Top 5 Powerful & Positive Oscar 2014 Moments

One of the best parts of being in front of any microphone, especially one at the Academy Awards, is that you can share a powerful message with an audience and generate inspiration and a positive impact on the world.

Here are my Top 5 Powerful & Positive Oscar Moments from the 86th annual Academy Awards.

1. Jared Leto has come a long way from his co-star role in “My So Called Life” and this was apparent in his moving and mature speech as he accepted his Oscar. His story about his single mother who focused on her family and taught her kids to be creative and dream. Jaredalso used his time to recognize other countries, those with AIDS, and those who have been discriminated against. All over social media, people were LOVING him and his speech. Why? Because he used the microphone to acknowledge, encourage, and inspire.

2. In a filmed segment of Angelina Jolie accepting an Honorary Oscar/ Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, she also mentioned and honored her mom. Jolie said that her mom felt film has the potential to inspire positive action in the world and that it has meaning. She emotionally acknowledged that her mother would be proud. We are all proud of you too Angelina!

3. And then a beautiful message was delivered by a mom, Kristen Anderson-Lopez (winner of “Best Song”), when she said to her young girls watching at home: “We hope that you never let fear or shame keep you from celebrating the unique people you are.” I teared up with you Kristen.

4. My favorite moment of the night was when first-timer Lupita Nyong’o Oscar win for her performance in 12 YEARS A SLAVE. Her speech was filled with unbridled emotion, gratitude, love and truth. It was powerful, heartfelt and touching. Lupita’s story and win inspired hope everywhere when she said – “No matter where you are from, your dreams are valid.”

5. Cate Blanchett was also pretty spectacular not only in BLUE JASMINE and her rockin dress but for her acknowledgement of women in film during her acceptance speech. Cate said: “For those who are still foolishly clinging to the idea that female films with women at the center are niche experiences.” “They are not,” “Audiences want to see them, and in fact, they earn money.” Whoohoo!

Bonus Moment: I also loved Matthew McConaughey’s speech where he said he needs something to look up to, something to look forward to, and someone to chase. I appreciated his thank-you to God (especially his mention that “gratitude reciprocates”), his love and recognition of his family (especially his self-respect), and especially his brilliant perspective that he is always chasing a hero – the hero of himself ten years from now. It reminded me of my own commitment to be a better, not a perfect version of myself (shared in my TEDx talk).

Live a life that rocks,

Kate Neligan

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