#Oscars or as SNL called them: The Grabbies

When I talk about the lessons we can learn from the Oscars, my comments sometimes are met with a glassy eyed stare as if to say “the Oscars have nothing to do with me”. I continue to say, for anyone that will listen, the Oscars have everything to do with you. There are just so many lessons you can learn from the red carpet, the mishaps, the pairings that work and the pairings that don’t work, the acceptance speeches that hit the right note and the ones we can’t wait for to be over. Especially in the world of the Oscar, boring is a deadly sin.

Lessons You Can Learn

  1. Last year the wrong movie was called out for an Oscar that the ensemble crew had to give back a few minutes later.

A year after Envelope gate, the largest mishap in Oscar history, the Academy Awards telecast crew was leaving little to chance the day before the event. Presenters from Emma Stone to Helen Mirren took to the stage to practice their walking, teleprompter reading, and envelope tearing.

Lesson Learned: Even Oscar worthy actors have to come in and practice. There is no substitute for practicing out loud, in the same venue, and with the same people. Whether it is a small communication challenge or what feels like a life defining one, real practice is essential for success.

  1. Revenge on the X. Wouldn’t everyone like to get revenge on an x- boyfriend or boss? When I saw Jennifer Garner in that dress they referred to as purple, I said, WOW, that is a revenge dress: an aren’t you sorry you cheated on me dress, a she will never look this good dress.

Here’s to looking great that first time you run into your old boss, or co-worker or x-whatever. The point is the same, we all want to look successful or great, or thin or tall or something when we see an x. The more fear this paranoia puts into you, the better chance you have of looking good at that unplanned moment.

  1. When Ncole Kidman introduced the category of best screenplay, she brought up an example of a point I must have brought up 50 times with clients. She said, “The better the writer, the easier it looks”. What I heard was, the art is in hiding the art.

Lesson Learned: Your job is to make any aspect of speaking look easy. You and your skill set will be appreciated more for making your challenge look easy than for making it look as tough as it is. That truly is, the art is in hiding the art.


  • Jane Fonda walked out to present the best actor award, milking every second of the moment. She looked beyond Jane Fonda. She took what felt like an hour to make that 20’ walk. Do you make the most out of every memorable moment?
  • Jody Foster came out in crutches to present the best actress award. She could have literally called in sick. She could have avoided the opportunity rather than embrace it. Do you use an excuse to get out of the spotlight?
  • “We all have stories to tell” said Frances McDormand when she asked all the women in the audience who had been nominated, to stand up. First a shout out to the stories we all have, and second a shout out to getting the audience to stand up and follow directions. She wisely said to Meryl, if you do it everyone will do follow. Who can be your Meryl Streep?

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