The Academy Awards have their Oscars and I have my own awards.
Figure out how a lesson from each of these awards could help you in your communication, help you stand out in a positive way in your crowded field. The Oscar Winner is given 45 seconds for their acceptance speech. My “walk across the room” exercise is on target!
1. My First Award the It’s All a Matter of Perspective Award
The fourth and at-one-time-final Democratic debate took place on a Sunday evening. Many, many people complained and said no one watches TV on a Sunday night. Yet the Oscars have been on a Sunday night forever. Last year, with the lowest audience in 5 years, 36 million watched. That is more than watched any debate. So is Sunday night really such a bad choice? Side boobs are often chastised. One fashionista said side boobs were good for the Oscars, in essence saying that the side boob is not good the other days of the year. IT’S ALL A MATTER OF PERSPECTIVE
2. My Second Award is the Best Mantra Award.
When a speaker has a repeatable mantra such “as would it help?” it makes the speech so much more effective. Some contexts give themselves to a repeatable mantra and some do not. Supporting actor winner Mark Rylance used “would it help?” and gave perhaps the most interesting and engaging acceptance of the night.
3. My Third Award is the Light on Your Feet Award.
Unless you have been under a rock, you know that these Oscars have been deemed #OscarsSoWhite. With Chris Rock as host, everyone knew that the Oscar audience would take a shellacking from the host. He did hold them accountable, but in a way that made the audience feel awkward but not too, responsible but not too, hopeful but not too.
4. My Fourth Award is the How Did You Do It Award.
Whoopi Goldberg is not known as a fashion icon. She doesn’t like to wear a bra and likes to wear only sneakers. So how did she do it, how did she become the fashion IT-GIRL of the night? She did it by wearing a ring/bracelet that within an hour of being seen on the red carpet, brought back the famous opening from Superman: is it ring, is it a bracelet, is it a bug, it’s Whoopi Goldberg.
5. My Fifth Award is the What Are You Doing Here Award?
I like Joe Biden. I really do. I have not gone to lunch with him, but he seems likable. But what was he doing talking about college rape in the middle of the Academy Awards and then introducing Lady GaGa. Talk about transitions! I get it, the song she sang was about survivors. Just seems like an odd place and an odd place on the program to introduce a serious topic.
6. My Sixth Award is the You’re Never Too Old in Hollywood Award
Whether recipients or presenters have to be helped to the stage, use a cane or a walker, it is apparent that you are never too old in Hollywood if you can make a successful film. They seem to have figured out how to keep the older generations while still giving opportunity and the spotlight to younger people. Things in Hollywood are not always a great example to emulate, but in this case, take note.
7. My Seventh and Final Award is the Thank Goodness Sean Penn is not here Award. Last year Sean Penn was inappropriate in his introduction of Director Alejandro González Iñárritu when he made a Green Card remark. Supposedly they are good friends in real life. “Private joke” kind of humor does not play well in a larger audience. The same director won this year and it was a pleasure to NOT have Sean Penn and his playground humor.
*Shout out to Brie Larson. She won Best Actress for The Room. In real life her mother took Brie and her sister to California and the three of them lived in an efficiency apartment for years. She was able to draw upon this experience in The Room where she and her son are forced to live in a small room for years. What a great example of taking lemons and making lemonade.