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Toastmasters International Picks 6 Most Memorable Oscar® Speeches
Presentations that left a lasting impression with the audience and television viewers

RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA, Calif., Feb. 18, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Aside from the winners and the glitz and glamour of all that's Hollywood, the most memorable part of the Academy Awards® is the acceptance speeches. Good or bad, what is said on stage will be remembered and live eternally on YouTube. In advance of Sunday's Oscar ceremony, Toastmasters International, the global organization devoted to communication and leadership skills development, selects the six speeches below (in chronological order) as the most memorable in Oscar history:

  • Seemingly unfazed by the orchestra's walk-off music, Cuba Gooding Jr.'s excitement brought his fellow actors to their feet as he accepted the Best Supporting Actor award in 1997 for his role in "Jerry Maguire."
  • Accepting the Best Original Screenplay trophy for "Good Will Hunting" in 1998, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon made the most of the short time they had to give their joint speech. The pair thanked those involved with the film, including their families and the city of Boston, all in about one minute.
  • When Robin Williams won Best Supporting Actor for his role in "Good Will Hunting," he displayed both enthusiasm and sincerity. The late comedian closed his speech by thanking his father, who, when Williams said he wanted to be an actor, told him, "Wonderful, just have a back-up profession like welding."
  • Roberto Benigni went wild, climbing over and standing on audience seats as he made his way to the stage when he won the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar for "Life is Beautiful" in 1999. When he arrived at the podium, he inspired the audience with his passion and graciousness.
  • As she accepted her third Academy Award – second for Best Actress –  for her work in "The Iron Lady" in 2012, Meryl Streep quipped, "When they called my name I had this feeling I could hear half of America going, 'Oh no! Oh, c'mon why? Her? Again?'" She later went on to thank her old and new friends for her wonderful career.
  • When Matthew McConaughey won the Best Actor Oscar in 2014 for his performance in "Dallas Buyers Club," he described the three things he needs each day: 1. Something to look up to. 2. Something to look forward to. 3. Someone to chase.
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Toastmasters International offers these proven tips for delivering a powerful acceptance speech for any type of award:

  1. Show your personality. Your acceptance speech should come from the heart.
  2. Be gracious. Acknowledge the good work done by your competitors and thank the organization that selected you for the award.
  3. Show excitement. You don't have to climb over chairs like Roberto Benigni, but the audience should recognize that you're happy to have won the award.
  4. Be modest. Your acceptance speech should be heartfelt but not self-congratulatory.
  5. Practice, practice, practice. Rehearse with a timer, memorize key people to thank and allow time for the unexpected.

To find a local club where you can improve your next presentation, visit

About Toastmasters International
Toastmasters International is a nonprofit educational organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network of meeting locations. Headquartered in Rancho Santa Margarita, California, the organization's membership exceeds 313,000 in more than 14,650 clubs in 126 countries. Since 1924, Toastmasters International has helped people of all backgrounds become more confident in front of an audience. For information about local Toastmasters clubs, please visit Follow @Toastmasters on Twitter.

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SOURCE Toastmasters International

For further information: Dennis Olson, 949-835-1305,


Dennis Olson
Senior Public Relations Strategist
+1 720-679-0446

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