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Last Updated: Friday, 3 March 2006, 11:52 GMT
Hanks hands out Oscar speech tips
Tom Hanks collecting Oscar in 1995

Tom Hanks has been enlisted to give Oscar nominees expert advice on how to deliver the perfect acceptance speech.

Hanks, who has made the trip to the Academy Awards podium twice, presents a video that has been given to all 150 of this year's contenders.

If they win, they should address the audience with "wit, flair, creativity - or at least with brevity", he says.

"Use a little of that Oscar-winning creativity to make your speech entertaining," he tells them.

Hanks famously thanked his gay drama teacher and proclaimed that he was "standing on magic legs" while accepting awards for Philadelphia and Forrest Gump in 1994 and 1995.

Gwyneth Paltrow accepting Oscar in 1999
Gwyneth Paltrow delivered an emotional speech in 1999
He is also vice-president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which organises the Academy Awards.

Every nominee received a copy of the eight-and-a-half-minute video, An Insider's Guide: What Nominees Need to Know, with their invitation to Sunday's ceremony.

It features clips of good and bad previous speeches - from Gwyneth Paltrow's tears to Jack Palance's one-armed push-ups.

His first tip is to get on stage and finish the speech in less than a minute.

"Instead of hugging everyone within a 10-row radius, you might have to settle for a few fast high-fives as you sprint down the aisle," he says.

Memorable moment

He also says victors should "lose the list" and not thank everyone they have ever known, while groups of winners should nominate just one person to speak.

"Maximise your moment" to say something memorable is the final piece of advice.

Winners should be able to say something entertaining because "you've devoted your passion and your dreams to the entertainment industry", he says.

The Academy is strict on overrunning speeches during the three-and-a-half hour ceremony, cutting off winners who take more than their allotted time.

Tom Hanks will also hand out an award at this year's show.




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