Tips How to Write a Graduation Speech
Having a chance to deliver a graduation speech is a great honor. You will be speaking on behalf of your class in front of the students, parents, friends, and faculties. So while it’s exciting to have this great opportunity, it’s also a great responsibility.
With a skilfully written speech, you can make your audience mesmerized. But you will need to prepare for that day, practice a couple of times, note down the main points and memorize them. This article will give you the tips on how to do this and how to write an effective speech. A speech that you can deliver with full confidence and create an everlasting memory in the minds of our audience.
What is a graduation speech?
A graduation or commencement speech is a speech generally given at the universities and secondary education institutions in the United States. It is given to the graduating students during the ceremony when the diplomas and degrees are conferred upon the students of graduating class.
Generally, the universities invite the notable citizens, highly successful businessmen, political leaders or famous speakers to address the students in the graduation ceremony. However, you also may have the honor to deliver a speech.
There is no required structure of such a speech because you have to share with the class your life lessons. You have to speak about your experiences and valuable moments that have given you the inspirations and strength to fight the difficulties and achieve your goals. It’s an opportunity to share the values that have kept you on the track to the success. You can also write about your school days if you are going to speak at the ceremony for middle school.
You have to decide how you express it. There is no standard form or rule to be followed. You can say it in your own style and in your own words. All you have to do is to make your speech interesting, meaningful and memorable for the audience. If you speak without trying to make it sugary and artificial, your words will be remembered by the audience for many years to come.
What to include in your speech?
It’s really a confusing question because you don’t want to let this opportunity go without making it a memorable one of your life. Most of the times, you will find life advice, lessons, success tips, and wisdom quotes. But that’s what everybody will say. You are not bound to follow this tradition. So what different thing can say in your speech?
Everybody wants to know the answers to their future, their life, how to be successful and how to be happy. But you are not asked to give the answers. So you are free to explain how you see the world, what you believe about life and what you do to enjoy it. However, it should not be too focused on yourself only.
How to write a graduation speech
Since there is no formal structure for the speech for a graduation ceremony, you are free to write it in your own way. But there are still some steps or tips which you can consider to write a good speech. Have a look.
Think about the experiences in your school
If you are writing a speech for elementary school or an 8th grade graduation speech, you can write about your school days. If there is an event or incident that had changed your life, you can mention it. Think about how it affected your life, what you learned from it and what role it has played in your growth and success.
Some of the questions you can ask yourself can be:
- What was changed about you after you joined that school level that you can consider the most important change in your life?
- What challenges have you faced during the school days and what did you do to overcome them?
- In which areas you were improved by the time you finished that school level that will be helpful throughout your life according to you?
- What were your achievements in school that had inspired you to take more challenge in life?
- What are the important lessons you learned during your high schooldays that will help you stay focused and achieve your goals?
Start with something catchy
In order to grab the attention of your audience, you should start with some catchy interesting. It can be a very short story, joke, quote or fact. You can start with an incident which can raise a curiosity in the minds of your listeners.
The rest of your speech may be themed around it or maybe giving the answers to the questions that your audience have due to the starting point of your speech. However, you can also add an element of surprise or something unexpected.
Arrange your memories in an order
Be it a speech for primary school or for a college or university, you will need to organize your thoughts in a certain way. After you have a brainstorming session and have your memories written on a paper, you should arrange them in the order in which they had happened.
For example, mention the experiences of your initial days in your school or college first. Write the answers to questions like What problems you faced? What was the reason for your problems? How did you overcome them? and Who helped you?
Then write what changes happened in your life due to those experiences. Were they helpful in your next days in the school?
Next, write what did you learn from them and how they helped you avoid other problems throughout your time in that school or college.
Give your thoughts a theme
In order to keep your speech focused and your audience interested, you should consider a central theme of whatever you say. Without a theme, you will seem like you are just remembering your school days and there is no moral of your speech.
So you should consider three things that will make your commencement speech meaningful, i.e. adversity, your reaction towards them and the lessons you learned from them.
Discussion about the adversity in your speech will make it interesting as the listeners would like to know how did you overcome it. For example, write about a life-threatening disease one of your classmate or a friend had.
Let your audience know how you supported him, motivated him and helped him fight the adversity. You should also mention the positive results and how it inspired you. Tell them that it had a positive impact on your mind, encouraged you to take challenges and ultimately made you a strong person.
The way you and others in your class and friend circle had supported that person with a decease shows your ability to react positively in the adversity. And what you learned from this situation are your life lessons.
Tips to improve your speech
Apart from the steps mentioned above which will help you prepare an outline of your speech, you should also consider the tips given below.
Read some good speech examples
Though you have to write your own speech in our own words and style, reading some good examples of speech ideas will help you understand how they were started and, continues and ended. Not only that, but you can observe many other things that make them successful speeches.
Don’t try to remember everything that you write
Just note down the main points so that you can speak on them. If you want to be able to speak more about that point, you should read a lot about it. However, make sure that you have to make it yours by adding your own experiences and feelings.
Read and edit your speech
Once you are done with writing your speech, you should read it several times and slowly so that you can feel it. So that you can find out if you need any improvement in any line or if you need to remove or add anything. Also, make sure to make it grammatically perfect.
We hope this article will help you write a memorable graduation speech. Best of luck!