And why writing one makes you better at the Internet.
One of the best (and TBH, worst) things about winning The Webby Awards is that you’re tasked with writing a 5 Word Speech the whole Internet (or so it seems) is gonna read. How do you sum up overwhelming excitement and appreciation in just five words? After all, there are so many people to thank: YOU for one, our amazing community who power Spark with your creativity. All of our moms, for another… It can feel daunting to say the least.
But once you get over the anxiety, it turns out writing a 5 word speech is a pretty great exercise in creative constraints–and ultimately writing for social media. Take a scroll through our favorite 5 Word Speeches from the 2019 Webby Awards, then learn how to apply the exercise to your own writing for better social media captions.
— Girls Who Code (@GirlsWhoCode) May 14, 2019
— The Webby Awards (@TheWebbyAwards) May 14, 2019
Many winners took advantage of their 5 seconds of fame to make a statement about the issues that matter to them. Short, snappy, to the point: these speeches could double as campaign slogans.
Check out our #Webbys 5-Word Speech by https://t.co/0ZclSg8sKw Senior Editor James Sitar and thanks again for voting our website best in Charitable Orgs/Nonprofit for the 23rd Annual Webby Awards! pic.twitter.com/LJDtAg2umO
— Poetry Foundation (@PoetryFound) May 13, 2019
We love the juxtaposition between “relevant” and “timeless” in James Sitar’s speech. How can you use simple, evocative words to describe whatever it is you’re trying to convey.
— Harlso (@Harlso) May 13, 2019
This pup keeps it simple and high-level with his message, and we loved how he turned it into a graphic.
It was a whirlwind of an experience! Not only did Tai pick up the People’s Voice Webby Award in the Family & Kids podcast category, but he also got to make a #5WordSpeech thanking his listeners & supporters. Safe to say, the #Webbys were a huge success!! #TaiAsksWhy 🎉 pic.twitter.com/8QowlDU3tD
— CBC Podcasts (@cbcpodcasts) May 15, 2019
This one was both acceptance speech and a tagline for the podcast. Win win.
— Harvard Biz Review (@HarvardBiz) May 13, 2019
Harvard Business Review reinforces their value prop in a way that everyone can relate to. Everyone has something they want to change. HBR positions themselves as the solution. We could see this working as a tagline for their site.
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Our #5wordspeech Was 🔊Do It For The Culture🔊 @tsu_terryBaltimore (Club) x @scubble_106yf (2nd Line Dance) New Orleans 🌎 @kellyimpressions & @clautopias | @kqed_arts @thewebbyawards . . #ifcitiescoulddance #webby #5wordspeech #webbyawards #tsuterry #baltimoreClub #Danceon @hartleyphoto 🎥
This dancey number is a good example of your copy not needing to do ALL the work when you pair it with visuals or actions that reinforce your meaning.
The fact there’s no sound on this video subtly reinforces why this nominee won. A great example of show-not-tell and a simple, effective sentence bringing the message home.
And sometimes, the weirder the better. It is the Internet, after all.
Sharpen Your Writing Skills: Write Your Own 5 Word Speech
Next time you’re struggling with a social media caption, need to come up with a headline, or are looking to write a memorable tagline, consider giving yourself a wild constraint. Even if you end up loosening the parameters later, the exercise will get you thinking in different ways and distilling your message down to the most essential, powerful words.
Our strategy? We did what we usually do when we need a creative solution for all our feels. We made Sparks. A lot of them. Here are our tips for witty, short writing on a deadline:
- Start with a word association. First jot down all the words related to your overall message.
- Come up with as many terrible drafts as you can in 10 minutes. As a team, we may have come up with at least 50 sets of 5 words. Some funny, some heartwarming, some we could never let outside the walls of Slack. Time-boxing your exercise can help you make sure you’re not heading down a rabbit hole of overthinking.
- Cut the fat. How can you construct a thought that has no extraneous words. Hint: you hardly ever truly need the word “that.”
- Design your words. If you’re working on a tagline or a headline, sometimes it’s helpful to see your words in your brand’s graphical style and how it will appear IRL. Spark makes it easy to quickly turn your copy into graphics as part of your brainstorm.
- Crowdsource for feedback. We turned to social media to ask you for feedback Then we turned to YOU for more inspiration–and man did you deliver. Here’s a taste of how you described Spark in 5 words.
Thank you for the #5wordspeech inspo, Sparkers! Ya’ll put the sparkle the Spark! Stay tuned to see our @TheWebbyAwards speech later today. Are you following the #Webbys? https://t.co/62mseUQJrY pic.twitter.com/6Ak5HpL9Ay
— Adobe Spark (@AdobeSpark) May 13, 2019
Tag your fire social posts with #adobespark and we’ll re-share our favorites!