There'll likely be no award-winning acceptance speeches at the Oscars. It's all about who wins and who wears what.
Lucky for the stars, they'll have the audience eating out of their hands.
The Oscar audience tends to be an "unbelievably easy audience.
"You just won the Holy Grail. You're expected to be out of your mind nervous, so you can say just about anything and get away with it," says professional speaker and author Tom Antion.
The speeches are secondary, agrees executive coach Stephen Boyd. "Unless the speaker bombs, the audience will be supportive and positive -- even if they don't pay attention."
But, face it, few audiences are as star-struck and forgiving. Effective speaking can make or break you, especially in this competitive job market, so before opening your mouth, some words of wisdom: "Winging it" is a sure-bet road to disaster, along with inappropriate humour and rambling, says Antion of amazingpublicspeaking.com.
And "memorizing it word for word" is a big mistake too, adds Boyd, a communication professor at Northern Kentucky University in Ohio.
That's not all. Chewing gum, sloppy appearance, along with slurred speech, vulgarity and going overtime, will probably leave the audience speechless, says Shannon Smith, image strategist and president of Premiere Image International.
Preparation is everything, chorus podium pundits. "Being spontaneous requires many rehearsals so that it sounds off the cuff," says image specialist Roz Usheroff.
Add to that enthusiasm, passion for your topic and sticking with the time allotted, the Oscar nominees may have trouble with that one and more.
Powerful public speaking requires more than just words.
"Words are only 7% of it. The rest is the package, presence, poise, body language and gestures," says Smith.
The first 30 seconds have the most impact, so establishing rapport with the audience upfront is essential, adds Usheroff, a communication and executive coach who has given more than 3,000 presentations
"They must touch the audience with a genuine message from the heart," so know your audience and their mindset, and get them involved, says Usheroff of usheroff.com.
Open with passion and compassion, and with a purpose, then inspire the audience to leave them wanting more.
In the workplace, weak public speaking skills can weaken careers. "Leadership gravitates to the person who can speak well -- take our new President as an example," says Boyd, who specializes in coaching executives on developing speaking skills.
"The really good ones understand that if you can't communicate your ideas, you can't lead.
"People are not promoted who cannot speak well."
Drum roll please!
Winner's words: Don't say, "I am so shocked, I don't know what to say," says professor Stephen Boyd.
Instead, say: "This is a great honour...," "I love my craft and I am happy to represent those of us who make a living doing it."
On the losing end: "Smile until it hurts and clap a lot for the winner," suggests image consultant Shannon Smith.
Consider words such as: "Congratulations, you were brilliant in the role" and, "That role was made just for you."
Silence is golden
Most memorable Oscar speech: In 1949 Jane Wyman took home the best actress Oscar for her role as a deaf-mute in Johnny Belinda. "I accept this very gratefully for keeping my mouth shut for once," Wyman told the audience. "I think I'll do it again." And she sat down.
-- Dr. Stephen Boyd,professor of communication