Image by Michelle L Steffes, CPLC from Pixabay


So you’re about to be honored for your pro bono work, volunteerism, or for creating a foundation to fund scholarships for education. But you get stage fright or don’t know how to most-effectively frame your acceptance speech?

Join the crowd. A lot of people have difficulty in public speaking.

Award speeches are all about being receptive and radiating with gratitude, while smiling and graciously accepting the honor from the heart in a spirit of openness and genuine feelings and emotional tones,” explains Eric Stone, a noted speech trainer (

“It is simply about what is true for you about the award, the people giving it to you and present with you, as well as the business or industry that you are in or cause you are representing,” he says.

Mr. Stone has been teaching since 1983, and is the principal of Speakers and Artists International, Inc.

As a former New York City stage and television actor, early in his career he studied privately under Herbert Berghof, Uta Hagen, Lee Strasberg, Stella Adler, and William Hickey.

“I am very much a target oriented coach or trainer working on key issues and problem areas related to public performance,” he explains.

That includes speech training for executives.

“Public speaking relies on very simple yet wonderfully telling ‘dynamics’ between the speaker and his/her audience,” he asserts.

“That is the true competitive edge of this style of coaching which targets ‘organic, spontaneous and authentic’ enrollment techniques not outdated ‘external’ body language techniques and frozen gestures, postures and various similes,” Mr. Stone adds. “I have found that almost every problem a speaker experiences is related to those few and simple dynamics.”

“Award speeches are all about being receptive and radiating with gratitude, while smiling and graciously accepting the honor from the heart in a spirit of openness and genuine feelings and emotional tones.”

Mr. Stone recommends finding the most-effective key words, tone and phrasing for the specific situation.

“You have to be able to see yourself say those things and find a style to say them…casual, from the heart, entertaining, emotional, formal, elegant, and sophisticated, etc.,” he points out. “There are things you see yourself say and others not. The same goes for the manner in which you voice the things you say.”

Mr. Stone’s recommends these speech elements:

  • Gracious and heartfelt thanks for the organization giving you the honor.
  • Acknowledgement of the special people in the audience: wife, daughter, brother, etc.
  • Acknowledgement of the audience who took time out to witness the celebration.
  • An appreciative awareness of those who made it possible for you to achieve the award.
  • What the award means to you – including reference to the values, goals, aspirations, etc., the organization or group represents and how they inspire you.
  • Stories – small personal heart-felt anecdotes to show what receiving this award means to you in your life. All from the heart so as to make it real for the audience.

He says you’ll need salient information:

  • Who will be in the audience? And will need to be thanked?
  • Is the event only for you or other things will be celebrated?
  • Have you received any directions or information regarding the event? Specifically about your receiving honor? Logistics? How long you are expected to speak, etc.
  • Who will be giving you the award? Name of person?

These are great tips to heed now — you never know when you’ll need them.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are relevant links:

Communication – You Can Train Yourself to Stop Stressing — It’s OK to be nervous before giving a speech or when you’re entering an important round of negotiations. Feeling pressure is one thing but allowing it to morph into stress and tension is another. When you allow this to happen, in a sense, you’re giving away your personal power, which inhibits your performance.

How to Get More Opportunities as a Guest Speaker — If you’re successful in generating speaking opportunities, you’ll create opportunities for your career. At the least, you’ll be in a position to raise your business profile. Ideally, prospective clients or customers will be in the audience. Count on opportunities to develop centers of influence — people who can refer business to you.

How to Obtain the Most Profit from Speaking Opportunities — It’s one thing to be invited to speak at your industry’s major event. But it’s another to create the right impression for your hosts, your audience and prospective customers or clients. There’s more to it than you might think. Widely acclaimed as a speaker and based in Los Angeles, Joey Tamer made her stellar reputation as a strategic consultant to entrepreneurs in technology and digital media, and to experienced consultants in all fields to maximize their practices.

9 Tips to Connect with People after You Make Your Speech — Typically, in making a speech at a public forum, businesspeople hope to get a return on their investment. After all, giving a great speech or serving on a panel before a targeted audience necessitates your valuable time and effort in preparation. You could give a speech and then go back to your office waiting for the phone to ring. Or, you could give a talk and then take strategic steps so that you can further connect with the individuals sitting in the audience – for strong results.

13 Best Practices for Fun, Successful PowerPoint Presentations — You want to give fun, successful PowerPoint presentations, right? To do so, you must remember the proper relationship among the slide, your audience and you, according to an expert. Here’s how.

“It usually takes more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech.”

-Mark Twain


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.