What should you write about in your graduation speech?
Most people wonder what to write for their graduation speech examples. Whether you need to compose a high school graduation speech example or a college graduation speech example, you must put a lot of careful thought and consideration into the contents of your speech.
In the past, writing a graduation speech template wasn’t that intimidating. But now, you should remember that there’s a high likelihood that the people present at the event will post your speech on social media sites such as Facebook and YouTube. This makes it imperative that you compose a speech that’s effective, interesting, and won’t end up offending anyone.
A lot of incredible speakers start their speech-writing process by creating an outline. So, if you want to come up with a great speech, you may want to start off with a graduation speech outline. Here, you include everything you want to include in your speech. From there, writing becomes easier.
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Structuring your graduation speech
When it comes to the structure of your graduation speech, you have a few options to choose from. As you create your graduation speech outline, you’re giving it a structure for you to follow when it’s time to start writing.
You may create a long or short graduation speech depending on how much you want to say and how long you want to stand in front of the graduating class. You can even create a graduation speech template using the structure of your choice. This makes it easier for you for the next time you need to come up with a speech.
If you have no idea where to start, you may go online and read high school graduation speech examples or college graduation speech examples. Use these as your reference or for your inspiration as you write your speech.
Either way, these examples will be a great help to you if it’s your first time to compose such a speech. To guide you, here are some structures to follow for your graduation speech:
- Use a few themes which you illustrate with non-fictional or personal stories
For this type of speech, you can use a couple of themes which you introduce early in your speech. From reaching their dreams of finding their own place in the world, there are so many themes to choose from. Then illustrate these themes further using non-fictional examples or stories from your personal life.
- Use several themes which you illustrate with short anecdotes or personal stories
For this structure, you come up with a number of themes for your audiences. But instead of sharing those themes at the start of your speech, you share short anecdotes or personal stories which illustrate those themes. Then you give helpful advice to your audience to help them in their future endeavors.
However, this structure isn’t ideal for short graduation speeches. Since you’re going to use several themes, this means that your speech would be relatively long. Therefore, it’s probably a good idea to use this for a college graduation speech, not one for a high school graduation.
- Use an autobiographical narrative
If you plan to use this structure for your graduation speech examples, it means that you want to open up and share more details about your life to your audience. It’s sort of like a mini-memoir wherein the audience learns a lot about the experiences you’ve had in your personal life.
As you share these experiences, you also share a lot of life lessons with them. Although you don’t give advice directly at the beginning of your speech, you would incorporate these little bits of advice throughout your speech. Talk about your own experiences after graduation, how you dealt with the real world, and how you overcame different kinds of challenges.
- Use the main theme and some personal references
Finally, you can also structure your speech in such a way that you’re leading up to one main theme or point. A lot of people find this structure to be extremely difficult to put together because they feel like it’s too limited.
But as long as you create a graduation speech outline, following this structure won’t be that much of a challenge.
Tips for writing graduation speech
Whether you’re representing the graduation class or you’re asked to come and give a speech to the graduating class, you have to come up with your own graduation speech. The good news is that there are a lot of graduation speech examples which you can use as a reference.
Writing a graduation speech doesn’t have to be a difficult task. As long as you have an idea of what to write and you know what you want to say to the graduating class, the words will start flowing from your mind. But if you need some help, here are some tips to guide you:
Any great speech starts with a brainstorming session. You can begin by asking yourself what you want to write in your speech. If you’re the representative of the graduating class, then think about all of the learning and experiences you’ve gained throughout your education.
If they asked you to speak for the graduating class, then think about the advice you want to share to them in order to inspire them and somehow prepare them for what’s to come. Brainstorming involves a lot of thought, especially about the future.
There’s nothing wrong with talking about the past and the present but since you’ll speak to a graduating class, talking about the future is much more relevant. As you think about the things to say, write everything down on a piece of paper. Later on, you can review your ideas to see which ones to keep and which ones to remove from your speech.
- Choosing a theme
After your brainstorming session, you’d have a lot of ideas, stories, and advice to share to your audience. Now it’s time to begin shaping all of these into one coherent speech. To do this, you may want to think about the theme to focus on for your speech.
Whether you want to choose a single theme or a collection of themes which you will link with one another, this step makes speech writing easier. Also, having a theme makes the speech more memorable and impactful to the audience.
With a theme, you’ll also be able to sort through the things you’ve written down more effectively only choosing the ones which relate to your theme.
- Building the structure
After you’ve identified the theme, you can start building the structure of your graduation speech. Here are some steps to help you out:
Make sure that your introductory statement grabs the attention of your audience right away. In other words, get the audience “hooked” from the beginning so they will feel compelled to listen to your entire speech.
Illustrate the theme you’ve chosen by telling stories. Keep in mind that the best stories always have a beginning with a challenge or obstacle, a middle where you share how you overcame it, and an end where you discussed how this experience helped you grow.
For the end of your speech, tie together all of the points you’ve discussed throughout your speech. Also, make it clear how your message applies to your audience. You may also share valuable advice to your audience in the conclusion of your speech.
- Practicing your delivery
Even after you’ve written your speech, the work doesn’t end there. You also have to deliver it to the graduating class. For a lot of people, this part is a lot more intimidating, especially for those who aren’t used to speaking in front of an audience. Here are some pointers for you:
If you’ve created a short graduation speech, you may want to try memorizing it. This helps you focus on your delivery to make it more personable.
Don’t speak too fast even when you’re feeling nervous. Try practicing in front of friends and family so you can learn how to consciously slow down your speaking rate.
Once in a while, pause during the delivery of your speech. You can either pause to emphasize your point or to give the audience some time to consider what you’ve said.
If you want to keep your audience engaged, make eye contact.
Don’t feel stressed or stop if you make any mistake. Just continue with your speech.
- Other tips for you
Don’t forget to thank everyone who helped you on your journey. If you aren’t part of the graduating class, thank the person who invited you to give the speech.
Be as lively and enthusiastic as possible when delivering your speech.
If it’s your first time to deliver a speech, practice again and again.
Have fun with it! Feeling stressed won’t help.
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