Connect as Powerfully as Lupita Nyong’o: Messages Matter @ Oscars & Nonprofits

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 Take 3 minutes to listen to this incredible speech. Relevance rules at the Oscars too.

That was reinforced big time in this fantastically-moving acceptance speech by Lupita Nyong’o (Best Supporting Actress for 12 Years a Slave) AND in the massive media coverage of her speech from the moment it started. Journalists, bloggers and others were clearly as moved as I was by this motivating and memorable 3-minute speech.

Even for folks like me, who find the actual Oscars’ ceremony tedious, there’s much to enjoy retrospectively, including this speech. And for all of us nonprofit communicators and fundraisers, there’s much to learn from Lupita’s words and delivery.

==> Take a few minutes to listen to her again. What makes Lupita’s speech so powerful for you? Please share your thoughts here.

Lupita spoke briefly, with visible emotion (she was open-mouthed stunned as she mounted the steps to the stage) and—most importantly—was fully and obviously herself. She shared with us how overcome she was with joy, how full she was of appreciation and how taking on the role of Patsy had changed her forever.

The simplicity and brevity of her words and the passion of her delivery shouted authentic. Yes, she must have rehearsed her speech a few times or more. But she remained completely authentic. Nothing that connects more strongly than that.

It’s impossible not to love Lupita as she bubbles over with love for others. I think you’ll see what I mean, with these out takes from her speech:

  • It doesn’t escape me for one moment that so much joy in my life is thanks to so much pain in someone else’s.
  • I’m certain that the dead are standing about and watching, and they’re grateful, and so am I.
  • For every child, no matter where you are from, your dreams are valid.

Thank you, Lupita, for showing us how to shape and share messages real and relevant messages. I hope others will be moved and motivated by your words, just as I am.

Please take a few minutes to listen to Lupita again. Why does Lupita’s speech grab you? Please share your thoughts here.

Learn from Lupita Nyong_o

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P.P.S. This woman really knows how to rock a dress too. Absolutely unforgettable.

Nancy Schwartz on March 3, 2014 in Branding and Messages, Relevance Rules | 12 comments

  • Her speech was incredibly graceful and gracious, and hit several important high points, as you point out above. Her performance in the movie is one that keeps coming back to me over and over – she SO deserved this win. I was thrilled for her.

  • Agreed! 12 Years a Slave is a must-see for everyone.

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  • Sherienne Jackman

    I agree! The speech was short but yet extremely powerful. These words will live on for years to come. It’s etched in our history. I finally brought myself to watch the film this Saturday right before the Oscars and it was amazing.

  • Liz

    I think what struck me most, which you mentioned, is how genuine she was. Sometimes I read a draft of a fundraising letter and I think to myself – “This sounds Just like a fundraising letter.” Then I try rewrite it to sound like a person writing a note to another person – make it genuine.

  • Know just what you mean, Liz. Lupita most definitely spoke directly from the heart.

  • Pam

    Lupita’s moving acceptance was beautiful, touching, authentic and important, as was Jared Leto’s, the other supporting actor winner. Both were able to weave together their personal journeys and larger social messages in a compelling way. Highlight of the night, for sure.

  • Sally

    what strikes me is that she is genuinely joyful that the role she played won the award–not her. she’s the actor, but patsey and her story are what’s important. does that make any sense?

  • Yes, Sally. She conveys her words and feelings absolutely authentically. And yes, she positions herself almost as the channel for the Patsy character. That’s immersion, and authenticity.

  • Tedious absolutely sums up the Oscars but her speech was a highlight – gracious, eloquent, respectful. She certainly ticked all the boxes!

  • ida

    Recognizes the character behind her success – her success is not her’s alone. Her last statement ..dreams being valid takes her away from Oscar audience and pulls in every tom, dick and harry whose ever dared to dream. Excellent!

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