Oscar winners, no one cares about your speech. You just need to go viral

Commentary: Forget genuine emotion and thanking your peers. The perfect Oscars speech is about easily tweetable GIFs.

Claire Reilly Former Principal Video Producer
Claire Reilly was a video host, journalist and producer covering all things space, futurism, science and culture. Whether she's covering breaking news, explaining complex science topics or exploring the weirder sides of tech culture, Claire gets to the heart of why technology matters to everyone. She's been a regular commentator on broadcast news, and in her spare time, she's a cabaret enthusiast, Simpsons aficionado and closet country music lover. She originally hails from Sydney but now calls San Francisco home.
Expertise Space, Futurism, Science and Sci-Tech, Robotics, Tech Culture Credentials
  • Webby Award Winner (Best Video Host, 2021), Webby Nominee (Podcasts, 2021), Gold Telly (Documentary Series, 2021), Silver Telly (Video Writing, 2021), W3 Award (Best Host, 2020), Australian IT Journalism Awards (Best Journalist, Best News Journalist 2017)
Claire Reilly
2 min read
Angela Weiss/Getty Images

The 2019 Oscars are upon us, and if you're planning on sitting down to watch Hollywood's finest bestowing the world's most esteemed awards on their peers, it's time to get that idea out of your head.

The Oscars aren't about the movies. The awards are about one thing and one thing only: deciding who's given the most ridiculous/ill-advised/funny/awkward speech and then turning their moment of triumph into fodder for social media.

Gone are the days of one-sentence acceptance speeches and producers laundry-listing the Hollywood insiders who helped their precious little project make it to the silver screen. Forget earnest displays of emotion, celebrating the people who deserve the wins the most and watching the culmination of a lifetime's worth of work.

You just need to go viral.

Every reaction needs to be giffable, every hastily adopted social cause that gets name-dropped in a speech needs to be hashtaggable, and if you screw up, you'd better believe you need to do it while a camera is trained on you so you make the live feed. Just as my mother said to me in my first-grade ballet recital, "If you're going to twist your ankle, you'd better make damn sure the judges are watching, kiddo!"

If by some marvelous chance you're the lucky jerk who's made it inside the crystal palace that is the Hollywood establishment and you find yourself preparing a "just in case" acceptance speech this year (and let's not lie, you're playing it down but you're so very desperate to win), then CNET has compiled the perfect list of tips for going viral.

 Oh look! Here they are compiled into one handy video!

The key takeaways? You need to fall over, get political, cry diamondlike tears, be cute but not ugly, and make sure every facial movement is either perfectly still (read: easily captured in a screenshot for Insta) or a perfect three seconds of animated expression (make those GIFs rain!).

If you haven't made it into the Los Angeles inner sanctum and your acceptance speech is going to be delivered into a remote control while you stare at your TV and wipe the grease of reheated mozzarella sticks onto your at-home-comfy pants, then these tips work too.

And if you're the kind of person, like me, who loves watching others fail in public, watching the telecast at 0.5x speed to see the exact moment the cracks start appearing in their perfectly formed façade, then these tips will give you a checklist of every way the "Best Director/Actor/Actress/Sound Design in an Inaccessible Documentary" speech has missed the mark.

Ahhh Oscars Night. What a pity it only comes once a year.