Tero International, Inc. Your Elite Training Team

Accepting An Award

by Harwant Khush, PhD, Research Consultant, Tero International

It's very validating when you are new in the industry to get awards.
It boosts your self-esteem. - Sheena Easton

Awards in various forms such as medals, decorations, prizes, trophies and monetary incentives, are a ubiquitous part of all societies. These public accolades are to recognize the singular and outstanding contributions of individuals and groups. Therefore, awards always have positive connotations to the presenters and recipients.

For the recipients, awards serve not only as external motivators, but also gratify their psychological needs such as recognition, social status and self-fulfillment. For the presenters, these public honors are to motivate employees, create social linkages, and develop positive interactions with the award honorees and the community in general.

Awards are invariably presented by hosting ceremonial functions. These may be simple ceremonies or ostentatious gala events with great fanfare such as the Oscars, Nobel Prize, the Emmys, and the Grammys. No matter what may be the scale of the function, it is always a joyful event held to celebrate. Presenters publicly acknowledge and recognize the contributions of awardees; recipients express their sincere gratitude and acknowledge the honors by delivering acceptance speeches.

Considering the significance of these functions, it is highly desirable that recipients are thoroughly familiar with the format, protocol, and procedures of the ceremony and are knowledgeable of its multiple facets.

The objective of this article is to provide guidelines on how to accept an award, deliver an acceptance speech, and avoid some of the pitfalls due to lack of appropriate information and preparation.

Gather Pre-award Information

When informed about the upcoming honor, a recipient should gather information about the following:

Compilation of this information will not only ensure that the function will proceed smoothly and without last minute glitches, but may also relieve some of the nervousness and anxiety of the award recipients.

Accept an Award

Award should be accepted with pride, dignity and deference. Awardees need to project enthusiasm and graciousness for the honors. As the name is announced, the recipient should go up to the award presenter with enthusiasm and a smile, and observe the following protocol:

Deliver an Acceptance Speech

Be sincere; be brief; be seated. - Franklin D. Roosevelt

The acceptance speech is a special occasion speech to express gratitude for winning honors and accolades. The main objective is to convey appreciation to the sponsors, nominator, presenters, and to recognize the commitment of the members who helped achieve the honor.

Writing and delivering an effective speech requires planning, preparation, and practice. The speech has to be brief and within the pre-specified time limits. Vocal tone should project sincerity, modesty and humility. The speech should not be read; however, some use of notes is acceptable. Awardee should maintain eye contact with the audience while delivering the speech.

The Main Elements of an Acceptance Speech

The speech should address the following fundamentals:

The Structure and Outline of an Acceptance Speech




Etiquettes to Observe

Keeping in view the dignity of the function, proper etiquettes should be observed. The following mistakes should be avoided so not to trivialize the occasion.


To receive an honor and to deliver an acceptance speech requires a thoughtful, judicial, and careful preparation. The acceptance speech should be delivered in a tone that portrays humility, gratitude, and appreciation.

Template to Accept an Award

Good Evening, Ladies and Gentlemen

It is my honor and privilege to accept the award of [title of the Award].

I sincerely thank the sponsors [names of sponsors] for initiating the award, nominators [name of nominators] for nominating me, members of the selection committee for selecting me, and the organizers [name of the organizers] for hosting this [name of the award] function.

It is certainly a very proud and humbling experience for me, for my co-workers and team members [name of team or of corporation if applicable].

I especially want to thank my mentor [name of the mentor], who always helped and guided me with his/her knowledge, experience, expertise, and kept me motivated to achieve my goals.

I also extend my sincere appreciation and gratitude to my co-workers, team members, family members and other multiple business associates, without their help, this honor would not have been possible.

This award would always have a place of honor in our company/corporation.

Thank you, again.

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