golden-globe-trophy-x-largeI always loved watching Awards nights as a kid – Academy Awards, Golden Globes, Emmys, Australia’s Logies. Not only was it fun seeing who would win, one expected to see one’s favourite actors and filmic artists get up and say something wonderful. After all, who doesn’t love hearing how happy people are about the help they’ve received along the way? It’s always a disappointment, however, for so many when they realise that their favourite actors really can’t speak well. Sure, they deliver movie lines with aplomb (on the twentieth take), but the modern actor, particularly, seems to wax ineloquent about the art and the importance and the voice of the gender and the blah blah blah. Thank you very much. Yes, I’ve heard it all before…

It’s also a bit much when, dressed up to the nth degree, they wax on about how important their craft is to changing the world, etc. etc. Really, you’re making a film or TV show, probably got paid enough to feed a whole developing nation for a year, and the movie will be mostly forgotten by the end of coffee after the show. As my wife loves to call out, “Honey! You’re not saving the world!”

It’s far easier to deliver lines written by someone else, than to come up with them yourself. But that’s what we’re asked to do every day in our jobs and in our leadership – influencing, inspiring and conveying information that makes a difference to those around us. Getting a sense of perspective is important when communicating. So is choosing an approach that will mean something to the audience both present and remote.

The problem with Awards Nights is that it really is hard to say something meaningful about yourself. That’s why I remember something truly moving – like Haing Ngor accepting an award for his role in the Killing Fields – as being relevant. Important.

So it’s refreshing that George Clooney gets up to receive his “lifetime achievement award” and, after a bit of a ramble, manages to move to pointing out a little more genuinely how all the people gathered at the Golden Globes can be grateful for working in an industry they love, then speaks with stars in his eyes to his wife (someone who actually has worked to change the world), and ends by classily noting how real people are getting up around the world – in Paris and other cities – to stand peacefully against the threats of radicals and terrorists.

That’s a great way to gain perspective. And a great way to truly speak to the people in the room and the people watching.

Authentic Speaking Executive Leaders Workshop, April 20-21, 2015 in Perth – Learn to speak publicly and communicate better than those actors! Speak with authority, authenticity and clarity, inspiring others to action and achieving your vision. For details and registration, visit

© 2015 Peter J. McLean. Follow the blog at 

Golden Globes, Actors and How Not to Speak
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