So yeah, there were mixed reviews on Matthew McConaughey’s speech at the Oscars. Some thought it was inspiring. Others thought it egotistical. Being in line with the former school of thought, it made me consider that right mix of elements to inspire someone to do something. In this case – what would make a top performer, not looking for an opportunity, talk to you about a move to your company?

Face it, the best candidates are typically the ones who are working and not out on the market looking furiously for a new job. You need to draw them in, make it attractive to have a conversation and ultimately join your team. Engage them, but don’t overdo it so it becomes a shallow sales pitch. How do you find that right balance?

Back to the speech. Yes, he is good looking and an interesting character, but there were some key things McConaghey did that drew people in. Whether they liked it or not, he garnered attention. The perfect combination of preparation, but not over-rehearsal, along with emotion, heart and personal motivation. He made the connection. Impactful.

After watching the speech a second time, I discovered a few key actions that may inspire one to be more motivated to consider something new.



Think about what you are going to do before you do it. Think in your audience’s shoes. What is it that will resonate with someone personally? No, you don’t need a “script”, but take a few minutes before a conversation to think about your audience and determine what you want to share, what you want to investigate and how you can best achieve your end goal. McConaughey clearly had thought about what he would say in advance. Not over-rehearsed at all, but unmistakably not totally spontaneous. Perfect.


Share stories

Stories are great. It’s hard to not visualize something when described with the right amount of detail and emotion. Of course you don’t want to overdo it and must be selective, but DO share imagery that is impactful. For example, maybe your personal experience at your company is one where you’ve been promoted 3 times in 5 years. Don’t leave it at that. Mention the opportunities, the struggles, how you rose above and how you were rewarded. Certainly don’t be long-winded, but some quick anecdotes will clearly illustrate something real. McConaughey’s story of his “hero” –a great example of a couple quick details that made this story real.


Speak from the Heart and Make an Emotional Connection

Sincerity is huge. Smart people (read: Top Performers) see through the BS. In my opinion, the highlight of McConaughey’s acceptance speech was his reference to his deceased father. You felt his emotion. He spoke from the heart. He gave you a visual of his Dad – gumbo-stirring, Miller Lite drinking, all around cool guy who really loved his son. He drew people in. He made them identify with him. He made them comfortable.


Acknowledge others

You can’t do it alone. Sure, confidence is a key to success, but rarely is success achieved without some type of assistance, support or even just the love of others. Sincerity and humbleness is a good thing. Be

sure you acknowledge and appreciate those that have helped you along the way. Demonstrating this in a conversation, will validate an environment where people are recognized and valued.

If you are trying to build a company of top performers, who want to be a part of something special, be sure from the first impression, you are impressing them. Compel them to want to be a part of an environment that is not only successful, but has character and heart.

If all else fails, one last bit of advice…. “Just Keep Living”. Cheers! If you didn’t see the speech, you can check it out here: