Open Your Presentation Like Oprah Winfrey's Golden Globes Acceptance Speech

Open Your Presentation Like Oprah Winfrey's Golden Globes Acceptance Speech

No matter who your audience is, or how long you have to speak, you need to get off to a good start. You have choices in the options of your presentation openings. Oprah Winfrey's Golden Globes acceptance speech was scripted using the opening technique going back in time to grab your attention.

Patricia Fripp, Hall of Fame professional speaker, fortune 500 executive speech coach and XTRAcredits Faculty expert says, 'when you walk on stage to speak, you must grab your audience’s attention immediately. You can accomplish this with an opening that simply won’t let them drift away.'


Your audience will not remember what you say, but what they see in their minds. Tell stories. - Patricia Fripp


I think we'd all agree that Oprah did an exceptional job of grabbing our attention immediately. She took us back in time and painted us a picture in our minds of sitting on the floor watching TV. We could immediately imagine Oprah because we could see's ourselves sitting on our floor watching TV through her words.

After creating and delivering 1000's of speeches herself, Fripp's advise to her clients is always the same, 'even if no other part of your presentation is scripted, you must always script the first three or four lines and then rehearse, rehearse, rehearse.'

When you immediately engage your audience, you help to ensure the overall success of your presentation.  Then close to be remembered and repeated.

Your last words matter. Close your presentation with words that support your message and maximize your impact. 

Whenever possible, refer back to your opening when you close your presentation. This is called the circular approach and ties a bow around your message.

A great example of this circular approach in  Oprah Winfrey's Golden Globes acceptance speech  is when she started her speech with ' I was a little girl sitting ... watching' ( see Oprah Winfrey's Golden Globes Acceptance Speech transcript - bold below)  and ended her speech with 'So I want all the girls watching here.'

Your conclusion needs to be as solid as your opening.

There is no one on the planet that could disagree with the fact that Oprah didn't allow any of to drift away. In fact she had everyone in the audience sitting at the edge of their seats through the entire presentation.

Oprah accomplished her mission to be remembered and repeated.  The Oprah Winfrey's Golden Globes Acceptance Speech via NBC You Tube channel has 7,554,675 views and continues to grow every day!



A powerful, persuasive, professional presentation may appear effortless to an audience… but even an “effortless” presentation requires that you first devote time and energy to organizing your content around a strong basic structure. Presentations are comprised of content, structure, and delivery.

The more you clarify your content and organize your structure, the easier it will be for you to sound professional in your delivery. At a loss of what to say? How to present it? If you want to become a great speaker easily, conveniently, and quickly, use the Fripp Speech Model to get you started.


Below is a full transcript of Oprah Winfrey's Golden Globes acceptance speech:


In 1964, I was a little girl sitting on the linoleum floor of my mother's house in Milwaukee watching Anne Bancroft present the Oscar for best actor at the 36th Academy Awards. She opened the envelope and said five words that literally made history: "The winner is Sidney Poitier." Up to the stage came the most elegant man I had ever seen. I remember his tie was white, and of course his skin was black, and I had never seen a black man being celebrated like that. I tried many, many times to explain what a moment like that means to a little girl, a kid watching from the cheap seats as my mom came through the door bone tired from cleaning other people's houses. But all I can do is quote and say that the explanation in Sidney's performance in "Lilies of the Field":

"Amen, amen, amen, amen."


In 1982, Sidney received the Cecil B. DeMille award right here at the Golden Globes and it is not lost on me that at this moment, there are some little girls watching as I become the first black woman to be given this same award. It is an honor -- it is an honor and it is a privilege to share the evening with all of them and also with the incredible men and women who have inspired me, who challenged me, who sustained me and made my journey to this stage possible. Dennis Swanson who took a chance on me for "A.M. Chicago." Quincy Jones who saw me on that show and said to Steven Spielberg, "Yes, she is Sophia in 'The Color Purple.'" Gayle who has been the definition of what a friend is, and Stedman who has been my rock -- just a few to name.


I want to thank the Hollywood Foreign Press Association because we all know the press is under siege these days. We also know it's the insatiable dedication to uncovering the absolute truth that keeps us from turning a blind eye to corruption and to injustice. To -- to tyrants and victims, and secrets and lies. I want to say that I value the press more than ever before as we try to navigate these complicated times, which brings me to this: what I know for sure is that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have. And I'm especially proud and inspired by all the women who have felt strong enough and empowered enough to speak up and share their personal stories. Each of us in this room are celebrated because of the stories that we tell, and this year we became the story.


But it's not just a story affecting the entertainment industry. It's one that transcends any culture, geography, race, religion, politics, or workplace. So I want tonight to express gratitude to all the women who have endured years of abuse and assault because they, like my mother, had children to feed and bills to pay and dreams to pursue. They're the women whose names we'll never know. They are domestic workers and farm workers. They are working in factories and they work in restaurants and they're in academia, engineering, medicine, and science. They're part of the world of tech and politics and business. They're our athletes in the Olympics and they're our soldiers in the military.


And there's someone else, Recy Taylor, a name I know and I think you should know, too. In 1944, Recy Taylor was a young wife and mother walking home from a church service she'd attended in Abbeville, Alabama, when she was abducted by six armed white men, raped, and left blindfolded by the side of the road coming home from church. They threatened to kill her if she ever told anyone, but her story was reported to the NAACP where a young worker by the name of Rosa Parks became the lead investigator on her case and together they sought justice. But justice wasn't an option in the era of Jim Crow. The men who tried to destroy her were never persecuted. Recy Taylor died ten days ago, just shy of her 98th birthday. She lived as we all have lived, too many years in a culture broken by brutally powerful men. For too long, women have not been heard or believed if they dare speak the truth to the power of those men. But their time is up. Their time is up.


Their time is up. And I just hope -- I just hope that Recy Taylor died knowing that her truth, like the truth of so many other women who were tormented in those years, and even now tormented, goes marching on. It was somewhere in Rosa Parks' heart almost 11 years later, when she made the decision to stay seated on that bus in Montgomery, and it's here with every woman who chooses to say, "Me too." And every man -- every man who chooses to listen.


In my career, what I've always tried my best to do, whether on television or through film, is to say something about how men and women really behave. To say how we experience shame, how we love and how we rage, how we fail, how we retreat, persevere and how we overcome. I've interviewed and portrayed people who've withstood some of the ugliest things life can throw at you, but the one quality all of them seem to share is an ability to maintain hope for a brighter morning, even during our darkest nights. So I want all the girls watching here, now, to know that a new day is on the horizon! And when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, many of whom are right here in this room tonight, and some pretty phenomenal men, fighting hard to make sure that they become the leaders who take us to the time when nobody ever has to say "Me too" again.


Be great, remembered, and repeated.

Lisa Patrick


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More About the Author, Lisa Patrick:

Lisa is the founder of XTRAcredits Group Inc.

Continuing Education Expert | Speaker | Coach | Strategist - Accelerating Businesses Around the World

Working with some of the most recognized thought-leaders in the world has given Lisa the opportunity to showcase her unique skill to see opportunities that others miss!  These relationships have also provided her insights into the distinctive points of view of risk and opportunities facing today’s expert and their speaking/coaching businesses.  These experiences have contributed to her success!

Lisa is relentlessly optimistic, entrepreneurial, and future-focused. She encourages contrarian thinking and rapid experimentation.

Lisa has worked with personal brands and companies such as Grant Cardone, FocalPoint Coaching, Tom Hopkins, Dr. Cherie Carter-Scott, FrippVT, Wayne Lee, International Coaching Federation, Dr. Tony Alessandra, Assessments24x7, Society of Human Resource Professionals, and much more. Find out more about Lisa by clicking here.

More About Patricia Fripp

Hall of Fame keynote speaker, executive speech coach, sales presentation skills expert, and author, Patricia Fripp simplifies and demystifies the process of preparing and presenting powerful, persuasive presentations.

Kiplinger’s Personal Finance identified her presentation training as one of the best investments you can make in your career. Called “one of the 10 most electrifying speakers in North America” by Meetings and Conventions, Patricia delivers high-content, entertaining, dramatically memorable presentations.

The first female president of the National Speakers Association, she is now virtually everywhere. Patricia is a Faculty Expert at XTRAcredits as a subject matter expert. Learn essential new skills and accelerate your career while maintaining your professional accreditation.

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