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

5. Don't Read off Notecards

There's a Pavlonian groan that happens whenever an audience sees an award-recipient march up that marble staircase with a piece of paper in hand. It's as if they're suddenly shocked after spending more than four weeks as a nominee that there's a chance they'd have to actually say something. You're actors. Memorize it. Awards magnet Tina Fey is a shining example of the brilliance of a prepared speech:



As is Sacha Baron Cohen:



But if you are going to read something, it better be a joke. Emma Thompson, bring your notes to the podium anytime:



Steve Carell, you get a pass as well:



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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.

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