It’s All In The Presentation

What must you do when you present awards at an awards ceremony?

Presenting your company’s awards at an awards ceremony can be a nerve racking and terrifying experience. This can feel especially so if you’ve never hosted an awards event before.

There could be hundreds of people watching you. One major mistake and you’ll see the gossip spread for days about your poor performance.

You know you need to master the art of presenting your awards. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind.

Look at Past Presenters

Find out how past presenters handled the award ceremony.

What did they do that went well? If you weren’t present at the last awards event, ask around and solicit a variety of people’s opinions. A lot of feedback will be subjective. However, if you keep hearing the same comments they are likely valid and an indication of the truth.

You can even meet with previous award ceremony hosts to get their tips and advice for making the awards event a success.

Did you hear any suggestions from people or the host for how presenting the awards could have gone better? Take note of all recommendations and see what you are comfortable with applying in your preparations.

Be Yourself and No One Else

Whether speaking with a previous awards host or reviewing the feedback from attendees, remember not to become a clone of previous presenters.

Your job is to be yourself and not anyone else. You play an important role in presenting each of the awards or introducing the key presenter. People want to hear from you not about you. The main thing required to be successful is timely preparation.

Plan, organize and script out everything so you are totally ready.

Connect the Recipient with the Audience

Present the humanness of the awardee, so people attending who don’t know the recipient, can become more personally connected with them.

You might have found out something funny or interesting about them. Always make sure to keep this appropriate and respectful of the individual’s wishes. Get their permission to talk about them if you don’t know them yourself. The key is to keep everything short but give people the inside scoop of the award recipient.

You might simply have found out some of their positive attributes or discovered a meaningful anecdote you could share. Find out whatever you can.

Introduce this person so everyone attending can feel like they know them.

Explain the Award

Tell everyone about the award being presented.

What does the award represent and how do you merit receiving this award? What is the significance of this award to everyone in attendance? Describe the work ethic and attributes of the awardee that made them worthy of the award. Indicate the specific contributions they have made that caused the judges to nominate them as the winner.

Of course, you must describe the award as briefly as possible.

Present the Award and Applaud

The award is important and very special. It represents a history of previous exceptional recipients and their contributions to the company. People who have received the award are at the pinnacle of achievement for whatever area of excellence the award represents.

This means the award is something special and must be highly valued. It also means that you must hold the award carefully and present it to the recipient in a respectful manner. Express how honored you are to present the award to the person. Sincerely and specifically thank them for all they’ve done. Then name the recipient and invite them to come forward to the front of the room or up to the podium on stage.

Next is where you lead the applause for everyone in attendance to copy you. Present the award carefully. Cue up the individual to the right position on stage for any photography being done.  You can then invite the recipient to say a few words if that has been built into the program.

Then you’re on to the next award recipient and the unique aspects of that person and their award.

Presenting an award can make a lasting, positive impact on a person. Or it can ruin everything they hold dear and treasure about the organization they work for.

Strive to make positive memories of everything you do. This is a chance to treat each award recipient as a celebrity on this special day. Acknowledge their achievements and thank them for the contributions they’ve made.

Recognition Reflection: What has stood out for you, at well hosted and presented, awards ceremonies?

Roy is no longer writing new content for this site (he has retired!), but you can subscribe to Engage2Excel’s blog as Engage2Excel will be taking Roy’s place writing about similar topics on employee recognition and retention, leadership and strategy.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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