Graduation Speeches Etiquette

The graduation ceremony confirms each student’s quest for knowledge. Traditionally, the ceremony will include a graduation speech that seeks to put each and every students hard work (in some cases, not so hard work) into the perspective of their future. Yes, most of us have heard one or more graduation speeches either as spectators or as graduates ourselves. Yet, as most students graduate from one year to the next, from one experience to the next, from one relationship to the next, they are continually learning.

Even though these myriad arrivals and departures of daily existence are rarely met with ceremony, words that are reserved for meaningful occasions will always be inspiring at any hour. With the absence of overused clichés, creative graduation speeches can be sheer eloquence. More often than not, the speech is a story weaved by the student about family background, community service, cultural roots or even challenges to overcome. Some speeches are humorous, while others have the ability to surprise us with their sheer honesty. But most of all, the main thing to look for in every graduation speech is: Creativity!

Graduation speeches mark the most special day of our lives, a day filled with victory and accomplishments, a day to be remembered forever. So, if the whole task of delivering a commencement speech has now fallen on you, here are a few tips and etiquettes to keep in mind:

Firstly, make sure you write something that will be appealing to the audience. Are you delivering your speech before a college student body or a high school student body? Will there be parents and other elderly people around? Keeping these questions in mind, make sure your speech is both entertaining as well as relevant and can be delivered across to all age groups. Refrain from mentioning anything that may be interpreted as offensive. Ask yourself what you audience what you audience would like to know and what they would need to know.

Be honest. It is not advisable to use superlatives in your speech, as they come of sounding like marketing nonsense. Also avoid using corny remarks like “As you can see” or “It is indeed a privilege and an honor”, to name a few. These worn out phrases succeed in retarding your thoughts instead of refreshing them. Instead, focus on your subject matter. This will create an everlasting impression of honesty, professionalism, and above all, intelligence. Saying as much as you can with fewer words makes a more powerful graduation speech.

Research, research, research! Listen to or read good graduation speeches made by others to get inspired. Learn from past mistakes and try to get around making such blunders. Make sure that the information you are including in your speech is relevant, and ask for advice and opinions from other seniors.

And lastly, always be organized. Even the most brilliant of students can mess by delivering a disorganized speech. Summarize your speech and then put it to use, especially if the speech you are going to deliver is very long. In this way, you will be a lot more coherent and your spectators will be able to follow you. Before ending your speech, it is wise to say a few brilliantly inspiring sentences that summarize your entire speech.

There have been wonderful speeches that have been made decades ago, and they are as important and relevant, in some cases more so, as the latest inspirational graduation speeches. Thus, it is good to read them all, while identifying and rejoicing in your own graduation!

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