Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, and More Give Lessons on the Perfect Acceptance Speech

More

3. Say Something Meaningful

There are fewer platforms bigger than an awards stage. Actors are skilled at delivering words meant to move and inspire people--that's how they made it up to the podium in the first place. The best speeches are ones that forgo the self-congratulatory lists, and instead deliver something of poignancy. To that regard, grab a tissue and watch Tom Hanks:



Shirley Maclaine used her time in 1984 to acknowledge the privilege of being an artist:



A rags-to-riches story never fails to inspire waterworks, something Whoopi Goldberg showed us during her acceptance speech for Ghost:



And perhaps no one was more cognizant of the historical significance of their win than Halle Berry. Though perhaps excessively histrionic, the spirit of Berry's speech, an homage to all those who have had an uphill battle, is the epitome of an "Oscar moment":



With a better economy of words, Sidney Poitier's succinctly, but just as touchingly, addresses his momentous win:



Jump to comments
Presented by

Kevin Fallon is a reporter for the Daily Beast. He's a former entertainment editor at TheWeek.com and former writer and producer for The Atlantic's entertainment channel.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to a Seaside Town in Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Where the Wild Things Go

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Adults Need Playtime Too

When was the last time you played your favorite childhood game?

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Entertainment

Just In