Toastmasters Picks 7 Most Memorable Oscar® Quotes from the Last 20 Years

Once the Academy Awards® winners have been revealed, the buzz from Sunday’s Oscars will focus on who was wearing what and what they said in their acceptance speeches. Good or bad, the speeches will be remembered by viewers and live eternally on YouTube.

Toastmasters International viewed Academy Award speeches from the last 20 years and selected the seven most memorable speech quotes (in chronological order):

  1. When James Cameron won the Best Director Oscar for “Titanic” in 1998, he couldn’t help but recite a well-known line from the film: “Mom, Dad, there is no way that I can express to you what I’m feeling right now, my heart is full to bursting, except to say, ‘I’m the king of the world!’”
  2. As Robin Williams accepted the award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in “Good Will Hunting” in 1998, he recalled the advice his father gave him when Williams told him he wanted a career in show business: “Most of all, I want to thank my father, up there, the man who when I said I wanted to be an actor, he said, ‘Wonderful. Just have a back-up profession like welding.’”
  3. When newcomers Ben Affleck and Matt Damon accepted the Best Original Screenplay trophy  for “Good Will Hunting,” Affleck offered insight into the thoughts of a nominee: “I just said to Matt, ‘losing would suck and winning would be really scary.’ And it’s really, really scary.”
  4. Julia Roberts wasn’t going to let the walk off music rush her acceptance speech as she won Best Actress for “Erin Brockovich” in 2001: “I have a television, so I’m going to spend some time here to tell y
    ou some things. [To orchestra conductor:] And sir, you’re doing a great job, but you’re so quick with that stick. So why don’t you sit, ‘cause I may never be here again.”
  5. The importance of her achievement wasn’t lost on Halle Berry as she became the first black woman to win a Best Actress Academy Award for “Monster’s Ball” in 2002: “This moment is so much bigger than me. It’s for every nameless, faceless woman of color that now has a chance because this door tonight has been opened.”
  6. When Jamie Foxx won Best Actor for “Ray” in 2005, he was overcome with emotion as he remembered his grandmother who was his first acting teacher and a mentor: “She still talks to me now; only now she talks to me in my dreams. And I can’t wait to go to sleep tonight becaumerylse we have a lot to talk about. I love you.”
  7. As she accepted her the second Best Actress Academy Award of her career for her work in “The Iron Lady” in 2012, Meryl Streep quipped: “When they called my name, I had this feeling I could hear half of America going, ‘Oh no. Come on… Her, again?’ You know. But, whatever.” 


Reprinted with permission by Toastmasters International. To schedule an interview with a Toastmasters leader about what made these Oscar quotes stand out and for a list of speaking tips for this year’s nominees, email

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