4 Content Tips from Oprah’s Golden Globes Speech

Photo by Green Chameleon on Unsplash

The celebrated Oprah Winfrey accepted the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement during the 75th Golden Globes Awards. It is no surprise that she brought the crowd to their feet. The loud applause filling the theater and tears from those watching at home illustrates the power of her words.  As social media managers and content creators, the craftsmanship of her speech should inspire all of our copywriting in 2018.

Forget Simon Says, let’s play Oprah Says! Here are five content creation tips you can borrow from the master herself.

1. Make a strong opening.

Oprah says…

“In 1964, I was a little girl sitting on the linoleum floor of my mother’s house in Milwaukee watching Anne Bancroft present the Oscar for best actor at the 36th Academy Awards.”

Why it works…

The opening line of her acceptance speech immediately pulls you in. It creates a timeframe, a setting, and a feeling in one sentence. Scroll through Facebook right now and see how many brands are actually succeeding at this. I challenge you to write one-sentence stories and test them on your brand’s social media channels.

2. Don’t make it all about you.

Oprah says…

“In 1982, Sidney received the Cecil B. DeMille award right here at the Golden Globes and it is not lost on me that at this moment, there are some little girls watching as I become the first black woman to be given this same award.”

Why it works…

A common miss I see is brand’s making it all about them. By telling a story of her idol, Sidney Poitier, and the full circle moment she may be having with other little girls somewhere in the world is an emotional human connection. The fact that she is the first black woman to receive this award took somewhat of a second seat to the potent story she was telling (which is hard to do!). How can your brand subtlety show their achievements without making it all about them?

3. Be respectful and brave in the face of controversy.

Oprah says…

“I want to say that I value the press more than ever before as we try to navigate these complicated times, which brings me to this: what I know for sure is that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have.”

Why it works…

No matter where you are on the political scale, the press has been under a lot of criticisms and scrutiny. You’ll notice, she doesn’t weigh in on the matter, she simply acknowledges it and uses it to make a powerfully positive statement. Sometimes going dark on social media is the smart move when controversial issues are trending, but next time see if there is an opportunity to inspire or inform your audience instead.

4. Say something familiar in an unfamiliar way.

Oprah says…

“Their time is up. And I just hope — I just hope that Recy Taylor died knowing that her truth, like the truth of so many other women who were tormented in those years, and even now tormented, goes marching on. It was somewhere in Rosa Parks’ heart almost 11 years later, when she made the decision to stay seated on that bus in Montgomery, and it’s here with every woman who chooses to say, “Me too.” And every man — every man who chooses to listen.”

Why it works…

Oprah knew the Time’s Up movement would be the center of every red carpet interview and acceptance speech. Her award is given late in the show, so she couldn’t very well say the same thing that everyone had been saying all night. That just isn’t her style. And it should be what brands do either. How many times do you practically see the same tweet from 15 different companies on Taco Day or National Best Friend Day? They all start to sound the same. Instead, Winfrey took the opportunity to tell a story about Recy Taylor, then tied it into our past history and history in the making.

If you missed the speech, I encourage you watch it online. It truly was a message we should all listen to, and for more reasons than to be inspired by her speech writing.

5 Social Media Tactics to Boost Creativity

The dreaded blank page. All that white space. It’s the stuff of nightmares.

horror

Whether you are a content creator, community manager or author, it is your job to transform all that white space into a spellbinding, revenue machine.

Easy, right?

No. This is what turns my hair gray. Why do we put ourselves through this? Simple–the light bulb moment is unbelievably satisfying. This moment isn’t always going to happen at your desk or your usual writing spot at your home. Time to pack up and head out in search of your next ah-ha moment.

1. Hit the Gym

This could actually be going for a run, using the elliptical in your house or lifting weights at the gym. Fresh oxygen will flow through your noggin and breathe new life into your ideas.

TIP: Keep your phone handy with a notes app open or bring a notepad and pen, so you don’t forget any of your ideas.

2. Visit an Animal Shelter

This may seem like an odd choice, but hear me out. All those furry babies have a story that is usually written on an info card or you can ask an employee or volunteer. Their history, attributes and quirks can be thought provoking for authors to big brand copywriters. If you’re looking to get away from a clinical or traditional approach to brainstorming, this option could be for you.

TIP: Be sure to leave a donation before you go! Better yet, if you’re a responsible human being, take a pet home and love them forever and forever.

3. (Nerd Alert) Go to the Library

Remember those big structures with shelves of books? Those are libraries and they are filled with light bulbs just waiting to be turned on.

TIP: Don’t immediately go to your genre. If you write for a realty company, hit up the fantasy section. Write romance? Grab a few pop culture magazines. This will force your brain to really think outside the box.

4. Word Race at a Coffee Shop

Grab a buddy for a fun brainstorming session over a cup of Joe. Come prepared with 8-10 questions related to the content you need to write on individual note cards. Let’s say you need to create content for a rental car company for a summer road trip campaign. Here are some sample questions you may ask:

  • What do people love about road trips?
  • How could things go wrong on a road trip?
  • Where did you travel as a kid?

note cards edited

Put your note cards face down on the table, set your phone to a 30-second timer, and flip over a card. You both write as many answers as possible per card. The person with the most answers at the end of the game gets a drink on the loser. Either way, you walk away with a stack of content ideas.

5. Go Camping

Ah, the great outdoors. Relaxing, but it also forces you outside your normal routine. You have to build a shelter, start a fire, and cook a meal on a stick. Think about your content needs and ask yourself how your brand could be used to help or what trouble your characters could get into while alone in the woods.

TIP: Take lots of photos. Take photos of your campsite and things you see when you go for a hike. You can reflect upon these images later for more ideas.

Get your butt out of your chair and go find your next light bulb moment. Be sure to share it with me when you do!