Graduation Speech - Writing Guide, Helpful Examples, and Tips
Are you graduating soon? Do you need help in writing, preparing, and giving a graduation speech? Here's your graduation speech how-to guide.
It's the time of year when high school seniors are filling out college applications, finalizing their resumes, and gearing up for graduation. Graduation speeches can be a very daunting prospect as you want to make sure it is memorable and heartfelt.
This blog post will give you some tips on speech writing, how to prepare for your speech, what topics to cover in your speech, and examples from famous people so that yours stands out from the rest!
Written by one of our experts, who happens to be a recent graduate with an Honors Degree, this graduation speech guide will give you the necessary knowledge to make your speech a success.
Read on to learn more.
Table of Contents
What is a Graduation Speech?
The graduation speech is your moment to shine in front of the entire school. You've had this day coming for so long, and now it's finally here! It should be short - but not too short - with a mix of humor and sincere good wishes.
A graduation or commencement speech is a time to celebrate, reflect on the past year, and look ahead. You will remember this time for the rest of your life.
For your next high school class of graduates, you could talk about what they have accomplished in their four years at this institution.
You will be able to share anecdotal stories from your own experience as well as advice for them moving forward into college life that I learned while attending my university!
A graduation speech should be short but entertaining with some humor sprinkled throughout it. It helps in keeping the atmosphere of the graduation ceremony light and also helps to relieve tension among the commencement speakers.
Elements of Graduation Speech
Here are the key elements of a graduation speech.
|Timing||Should be condensed into the allotted time.|
|Brevity||Be sincere and do not bore the audience.|
|Memories||Remember to add memorable experiences.|
|Accomplishments||Celebrate the success.|
|Reflection||Consider and reflect on significant events.|
|The Future||Skills and abilities gained for a better future.|
All of these elements make a strong and memorable speech and helps in making your graduation success.
Outline and Structure of a Graduation Speech
No good assignment is written without an outline, and this is true in the case of a speech also. For a memorable speech, make an outline first, and make sure that you follow it through.
‘How do you write a graduation speech outline?’
Here is a sample graduation speech outline.
- Show Gratitude
It is important to show gratitude and grace at the moment. Thank your teacher, or the person who introduced you to the stage, for introducing you, as well as all of the work they did for the school.
- Introduce Yourself
Instead of assuming that the people in the room already know you, introduce yourself, and this includes telling your full name also.
- Begin with a Motivational Quote or Saying
Be sure to include a quote that inspires you and your classmates. Sharing personal narratives with the class is also an excellent way to bring everyone together.
This will also help motivate people and show them that you're excited about what's coming up for everyone as they finish their education.
- Share a Good and Helpful Advice
Share the wisdom you have gathered. Share what advice and guidance you wish to offer for this new chapter in your life, as well as some of the expectations that are about to come around the corner.
Remind them it's now up to them how they react with these things- be open-minded but don't forget yourself.
- Recall and Share the Good Experiences.
Remember the good times at school, and make sure your peers don't forget them. Whether it's a simple day in class or an exciting event like prom night, you never know when you'll need that memory to get you through tough days ahead.
Encourage your classmates not to take for granted all of their wonderful memories made during high school; whether big or small, every moment counts now more than ever before because graduation is coming up soon.
- Restate your Motivational Quote
Restate the motivational quote that you have shared in the beginning and show the audience how it is relatable and significant.
- End with a Call to Action
End your speech with a call to action and encourage your fellow students to take action and make a difference in the world.
- Thank the Audience
Thank the audience for hearing you out and their time.
This outline is 100% workable, and following it; you will be able to create your speech with all the necessary elements.
How to Start a Graduation Speech?
Ready to start writing your graduation speech? Here are the guidelines to do it smoothly.
- To find all the inspiration you can, read your favorite graduation speeches and look for inspirational quotes. Determine what it is that inspires you most so you know how best to craft a speech of motivation.
- The process of coming up with the perfect topic can be tough. Once you’ve found all your inspiration sources and come up with a general idea of what you want to talk about, make a list of key themes. Circle one that is most important to you for this speech.
- Quotes can really speak to us on an emotional level. When selecting which ones will appear within your speech, always choose those with messages about inspiration and encouragement. These resonate well with the audience and the key message of your speech.
- Begin the speech by introducing yourself.
Here are the sample graduation speech introductions;
- “Thank you, Mr. Pearson (the person who introduced you). And thank you to the students, teachers, parents, and staff who are here and made these four years memorable.
- “It's an honor to be chosen to deliver this commencement speech in front of the honorable student body.”
- “It's a great pleasure to welcome the students, families, and the faculty to the graduation day at St. Michael’s School. You have made us what we are today, and it is an honor to be a part of this institution.’
- “Standing here in front of everyone, I look back and reflect on the four years legacy that we have made together, and I must say, I am nothing but proud of it.”
How to Write a Graduation Speech?
‘How to write a heartfelt graduation speech?’
Once you are done with the beginning of the speech, here are the things to consider when writing the main part of your speech.
- Take a few minutes to write down all the ideas you’ve had in your head for such an essay. Don't edit yet; just get them out on paper and try not to let anything distract you while doing it.
- Keep a stock of your key messages and favorite phrases. Save these for later use, highlighting them to keep track as you go.
- In case of doubt, tell a story or a personal experience and show the audience how relatable it is.
- After you are done writing down everything, take a break and do not edit anything yet. Let the speech sit for at least 24 hours before you work on it again.
- Cut out irrelevant and less important details to keep the speech short and sweet.
- Stay to the point and concise throughout the speech and keep it simple.
- Repeat the keywords and phrases but do not do anything excessively.
Keep these points in mind when writing your speech.
How to End a Graduation Speech
‘What do you say at the end of a graduation speech?’
Here is how to formulate a strong ending for your speech.
- End with something worth remembering. It could be anything like a quote, a repetition of the main theme or phrase, or a humorous note.
- Edit and do not stop till you have cut out everything irrelevant.
- Consider ending the speech with a Bible verse or with any other religious quote.
- Ask someone else to edit your speech for you. A different and a fresh pair of eyes will help in identifying the faults.
- Practice and rehearse as much as possible. No matter how commendable your public speaking skills are, it's always better to be prepared and practice everything.
A strong ending is important for a memorable speech. Follow these tips to create a great ending for your speech.
Graduation Speech Examples
Here are some graduation speech samples for more help.
Graduation Speech for Kindergarten
Graduation Speech by Students
Graduation Speech for Parents
Graduation Speech by Teacher
Graduation Speech by Principal
Graduation Speech Ideas - 2021 and Onwards
Here are some interesting and fun graduation speech ideas.
- Talk about a current school event.
- Try something new like poetry or metaphors to make your speech interesting.
- Tell a story about your class, for example, ‘what was the driving force of the class of 2021?’
- Use quotes from famous and classic books.
- Use lyrics from the class anthem.
- Be inspirational and share an inspirational story.
- Share a humorous experience.
- Convey a memorable message.
- If appropriate, add a song with meaning.
- Appreciate a fellow classmate or a teacher.
- Connect your speech with your 1st day at school.
- Significant events that took place in the school.
- A professor that made you fall in love with a major subject.
- The long time you spent in the school library and how it impacted your interactions with other students.
Graduation Speech Tips for Different Academic Levels
Here are some helpful tips for writing graduation speeches for different academic levels and graduating classes.
How to Write an Elementary Graduation Speech
- Keep the speech simple, short, and sweet.
- Keep the tone lighthearted, and remember that kids have a shorter attention span. It means that your speech should be fun and make the kids happy.
- Add examples from the short stories from the year.
- Add humor to the speech and make the kids laugh.
If you are guiding a kid to write the speech, use these tips to guide him.
How to Write a Middle School Graduation Speech
- Focus on the positive aspects and experiences that you had during the school year.
- Do not make it long but focus on making your speech short and sweet.
- Be inclusive and talk about things that you and your peers could relate to easily.
The speech does not need to be perfect, but it should convey the message clearly.
How to Write a High School Graduation Speech
- Talk about the future and the opportunities and possibilities the class has in the future.
- Thank your parents and teachers for the guidance and support. Things would not have been this smooth if not for their support.
- Be nostalgic and recall class memories.
- Use classic quotes and phrases to add depth to your speech.
- Share the reason you think the class is unique and memorable.
These tips will help you write a great high school graduation speech.
As you take that first step forward, congratulations on your graduation, and we wish you the best of luck in whatever comes next. We hope this graduation speech guide has given you some pointers for what to say in your speech.
If you need further help, you can avail of our essay writing service and get your speech before the big day.
You've had a long road ahead of you these last few years; now is not the time to hold back or bite your tongue. MyPerfectWords.com helps new graduates to make their day memorable by delivering quality speeches for every occasion.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some ways to begin your speech.
- Statements and phrases
- Creating a scenario
Besides, there are many other ways also. Be original and think of an interesting and novel way of beginning your speech.
Generally, a graduation speech is 5 to 12 minutes long. These speeches should be short and sweet.
A graduation speech is written to remember and celebrate past experiences and accomplishments and looking forward to future and new opportunities.