5 1/2 Public Speaking Lessons from the Golden Globes

The Public Speaker and her friend Sherri Barksdale share 5  1/2 commonly overlooked public speaking lessons learned from watching the 2014 Golden Globes.

Lisa B. Marshall
5-minute read
Episode #236

My friend Sherri Barksdale is a big fan of awards shows. We've been watching them together since we were kids. I think many people find the emotional speeches from the winners inspiring.

But this year’s Golden Globes Awards only inspired us to come up with a list of lessons for public speakers. Thanks Sherri for suggesting this episode and helping to write it!>

Let’s take a look at some of the public speaking lessons we can learn from this year’s awards show:

Lesson #1: Eat Before You Speak

When Hollywood veteran Jacqueline Bisset won her award for Best Supporting Actress in a TV Movie or Miniseries, she gave an awkward acceptance speech. She stood silently for a bit, and then made a statement that was bleeped out, and then rambled on about forgiveness being the best beauty secret.

Why the strange speech? Jacqueline Bisset blamed it on being hungry. She was not paying attention and was wondering where her dinner was.  Whether this is the real reason or not, there’s a lesson here. Don’t go on stage hungry. Even if food is being served, eat a small meal before you go in case something goes wrong. The same thing applies to interviews—always carry a protein bar in your briefcase so you can eat something on the way to the restroom if necessary.

Lesson #2: Skip the Vodka

Actress Cate Blanchett’s acceptance speech was really quite funny. But in a very short time she mentioned all the vodka she’d had twice. She may have been joking, or she may just be good at holding her liquor, but don’t take that chance.  If your speaking engagement includes a dinner, skip the alcohol altogether or save it for afterward. If you feel the need to relax, try deep breathing exercises

Lesson #3: Expect the Unexpected

When Sherri and I first started watching awards ceremonies, we thought it was funny when actors would get up on stage, declare they never expected to win, and then pull out their well-prepared scripts. Now we see the wisdom in being prepared – just in case.

At this year’s Golden Globes, some winners seemed completely unprepared to win an award. They were up on stage hopelessly trying to come up with something clever to say and struggling to remember who to thank. I think this is a terrible trend. If you’re up for an award, be prepared to win it, even if you truly believe you won’t. Not sure what to say?  I wrote an episode about how to make an acceptance speech.


About the Author

Lisa B. Marshall

Lisa B. Marshall Lisa holds masters with duel degrees in interpersonal/intercultural communication and organizational communication. She’s the author of Smart Talk: The Public Speaker's Guide to Success in Every Situation, as well as Ace Your Interview, Powerful Presenter, and Expert Presenter. Her work has been featured in CBS Money Watch, Ragan.com, Woman's Day, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, and many others. Her institutional clients include Johns Hopkins Medicine, Harvard University, NY Academy of Science, University of Pennsylvania, Genentech, and Roche.