Recognizing someone for their accomplishments can be very gratifying. And, at some point in your life, you’ll probably have the opportunity to formally reward someone for a job well done. When you do this in front of an audience (in Long Beach or elsewhere), it increases the perceived value of the honor. When presenting an honor or award, you need to accomplish two things:
- Highlight the award
Make sure that the person receiving the honor, as well as the audience, understand the importance of the award. What does this award stand for? How does someone earn it? What are the traditions associated with this honor?
- Highlight how the person who earned the award
Now that you’ve built up the award, you need to build up the individual receiving it. What did this person do to deserve being recognized? How did he or she meet the criteria better than anyone else who was up for the honor?
There are ways to make this sort of presentation more effective — and interesting for all listening. Here are some tips for effectively presenting an award:
- Tell a story
Stories are always more engaging that mere facts. Highlight the award and the honoree in the form of a story, with a beginning, middle and end — even if it a short one.
- Do the introductions first
Call on the awardee last … nothing is more awkward for the honoree than having to stand there and wait while you do your presentation. Tell your story first, then, when you are ready to hand over the award, call the awardee up to the lectern.
- Mind your Ps and Qs
Make sure that you know how to pronounce the name of the award and the person receiving it. Also, make sure your facts are correct. Nothing will spoil the honor more than mispronouncing someone’s name or announcing information that is totally incorrect.
- Be humble
You may have been on the selecting committee, but this presentation is about the person being honored — not you. The presentation should be mostly about how splendid the honoree is and why he or she is so deserving of the honor.
- Demonstrate the worth of the award
Present the award as if it were a treasure. Hold it with reverence and make eye contact with the recipient. Smile warmly and hand over the award with respect.
Resources for effectively presenting an award
- Certificate Street: How to Present an Award Certificate with Style
- Buzzle: Presenting an Award Speech
- Westside Toastmasters: Presenting an Award for Maximum Impact
- eHow: How to Present an Award
- Flat World Knowledge: Presenting or Accepting an Award
This is the 17th article in a series about the different types of speeches. If you missed the first 16, here are links to the rest:
- The keynote
- The training session
- The motivational speech
- The entertaining speech
- The demonstration
- The informational speech
- The inspirational speech
- The Q & A session
- The persuasive speech
- The impromptu speech
- The acceptance speech
- The commencement speech
- The eulogy
- The toast
- The roast
- The interpretive reading
Would you like more information about public speaking? Visit PublicSpeakingSuperPowers.com for tips, advice and plenty of videos about all the “powers” you can employ in your speaking endeavors.
NOTE: Are you a Long Beach based speaker? Do you know of an upcoming speaking event? Contact me to have an interview with you published in this column.