The Art of a Memorable Oscars Speech

PHOTO: Gwyenth Paltrow cries as she receives the Oscar for Best Actress for her role in "Shakespeare in Love" during the 71st Academy Awards on March 21, 1999 in Los Angeles. PlayTimothy Clary/AFP/Getty Images
WATCH The Art of a Memorable Oscar Speech

With the 86th Academy Awards only days away, nominees are starting to think about whose name will be called to walk up to that stage Sunday night and accept an Oscar. But what comes after your name is called? The dreaded Oscars speech.

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Over the years, actors like Jamie Foxx and Sally Field have given speeches that have stood the test of time, while others -- not so much.

ABC News spoke with Evelyn Hsieh Wong, a former speechwriter at the White House, who had some crucial do's and dont's for the nominees. It's never too late to start preparing. Here are her tips.

1 - Prepare

Oscars 2014 Preview: Best ActressPlay
Oscars 2014 Preview: Best Actress

"Not everyone is going to be adorable when they are rambling on, not everyone is going to be Jennifer Lawrence. Something everyone should do is prepare, even if you are a long shot. When you're up there, you'll be more composed and actually say the things you want to say."

2 - Think About Your Rise to Stardom

"Think about who you want to acknowledge. Who helped you get there and people you can't live without. Everyone from your mom to your grandpa to the director ... it wasn't because of just you that you're here. It's a small list, but if you forget, there can be huge repercussions. No man is an island. Everyone has that story of "someone believed in me or helped me along the way," and I think that's really important to bring up."

3 - With a Group, Decide Beforehand Who's Going To Speak

"If not, you end up having people get two seconds to say what they want to say, because someone took up four minutes. Then, you're basically talking over the orchestra and it's embarrassing-looking."

4 - Acknowledge Other People In Your Category

"Not acknowledging the other people nominated is definitely a big no-no."

5 - Don't Bring Up Things That Are Irrelevant

"Some people just talk about whatever. You are not standing in front of a park, you are in front of an audience. If you are going to hold up a cause larger than your movie, then it should have some connection. If '12 Years A Slave' wins and they want to talk about equality, that makes sense. If you are going to start talking about the environment, get off the stage."

6 - Prioritize

"I would think of it as a 60-second elevator pitch. Just be very concise about what you want to emphasize. There's two approaches: You can try to cram everyone in, or focus on one thing you want to convey that can be memorable."

7 - Get Personal

"If you win, I'm going to want to thank my mother, I'm going to talk about the story of when she bought me my first TV and I decided I wanted to become an actress.

8 - Be Humble

"When James Cameron did his "I'm king of the world," speech, that's a big no-no. Don't be so egotistical when people are like 'I wish he didn't win.' Nobody likes arrogance.

9 - If You're Matthew McConaughey, "All Right, All Right, All Right" Is All Right

"There's nothing wrong with being iconic, I don't think there's anything wrong with that."