It is highly unlikely that you’ll live a life free of public speech obligations. Team meetings, board meetings, pitches, presentations, toasts and the like, will all call on you to dig into yourself (extrovert or not) to publicly drive home a meaningful message. Consider this ability to connect to people, and move them with your words, one of the skills you’ll need to remain an asset in future workplaces.

So how do we keep from becoming the living version of Charlie Brown’s boring, seemingly gibberish-speaking teacher? We watched the 91st Academy Awards and took notes from some of the best presenters and speeches to help you get it right. Here are five tips from Oscar-winning pros:

Break the Ice
This year’s Oscars didn’t have a host, so they got three premier comedians to start things off on a humorous note. I know, we’re not all Maya Rudolph, Tina Fey or Amy Poehler, but that doesn’t mean we can’t try. The first few moments of a meeting can be awkward, so try carving out room to let the humor shine through. Lower the audience’s guard by leaving room for your personality. Tell a joke, ask about people’s weekends, or even share your perspective on a current event. A couple laughs will likely make the audience more receptive to what’s coming next but might also loosen up your own nerves. We saw smiles break out across the audience at Tina Fey’s hilarious mention of the Fyre Festival debacle. “Look under your seats, you’re all getting one of those cheese sandwiches from the Fyre Festival!” Every presenter had it way easier after that. Read more on Accounting Weekly.