Updated: Mar 1
An award speech can be tough. After all, you are the one receiving the award and are probably feeling a bit weird about talking about yourself. I would feel the same way. However, there are a few different paths that you can take so that you don’t talk about yourself for the entire time.
The ultimate goal for an awards speech is to keep the focus on the people who helped you achieve your goals–the secondary goal is to keep them short. One different way to think about it is to ask yourself, “If the people who helped me win this award were up here rather than me, what would I want to say about them?”
Follow these three tips for a better award speech:
First, if the award is named for someone, find out about his or her life. Tell an interesting story about that person. Al Gore did this when he accepted the Nobel Peace Prize and explained how Alfred Nobel was the original inventor of dynamite.
Second, talk about the people who were instrumental in your success. Shine the spotlight on others and tell the story of how others helped you achieve the success you are being honored for.
Third, talk about the purpose behind the award and previous award winners. Similar to the first tip, discuss how the award came to be and how previous winners exemplified the reasons for it. If you choose this path, keep it really short. People are there to hear about you and not a rehash of years past.
Above all, the key quality for any award speech is humility. Even though it’s you winning the award, it’s not time to put your ego on display. Rather, it’s a time to acknowledge those who helped you get to where you are today.