Beating the nerves this awards season

It is that time of year again –  business award season!

If your business has been nominated for a Telstra Business Award you could be in the situation where you’re at the gala dinner, enjoying your night, and suddenly –  your name has been called out as a winner! You need to give a speech… but don’t panic!  Be you a business owner, or employee this is your opportunity to shine in front of your peers, and enhance the reputation of your business.

Here are my top tips for sailing confidently through your acceptance speech.

Practise and palm cards

Take the time prior to the event to think about what you want to say and who you want to thank (team, clients, family, supporters, fellow competitors).  Practice out loud in front of a mirror or in the car a few times.  It is fine to take palm cards along to the event, to jog your memory on the night.

Take a deep breath

While you walk up to the stage, take a deep breath, slowly exhale and gather your thoughts.  If you have palm cards, take them out and have them ready. Remember this is your moment, so take the time to enjoy it.

Stay focused

The lights on the stage will be bright and hot and in all likelihood you will need to speak out to an audience whom you may not see.  Hold your head high, and speak outwards, the audience can see you, even if you can’t see them.  Remember, everyone is there to support you, and they want to hear you!

Share your feelings

The audience wants to share in your joy, so make sure to share with them how excited you are about winning the award.

Keep it short, succinct and relevant

The audience wants to hear what you have to say, but it is a big night and they want to get home too!  You’ll usually receive guidelines or time recommendations from the industry you have been nominated for, make sure to time your speech beforehand to ensure you’re within these.

Call to action

You are in front of the crème de la crème of local businesses; invite them to do business with you.

Speaking on stage can be intimidating and you need to remember the audience is on your side, they want to share in your excitement, and they want to hear what you want to say.


| Chartered Certified Accountant – Anise Consulting