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31 Graduation Speeches: Speeches You Give in Pointy Hats

A picture of a graduate and his grandfather

Graduation is a big day for graduates, their families, and teachers. If you are called to give a graduation speech, you want to make it special.  I want to share with you what makes a good graduation speech and give you tips on how to write one that will make an impact.

As we begin, you need to wrap your mind around two main things:

  • Most people do not remember the graduation speeches they hear, but they do remember the feeling they got in the moment–inspired, bored, challenged.
  • The more you tap into shared memories, the more meaningful the speech will be for those listening.

There are two main types of graduation speakers, the student speaker, and the headline speaker. At one college at our university, there is a speech contest to be the graduation speaker and at another college, it is someone who has been nominated by a faculty member. How you get there varies from place to place At the local high school, the valedictorian is often the speaker. I recently went to high school graduation and they had seven valedictorians so they had seven speakers–yes, it was as long as you can imagine.

When thinking about giving a graduation speech, you have to ask, “What does the audience need from me?” They need you to reflect on the past, celebrate the present, and focus on the future. This chapter will walk you through the essentials of giving a graduation speech and then give you several example speeches as samples of key elements.

Gather the Details

  • How long will you speak?
  • Who will be in attendance?
  • Who will introduce you?
  • Are you the only speaker?
  • Will there be a microphone?
  • Can you use speech notes?
  • Brainstorm with Friends

This is the fun part. Sit down with friends and make a list of all the things that come to mind about the college experience. When brainstorming, write down everything you think of and don’t try to judge whether it should be included, just go with it.  There is an entire chapter on how to brainstorm here. 

  • Food, dining halls, local restaurants
  • Hangouts on campus
  • Social events
  • Notable classes
  • Significant memories
  • Current events
  • Shared college experiences (on our campus it might be buying scantrons, hearing the bells of Old Main, and using Blackboard.

Organizational Format

Most all student graduation speeches include the past, present, and future format.

  • Present: Opening statement and the thank you.
  • Past: The shared memory.
  • Future: The challenge and a closing statement.

Manuscript Format

Most student graduation speeches are in manuscript format. That helps you from getting overwhelmed at the moment and that also gives the school a chance to censor– I mean to approve of–your content. There is an entire chapter on writing a manuscript that you can refer to here. 

Pick a Theme

Many graduation speeches use a theme. Here are some of the most common graduation themes.

It can be helpful to pick a theme and connect a metaphor to your theme. There is an entire chapter on how to do that here. 

“There is no such thing as failure. Failure is just life trying to push you in another direction.” Oprah Winfrey, Harvard University Commencement Speech

Start Your Speech with an Introduction

Most introductions acknowledge the occasion, offer thanks, and lead into the main idea. Shutterfly suggests these as openings.

  • “Thank you [person who introduced you]. And thank you to the students, teachers, parents, and staff who made these four years everything that they were.”
  • “It’s my honor today to deliver the commencement address for this incredible student body.”
  • “It is my pleasure to welcome students, families, and faculty to graduation day at [school’s name]. Every one of you has made an impact on the graduates who sit here today.”
  • “I stand here before you, looking back on four years of legacy we’ve all made together.”

Use the Principles of Good Ceremonial Speaking

I have written a chapter on each component of ceremonial speaking and you can reference those you need:

  • Tell a story
  • Use identification, narration, and magnification
  • Use colorful language
  • Use metaphor, simile,  and theme
  • Put your speech in manuscript format

Look for Stories that Celebrate Common Experiences

Notice how Jaclyn Marston reflects on specific classes and memories. (Watch starting at .54 seconds).

Watch how Lin Manuel Miranda references the familiar and the obscure in his address to the University of Pennsylvania (start watching at 1:12).

Use a Theme

Notice how she uses the theme–“What do you want to be” when you grow up and alters it to  “What do you want to do?” She opens with this and wraps back around to this same idea at the end.

Be Vulnerable

Notice how this speaker admits his shortcomings. We feel like he is honest and vulnerable so we hang on his everyword.

Headline Speaker Sample Speeches

Headline speakers are usually someone famous or notable. Speeches by those individuals almost always include stories and challenges. I have included several here. Pick two of them to analyze.

Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That’s it. No big deal. Just three stories. Steve Jobs

These highlights of Lou Holtz’s graduation speech is full of great challenges and life lessons.

Tim Minchin

“One: Be micro-ambitious. Put your head down and work with pride on whatever is in front of you. You never know where you might end up.

Two: Don’t seek happiness. Keep busy and aim to make someone else happy and you might find you get some as a side effect.

Three:  Understanding that you can’t truly take credit for your successes nor truly blame others for their failures will humble you and make you more compassionate.

Four: Exercise. Take care of your body: you’re going to need it.

Five: Be hard on your opinions. Be intellectually rigorous. Identify your biases, your prejudices, your privileges.

Six: Even if you’re not a teacher, be a teacher. Share your ideas. Don’t take for granted your education.

Seven: Define yourself by what you love. Be demonstrative and generous in your praise of those you admire. Send thank you cards and give standing ovations. Be pro stuff not just anti stuff.

Eight: Respect people with less power than you.

Nine: Finally, don’t rush. You don’t need to know what you’re going to do with the rest of your life.”

As you can see, graduation speeches can be serious or lighthearted; they can be personal, motivational, and informative. The key thing is that the speech should be authentic. It should be as unique as the speaker.

Key Takeaways

Remember This!

  • Graduation speeches should reflect on the past, celebrate the present, and inspire towards the future.
  • Consider the needs of the audience and find commonalities.
  • Tell a story.
  • Use a manuscript.

Bonus Features

Jaclyn Marson describes the process of how she wrote her Graduation Speech.

Dunham, A. (2019). Valedictorian comes out as autistic during speech. [Video] YouTube.  https://youtu.be/GtPGrLoU5Uk Standard YouTube License

Holtz, L. (2017). Lou Holtz’s inspirational speech. Commencement speech.[Video] YouTube.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3LOo_Ccyws Standard YouTube License

Jobs, S. (2008). Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement Address. [Video] YouTube.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UF8uR6Z6KLc Standard YouTube License.

Jostens, (n.d.).  Celebrate high school memories. Inspire your grad community. https://www.jostens.com/resources/students-and-parents/graduation-guides/how-to-write-a-grad-speech

Marson, J. (2020). How to write an amazing graduation speech–Jaclyn Marson podcast Ep 1. [Video] YouTube.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5CUSzp9SrM Standard YouTube License.

Marston, J. (2016). Beautiful and moving graduation speech 2016. [Video] YouTube.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_F3K3Z_5CEE Standard YouTube License.

Minchin, T. (2013). 9 life lessons-Time Minchin UWA Address. [Video] YouTube.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yoEezZD71sc Standard YouTube License.

Rosen, L. (2019). Leah Rosen: “The power of this place,” Duke University 2019 commencement student speaker. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4N Standard YouTube License.

Shutterfly. (n.d) How to start a graduation speech. https://www.shutterfly.com/ideas/graduation-speech/

Stewart, M.  (2020). Student speaker. Commencement 2020. University of Utah. [Video] YouTube.   h ttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZFJnZvuQIo Standard YouTube License.

University of Pennsylvania. (2016). Penn’s 2016 commencement ceremony- Commencement speaker Lin-Manuel Miranda. [Video] YouTube.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewHcsFlolz4&t=0s Standard YouTube License.

Media Attributions

  • Graduation Photo © Lynn Meade is licensed under a CC BY (Attribution) license

Advanced Public Speaking Copyright © 2021 by Lynn Meade is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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Ah! Graduation. A time of year for every student to say that finally they are free of the burdens that come with school. No more homework, no more late night studying because it all paid off. Congratulations to you for making it. There is a saying from Nora Ephron that goes like this, that your education is merely just a dry run. Just a run through, it is not the final cut rather, it is a preparation to the life that you can lead.

This is especially true for those who are graduating this year or for those who are going to be passing through and going forward. For students, this is the best day of their lives, the freedom, the path to choose what they can want and can get. However, when there is graduation, there is always that one thing students seem to not be able to escape. Making a graduation speech. Of course, a lot of students would say this is going to be easy now because of the practice they went through. But how do you make a good graduation speech ? Where do you even begin? Am I confusing you? Don’t worry, I got you covered.

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11+ Student Graduation Speech Examples

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What Is a Student Graduation Speech?

A student graduation speech or a commencement speech is a kind of speech that is always said during graduation. Whether it be when you graduate from middle school, high school or even university. This kind of speech is used to encourage , congratulate and to express gratitude from students, teachers and the faculty. In most cases, a student is the one who delivers the speech. The speech is mostly about their experience in school and how that experience has helped them grow to be who they are today.

In addition to that, a student graduation speech is also a good way to show or to tell students that they have finally achieved what they wanted in life. Basically the purpose of a student graduation speech is to make sure that each student knows what their professors and other students feel during this time. Graduation speeches can sometimes get very emotional, depending on who may be presenting the speech and how it was delivered. Often than not, it is considered normal for a lot of people to be very emotional when presenting a student graduation speech. To know about how to write one, let’s move on to how to write a good student graduation speech.

How to Write a Student Graduation Speech?

Are you tasked to write a student graduation speech or are you simply curious as to how a student graduation speech looks and how it is written. Regardless of the reason, and if you are interested, here are some five simple tips to get you started on writing. How to write a student graduation speech?

1. Always Introduce Yourself to the Crowd

When you get up on that stage, thank the person who made the speech or who made the introduction first. Do this before reading your speech. It is seen as something polite and should be done. In addition to that, introduce yourself whether the person before you did or did not. Never assume that everyone in the crowd knows you. Remember, the people in the crowd are a mixture of students, your classmates, teachers, faculty and parents. There is only a few percent chance they can remember you or know you.

2. Share Your Experience in a Story

Another thing you can do when making a speech is to share your experience in the form of a story. Let your fellow graduates feel the same thing you felt or at least at some point. Tell your story so others could learn from your struggles and from the sweet rewards of graduating. Your experience may be different from others or may have at least a few things that are common, but your experience is there to awaken what it was like for students to struggle and feel the joy of a fruitful future.

3. Add an Inspiring Quote

One of the best ways to inspire and to get through your audience is to share an inspiring quote. Your quote must match that of your speech that you need not have to explain what it means. There are a lot of inspiring quotes, but you can also make your own.

4. Give Everyone Some Good Advice

Part of your speech should also be about giving people some good advice. Especially those students who may be graduating with you who are younger. Be the big person here and show them that with a lot of sacrifices, there will always be a rainbow after every thunderstorm. A brighter side of things. However, make it that they would find it good enough and not that they may get annoyed or disappointed. This means that when you say it, say it in a polite manner.

5. Thank Everyone for Attending the Event

Last but not the least, thank everyone for coming to the event. Add this when you are about to end your speech. Showing that you appreciate the audience and the time they gave to attend the graduation. Saying this would mean that your speech is done and you would want everyone to be thankful for the people who came to the said event to watch.

What is a student graduation speech?

A kind of speech made solely for graduation. This speech is made by students for students. A student graduation speech consists mainly of the experience of a student from their school years, to sharing advice for those who want to achieve in life.

Is it necessary to make a graduation speech?

Some schools require their outstanding graduates to make a graduation speech, while others may not require them. The whole purpose of the speech is to let everyone know that they have done great and should continue to do great things.

How long is a graduation speech?

A graduation speech does not have to be too long nor too short. A single page is enough to make a speech. If the speech is too long, your audience may fall asleep or choose to ignore as it may drag. But if the speech is too short, it may leave an awkward air around the whole event. Make sure that your speech should not last more than five minutes nor less than that.

Graduation speeches can either get very emotional or can be made as a polite way to say thank you. Depending on who writes it and how it is written. It is normal to cry when you’re doing your speech, but it is not okay to not make any eye contact.

What should a student say in a graduation speech?

1. Express Gratitude:

Begin by thanking teachers, parents, mentors, and the institution for their support and guidance throughout the academic journey.

2. Reflect on the Journey:

Share personal reflections and memorable moments from the school years. Talk about challenges, growth, and the significance of the educational experience.

3. Acknowledge Achievements:

Recognize the accomplishments of the graduating class, highlighting academic, extracurricular, and personal achievements.

4. Inspire and Encourage:

Offer words of inspiration and encouragement to peers, reminding them of their potential and the opportunities that lie ahead.

5. Share Life Lessons:

Share valuable life lessons learned during the educational journey and how they can be applied to the future.

6. Embrace Diversity:

Celebrate the diversity and uniqueness of the graduating class, emphasizing the importance of inclusivity and understanding in a global society.

7. Discuss the Future:

Talk about the exciting possibilities and challenges that await graduates as they embark on the next chapter of their lives.

8. Express Hope and Optimism:

Convey optimism for the future, emphasizing the potential for positive change and personal growth.

9. Use Personal Anecdotes:

Include personal stories or anecdotes that connect with the audience and convey messages effectively.

10. End with a Memorable Quote or Call to Action:

Close the speech with a memorable quote, a call to action, or a message that leaves a lasting impression.

How does a student start a graduation speech?

1.Express Gratitude:

Start by expressing gratitude to teachers, parents, mentors, and fellow students for their support and contributions throughout the academic journey. Thanking the audience creates a positive atmosphere from the beginning.

Example: “Good evening, honored guests, teachers, parents, and my amazing fellow graduates. I stand before you today with immense gratitude in my heart for the incredible support we’ve received on this journey.”

2. Use a Quote:

Begin with a relevant and inspiring quote that encapsulates the theme of the speech. Quotes can provide depth and immediately capture the audience’s attention.

Example: “As Nelson Mandela once said, ‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.’ Today, we celebrate not just the end of our academic journey but the beginning of our mission to make a difference.”

3. Tell a Personal Story:

Share a brief, relatable personal anecdote that connects to the overarching message of the speech. Personal stories can create an emotional connection with the audience.

Example: “Allow me to take you back to the first day of school when we were wide-eyed freshmen, feeling a mix of excitement and nervousness. Little did we know that this place would become our second home, filled with laughter, challenges, and lifelong friendships.”

4. Ask a Rhetorical Question:

Pose a thought-provoking rhetorical question that engages the audience’s curiosity and encourages them to reflect on the journey ahead.

Example: “What does it truly mean to graduate? Is it merely receiving a diploma, or is it about the knowledge gained, the friendships formed, and the transformations within ourselves? Today, we contemplate not just our achievements but the infinite possibilities that lie before us.”

5. Use Humor:

Start with a light-hearted, witty remark or humorous anecdote related to the graduation experience. Humor can instantly capture the audience’s attention and create a warm atmosphere.

Example: “Ladies and gentlemen, if someone had told me four years ago that I would be standing here giving a speech, I would have thought they were joking. Yet, here I am, trying not to trip over my own excitement. Life truly is full of surprises!”

6. Acknowledge the Significance of the Moment:

Begin by acknowledging the importance of the graduation day, recognizing it as a pivotal moment in the students’ lives and the beginning of a new chapter.

Example: “Today is more than just a ceremony; it’s a milestone. It marks the culmination of years of hard work, late-night study sessions, and the unwavering determination that brought us to this moment. Today, we stand on the threshold of a future waiting to be shaped by our dreams and ambitions.”

What should I say in my high school graduation speech?

1. Introduction:

Begin by expressing gratitude to the school, teachers, parents, and fellow students. Acknowledge the significance of the moment and the honor of addressing the graduating class.

Share personal reflections on your high school experience. Discuss memorable moments, challenges, and the growth you and your classmates have undergone.

Recognize the accomplishments of your fellow graduates, including academic achievements, extracurricular activities, and personal growth.

Offer words of inspiration and encouragement to your peers as they embark on the next phase of their lives. Remind them of their potential and resilience.

Reflect on the lessons learned during high school, both in and out of the classroom. Discuss how these lessons can be applied to the future.

Celebrate the diversity and unique qualities of your graduating class. Highlight the importance of inclusivity and understanding in a diverse world.

Talk about the exciting possibilities and challenges that await graduates as they move on to college, careers, or other pursuits.

Convey optimism for the future, emphasizing the potential for positive change and personal growth. Inspire your peers to make a difference in the world.

Share personal stories or anecdotes that connect with the audience and convey your messages effectively.

Close your speech with a memorable quote, a call to action, or a message that leaves a lasting impression.

11. Practice and Rehearse:

Practice your speech multiple times to ensure that it flows smoothly and is within the allotted time.

12. Engage the Audience:

Use eye contact, gestures, and a confident tone to engage the audience. Maintain a warm and inclusive atmosphere.

13. Stay True to Your Voice:

Your speech should reflect your personality and values. Be authentic and sincere in your delivery.

14. Conclude with Gratitude:

Thank your audience once again for the privilege of speaking and express your optimism about the future.

15. Review and Edit:

Proofread and edit your speech for clarity and coherence. Ensure that it is well-structured and free of errors.

16. Seek Feedback:

Share your speech with a trusted friend, teacher, or family member for feedback and suggestions.

How do you write a short and sweet graduation speech?

1. Start with Gratitude:

Begin by expressing gratitude to the school, teachers, parents, and fellow graduates for the support and experiences throughout the journey.

2. Acknowledge Achievements:

Recognize the accomplishments and milestones of your graduating class, both academic and personal.

3. Reflect on the Journey:

Share a brief reflection on your high school experience, mentioning memorable moments and challenges.

Offer a concise message of inspiration and encouragement for your peers as they step into the next chapter of their lives. Encourage them to pursue their dreams and make a positive impact.

5. Express Hope:

Convey optimism and hope for the future, highlighting the potential for success and personal growth.

6. Use a Memorable Quote:

Consider incorporating a well-chosen quote that encapsulates the theme of your speech.

7. Thank the Audience:

Conclude by thanking your audience once more and wishing your fellow graduates success in their future endeavors.

8. Practice and Rehearse:

Practice your speech to ensure it fits within a short time frame while maintaining a clear and impactful message.

9. Engage the Audience:

Use eye contact, a confident tone, and gestures to engage the audience. Maintain a warm and inclusive atmosphere.

10. Stay True to Your Voice:

  • Keep your speech authentic and true to your personality and values.

Here’s an example of a short and sweet graduation speech:

“Good evening, honored guests, teachers, parents, and my fellow graduates. As we stand here today on the brink of a new journey, I want to express my gratitude for the experiences and support we’ve shared throughout our high school years. Our achievements, both big and small, have brought us to this moment, and I couldn’t be prouder to call you my classmates.

As we move forward, remember that every challenge we faced and overcame has shaped us into the individuals we are today. We are ready to embrace the future with open hearts and unwavering determination. As Dr. Seuss once said, ‘You have brains in your head, you have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.’

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EF Academy Blog

A graduation speech for the Class of 2021, by Aryan A.

A graduation speech for the Class of 2021, by Aryan A.

On May 1, 2021, EF Academy New York senior Aryan A. gave the following speech on behalf of the Class of 2021 at their graduation ceremony in New York.

Good morning respected teachers, administrators, parents and the amazing Class of 2021. Before I start, I would like to thank all the teachers for coming through for us this year and therefore I ask all the graduates to stand up and join me in giving all the teachers a round of applause.

Congratulations! We’ve done it, all the hard work has finally paid off and we’re all ready to take the next big step in life beyond high school. I was lucky enough to be chosen to speak today before all of you and reflect on our collective journey in this school, and if I were to think of one word to describe this journey, it would be: Unprecedented . 

Unprecedented is defined as never done or known before, and I’m sure all of you have heard this word countless times over the last year, being normalised into a word that correlates directly with COVID-19. But here, my intention is to connect this word with all of you ; you are unprecedented, you are a high school class that has done something never known before. You see, all of us have had a roller coaster ride; from week-long quarantines to distance learning, masked classes to countless pending Google Classroom assignments, brunch check-ins to Monster-fuelled all-nighters and numerous other things.

All of our crazy roller coaster rides have been unprecedented, never seen before in the history of education, let alone at EF Academy, because let’s be honest, every batch that graduates from EF Academy is a special one. Maybe not the underclassmen we so lovingly dislike.

Living in such unprecedented times made us cherish the small yet important aspects in life. Leaving the campus for field trips felt like freedom to us; and somehow breathing the polluted Manhattan air felt unusually fresh. Snow days felt like gifts from heaven since the term snow day apparently doesn’t exist in Dr. K’s dictionary. We love you Dr. K.

Countless Uber Eats orders were the closest glimpses to tasting the outside world, but we arguably valued such glimpses higher than our own IAs. Most importantly, we formed relationships with the people we love, people we care about, people that went on this crazy journey along with us, the journey without any exams, yet being stressed out over countless deadlines and mock exams. Unprecedented.

We have now learnt how to foster relationships through these tough times, quite literally finding the meaning behind the saying “through thick and thin” at a much younger age than other older folks, like the teachers here. Unprecedented. We were thrown into this thunderstorm of uncertainty and irregularities throughout the year, but we fought through it through ways we could’ve never imagined; be it through Vietnamese cooking sessions in the lounges or the Spanish and Russian parties with insanely loud music that we claimed to hate but never actually stopped tapping our feet or bopping our heads to. Unprecedented.

Learning from these experiences, I’m sure all of us will remember the families of friends we created amongst ourselves that looked out for each other at every step of the way. If there is one sentiment I want you to take away from this speech, it’s this: You are all capable of taking on any obstacle that may lie in your life in any country in the world at any time of the year. You have all faced a challenging high school experience that has never happened before, and you overcame it, made it worthwhile . . . something that I would like to call: Unprecedented.

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  • Example High School Graduation Speech

I love this example high school graduation speech which was sent in by Safiya from Saudi Arabia. It honors, parents, teachers and other students, and looks back over the ups and downs of school life.

And like all good speeches, it contains a great, inspirational quote, providing food for thought and making the speech memorable.

Use Safiya's speech to give you ideas about what to say on YOUR big day.

Thank you, Safiya, for sharing your speech with us.

Example high school graduation speech

Beginning of Example High School Graduation Speech

Good evening everyone. First of all, I would like to say that I am very honored to have been given the opportunity to present this speech.

Wow, we're finally graduating!

Thank you to everyone present here. Thank you to everyone who is part of the school. Thank you to our supportive principal _____ Thank you to our teachers and parents and families and friends.

You all have helped shape us into the people you see today, and I can say in total confidence that without you we would have become very different.

Body of the Example HS Grad Speech

As students and friends, we have made many memories together, many good and some bad, most of which we can now look back upon and laugh!

We went through so much during the past decade. We often clashed over what some might call trivial situations. And despite the fighting, we never hesitated to have each other's backs. I consider myself lucky to have met you all and to be part of the strong bond we have created.

We have had some of the best teachers, who truly cared about us and taught us with passion. They gave everything they had in hopes of molding great contributors to society.

Fellow graduates, I have known you for a long time, and I know that each and every one of you has something special.

You all are creative and smart in many different ways, so please promise me that - no matter how cliché this sounds - you will never doubt yourselves.

Alan Alda once said, "Don't ever aim your doubt at yourself. Laugh at yourself, but don't doubt yourself."

I am counting on seeing you conquer life in your own fantastic way. And I know we will keep in touch inshallah!

Up until recently, I felt apprehensive whenever I thought of finishing school and starting a new chapter. But standing here today after going through the senior year, I am filled with ecstasy and excitement to venture into another world and offer all I have.

Conclusion of the HS Graduation Speech Example

I hope the school always nurtures better seniors and I wish them luck.

Thank you again, and I hope you will hear good things from us in the near future.


End of Example High School Graduation Speech

Example High School Graduation Speech

Our sample graduation speech exemplifies some of the key elements discussed in our guide . The speaker starts with a heartfelt introduction , expressing their honor and gratitude for being able to present the speech. This is an excellent way to commence, as it sets a humble and appreciative tone.

The speaker then proceeds to acknowledge various groups, from the school administration to teachers, parents, families, and friends. Such acknowledgments are important, as they recognize the collective efforts that contributed to the students' journey.

The speech also incorporates shared memories , drawing attention to the good, the bad, and the humorous instances that the students have experienced together. This aspect creates a sense of unity and nostalgia, essential for a memorable valedictorian speech.

In addition, the speaker shares an inspirational quote by Alan Alda, encouraging their peers not to doubt themselves. This adds a motivational element to the speech, inspiring the graduates to believe in their abilities as they move into the next stage of their lives. If you need to find a quote, you can begin with a search on the net or use a book of inspirational quotes. "The Complete Book of Inspirational Quotations: A Collection of Quotes Designed to Inspire and Motivate" Kindle Edition is affordably priced on Amazon.  Teen Vogue lists  131 Graduation Quotes that they consider "Legit Inspiring."

Finally, the speech concludes on a hopeful note, expressing excitement for the future and wishing luck to upcoming seniors. A warm conclusion like this leaves the audience with positive feelings and a sense of closure.

This sample speech provides a great template to follow when writing your own graduation speech. By incorporating gratitude, shared memories, inspirational messages, and a hopeful conclusion, you can craft a speech that will resonate with your peers and create a lasting impact on your graduation day.

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20 Best Graduation Speeches to Read When You Need Some Solid Life Advice

Including Ree Drummond's own speech at OSU!

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First up, we've got the Pioneer Woman herself—Ree Drummond's iconic keynote address at Oklahoma State University . Ree has witnessed her fair share of milestones with the Drummond kids —she just recently attended Paige's college graduation ! And who could forget Oprah Winfrey's speech to the class of 2020? In this heartfelt and emotional address, Winfrey encourages graduates to find their purpose in life and make a difference in the world. Those two are just a taste of what's to come. So, turn on the graduation songs , grab your tissues, and get ready for some solid life advice. Whether you're a recent graduate or just in need of a little pick-me-up, these speeches are sure to leave you feeling inspired and ready to take on whatever life throws your way.

Ree Drummond: Oklahoma State University, 2022

graduation speeches ree drummond

Ree hardly needs an introduction, but she knows a thing or two about life as a published author, Food Network host, and most importantly, mother of five.

"Buckle up, you have good times and rough seas ahead. It is just part of life, but enjoy the ride and laugh a lot... Life is about to unfold for you in all its forms. Love, heartache, accomplishments, disappointment, testing of faith... life is beautiful, so I repeat, buckle up and laugh along the way. It makes life fun."

Steve Jobs: Stanford University, 2005

graduation speeches steve jobs

The entrepreneur, inventor, and pioneer of the personal computer revolution had his fair share of ups and downs in life. But one of the things that made him so persistent was his love of technology.

"You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it."

Neil Gaiman: University of the Arts, 2012

Neil wasn't always an acclaimed author of fiction, comic books, graphic novels, nonfiction, and films. His speech may have been given to a group of young artists, but the advice applies to anyone starting out in a turbulent career.

"People who know what they are doing know the rules, and they know what is possible and what is impossible. You do not. And you should not. The rules on what is possible and impossible in the arts were made by people who had not tested the bounds of the possible by going beyond them. And you can. If you don't know it's impossible, it's easier to do. And because nobody's done it before, they haven't made up rules to stop anyone doing that particular thing again."

Oprah Winfrey: Class of 2020 Virtual Speech

graduation speeches oprah winfrey

Oprah had one of the hardest commencement speeches to give: it was for the class that graduated during the pandemic. She found a profound lesson in the chaos of those early months.

"Look who turns out to be essential! Teachers—your teachers!—healthcare workers of course, the people stocking grocery shelves, the cashiers, those who are caring for your grandparents, those who clean the places where we work and shop and carry out our daily lives. We are all here because they, at great and profound risk, are still providing their essential service. What will your essential service be? What really matters to you? How will you use what matters in service to yourself, your community, and the world?"

George Saunders: Syracuse University, 2013

Bestselling author and professor George Saunders offered grads a guiding principle to move through life with, no matter what they pursue.

"Travel, get rich, get famous, innovate, lead, fall in love, make and lose fortunes, swim naked in wild jungle rivers (after first having it tested for monkey poop)—but as you do, to the extent that you can, err in the direction of kindness. Do those things that incline you toward the big questions, and avoid the things that would reduce you and make you trivial. That luminous part of you that exists beyond personality—your soul, if you will—is as bright and shining as any that has ever been."

Admiral William H. McRaven: University of Texas at Austin, 2014

During Admiral McRaven's speech at his alma mater, he looked to the lessons he learned serving his country. One of which was so simple, yet profoundly impactful.

"If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter... And, if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made—that you made—and a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better."

Nora Ephron: Wellesley College, 1996

When Nora Ephron wasn't reporting, she was writing some of our most beloved romantic comedies. She reassured grads that they will always continue to change and grow.

"What are you going to do? Everything is my guess. It will be a little messy but embrace the mess. It will be complicated but rejoice in the complications. It will not be anything like what you think it's going to be like, but surprises are good for you. And don't be frightened. You can always change your mind. I know. I've had four careers and three husbands. And this is something else I want to tell you, one of the hundreds of things I didn't know when I was sitting here so many years ago: you are not going to be you, fixed and immutable you, forever."

Toni Morrison: Wellesley College, 2004

graduation speeches toni morrison

Toni Morrison disputed the usual platitude that youth is the best time of your life. Instead, she told students that there is nothing more satisfying or gratifying than the true adulthood which stretches out before them. "What is now known is not all that you are capable of knowing. You are your own stories and therefore free to imagine and experience what it means to be human without wealth. What it feels like to be human without domination over others, without reckless arrogance, without fear of others unlike you, without rotating, rehearsing and reinventing the hatreds you learned in the sandbox. And although you don't have complete control over the narrative (no author does, I can tell you), you could nevertheless create it."

Conan O'Brien: Dartmouth College, 2011

This famous late-night host delivered a hilarious graduation speech riddled with stories, each with their own lesson.

"David Letterman wanted to be Johnny Carson and was not, and as a result, my generation of comedians wanted to be David Letterman. And none of us are—my peers and I have all missed that mark in a thousand different ways. But the point is this: It is our failure to become our perceived ideal that ultimately defines us and makes us unique. It's not easy, but if you accept your misfortune and handle it right, your perceived failure can be a catalyst for profound re-invention."

Barbara Kingsolver: DePauw University, 1994

The sentiment of Barbara Kingsolver's speech resonates today just as much as it did in 1994.

"I'm going to go out on a limb here and give you one little piece of advice and that is like the idea of a future. Believe you have it in you to make the world look better rather than worse seven generations from now. Figure out what that could look like. And then if you're lucky, you'll find a way to live inside that hope, running down its hallways, touching the walls on both sides."

Hamdi Ulukaya: Northeastern University, 2022

You may not know his name, but you might just love Chobani, the hugely successful yogurt brand Hamdi started. He reminded graduates why we are here on earth.

"As we started to grow, we hired everyone that we could. I realized an hour away there was a community of refugees who were having a hard time finding jobs. I said, 'Let's hire them.' I promise you that there is nothing more rewarding than showing up in the world for other people, no matter how hard it may be."

Ken Burns: Stanford University, 2016

graduation speeches ken burns

In his 2016 Stanford speech, America's most famous documentary filmmaker asked listeners not to forget the lessons found in our history.

"Be for something. Be curious, not cool. Feed your soul, too. Every day. Remember, insecurity makes liars of us all. Don't confuse success with excellence. Educate all of your parts. You will be healthier. Seek out—and have—mentors. Listen to them. Bite off more than you can chew. Do not get stuck in one place. Visit our national parks. Their sheer majesty may remind you of your own 'atomic insignificance,' as one observer noted, but in the inscrutable ways of nature, you will feel larger, inspirited, just as the egotist in our midst is diminished by his or her self-regard. Insist on heroes. And be one."

Kerry Washington: George Washington University, 2013

graduation speeches kerry washington

Actress Kerry Washington told graduates to think of this achievement during the difficult or uncomfortable parts of life.

"The lesson is that you're here because you too learned how to answer the call. You don't earn a degree by doing and being and existing in the comfort zone of what you already know. Look back on the journey that brought you here. What moments challenged you most? When were you asked to step outside of your familiar territory in order to rise to the occasion of your potential? I want you to remember those moments, because they will embolden you."

Dr. Marie Lynn Miranda: University of Notre Dame, 2021

As obvious as it sounds, you don't know what you don't know. That's the lesson from this acclaimed Notre Dame professor and environmental researcher.

"As much as I want to highlight the importance of the expertise you have developed, I also want to make the point that you will face situations in the years ahead where you will have no relevant expertise; you will have no evidence base to rely upon; your intellect will not be able to supply a needed answer. In those situations, I would like to suggest that you respond with love."

Atul Gawande: Williams College, 2012

Being a surgeon means you have to think on your feet when things go wrong, and for Dr. Gawande, that holds an immense life lesson.

"A failure often does not have to be a failure at all. However, you have to be ready for it. Will you admit when things go wrong? Will you take steps to set them right? Because the difference between triumph and defeat, you'll find, isn't about willingness to take risks. It's about mastery of rescue."

John F. Kennedy: American University, 1963

graduation speeches john f kennedy

During the turbulence of the early sixties, then-president John F. Kennedy delivered a rallying cry to students entering the world: choose peace.

"Let us not be blind to our differences, but let us also direct attention to our common interests and to the means by which those differences can be resolved. And if we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children's future. And we are all mortal."

Sheryl Sandberg: UC Berkeley, 2016

The former COO of Facebook offered graduates a realistic look at the life ahead and how to move through the hard times. "Some of you have already experienced the kind of tragedy and hardship that leave an indelible mark. The question is not if some of these things will happen to you. They will. Today I want to talk about what happens next. The easy days ahead of you will be easy. It is the hard days—the times that challenge you to your very core—that will determine who you are. You will be defined not just by what you achieve but by how you survive."

Bill Gates: Harvard University, 2007

graduation speeches bill gates

Who wouldn't take the Microsoft founder's advice?

"In line with the promise of this age, I want to exhort each of the graduates here to take on an issue—a complex problem, a deep inequity, and become a specialist on it. If you make it the focus of your career, that would be phenomenal. But you don't have to do that to make an impact... don't let complexity stop you. Be activists. Take on big inequities. I feel sure it will be one of the great experiences of your lives."

Aaron Sorkin: Syracuse University, 2012

graduation speeches aaron sorkin

Aaron has carved an incredible career writing plays, movies, and television shows, but success clearly hasn't impacted his sense of humility.

"Decisions are made by those who show up. Don't ever forget that you're a citizen of this world. Don't ever forget that you're a citizen of this world, and there are things you can do to lift the human spirit, things that are easy, things that are free, things that you can do every day: civility, respect, kindness, character."

Tim Cook: Tulane University, 2019

graduation speeches tim cook

Tim Cook took a similar approach to his late co-worker Steve Jobs when it came to the theme of his graduation speech.

"There's a saying that if you do what you love, you'll never work a day in your life. At Apple, I learned that's a total crock. You'll work harder than you ever thought possible, but the tools will feel light in your hands. As you go out into the world, don't waste time on problems that have been solved... Look for the rough spots, the problems that seem too big, the complexities that other people are content to work around. It's in those places that you will find your purpose. It's there that you can make your greatest contribution."

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Micaela Bahn is a freelance editorial assistant and recent graduate from Carleton College, where she majored in English literature. She loves running, photography, and cooking the best new recipes.

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International University of Japan

Valedictorian Speech – IR

Graduate school of international relations valedictorian: rahman, inteha.

International University of Japan Graduation Ceremony 2023

sample graduation ceremony speech

Honorable guests, Chairman Utsuda, President Itami, Dean Myoe, and Dean Lee, all faculty, academic and supporting staff, friends, families, and all of you, graduates, the class of 2023- good morning, Ohayo Gozaimasu.

Congratulations, my fellow graduates! Today marks a significant milestone in our lives. Standing before you today as the valedictorian of this exceptional class, I am filled with a profound sense of gratitude and pride.

I would like to start remembering our classmate Osoba who is no longer with us. He was a wonderful human being and a good friend. I am saddened that he couldn’t be with us today. I hope, we will never forget our classmate and keep his memory alive.

About two years ago, it was one of the finest days of our lives when we were chosen to pursue our master’s degree in Japan, at IUJ. What a remarkable day it was! But who would have known that, it was only the start of a complicated adventure that began with Prof. Goto’s midterm exam for Microeconomics-I. Then the journey became more interesting with Prof. Jinnai’s midterm paper on Statistics. But today, I believe that it was all on purpose to just make us stronger for the future. I would like to express my gratitude to my amazing supervisor, Prof. Tang. I feel incredibly honored to have received your insightful comments as I worked on my thesis. I want to thank Prof. Wong for using her extensive expertise in econometrics to develop our foundation. Thank you, Prof. Goto, Prof. Jinnai, Prof. Kane, and all our professors, for your excellent guidance through our two-year journey. We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to you for nurturing our minds and fostering our development. We appreciate the help and support from OAA, OSS, OGA, and all IUJ employees, especially MLIC and the dorm staff.

Our accomplishments are not solely a testament to our individual brilliance but rather a reflection of the continuous encouragement and support of our families. I’d like to express my gratitude to my parents, my wife Orin, and my little princess Iqra. Without their sacrifice, it would have been impossible to be where I am today.

We were still experiencing the COVID pandemic when we started our journey. We didn’t know for sure if we would make it to Japan. But after arriving here, it was a completely different experience of life. In the midst of so many cultures, we learned a lot. It taught us how to adjust in a setting that can be difficult for some of us, how to be modest, and how to respect everyone’s culture and customs. For sure, IUJ has changed our lifestyle. We came in from diverse backgrounds, but we are now proud graduates of the same university, leaving this premise with the same ambition to succeed.

Our two-year journey extends far beyond the boundaries of textbooks and classrooms. It lies in the friendships we have forged, the extracurricular activities we have participated in, and the moments of inspiration we have experienced. As I look out at this sea of familiar faces, I see a remarkable group of individuals who have grown together, laughed together, and supported one another throughout our time here.

Our journey has not been without its challenges. We have faced rigorous academic demands, late nights of studying, and the occasional setback. We persisted despite everything. We have shown resilience in the face of adversity, determination in the pursuit of our goals, and unwavering belief in our abilities.

As we move on to the next phase of our lives, some of us plan to further our studies, and some of us are entering the world of work. Whatever we do, we must remember the invaluable lessons we have learned here. We must keep in mind that success is determined by how positively we affect other people’s lives. Let’s keep in mind that failure is only a stepping stone on the road to success and that the greatest lessons frequently lie outside of our comfort zones. We are not just valedictorians; we are leaders; and change-makers. We must be proud of who we are, we are graduates of IUJ, people who can contribute significantly to today’s ever-changing world. Let’s keep the virtues of honesty, and perseverance with us. It is our responsibility to bring about positive change in the world by effectively applying our skill sets, making not only ourselves but our families and our university proud.

Theodore Roosevelt said, “Believe you can and you’re halfway there”. – So, my fellow graduates, always believe in yourselves, and let’s conquer every challenge that is ahead of us. Thank you.

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sample graduation ceremony speech

Graduation Speech Ideas: How to Inspire Your Class

sample graduation ceremony speech

Did you know that the shortest recorded graduation speech in history was a mere 19 words long? Yes, you heard that right! While brevity can sometimes be a virtue, when it comes to inspiring your fellow classmates and leaving a lasting impression, well-crafted graduation speeches can be a powerful tool. As you stand before your graduating class, you have the opportunity to ignite a spark of motivation, instill a sense of purpose, and propel your peers toward their future endeavors.

Graduation Speech Ideas: Short Summary

In this article, we will explore a variety of graduation speech topics, along with practical tips and easy steps to help you craft an impressive speech. With these tools in hand, you'll have the power to captivate your class and leave an indelible mark on their hearts and minds. Get ready to create a commencement address that will resonate for years to come.

Graduation Speeches: Exploring the Purpose

Graduation speeches, with their grand stage and eager audience, serve a purpose that extends far beyond mere formality. They are a culmination of years of hard work, growth, and shared experiences. These speeches are a golden opportunity to reflect on the collective journey, celebrate achievements, and inspire the graduating class as they step into the uncharted territory of the future.

Graduation Speech Ideas

According to our paper writing service experts, one of the key elements in crafting a memorable graduation speech is selecting a theme that resonates with the graduating class. Graduation speech themes can range from resilience and perseverance to embracing change and embracing diversity. By choosing a theme that reflects the unique experiences and aspirations of the class, the speaker can create a unifying thread that connects with the hearts and minds of the audience. These themes serve as guiding principles, offering nuggets of wisdom and inspiring anecdotes that reinforce the central message of the speech.

The purpose of a graduation speech is multifaceted. It is a beacon of hope, reminding graduates of their potential and the endless possibilities that await them. It is a heartfelt tribute acknowledging the contributions of teachers, mentors, and loved ones who have played an integral role in their educational voyage. Moreover, a graduation speech is a platform for wisdom and guidance, a chance to impart invaluable life lessons and ignite a fire of motivation within each listener. It is a powerful tool that has the ability to instill confidence, inspire action, and encourage graduates to embark on their unique paths with passion and purpose.

How to Start a Graduation Speech: Essential Preparation Tips

Stepping up to the podium to deliver a graduation speech can be both exhilarating and nerve-wracking. As the spotlight shines upon you, it's crucial to capture the attention and hearts of your fellow graduates, faculty, and parents right from the start. The key to a remarkable beginning lies in careful preparation. By employing essential tips for starting a graduation speech, you can set the stage for an impactful and memorable address. From gathering relevant details to brainstorming graduation speech ideas and crafting a well-structured outline, these preparation tips will empower you to confidently begin your graduation speech, leaving a lasting impression on your audience.

Graduation Speech Ideas

Gather Relevant Details

As per our custom essay writing service , the first step in preparing to start a graduation speech is to gather relevant details about the graduating class, the school, and the overall graduation ceremony.

  • Determine the Speaking Time : Find out the allocated time for the graduation speech topics. Knowing the time limit will help you structure your speech accordingly, ensuring that you deliver a concise and engaging message within the given timeframe.
  • Identify the Audience : Consider who will be in attendance at the graduation ceremony. Will it primarily consist of fellow graduates, parents, faculty, or a mix of all? Understanding the demographics of the audience can help you tailor your speech to their interests, experiences, and expectations.
  • Know the Introducer : Find out who will introduce you before your speech. This allows you to establish a connection with the person responsible for setting the stage and can provide an opportunity to coordinate and align the introduction with the theme or key points of your speech.
  • Determine Other Speakers : Inquire whether you are the only speaker or if there will be other individuals delivering speeches. This information helps you gauge the overall time allotted for speeches, ensures you don't overlap content, and allows you to adjust your speech accordingly to offer a unique perspective.
  • Check for Microphone Availability : Verify if a microphone will be available during your speech. Understanding the audio setup will assist you in projecting your voice effectively and ensuring your words reach the entire audience.
  • Consider the Use of Speech Notes : Determine whether you can use speech notes or if memorization is expected. Some graduation ceremonies allow speakers to refer to notes, while others encourage a more natural and memorized delivery. Knowing the expectations allows you to plan your preparation and delivery approach accordingly.

Brainstorm Ideas

By delving into the following diverse aspects of college life, your brainstorming session will yield a rich tapestry of memories, anecdotes, and themes that can be incorporated into your graduation speech, infusing it with authenticity, nostalgia, and the spirit of previous graduation speech examples.

Graduation Speech Ideas

  • Food and Dining : Delve into the culinary adventures of your college days, from the unique offerings at dining halls to the beloved local restaurants that became student favorites.
  • Campus Hangouts : Explore the cherished spots on campus where students congregated, shared laughter, and forged lasting friendships.
  • Social Events : Recall the vibrant social scene that shaped your college experience, from parties and festivals to club activities and campus-wide celebrations.
  • Notable Classes : Highlight the classes or academic experiences that left a lasting impact, whether due to exceptional professors, intriguing subject matter, or memorable assignments. Personalize your speech by weaving in anecdotes from your own autobiography example , showcasing the transformative power of education.
  • Significant Memories : Reflect on the special moments that stand out in your college journey, be it late-night study sessions, impromptu adventures, or milestone achievements.
  • Landmarks : Take note of the iconic landmarks on campus that became synonymous with your college years, contributing to a sense of pride and belonging.
  • Current Events : Consider any noteworthy events or happenings that unfolded during your time at college, shaping the collective experience of your class.
  • Shared College Experiences : Embrace the shared experiences that defined your campus community, such as the ritual of purchasing scantrons, the melodic chimes of the Old Main bells, or navigating the virtual realm of Blackboard.

Want to Elevate Your Graduation Moment from Memorable to Magical?

Let our team of speechwriting wizards deliver a tailored, awe-inspiring speech that will make jaws drop, and hearts soar!

Create a Graduation Speech Outline

By following this outline, you'll learn how to write a speech about yourself that leaves a lasting impact on the graduating class and the audience. Infuse your speech with your personality, emotions, and unique perspective, creating an authentic and heartfelt reflection of your journey and the aspirations of the graduating class.

I. Introduction

A. Welcome the audience: Begin your speech by warmly welcoming the graduating class, faculty members, parents, and esteemed guests. Set a positive and inclusive tone from the start.

B. Introduce the theme: Clearly state the overarching theme or message that will be the foundation of your speech. This will provide a sense of direction and purpose for your discourse.

C. Engage with a captivating opening: Start with a relevant and engaging story, joke, or anecdote that connects to the theme and captures the attention of your audience. This will help create an immediate connection and pique their interest.

II. Personal Reflections and Shared Experiences

A. Share personal anecdotes: Draw from your own experiences as a student, highlighting significant moments, challenges, or accomplishments that relate to the theme. This personal touch will make your speech relatable and genuine.

B. Incorporate shared experiences: Discuss shared experiences and milestones that the graduating class has encountered throughout their academic journey. These collective memories will foster a sense of unity and connection among the audience.

C. Add originality: Inject original and unique perspectives into your speech. Offer fresh insights, perspectives, or ideas that will captivate and resonate with the graduating class.

III. Key Messages and Life Lessons

A. Highlight key messages: Identify the key messages or life lessons you wish to impart to the graduating class. These can include resilience, perseverance, embracing change, or pursuing a passion.

B. Support with stories and examples: Illustrate your key messages with relatable stories, examples, or quotes. Make them vivid and impactful, leaving a lasting impression on the audience.

C. Inspire and motivate: Use your speech to inspire and motivate the graduating class to embrace the future with confidence, pursue their dreams, and make a positive impact in the world.

IV. Conclusion

A. Express gratitude: Thank the audience, including the graduating class, faculty, parents, and any other individuals who have supported the students' academic journey. Show appreciation for the opportunity to address them.

B. Summarize your discourse: End your speech with a concise, one-line summary of your main message or theme. This will serve as a memorable takeaway for the audience.

C. Conclude on an inspiring note: Leave the audience with a final inspiring thought, challenge, or call to action, encouraging the graduating class to make a difference in their lives and the world.

Pick a Topic

When picking graduation speech themes, it is crucial to select one that complements your personality, experience, and attitude. Your chosen theme should align with who you are as a person and reflect your journey throughout your academic years. Ensure that the topic resonates with your values and allows you to convey your message authentically. This alignment will make it easier for you to connect with the audience and deliver a speech that is genuine and impactful.

Extra Tips for Preparation

When preparing topics for a graduation speech, consider incorporating graduation speech ideas that align with your personality and experiences. Practice vocal delivery and body language to ensure effective communication during your speech. Vary your tone and pace, and use gestures and facial expressions as punctuation marks examples to enhance your message. By injecting humor and personal touches, such as relatable anecdotes and witty observations, you can engage and entertain the audience. Remember to strike a balance, ensuring the humor complements the main message without overshadowing it.

To further captivate your listeners, engage the audience with interactive activities during your speech. Break away from the traditional format by asking thought-provoking questions, conducting a quick poll, or inviting volunteers to share their reflections on the theme. This interactive approach will foster a deeper connection and keep the audience actively involved in your discourse.

Finally, craft a memorable closing to leave a lasting impact on your listeners. Consider ending your graduation speech with a powerful, thought-provoking question, a compelling call to action, or an inspiring story. This will reinforce your main message and motivate the graduating class to embrace their future with confidence and determination. By incorporating these strategies, your graduation speech will be an unforgettable experience for both you and your audience.

🎏 Inspirational High School Graduation Speech Themes

  • Embracing Change and Embracing New Opportunities: Navigating the transitions and challenges that come with moving on from high school.
  • From Dreams to Reality: Encouraging graduates to pursue their passions and turn their dreams into actionable goals.
  • The Power of Resilience: Highlighting the importance of bouncing back from setbacks and staying strong in the face of adversity.
  • Unleashing the Potential Within: Inspiring graduates to recognize their unique abilities and unleash their full potential.
  • Embracing Diversity: Celebrating the value of diverse perspectives, cultures, and backgrounds in fostering understanding and unity.
  • Making a Difference: Encouraging graduates to use their skills, knowledge, and influence to make a positive impact in their communities.
  • Embracing Lifelong Learning: Highlighting the importance of continuous learning and personal growth beyond the classroom.
  • Breaking Barriers: Encouraging graduates to challenge societal norms and push beyond their comfort zones to achieve greatness.
  • Cultivating Compassion: Inspiring graduates to foster empathy and kindness in their interactions with others.
  • The Power of Teamwork: Highlighting the value of collaboration and cooperation in achieving shared goals and making a difference.
  • Embracing Innovation: Encouraging graduates to embrace new technologies and creative thinking to drive positive change.
  • The Journey of Self-Discovery: Encouraging graduates to embark on a journey of self-discovery to find their true passions and purpose.
  • Embracing Sustainability: Encouraging graduates to adopt sustainable practices and become responsible stewards of the environment.
  • Embracing Mindfulness: Highlighting the importance of living in the present moment and cultivating a sense of mindfulness.
  • The Impact of Mentorship: Acknowledging the influential role of mentors in shaping our lives and inspiring graduates to become mentors themselves.
  • Embracing Failure as Growth: Encouraging graduates to view failure as an opportunity for growth and learning.
  • Building Strong Relationships: Highlighting the importance of nurturing meaningful connections and relationships throughout life.
  • Embracing Global Citizenship: Encouraging graduates to be responsible global citizens and embrace diversity on a global scale.
  • Inspiring Leadership: Empowering graduates to become compassionate and visionary leaders who inspire positive change.
  • Embracing Gratitude: Encouraging graduates to cultivate a sense of gratitude for the people and experiences that have shaped their lives.

🎉 Funny Graduation Speech Ideas

  • The Art of Procrastination: How I Managed to Graduate Despite My Last-Minute Habits
  • Embracing the Power of Naps: A Guide to Surviving College and Still Getting Your Diploma
  • The Real MVPs: A Shout-out to Cafeteria Food and Late-Night Snacks
  • The Unforgettable Fashion Faux Pas: Lessons Learned from Questionable Outfit Choices
  • Surviving Group Projects: A Comedy of Errors and Unexpected Friendships
  • The Great Coffee Chronicles: How Caffeine Became the Key to My Graduation Success
  • Mastering the Art of Balancing Netflix and Assignments: A Graduation Story
  • The Perils of Autocorrect: Hilarious Texting Mishaps During Exam Season
  • Dorm Life Diaries: Tales of Roommate Adventures and Misadventures
  • The Legendary Study Breaks: From Netflix Binges to Epic Dance Parties
  • The Great Parking Wars: A Comedy of Finding the Perfect Parking Spot on Campus
  • The Chronicles of Punny Professors: Hilarious Wordplay in the Classroom
  • The Daring Tales of Sneaking Food into Lecture Halls: An Epic Saga
  • From Class Clowns to Class Favorites: Celebrating the Humorous Side of High School
  • The Ultimate Guide to Successfully Procrastinating Procrastination: A Comedy of Irony
  • The Awkward Dance of Public Speaking: Overcoming Stage Fright with Laughter
  • The Unforgettable Tales of Failed Experiments: Science Gone Hilariously Wrong
  • The Art of Surviving PowerPoint Presentations: A Humorous Guide to Slide-Deck Disasters
  • Laughing Through the Late-Night Study Sessions: Comedy as a Coping Mechanism
  • Embracing Awkward Graduation Photos: Celebrating Unforgettable Memories

How Long Should a Graduation Speech Be?

The ideal length of a graduation speech can vary depending on the specific guidelines provided by your institution or event organizers. However, as a general guideline, it is recommended to keep your speech between 5 to 10 minutes. This allows you enough time to deliver your message effectively without losing the audience's attention. Remember to practice your speech and time yourself to ensure that you stay within the allotted time frame. It's better to be concise and impactful rather than dragging on for too long and losing the audience's interest.

Should I Memorize My Graduation Speech or Use Notes?

The choice between memorizing your graduation speech or using notes depends on your personal preference and comfort level. Some speakers prefer to memorize their speeches to ensure a smooth and uninterrupted delivery. This approach allows for better eye contact with the audience and can create a stronger connection. However, memorization can be time-consuming and may increase anxiety if you're worried about forgetting your lines.

Using notes is a common practice and can provide a safety net in case you lose your train of thought. It allows for more flexibility and helps you stay on track with your main points. You can use bullet points, keywords, or small note cards to guide you through your speech. Just be mindful of not relying too heavily on your notes and maintain good eye contact with the audience.

Graduation Speech Example

In this section, we have a fantastic example that perfectly showcases what makes a speech outstanding. We understand the importance of providing students with a clear vision of a remarkable speech, and in the following words, you'll find inspiration on how to engage your audience, evoke emotions, and create a lasting impression.

sample graduation ceremony speech

In conclusion, this article has equipped you with various graduation speech ideas and resources to create an exceptional graduation speech. From exploring the purpose and themes to offering preparation tips and examples, we've provided the tools you need to captivate and inspire your audience. Furthermore, if you're seeking metaphors and analogies examples to add depth and creativity to your speech, we have plenty of suggestions for you to consider. Congratulations, and may your speech inspire and motivate your fellow graduates as they embark on their future endeavors.

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