It would be nice to think that at one time or another we would all have to give an acceptance speech during our life time.
For those lucky enough to have to do this I have put together a few tips to help.
Don't make your speech too long.
No one ever complains about an acceptance speech being too short! The audience will be pleased to see you accept the award and may want to take some photos but they don't want to hear your life history.
Try not to be controversial. People are there to have a good time - don't upset people.
Acknowledge what the award is for and who voted for it, or who your opponents were if you won it in a sporting event.
Don't be afraid to be emotional - but don't over do it!
If you've won the award because of voting, the audience will be pleased to see that you appreciate it. If you've achieved the award because you've won a sporting event let them know that all the hard work was worth it.
Thank the people who really made a difference.
However don't just stand there and list all your friends, hairdresser, personal assistant etc.
Try not to read your acceptance speech.
Normally I encourage people to use notes but in this instance it ruins the continuity and emotion of the event if it's obvious that you've had time to prepare your speech. Practise a few lines out loud as often as possible before the event and then trust your memory.
If you've been nominated for an award and don't know the result until the night, practise a speech at home and make sure you practise it out loud.
Don't try to be funny. If you're a naturally funny speaker, that's fine. If not don't force it.
Don't fidget too much. You will irritate the audience and may give the impression that you don't deserve the award.
Don't speak too quickly.
Know what you want to say and take your time. This doesn't mean give a long speech but give a short speech slowly with expression. Let the audience have time to take in what you've said.