6 business lessons from the Oscars 2014

With Oscars just over, it’s still the thing everyone’s talking about. But, if you pay attention to the Oscar gossip and media coverage, there are actually some valuable business lessons you can get from it:

1. Never underestimate the power of social media.

This year’s Oscar host, Ellen DeGeneres, did an amazing job and was much-lauded in the media for her dynamic show. She was also incredibly popular on Twitter – she sent out a selfie tweet of her with a number of the Oscar actors and, in doing so, broke records for the most retweets ever with a whopping 2.6 million.

2. Own your mistakes.

Jennifer Lawrence, of The Hunger Games fame, fell yet again at the Oscars this year but, as always, she totally owned it. She’s developed a reputation for being kind of quirky, so incidents like this just improve the image she’s built. In business, you’ll be a complete genius if you can figure out how to make mistakes help bolster the image you have already created.

3. Know your facts.

If you’re giving a presentation or a speech, make sure you fact check everything first. Don’t repeat things that are commonly believed to be true without double checking first. In an Oscar speech about The Wolf of Wall Street, Leonardo DiCaprio referenced how much he loved the novel that the film was based on – but the book it was based on was a memoir.

4. Keep it short and sweet.

Nobody likes super-long Oscar speeches. If you’re giving a talk, you also don’t want to be the person that everyone just wants to shut up. Jared Leto gave a great speech including a heartfelt story about his mom – it was definitely sweet, and it wasn’t painfully long. Had the same story been stretched out into twice the length, it would have just annoyed a lot of people. Loquacity is not always a good thing when you’re delivering speeches.

5. Look your best.

Obviously fashion is a huge deal at the Oscars – much more so than it is in regular life. You won’t get called out on national TV if you come to work looking a little sloppy, but you will give off the wrong impression and it certainly won’t help you network or nab promotions.

6. Sometimes the underdog wins.

If you’re a startup, that’s an incredibly important thing to remember. No matter how much of an underdog you, you still have a chance. Dallas Buyers Club had wins for actor and supporting actor, despite that fact that I was made on a shoestring budget of $5 million in just 25 days.

Can Akdeniz

Can Akdeniz is the author of seven books and founder of Business Hacker, a popular business blog. His books such as Go Nuts, Cool Boss, Happy Company and MBA 2.0 have changed how people think about business, productivity and work.