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"Speak for Yourself" - Karen's Short & Pithy Quarterly Newsletter

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By Karen Cortell Reisman

You fear screwing up when you get up to speak. Take heart. At least you're not Faye Dunaway, Warren Beatty, Jimmy Kimmel, PricewaterhouseCoopers, or the La La Land producers after the WRONG movie is announced as Best Picture.

Do accept these 5 communication lessons from this zany Oscars' production as if each were your very own Oscar.

1. Find the Humor

Jimmy Kimmel handled the gaffe with humor and a bit of perspective. "You just got to hear a few more speeches," he improvised.

2. Apologize Well

Rather than affix blame, the Academy Awards Production needs to apologize and take the heat. Don't throw PricewaterhouseCoopers under the bus. It's your show. You picked PwC and they've done a stellar job for 88 years. And Warren, Warren, Warren... don't throw Faye under the bus either. What kind of Clyde are you? Ask for the right envelope! Bonnie made a clean getaway.

3. Be Gracious

The La La Land team showed gravitas as they handed off the biggest award to Moonlight. On another note, kudos to Casey Affleck, Emma Stone and Damien Chazelle for thanking the other nominees in their categories. It's embracing, classy and gracious.

4. Be Prepared

The BEST speech of the night belongs to Viola Davis. NYT called it poetic, powerful, personal AND prepared. Viola - thank you for sharing your wisdom and using your precious few minutes with such grace.

5. Don't Mumble

I'm amazed, often, by how unprepared some winners are as they rattle and mumble on. The chance of winning is real. You are nominated. You are there. You've been attending award programs for 4 months. Why not prepare for this prestigious moment? Casey Affleck - stop mumbling.

Your Oscar Award & Speak For Yourself® Epiphany: Realize that mistakes will happen when you speak. If famous actors can screw up, so can you. Know that you can regroup and keep on keeping on.

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©Karen Cortell Reisman