Music star Bruno Mars had a big night at the 2018 Grammy Awards, winning a few of the industry’s biggest accolades. He capped the night by winning album of the year and ended the evening by giving a speech that worked.
I want to share eight reasons the Bruno Mars Album of the Year speech is successful. First, here it is if you haven’t seen it or need a refresher.
Bruno just makes me smile.
There are plenty of reasons Mars succeeds at giving a speech. To me, this speech is sticky. If you’re not familiar with that idea, check out Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath. For example, their first principle is simplicity. Bruno kept it simple.
Here are eight other reasons this award acceptance speech was successful.
1. He’s gracious
Bruno acknowledges the other nominees with authentic warmth and kindness. Whether you are accepting an award or not, let others know that you see and appreciate them.
2. He tells a story
Right away, Bruno takes us away to Hawaii and back in time seventeen years. I’m hooked. He tells a simple, sweet story that anchors the heart of his message.
Humans are wired for story-telling. One of the easiest ways to connect with fellow humans is through story. Whatever you need to communicate, think of anecdotes that demonstrate specific points as well as your overall message.
3. He’s joyful
We talk a lot about nonverbal communication. Facial expressions, energy, and posture are all part of that. Sure, it’s easy for Mars to be in good spirits after consuming some good spirits and winning awards that guarantee further fortune and fame, but we should also remain positive as we speak. Be joyful, and you’re audience will feel it.
4. He’s funny
Some people are funnier than others. I’ve worked with plenty of professionals who fear letting their hair down because it feels out of character and vulnerable.
Maybe you’re not a comedian. No worries, this isn’t about telling jokes. Don’t think ‘How can I be funny?’ Instead, just have fun. Sounds simple, but it’s true. The best way to be interesting is to be interested. And the best way to be fun is to have fun.
5. He’s confident
High profile award shows often feature people who are unaware of their own arrogance. There’s a fine line between confidence and an ego gone wild. Bruno’s got swag. He knows he’s good and isn’t afraid to show it. The key is that he doesn’t make the whole speech about himself. Which brings us to…
6. He’s charitable
Bruno calls out those who enabled him to succeed. He acknowledges those who inspired him and from whom he benefited. He calls them heroes and teachers.
You don’t have to be receiving an award to thank others who have supported you and made your success possible. If you’re ever nervous about talking to someone, find something to compliment them on or ask about their world. Extend this to giving a speech by deflecting praise away from the spotlight you’re in and towards others deserving of some credit.
7. He’s inclusive
Bruno described what it was like to bring thousands of different people together in celebration, despite their differences. Talk about how your efforts bring people together. We all need to see more example of unity these days, which will bring even more joy to listeners.
8. He’s thankful
We finish with something that should be obvious. Mama wasn’t lying when she told us to say thank you. Who gave you the opportunity to be there giving a speech? Who helped you prepare and execute it? Thanking them is an extension of being gracious and charitable.
Giving a speech might be the scariest thing you’ve ever done. Public speaking can be daunting, yet some people make it look so easy. It takes a long time to get super smooth as a public speaker, but review these eight elements of Bruno’s speech the next time you have to make some public remarks.
You can leave your audience feeling challenged, encouraged, and warm. The principles work whether you’re standing on a stage at the Grammy’s or at a table in a conference room.