Tommy M. Stone
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Oscar speeches that left a lasting impression

Proven tips for delivering a powerful acceptance speech

Matthew McConaughey won over the audience when he took home an Oscar for “Dallas Buyers Club” in 2014.

 The Oscar acceptance speeches are often the highlight of the telecast, ranging from heartfelt, modest and witty to egotistic and bizarre. The best speeches are magical, a perfect balance of humanity and humility, offering a window into an A-lister’s true character as he or she accepts the award while also recognizing the contributions of others.

After reviewing hundreds of Oscar acceptance speeches given over the past two decades, Toastmasters International has selected six of the most exceptional. The public-speaking organization’s criteria included actors who showcased their personality, were appreciative, passionate and modest, and gave a polished, thoughtful delivery.

“Remember, they are receiving an award for acting, but in receiving the award, they must be their genuine selves,” said Dilip Abayasekara, former international president of Toastmasters and a two-time finalist at the Toastmasters World Championship of Public Speaking.

Abayasekara, who helped select the speeches, told MarketWatch he was looking to see which actors showed an appreciation and awareness of the sea of folks who had contributed to their success. He also was looking for actors who seemed genuinely excited and humbled to win the award, and those who were able to connect with the audience and deliver a heartfelt speech.