Making the Honoring More Honorable

While I think a good deal of last night’s Oscars merits substantial rethinking, having five outstanding actors individually present the acting nominees offers good inspiration for awards ceremonies at conferences.

This mix of presenters allowed us to reengage and honor the past by remembering their own outstanding performances. The stagecraft and production values introducing the presenters were classy and grand. And even if some of the teleprompter commentary about the nominees was a bit disjointed or awkwardly paced, the tribute paid seemed more heartfelt and deeply personal than in years past. The entire approach visually illustrated what an elite community the winner joins, accentuated by the five sets of open arms welcoming the winner onstage.

Far too often major awards at association conferences are generic affairs that don’t let audience members really grasp the significance of the honorees’ contributions, nor include enough panache to make the presentations memorable. Last night’s acting awards and the Kennedy Center Honors in general offer good models worth adapting for our own recognition efforts.
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