Oscar 2011: Tom Hanks Tips to the Nominees

On Monday, February 5, the Oscar telecast producer told the nominees over the annual lunch: “For those of you who win, I know that it’s going to be one of the most important and significant moments of your life. And we want you to know that, at that point, you become our creative partner in the show. Your speeches are a very big part of what will make the Oscars a magical night. So … we ask that you speak from the heart, that you talk about how you feel, that you talk about what this moment means to you. … We just hope that you will give that some thought. I know this is redundant, but be memorable and you will be remembered. No one will remember you if you pull out a piece of paper and read a long list of names.”

He then introduced a short video in which the actor Tom Hanks, a two-time Oscar winner and current Academy Governor, provided four helpful tips to giving a great Oscar acceptance speech, as clips of Oscar speeches, including Roberto Benigni‘s, played in the foreground:

Tip 1: Beat the Clock:

“Instead of hugging everyone within a 10-row radius … settle for a few fast high-fives as you sprint down the aisle … you’ll have 45 seconds to complete your acceptance speech. It’s for your own good — history shows the longer winners talk, the less interesting they become. When you have to be played off after your 45 seconds are up, it’s embarrassing for you and everyone else.”

Tip 2: One for All:

“If you are part of a team of winners, appoint a single person to speak for the whole group. That person should talk for all of you, not just for themselves. The Academy will be in touch to find out who you have chosen to speak for your group.”

Tip 3: Lose the List:

“Our audience wants to look into your eyes as you reach this, the pinnacle of your professional career, but if you’re staring at a piece of paper, all they are seeing is your bald spot. … Backstage, right after your acceptance, you’ll find the Oscar.com ‘thank you cam.’ There, you can talk as long as you want and thank everyone. Even groups of winners will all have the opportunity to speak. Your ‘thank you cam’ comments will immediately be streamed and posted online. So be prepared for this second speech as well.”

Top 4: Maximize the Moment:

“Spontaneity takes preparation, so memorize something memorable! Crack us up, or touch our hearts; be inspiring, intriguing, or compelling. Give the audience a gem to ponder!”