The Graduation Speech: Farewell And Hello
Anyone who has ever graduated from anything – high school, college, or perhaps a program lasting only a few months – has sat through a graduation ceremony. No doubt that ceremony was filled with a variety of elements. Perhaps special music was played, perhaps someone shared on the accomplishments of the graduates, and maybe you had to share or present part of the ceremony. One element that is present in almost every graduation ceremony is the graduation speech.
There are two main types of graduation speeches that are often presented during graduation ceremonies. First, a common type of graduation speech is given by the valedictorian of the graduating class. If you were priviledged to graduate at the top of your class, then you know this speech very well. This type of graduation speech is primarily an avenue upon which a member of the graduating class gets to share memories and advice for their fellow graduates. Students share laughter and sometimes tears over the memories that the graduation speech details. The speaker gives advice and encouragement for the graduates that are about to leave one phase of life and enter a new one.
A second type of graduation speech often found at a ceremony is given by someone outside of the graduating class. Similar to the valedictorian speech, this kind of graduation speech is meant to give encouragement, wisdom and advice for those entering a new phase of life. The speaker is usually someone of importance, a business owner or a person of prominence in academia. The graduation speech usually includes a combination of humor and seriousness.
Do you have the task of preparing a graduation speech for an upcoming ceremony? If so, it does not have to be as hard as it first sounds. Begin by brainstorming a list of ideas. What do you want to communicate to your audience in the graduation speech? Do you want to primarily use humor, or will you go for a more serious speech?
Once you have brainstormed plenty of ideas for the graduation speech, begin making an outline to organize your thoughts. Do not include anything outside of the main theme that you want to communicate. If there is a time limit on your graduation speech, be sure to keep your speech within that limit. Then just be creative and have fun with it. Make the graduation speech you give memorable by being uniquely you. You know how you can best relate to the audience, so do it. Be yourself and show your personality in the graduation speech. People will be more interested if they think you are being authentic in your words.
So, whether you are about to attend a graduation ceremony and hear a graduation speech or whether you are about to present a speech, enjoy it. Graduation speeches do not happen every day. They only happen on graduation day.