Giving a graduation speech is an honour, but it can be challenging to say just the right thing. Using these guidelines will make the graduation speech personal and successful.
- Skill level:
Thank the audience, the parents, the teachers and the administration. Without these people, the class would not be graduating.
Talk about school life. The teachers and students who have made an impact on the graduating class have undoubtedly lived through many stories. Use them. Stories can be silly, serious, sad or even contemplative.
Evoke emotion from the class and audience. If a beloved teacher or one of the classmates passed away during the year, mention it. Sadness isn’t the only emotion that can be evoked. Pride in the school and class are also good topics to address in the speech. If something phenomenal happened during your time with this class, tell about it. Celebrate it!
Remember the things the class did together. Talk about the senior play or the donation to a charity. The class is unique, and the memories should be shared.
Refer to popular culture. This is the age of popular culture and will set this speech apart from a generic or cliché speech. When referring to popular culture, the speech is more meaningful to the graduating class.
Speaking badly of anybody is a really bad idea. Everybody knows that the cafeteria serves less than stellar food. There is no need to embarrass the cafeteria workers at this time. The same goes for the really mean gym teacher. This is the time to be nice.
Avoid using clichés. This is a special graduating class. The class doesn’t want to hear about how they are the future, or they should spread their wings, or this is the time of their life. This is just not the time to use generic, tired, old clichés.
Tips and warnings
- Make it personal for the class. Set yourself apart by using personal references. Be yourself, and have fun.
- Please don't use "I Believe I Can Fly" or Green Day. These songs are way overused in graduation speeches.