I’m going to be real honest here and you can judge me as I’m sure you will for what I’m about to say. I’m usually not a big fan of watching television. In fact, I don’t even watch TV frequently enough to justify the very little amount of Verizon FiOS TV service I pay for monthly.

The point? It’s quite rare for me to find inspiration related to something like the Golden Globes. But alas, I did …because my attention was grabbed!

Kevin Spacey’s Acceptance Speech: “I Want to Be Better”


Again, time for some honesty… when listening to Kevin Spacey give his acceptance speech, I had no idea what he was accepting the award for. All I knew was that his speech caused me to stop in my tracks, bring the television to the forefront in my world for a solid chunk of time and put whatever else I was doing on hold momentarily.

Why was I mesmerized? Spacey knew how to get my attention; he knows how to engage an audience.

What Made Spacey’s Speech Better?

In his acceptance speech for best actor in a television series for “House of Cards,” Kevin Spacey successfully engaged his audience by:

1. Using a captivating opening line.
This is just the beginning of my revenge…”

2. Incorporating a shock factor by dropping an F-bomb.
“This is the eighth time I’ve been nominated. I cannot f—— believe I won.”

3. Telling an anecdote to evoke emotion.
“I want to tell you just a little story that will explain to you how I feel about this tonight. The last time that I saw Stanley Kramer, one of the great filmmakers of all time, was at the Motion Picture and Television Home, and I was sitting with him and he was in a wheelchair. He was ill at this time. And as I was about to leave, I realized that I had never told him what I thought about his work, how much his work had meant to me. And so I said to him, ‘The films you made, the subjects you tackled, the performances you got out of some of the greatest actors that have ever walked the face of the earth, the Oscars you won, your films will stand the test of time and will influence filmmakers for all time.’ And I didn’t know whether he had really retained what I said or not. Sometimes he did, sometimes he didn’t. But as I stood up to leave, he grabbed my hand. And I looked at his wife, who was across the room, and I sat back down. And he said as clearly to me as anything he’d ever said: ‘Thank you so much for saying that. That means so much to me. I just wish my films had been better.’” (source)

4. Closing strong and with purpose.
“And so, as I stand here tonight as someone who has enjoyed such an extraordinary career, in large measure because of the people in this room, I just want it to be better. I just want to be better, and this [holding up the trophy] is very encouraging.”

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Audience Engagement Leads to Meaningful Action

According to Twitter, Kevin Spacey was the number four most Tweeted-about celebrity of the night (measured in Tweets per minute). This proves that he made an impact on those watching, so much so that they took action to mention Spacey on their personal social media accounts.

Not to mention, his impact on Stanley Kramer’s widow, Karen Kramer, led her to take action while the Golden Globes was still in progress. Right after the speech had concluded, Karen sought Kevin out at his table to tell him how deeply touched she was and share an untelevised moment of tears together.

As for me, hearing Kevin Spacey’s speech led me to highlight it here as an example of successful engagement and serves as a personal reminder that a creative trigger can be found where one may least expect it sometimes.

Remember folks, engagement is everything. So, let’s chat on Twitter (@lotus823_Jess), shall we?

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