It’s time to celebrate this year’s graduates. Whether they have successfully completed eighth grade or medical school, these graduates are likely reflecting on their past achievements and planning their future ones.
As we honor scholars at ceremonies and parties, it can be difficult to find the right words. I Need A Speaker’s team discovered NPR’s fantastic compilation of graduation speeches that will inspire and motivate all of us. Click here for examples of some of the best graduation speeches.
Now that you’ve seen and heard from great speakers, it’s time to write your own remarks for the occasion. Here are some tips to make the task easier:
- Get your ideas on paper. Write out everything you’d like to include. You can edit later.
- Decide if you’ll use a theme (discovery, journey, gratitude, encouragement, etc.).
- Use an attention-grabbing introduction.
- Consider using a relevant story.
- Think about what makes this individual or class unique.
- Be positive.
- Keep your comments brief and impactful.
- Remember to introduce yourself.
- Thank the people who supported the graduate(s) and made the event memorable.
- Take a moment to mention the people who could not be there.
- Use appropriate humor.
- Speak at a relatively slow pace, emphasizing key words. Pause when you want to add drama.
- Talk about lessons learned and the endless possibilities that lie ahead.
- Remember there is more to school than academics. Acknowledge the relationships formed in school, on teams, and through clubs that graduates will cherish for years.
After you’ve written out your thoughts, string them together in a way that creates a natural flow. Add and subtract … then subtract some more.
Make it short. Make it powerful. Make it inspiring.
Congratulations to graduates of all ages!
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