Ashton Kutcher’s Teen Choice Awards speech is barely two weeks old, and it has received over 1 million views on YouTube and who knows how many shares and tweets on social networks.

Why is it that Kutcher’s speech has been making waves online? Why does his message resonate not only with the young teenage audience but also with everyone else who’s hustling along every day to make a living?

I believe there are three main reasons why Ashton Kutcher’s speech went viral – and if you’re smart…uh I mean, sexy… you can get your cue for your own communications rebellion from the Hollywood actor.

Some of you might want to interject and point out that actor Ashton Kutcher is a celebrity and his star factor is the reason his message was passed on like crazy. Yes, his name has certainly acted as a trigger for people to open the link to his YouTube video, but if his award speech success was based on his fame alone, how come no other Teen Choice Award speeches have gone viral? I’m sure there were other famous award recipients…

Here are the real reasons Ashton Kutcher’s Teen Choice Award speech went viral:

 1.    Because his message was personal, yet universal

As human being we connect with other human beings on an emotional level. Because Kutcher made his message so personal, we could not resist but listen and emotionally connect with what he said. Not only did Kutcher reveal his actual first name (which is Chris), he also talked about jobs he had before he became famous – which made it easy for us to relate to him.

For a few minutes, he dropped the Hollywood A-list persona and showed up as Chris, the young man who never had a job in his life that he was better than. His message was universal. We could all relate to his experience, and even those of us who couldn’t relate to his experience yet (because we’re 16 and haven’t yet entered the job world) could learn from Chris because for those few minutes he was just like everyone else.

 2.    Because his message was timely

Kutcher did not share his message just anytime. He took the opportunity and shared it at the Teen Choice Awards, at a time when he had everyone’s attention. It was the perfect moment to share something meaningful – not just because his audience was all ears, but also because no one expected that kind of pep talk at that time .

Let’s be honest, we expect to hear “thank yous” and an expression of gratitude from an award recipient. Kutcher surprised his audience by not giving another “thank you” speech, but an inspirational one that is so much more meaningful and powerful. So powerful, in fact, that it’s infectious. And what do we do when we feel inspired by someone? We share his message with friends on Facebook and Twitter. Ta-da!

3.    Because his message was presented in an irresistible structure

Did you notice that at the beginning of his speech, Kutcher told us what to expect from his talk? He said he would share three things he learned from the time that he was Chris: “The first thing is about opportunity, the second thing is about being sexy, and the third thing is about living life.”

And…you’re hooked! First of all, it’s the teaser that keeps us longing to hear more. Secondly, you know you only have to sit through three things – and don’t we all appreciate short’n’sweet in our times of “not enough time for this”?

Kutcher used a perfect structure for his speech, which included a teaser and three easy to digest lessons – all framed by his real self Chris, who we were all eager to know more about.

How can you use these three principles the next time you want to deliver an inspirational message to your audience? Think about it…

…and rebel on!


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