How to easily write an inspiring and heartfelt award acceptance speech that will earn you several rounds of generous applause.
You are in the right place at the right time if you are looking for tips and ideas to help you write an memorable award acceptance speech.
Just stick with me for a while and I will show you....
- How to write a speech for accepting an award
- How to use award acceptance speech samples to say something sweet when you mount the podium to receive an award
- How to write a funny speech for an award ceremony
...plus a whole lot more ideas you can incorporate into your script
Some folks believe that some people are born lucky. Some others believe we are destined to make it. And a few others believe that hard work makes all the difference.
Is This True About Success?
Do you believe in any of that? Well, I think success is a combination of all these views. Guess what? Even if you think you’re not gifted or not very lucky in life, hard work and perseverance can make you a shining star no matter what your lot in life is.
Take the story of this legendary basketball player: Michael Jordan. When he first entered the league, his jump shot wasn’t good enough. To perfect his craft, he spent his off season taking hundreds of jumpers a day until he became better at it and won several awards in his career.
Speaking of awards, remind me of this quote by actor Tom Cruise.
‘’ Awards are wonderful. I've been nominated many times and I've won many awards. But my journey is not towards that. If it happens it will be a blast. If it doesn't, it's still been a blast ‘’
Tom’s quote is absolutely true. Guess what? No one gets to work on something in high hopes of getting an award or some kind of recognition.
But, when you make an impactful contribution to humanity, you are bound to be rewarded for a great job done. Let’s face it. If you have been nominated alongside with other nominees and you hear your name mentioned as the eventual award winner, that can be quite shocking in itself.
Afterwards, the applause will die down and all eyes will be on you. Then, everyone would be expecting nothing but a brief statement from you.
You only have a few minutes to inspire your audience. Now, the cameras are on you. What are you going to say after you have mounted that podium to accept your award?
You see, your award acceptance speech is a platform not only to showcase what you have done with your mind and hands but also a platform to inspire those who may have similar goals and aspirations like you.
So you shouldn’t just wing it. But you should prepare and plan for it as though your whole life depended on it. I am sure the first question you might want to ask is:
How Can I Deliver An Impressive Award Acceptance Remark?
If you have never made one before, then I recommend that you first get your feet wet by watching a couple of award recognition speeches videos to get a fair idea of how such remarks are delivered.
Youtube.com has several of such video clips. On that platform and elsewhere, you can niche down further by popping your desired keyword into the search box. For example, you can input the keyword ‘’ nursing award acceptance speech’’ or ‘’ music award acceptance speech’’ if you are looking for information in that specific category.
Here are two good videos that can stimulate your writing and thinking abilities with.So, please grab your journal and pen, hit on the play button, sit back and jot down a few ideas that resonate best with you as you feast your eyes on them.
Here you go:
Award Acceptance Speech Video Example #1
Award Acceptance Speech Video Sample #2
Videos are not the only thing that can show you what to say and what not to say at the award ceremony. Best or well-written award acceptance speech examples are also proven tools that can easily help you express your thoughts with clarity and purpose, even if you are not a natural speaker.
For the purpose of this study, I am going to share with you at least three short but brilliant examples. Afterward, we will break at least one down step-by-step so you can figure out how to write your own award recognition remarks.
Please bear in mind that the insights and writing ideas you will discover from our analysis can be applied to your own script even if you are looking forward to delivering a humanitarian, marketing, military, film or movie, honorary doctorate, employee, award recognition speeches…you name it.
If you are in a hurry, then please scroll down to the last example as my comments/analysis starts right from there. By the way, you can jot down ideas you think you can work into your remarks as we review them.
Here you go:
Award Acceptance Speech Example #1:
Thank you all, so much, for this wonderful and unexpected recognition.
But perhaps more importantly, thank you for the opportunity to celebrate the empowerment of women and minorities.
Back in the 1980s, when I ran the Dayton operation of Ohio Works – a program that moved women from welfare to work – I hired a young African-American man by the name of Robert E. Johnson.
After a year, I told Robert I wanted to promote him to my second-in-command – quite a well-deserved promotion!
He just stared at me.
His slow-to-arrive response was, “I just don’t think I can do that job.”
I said, “Robert – I know you. When you try hard enough, there isn’t anything you can’t do.”
Today Robert E. Johnson is not only a Ph.D. – but he is the president of Becker College in Worcester, Massachusetts. Not long ago I caught up with Robert, who told me something I’ll never forget.
He said to me, “you are the reason I have advanced to this point.”
“You are the person who told me I could do whatever I wanted to do.” “Your encouraging words changed my life.”
I was so surprised.
In fact – I had even forgotten our conversation so long ago.
But it made me think:
Imagine the impact you can have on someone with just a few simple words of encouragement.
So today, I encourage you to do the same. I encourage you to tell someone you know that they are important. They are worthy. And that you recognize the goodness that lies within them. Tell them that you respect them.
Because the first step to empowering each other is respecting one another. And in our society today, respect is HUGE. And very much needed.
People become empowered when they believe in themselves. So if you can help someone believe in themselves today – you might be helping them change their life tomorrow.
You just never know.
Award Acceptance Speech Example #2:
Thank you, Colonel Schramm.
Distinguished guests, officers, soldiers and friends of The Salvation Army.
On behalf of the men and women of Citibank and Citicorp, I accept this Citation of Merit with great pleasure. In the complicated society in which we live, so filled with big institutions, big government, big media and big problems, it is easy to forget that at the center of our society is the individual. While we often speak of organizations or even countries as good or bad, what we really mean is the value system represented by the individuals who make up those organizations or countries. No one has ever heard of state freedom or state morals. These are the exclusive province of the individual.
At the very center of those values stands religion and a belief in the infinite worth of the individual. The Salvation Army, whose centennial in the United States we celebrate this year, has been for more than a century a force for good in the world. It has stood for the equality of men and women, black and white, and lived by those precepts long before the words, "equal opportunity," were coined. The Army, in the words of the Scripture, "will maintain the fabric of the world."
The Army began in this country in 1880 when Commissioner George Scott Railton and seven women officers arrived to found the Army's first mission on this side of the water. At that time, half of New York's population crowded into tenements on the Lower East Side--an area that accounted for 70 percent of the city's deaths.
The Army did not wait for the creation of a city planning commission to cope with the problem; it did not wait for a government grant. They went to work with the situation as they found it, and began in this country their classic work of helping people to help themselves.
The fact that America is a volunteer society has confounded observers for generations. Those who say we must make democracy work, misunderstand our society. Democracy is an idea, an abstraction. It is not possible to make an abstraction work-- only men and women work.
The idea that you and I , and millions like us, can make a difference was commented upon 150 years ago by Alexis de Tocqueville: "These Americans are a peculiar people," he said. "If in a local community a citizen becomes aware of a human need . . . he discusses it with his neighbors . . . (and they) thereupon begin to operate on behalf of the need . . . . It is like watching a miracle, because these citizens perform this act without a single reference to any bureaucracy, or any official agency."
The "peculiar" people who work "miracles" is what America is all about, and what The Salvation Army practices.
The Army does not depend on the government for support. It depends on local efforts from the private sector, on personal caring of one human being for another.
Its concern for others is assistance with a human face. There are no endless forms to fill out, people to see, questions of standards or requirements to meet before assistance is provided. The Army is out in the streets living with the people it helps. Its men and women know what needs to be done from personal experience.
It long ago learned that human problems cannot be solved just by throwing money at them. It takes hard work, determined efforts and continuing and effective programs to combat social evils. From soup kitchens to hospitals, community centers, alcohol and drug rehabilitation programs, emergency and disaster services, social work centers and recreational facilities, the Army takes its fight to where it's happening every day of the year, year in and year out.
It is written that God "created man in His own image." The Army acts on that belief in its work for all men and all women, and our democracy also rests on that idea. It is what Reinhold Neibuhr meant when he wrote, "Nothing that is worth doing can be accomplished in your lifetime; therefore, you will have to be saved by hope.
Nothing that is beautiful will make sense in the immediate instance; therefore, you must be saved by faith. Nothing that is worth doing can be done alone, but has to be done with others; therefore, you must be saved by love."
It is a singular honor to be associated with those who practice that philosophy, and we are grateful that such an organization would find in the men and women of Citibank some kindred spirits. On their behalf--I thank you.
Award Acceptance Speech Sample #3:
"Thank you. Thank you, that is, that’s incredibly kind. Thank you so much. They only gave me a few minutes so I wanna say a very special thanks to Miss Viola Davis, who is nominated tonight and doing this. Thank you, thank you, I really appreciate it. To the Board of Governors, especially to Whoopi Goldberg, Ava (DuVernay).
"You know when I set out to help someone, it is my intention to do just that. I’m not trying to do anything other than meet somebody at their humanity. Like a case in point, this one time I remember I was, maybe it was about 17 years ago. I rented this building and we were using it for production and I was walking to my car one day and I see this woman coming up out of the corner of my eye and I say, she’s homeless, let me give her some money.
"Judgment. I wish I had time to talk about judgment. Anyway, I reach in my pocket and I’m about to give her the money. She says, 'Excuse me sir. Do you have any shoes?' It stopped me cold because I remember being homeless and having one pair of shoes and they were bent over at the heels. So I was like, 'yeah.' So I took her into the studio.
She was hesitant to go in, but we went in. We go to wardrobe and there all these boxes and everything around the walls and fabrics and racks of clothes. So we ended up having to stand in the middle of the floor. So as we’re standing there in wardrobe, we find some shoes, we help her put them on.
I stand up, I’m waiting for her to look up and all this time she’s looking down. She finally looks up. She’s got tears in her eyes. She said 'Thank you, Jesus, my feet are off the ground.'
"In that moment I recall her saying to me 'I thought you would hate me for asking.' I’m like, 'how can I hate you when I used to be you?' How can I hate you when I had a mother who grew up in a Jim Crow South in Louisiana, rural Louisiana right across the border from Mississippi, who at 9 or 10 years old was grieving the death of Emmett Till. And she got a little bit older.
She was grieving the death of the Civil Rights boys and the little girls who were in the bombing in Alabama. She grieved all this all these years and I remember being a little boy and coming home, and she was at home like, 'what are you doing home? You supposed to be at work.' She was in tears that day. She said there was a bomb threat and she couldn't believe that someone wanted to blow up this place where she worked. Where she took care of all these toddlers. It was the Jewish Community Center.
"My mother taught me to refuse hate. She taught me to refuse blanket judgment, and in this time, and with all of the Internet and social media and algorithms and everything that wants us to think a certain way, the 24-hour news cycle, it is my hope that all of us, we teach our kids and I want to remember, just refuse hate. Don’t hate anybody.
I refuse to hate someone because they are Mexican or because they are Black or white or LGBTQ. I refuse to hate someone because they are a police officer. I refuse to hate someone because they are Asian.
"I would hope that we would refuse hate and I want to take this Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award and dedicate it to anyone who wants to stand in the middle, no matter what’s around the wall. Stand in the middle ’cause that’s where healing happens. That’s where conversation happens.
That’s where change happens. It happens in the middle. So anyone who wants to meet me in the middle, to refuse hate, to refuse blanket judgment, and to help lift someone’s feet off the ground, this one is for you too. God bless you and thank you Academy. I appreciate it. Thank you."
Award Acceptance Speech Example #4
Frances Mcdormand delivered this hilarious award speech during the 2018 Academy Awards as best actress.
Okay, so I'm hyperventilating a little bit. If I fall over, pick me up cause I've got some things to say. So I think this is what Chloe Kim must have felt like after doing back-to-back 1080s in the Olympic halfpipe. Did you see that? Okay, that's what it feels like.
"I want to thank Martin McDonagh, look what you did. We are a bunch of hooligans and anarchists but we do clean up nice. I want to thank every single person in this building. And my sister Dorothy. I love you, Dot. And I especially want to thank my clan, Joel and Pedro "McCoen." These two stalwart individuals were well-raised by their feminist mother. They value themselves, each other and those around them. I know you are proud of me and that fills me with everlasting joy.
"And now I want to get some perspective. If I may be so honored to have all the female nominees in every category stand with me in this room tonight, the actors—Meryl, if you do it, everybody else will, c'mon—the filmmakers, the producers, the directors, the writers, the cinematographer, the composers, the songwriters, the designers. C'mon! Okay, look around everybody.
Look around, ladies and gentlemen, because we all have stories to tell and projects we need financed. Don't talk to us about it at the parties tonight. Invite us into your office in a couple days, or you can come to ours, whatever suits you best, and we'll tell you all about them. I have two words to leave with you tonight, ladies and gentlemen: 'inclusion rider.'"
A promise is a promise, right? Ok, I promised to show you how award acceptance speeches are written. And I am going to use that last sample or template to help you understand how the whole thing works.
To make things fairly easy to understand, let’s start by breaking it down into the following parts: the introduction, body or content, and conclusion.
First, let’s look at the introduction. You can see excerpts of it from the screenshots below to guide us forward. Please study it carefully.
''Okay. So I'm hyperventilating a little bit. If I fall over pick me up because I've got some things to say. So I think this is what Chloe Kim must have felt like after doing back-to-back 1080s in the Olympic halfpipe. Did you see that? Okay, that's what it feels like. I want to thank Martin McDonagh; look what you did. We are a bunch of hooligans and anarchists but we do clean up nice. I want to thank every single person in this building. And my sister Dorothy. I love you, Dot...''
The purpose of your introductory remarks is to grab the attention of the audience and set the tone for the rest of your speech. However, most speakers have become accustomed with saying a few words of gratitude because from childhood we are taught to say thank you to anyone who gives us a gift.
But, who can you blame for this? No one, of course! It’s always a nice feeling to thank someone for their kindness and be thanked too. If you just want to thank a few people and wrap up, then you might simply deliver a gratitude-based award acceptance speech.
If you wish to do that, then you can simply write down the names of the people who have helped you reach thus far. You can mention personalities like:
- Your own parents
- Your spouse
- Your kids
- Your co-workers
- Your professional acquaintances…including your co-nominees
- The organizers of the event
- If you are very religious person, you can begin with a note of gratitude to God for what he’s done for you.
In an emotional award acceptance speech, the 2019-2020 NBA MVP player, Giannis Antetokounmpo started off his speech by thanking God for blessing him with his ball-handling skills. These were his actual words.
‘’First of all, I want to thank God for blessing me with this amazing talent. I wouldn’t be in this position without his help and support. Thank God for putting me in this amazing position I am in today. Everything I do, I do it through him and I am extremely blessed!’’
That’s not the only way to start your award acceptance speech. There are several engaging ways of opening your speech with a bang and I am happy to share a few ideas with you.
First, you can share how you felt when you were nominated for the award.
Here’s how Raj Chhadua, Winner of the Pharmacist Alumni of the Year Award from Texas Tech University rendered hers.
‘’ When Jennifer told me that she nominated me, I was astounded. Me? Really? And then I got used to the idea… When I was told that I was being granted the award, I immediately felt humbled. Me? Really? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not giving it back. But reading the nomination and receiving this award is humbling, a privilege, and the biggest honor I’ve ever received. It also serves to remind me what I love about being a pharmacist.’’
Second, you can strike a tone of humility (see underlined words) like Billie Eilish captured in her Grammy award acceptance speech.
‘’Why? Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow. Oh my God. So many other songs deserve this. I’m sorry. Thank you so much. This is my first Grammy’s. I never thought this would ever happen in my whole life. I grew up watching them and this is my brother, Finneas, and he’s my best friend…’’
Third, you can start your opening remarks on an emotional note by paying special tribute to someone who contributed massively to your accomplishments but is no longer around. This is how Alicia Keys paid tribute to Kobe Bryant in her speech.
‘’Here we are, together on music’s biggest night, celebrating the artists that do it best. But to be honest with you, we’re all feeling crazy sadness right now because earlier today, Los Angeles, America, and the whole wide world lost a hero. And we’re literally standing here heartbroken in the house that Kobe Bryant built. Right now, Kobe, and his daughter Gianna, and all of those that have been tragically lost today are in our spirit.
They’re in our hearts. They’re in our prayers. They’re in this building. And I would like to ask everybody to take a moment and just hold them inside of you. Hold them inside of you, and share our strength and our support with their families…’’
Fourth, you can make your opening remarks funny by sharing a joke or making funny comments as Adam Sandler portrayed when he walked up stage to accept his comedic movie award. You can crush it if you are a naturally funny person or have a story to tell.
‘’ "While I might not remember all of your names, teachers, I remember you, because you're forever in my heart. Thank you so much, to the nice, short teacher with the weird glasses from kindergarten.….’’
Fifth, if you have a good story to tell, then go for it because the memory can linger. The anecdote could be about anything as long as it’s somewhat connected to the theme of your message. Here’s how a very eloquent writer captured a story poignantly.
‘’ I grew up in Versailles, on my grandparents’ dairy farm. Every day after school, I helped my Aunt Peg carry milk to the calves. It wasn’t easy! But I’d do anything for Aunt Peg, who was physically disabled and used leg braces to walk. She always asked about my day – how school went, and what my friends were up to.
''But then one day I came home – and Aunt Peg wasn’t there. Because of an aneurysm, she had suffered a stroke. And a week later she passed away – at age 35. Today, that story would have ended differently because of the work we’re doing at Mound Laser… ‘’
Sixth, how about starting on a very heartfelt note as Rihanna did when she accepted the NAACP’s highest honor, the President’s Award, in recognition of her charitable work and ongoing dedication to philanthropy.
Action Tip/Homework assignment: Which of these opening remarks do you want to go with? Can you try your hands on one right away using any of that as an inspiration?
Now, let’s look at this:
How to Write the Body or Content of Your Speech
The body is a naturally progression of events that you mentioned in the introduction. No matter how eloquent you are or have no idea who the eventual prize winner would be, you always should have prepared even if you are not the ultimate winner.
To do that, you should first figure out what kind of speech you wish to deliver and create an outline for your award acceptance speech. Ok, let’s pause for a brief moment and carefully analyze these questions:
- What kind of remarks do you really want to say?
- Do you just want to thank a few people and go back to your seat?
- Or you just want to wing it?
Whatever route you take, you should tell a story or two since stories are the heartbeat of any speech.
- It could be stories about your own life as the above examples depict.
- You may share stories about your struggles you’ve had to face every step of the way.
- You may share technical details if your industry borders on that and share how your work has contributed towards making significant progress in your field or sector.
Here’s an excerpt of how you can use scientific research to enrich your presentation.
‘’ As long as there have been societies and physicians to treat them, there have been specialists whose sole purpose was to prepare and administer medicinal treatments. No matter the ancient civilization one studies, there will be evidence of organized and skillful application of pharmaceuticals.
Although we have seen much development of the profession of pharmacy, the profession’s core continues to remains the same – to treat those who are ill and act in the service of our community.
I’ve read studies conducted by the Association of American Medical Colleges that show us that America is producing a consistently stagnant number of doctors each year relative to our continually growing population. Since 1980, the U.S. population has grown by 70 million, and the number of U.S. graduates with M.D. degrees has remained flat at about 16,000 per year. Experts have warned that there won’t be enough doctors to treat the millions of newly insured people under healthcare reform laws. At the current graduation and training rates…’’
Whatever style you wish to go for, the writing process can be a breeze if you do a little thinking and share a story or research work that is in sync with the theme or message of your award acceptance speech. Never, ever forget that.
Finally, let us consider…
How You Can End Your AcceptanceSpeech on a Memorable Note
What you say before you exit the stage is as equally important as your opening remarks. But I sometimes wonder why most speakers end rather timidly. They wrap up with words like ‘’Thank you’’ and ‘’Thank you for listening’’
Not too bad. But you can always go beyond that and make yourself proud by introducing one or two unique ways to climax . Your audience trusts you. So shake them up and don’t leave anything to chance. Below are a few guidelines to help you end on a great note.
First, you can make your ending lines very inspiring by asking your audience to unite in the face of seething hurdles and strive to achieve excellence. Here’s how one writer encouraged other pharmacists.
‘’ One last thought: regardless of where we have chosen to practice the profession – hospital, community, retail, consulting, ambulatory care, clinical – we are one profession…I promise you this… We’ve kicked up a whole lot of dust behind us, but there’s a whole lot of trail left in front of us. Hold steady the course. We’ll not only make it, but we’ll be that much better for it. ‘’
Second, you may use your words to bring about a radical shift in mindset or attitude or even call for some kind of empowerment. When Oprah Winfrey won the Cecil B. Demille Award, she masterfully used this technique when she called for women empowerment in these brief but poignant lines.
‘’ In my career what I’ve always tried my best to do is to say something about how men and women really behave, to say how we experience shame, how we love and how we rage, how we fail, how we retreat, persevere, and we overcome…
So I want all the girls watching here, now, to know that a new day is on the horizon! And when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, many of whom are right here in this room tonight, and some pretty phenomenal men, fighting hard to ensure that they become the leaders that take us to a time when nobody has to say “Me, too,” again.’’
Third, is there anything you can think of?
Dear Award Winner,
Let’s face it. One of the most prized possessions you will ever get in life is to be rewarded for a job well done.
It gets even sweeter when you have worked hard so hard your whole life and have been recognized for making a positive contribution to humanity.
Nonetheless, it’s not an easy thing when you are asked to deliver a few remarks after receiving your award. Your audience love, admire and respect you and are expecting you to tell them how you made it.
With all eyes on you and everyone applauding you for your excellent work, you might be a blubbering idiot if you don’t prepare very well ahead of time or even decide to wing it. No matter what you feel about speaking in public, you can make a difference if we work together with you.
If you have never made one before, then we are giving you a chance to come up with something inspiring and memorable without pulling your hair out!
Want to get on board? You should by first filling out this simple and short questionnaire.
Award ceremony around the corner? Or happening in less than 24 hours? Trust me, we can deliver! it doesn’t matter if your speech is today, tomorrow, next week, next month ,next year,... we can make things work for you
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- Yes, it’s for you if you are overwhelmed by the pressures of work or other things and really don’t have the time to put a beautiful speech together.
- Yes you have to get on board; if you don’t know how to start or are not too sure if you can.
- Yes, if you are not too eloquent or not too sure if you are on the right track.
- Yes, if you feel writing and giving speeches is simply not your thing! You just hate it!
- Yes, if you are still struggling to find the right words and ideas to say something memorable.
- Yes, if you feel you might make some horrible mistakes!
- Yes, if you are a good writer or speaker but you still want someone to look over or review what you’ve come up with!
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Why? Are you guys serious? Are you not kidding?
No, we are very serious about this since we want you to be happy with your speech first!
After we have delivered your speech, then you name a fair price for it! That’s all! So, you better not joke with this amazing offer! We are very serious about this!
Oh Ok, How Then Do I Get Started Since I Want To Get On Board Right Away?
- So, CLICK HERE TO GET STARTED NOW TO GET YOUR GREAT SPEECH NOW BY FILLING OUT A QUESTIONNAIRE— -you name a fair price after your speech has been delivered. So, you can have peace of mind!
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- Then, you have it sent back to us via email
- If something is not too clear, we will ask you to clarify.
- If not, we will send you a wonderful draft.
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