues speaking?

      Don’t remind me… “They love me! They love me! They really love me.”
      How could anyone say that.

      Glad you found the post easy to comment on.
      Was a time that I would have gone on and on… but I am following a good teacher in the art of “short sharp” posts.

      Talk to you soon.

      • It’s a toss up — your comments are as enjoyable as your post!

        Don’t know if you ever watched Dick Clark’s “American Bandstand” but I’d have to say this about your post …

        1) Has a nice beat
        2) Easy to dance to
        3) I’ll give it a ’52’

        Chat with you sometime soon.
        Melanie Kissell´s last great post ..Don’t Work Hard At Finding Ways Of Saying Very LittleMy Profile

        • Keith:

          What a fantastic site you have here. Love the look and the community. I would have to agree with Melanie up there…you got beat here for sure.

          I usually cringe watching the Oscars when the music plays and whomever continues rambling, rambling…..

          I don’t think any acceptance speech is as bad as the ones endured for the Grammy’s. I live for music, but man, without a beat, those people are lost !! 🙂

          Lisa´s last great post ..SiteLinks- What Google REALLY Thinks Of YouMy Profile

  2. Hey Keith

    have you received an academy reward recently?
    Martyna Bizdra´s last great post ..How to Find a Mentor How to Create a Successful Business Interview with Martyna BizdraMy Profile

  3. LOL — a classic Keith, delivered pretty effectively as well.

    Interesting quote from Professor Max Atkinson — there certainly seems to be a few people on social media platforms who read this quote and are putting it into practice 🙂

    Cheers to you Keith!
    Mark Harai´s last great post ..Entrepreneur Series- Salary- Security- and SensibilityMy Profile

    • Eh thanks for calling in Mark

      Glad you liked the video.
      I’ve watched it a few times and it still makes me chuckle.

      Max Atkinson writes some great stuff on his Public Speaking blog.
      Can be a bit wordy but then, so can I.

      Many thanks for your comment.

  4. Keith

    Like the post – but gotta tell you that I avoid watching these Awards Ceremonies like the plague.

    Although I remember watching highlights of James Cameron’s triumphalist ‘ I’m King of The World’ for Titanic and being really disappointed (as I really respect Cameron for his marriage of artistic vision with commercial interests – he’s also a pretty good storyteller too, which helps).

    Gwynth Paltrow did an awful one too – was that for Shakespear in Love? – which was also a pity as she was great in that, and a great film too.

    Am I sensing a ‘film theme’ for a while?

    Paul Wolfe´s last great post ..How To Avoid Writers Block 3 – The Idea BankMy Profile

    • Hi Paul
      The most cringeworthy speeches from Oscar winners are usually cited as:

      At number 2 Halle Berry – Best Actress in Monster’s Ball

      And at number 1 Gwyneth Paltrow – Best Actress in Shakespeare in Love

      I agree with you “Shakespeare in Love” is a good film, very clever and I’d watch it again.
      You have a good memory.

      “Am I sensing a ‘film theme’ for a while?”
      You’ve sussed me out. LOL

      Thanks for a great comment, see you next time.

  5. Fun and useful post Keith. I like the idea of “short and sweet,” you’ve presented here. In addition to speeches, it also goes a long way in blog posts. I have a tendency to write longer, meaty posts. But not everyone wants to read that much detail. I need to incorporate Paul Hogan’s three G’s into my blog post writing as well as my public speaking.

    P.s., I followed you over from your comment on my blog (sparked by my comment on Danny Brown’s blog).

    Cathy Larkin
    CathyWebSavvyPR´s last great post ..Social Media And Blogging For Business Can Turn Cold Calls Into Warm LeadsMy Profile

    • Welcome Cathy
      I think that we all have a tendency to write long meaty posts.
      Same thing happens when people give speeches, they write long meaty speeches.

      I think that Paul Hogan’s 3 G’s come under the heading of “many a true word spoken in jest”.

      Looks as though Danny Brown has brought us together.
      Do you think he’ll want a finder’s fee? LOL

      Thanks for a great comment Cathy.

  6. Fun video Keith. Thanks for sharing! My favorite bit from the video? “Just give us a wave from your seat…” – even the winners should give this some serious consideration. Hogan’s speech is memorable. Loved his pauses, loved his delivery. Nicely self deprecating – well, sort of 🙂

    To me, most are instantly forgettable. The one that came immediately to mind has already been mentioned. Sally Fields … how utterly embarrassing. And Gwyneth Paltrow’s river of tears as she finally exited stage right (or is it left?).

    Best take away? Watch it on television, that’ll relax ya’.

    Theresa Bradley-Banta´s last great post ..What I Didn’t Know One Year Ago TodayMy Profile

    • Hi T
      “Hogan’s speech is memorable. Loved his pauses, loved his delivery.”
      Agree Theresa, could write a whole post on the good points of Hogan’s speech.

      Clever thing is that he says what we are all thinking, but in a socially acceptable way.

      Thanks for stopping by.

  7. Gwyneth Millard says:


    When I invited a VERY famous actor to be ASC’s Speaker of the Year on one occasion – he replied “Sorry but I avoid public speaking whenever possible”. In light of all the references in these posts he is obviously a very sensible man!!!

  8. Great post! It was such fun to see Crocodile Dundee again. Didn’t know it, but apparently I’ve been missing him!

    I always feel bad for the guy and gals that none of us know, so we are quickly bored with them, but they have just as much to say as the stars we do know (naturally), but they just go on and on, until—the whole BIG group is pulled from stage, and only the one guy got to talk, even though several others were hoping to!

    I hate that icky feeling. I feel so bad for everyone else.

    So you’ve had a movie theme lately, huh? I’ll have to check that out. See you around, for sure! 😉
    Paula Lee Bright´s last great post ..Top Ten Tweeps of St Louis- Meet The TwansformerMy Profile

    • Hi Paula
      Yes, Crocodile Dundee seems so long ago.
      Not heard much of Paul Hogan since.

      Next post will continue the movie theme, see you then.

      Appreciate your comment.

  9. Hi! I enjoyed this article and am happy I came across it today. I smiled when I read the line about actors not being able to lead a congregation in a silent prayer.

    Then I googled Kate Winslet’s acceptance speech which was a riot. I’m so embarrassed for her. Here’s the link for your blog readers.


    I love to speak infront of people. Perhaps that why I enjoy blogging so much. I compare starting a blog much like what it is to speak in public. You have to overcome fears.

    Once you do it’s so satisfying, isn’t it?

    Thanks for your insight.

    Julie ~ jbulie’s blog´s last great post ..I don’t know about you but I don’t take criticism too wellMy Profile

    • Welcome Julie and thanks for your comment.

      Glad you liked that line.
      Can’t lay claim to it being my own, I’ve got a feeling it might have been said by Cavett Robert.

      I agree, blogging and Public Speaking have lots in common.
      Don’t know about you but I always try and write / speak in a conversational way rather than writing a school essay.

      Thanks for the Kate Winslet link.
      Makes me proud to be British. LOL

  10. Hi Keith! Very interesting point that actors make a living delivering lines but when it comes to delivering their own lines many of them fail by comparison. Dundee’s formula is pretty good. I specially appreciate the Get Off part. 🙂 I would add Be Sincere to his list even though it’s not a G and it doesn’t fit so perfectly. When they are sincere and it comes from the heart we can immediately tell the difference from a rehearsed perfect speech.
    Thanks from bringing this up. Loving blessings!
    Andrea DeBell – britetalk´s last great post ..Tips for an Amazing Valentine’s Day… or How to Love EverydayMy Profile

    • Hi Andrea
      Always good to hear from you.

      Yes, strange that they struggle with their own lines, weird!

      Good point about sincerity versus a well prepared perfect speech.
      You’ve got me thinking now.

      I’ll check out your Valentine’s day post.
      See you next time.

  11. Hi Everyone.

    I’m watching the BAFTA’s on telly.
    “Helena Bonham Carter appeared bemused and delighted as she picked up the award for Best Supporting Actress.”

    Will Colin Firth win best actor award?
    My wife has never been the same since she saw him in the lake scene in Pride and Prejudice.
    Even now if you mention Mr. Darcy… her legs turn to jelly.

    Best British film – “The King’s Speech”

    Best supporting actor – Geoffrey Rush – “The King’s Speech”

    Leading actor – Colin Firth – “The King’s Speech” Colin Firth did a super speech.

    Best film – “The King’s Speech

    BAFTA’s all finished for this year.

  12. Oh, Keith. Silly, silly man. I can’t believe that you weren’t aware that ever since that movie, 83% of all heterosexual women have been turned to jelly by that scene!

    I thought that was known to ALL men by now. ;D

    Just kiddin’. I ‘m sure it’s only about 78% in reality.
    Paula Lee Bright´s last great post ..Top Ten Tweeps of St Louis- Meet The TwansformerMy Profile

  13. I like the three G’s.

    I think that pattern works well for a lot of folks, from a giving and receiving perspective.

    Some folks have the gift of story. For those that do, I like when they share their gift. It takes the experience to another level, like a journey of heart and mind.
    J.D. Meier´s last great post ..What 25 Movies Teach Us About LoveMy Profile

  14. I don’t know any actors, famous or otherwise. But it seems to me, watching them, it’s less about the speech and more about making things about them.

    They thank everyone they can think of, just so they…what, so when they meet that one person they almost forgot to thank for getting them water that one day, they don’t have to feel embarrassed for forgetting to mention them? Not quite sure.

    My favorite was Jennifer Garner when she tripped on stage. She had so much class, and showed her sense of humor, when she got up and said, “I do my own stunts!”
    Delena Silverfox@Coupon Codes´s last great post ..Hostgator Coupon CodeMy Profile

  15. Keith,

    fantastic choice of the movie and great text of yours. They made me laugh to tears :))

    I loved the Crocodile Dundee movies and now I understand even more why 🙂

    I don’t watch Oscar ceremonies, so I don’t have any favorite speeches to share with you and others. But it was so enjoyable to read your post and all the comments.

    Thanks a lot.
    Justyna Bizdra´s last great post ..How to Increase Twitter Followers for Free- Useful Tips and VideoMy Profile

  16. You know what, I came here and read this post over the weekend, and after watching the video, which was awesome, I got distracted by furry little animals crying for food. Sigh…

    I think one of the hardest things for me, well, hardest isn’t the right word…”don’t like” is more appropriate perhaps, is having the light shined on me when it’s something I’ve done well, or good. It’s awkward, ya know? What do you say? Everyone is looking at you, I’m starting to bead, oy! Get me outta here!

    It’s anxiety, must be. Hell, you just keep writing, and I’ll perform my own therapy in the comments section. LOL

    Nice bit here, Keith! Makes me think, and I like that.
    Wayne John @ Southern California Web Development´s last great post ..How to automate tweets with the Twitter APIMy Profile

    • Good to see you back Wayne
      Furry little animals crying for food… I didn’t realise that you had kids. LOL

      Most of us don’t like being the centre of attention, but you can get used to it with practice.
      Joining a Speakers club is the way to go.

      No rush… wait until you’re ready.

  17. Hi Keith Davis,
    I can never be nominated for Oscar Award but I love to watch Oscar Award and other famous award ceremonies. Mr. Hogan’s 3G will surely add up value to the speeches of celebrities who want to get benefit from it for their speeches.
    nazimwarriach´s last great post ..Hostgator Coupon CodeMy Profile

  18. Keith, you kill me bud….this was a great little topic.

    I look at it like this—-Most actors never really have to ‘think’ about their lines. And when they’re doing an interview, they’re too busy trying to sound (the majority at least) incredibly intelligent and at the same time politically correct.

    Great speeches are from the heart, are natural, and are introspective…they’re not a rant…and they’re certainly not supposed to be what we see 99% of the time at the Oscars.

    Marcus Sheridan-The Sales Lion´s last great post ..10 ‘Content Rules’ That Will Help Your Business Rule The WorldMy Profile

    • Hi big fella
      I sensed that someone was prowling around when I switched on my PC.
      Knew it had to be TSL.

      Sounding intelligent and politically correct, that rules me out then. LOL

      Thanks for your great support Marcus.

  19. Keith,

    This a great post about public speaking. Having watched one too many of these award ceremonies, I think Paul Hogan’s presentation should be required for all who attend an award ceremony.

    Actors are what they are; they’re not public speakers. I do sympathize with them in this regard. It’s got to be very difficult to face a large live audience of your peers, rather than a camera.

    It wouldn’t hurt, however, to have SOME preparation. Otherwise they will get the award most frequently given out. I believe it’s called the “Foot in the Mouth Award”:~)

    I always enjoy your posts!
    Sara´s last great post ..Celebrate Anniversary!My Profile

    • Always enjoy reading your comments Sara
      Well thought out remarks and you are probably right.

      We expect too much of them.
      We expect them to be as brilliant and vibrant as the characters they portray in the movies.
      How could they ever live up to that?

  20. Love the 3 Gs. Also really enjoyed the quote by Max Atkinson.

    I think that its one thing to act and another to give a public speech. Many actors are good at just that, acting and not in public speaking.

    Thank you for the post,
    Dan Black
    Dan Black´s last great post ..Leaders Need To Be DisciplinedMy Profile

    • Hi Dan
      Not heard from you for some time.
      Hope you are keeping well.

      Too true, big difference between acting and giving a Speech.

      I’ll visit your site and see what you’re up to.

  21. You got to love Paul Hogan, I loved the way he finished it off by putting the audience at ease 😀

    I expect more of actors, but I think they make a poor show of it because they’re too relaxed and aren’t even trying to put on a good show.

    I don’t watch the Logies and stuff, I find them boring as hell. Much prefer action movies but if there’s none on I’d prefer watching mould grow on a slice of bread.
    Sire´s last great post ..11-Inch MacBook Air ReviewMy Profile

    • Thought you’d like this one Sire.

      I think that’s what annoys me – they don’t seem to make any effort to prepare a half decent speech.

      We’ve just had the BAFTAS… Oscars next.

      Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment.

      • Do you think it’s because they’re so full of themselves that they think they don’t have to? That they maybe believe people will literally hang off every word?

        Personally I think a lot of people would, especially the fans.
        Sire´s last great post ..My Blog Was Hacked And What I Did About ItMy Profile

        • Don’t know Sire, don’t know.
          Nerves, ego, can’t be bothered.
          Just can’t work it out.

          BTW – what did you think of John Hoff’s videos?
          I always say he’s got the sexiest voice on the web.

  22. Hi Keith .. I’m not sure I’ve seen Paul Hogan’s clip before .. great one! Love his way of putting things. I usually watch the tv snippets .. so I get both – the good and the bad!

    Some people just have that knack of getting it right – right words, right length, right subject matter and talk .. and it’s a wonder to behold and listen to ..

    Funny – love blogging, hate public speaking .. but that’s changing .. cheers – good and interesting post – thanks Hilary
    Hilary´s last great post ..Spring – the season of new growth- abundant change My Profile

    • Hi Hilary
      Hatred of Public Speaking changing!
      Sounds like good news to me.

      BTW – how did the workshop with the actor go?

      Did you learn much?
      Did you enjoy it?

      • Hi Keith .. it’s weekly?! and for the year .. so it’s very interesting .. completely different from Toastmasters – thank goodness. Sunday afternoons & he does one in the morning .. just a few of us .. but that suits me fine.

        Other things are ticking along too – the process is constantly changing .. we’re doing a mini show (very mini ..) in 4 weeks – and I’ve asked a guy who exhibits Surreal paintings to do me a Honeysuckle and a Bindweed painting/s .. as I’m doing Misalliance by Flanders and Swann .. well one or two verses and then bringing the acting side in .. so lots to tell – but early days yet.

        More anon .. cheers H
        Hilary´s last great post ..Content is King – is it not How about Passion My Profile

  23. Hey Keith, Did you get a new look? This is a beautiful site. I like the colors and the theme lay out.

    Any whooooo, We love the Oscars. We are big film buffs.

    I think the worst thing I have seen was Sophia Loren delivery at the 2009 awards…boo!
    Sheila Atwood´s last great post ..You Have 3 Seconds To Tell Me Who You Are Or I Am Gone Baby GoneMy Profile

    • Welcome Sheila
      Thanks for the compliments on my site colours, but the credit has to go to Nick over at Elegant Themes.

      We all love the Oscars; we sit there waiting for that moment that will be splashed across the newspapers next day.

      I’ll check out the Sophia Loren reference – my daughter has just asked…
      “Who is Sophia Loren?”
      I dunno, kids these days. LOL

      Thanks for your comment Sheila.

  24. I was happy to see the Kings Speech win so many awards. It was my favorite movie of the year.
    Amy´s last great post ..Portman and Firth Win OscarsMy Profile

  25. I watched Oscar and I can say that some of the actors aren’t good public speakers.

  26. This is a great post about public speaking. Mr. Hogan did the best speech ever. It’s a good example on how to give a speech.. I enjoy reading your post.
    Mamie Saunders´s last great post ..The Quit India speech by Mahatma Gandhi August 8th 1942My Profile

    • Hi Mamie
      Really appreciate you coming over and leaving a comment.

      I’ll take a look at your site and see what you blog about.

  27. Accepting his award for best supporting actor Colfer told kids who are being bullied that he is proof that they can be exactly who they are and do great things…After thanking Glee creator Ryan Murphy and his castmates he fought back tears and delivered the rest of his speech… Most importantly to all the amazing kids that watch our show and the kids that our show celebrates that are constantly told no by bullies in their school and they cant be who they are .