A stunned, unrehearsed speech is Oscar night winner

It’s not often a totally unrehearsed speech, badly delivered, gets a standing ovation. Well, Olivia Colman did just that when she won the Oscar for best actress.

After a slightly stunned Colman walked to the microphone, Oscar in hand, and announced, “Oh it’s genuinely quite stressful”, she had the audience eating out of her hands.

She delivered a stream of consciousness that delighted the audience. When she got the cue to wrap-up, her reaction was to blow a raspberry and dismissively wave her hand. Wrapping-up was the least of her worries at that moment.

As everyday speakers and presenters, what we can learn from Colman is that being absolutely genuine and speaking in your authentic voice will save the day every time. That, and being comfortable with the other vital ingredient – emotion. 

Colman bared her soul. She shared her stunned reaction to her win with everyone. She didn’t cobble together at the last moment some pretence of deserving this award. She just showed her amazement and delight at her good fortune and shared it with the audience. She let them experience it with her.  And the audience loved her for it.