Graduation is a life-changing event in anyone’s life. It floods your life with a potpourri of overwhelming emotions. One of the vital aspects of graduation is the deliverance of the graduation speech. If you have been chosen to deliver the speech, then you have a great task to perform—one you must not take lightly. A graduation speech is the final expression of solidarity and harbinger of newer phases in life, and the speech, while you deliver it, is more about the students as a whole than an individual. So, prepare well.
The question, of course, is how you prepare well. Of course, you can write it howsoever you want only when you keep in mind certain things which remain indispensable features of a good graduation speech. These things are general in nature but have a far-reaching impact on the audience so you must take note of them. You want to look down the article because I have mentioned a few of them.
- Convey a message
Random, undirected, and meaningless speech is a waste of time. Students attending the valedictory ceremony expect a proper closure to an entirety of college experience. You cannot trivialize those expectations by delivering a piece that has no purpose. Try to convey a message through your speech: college life, the experiences, the ups and downs, how things change after graduation, and how the graduating community should cope with the change, etc. You are expected to give them a proper send-off—and you cannot mess up.
- May want to include humor somewhere
If you are confident, then you should try a little bit of humor. Of course, it is an emotional moment for all of us, but cracking a few jokes won’t ruin it. In fact, it will also remind the students of the amusement which their college life had given them for years. However, while doing so, make sure you do not target specific students unless you are dead sure they are to take it kindly. Also, you may want to pick a few self-deprecating jokes, but you should know where not to cross the line. Do not overdo it, of course.
- Do not take a lifetime to finish your speech
You may call it a ‘speech’ but that does not mean that you keep going on with it without any heed to time. People will eagerly wait for the speech but the enthusiasm towards it will wane if you don’t know when to stop. Always have a short and sweet speech in mind. Try not to take it more than 15 minutes. Your goal is to send your message across the student community, and the community will only accept it wholeheartedly unless they have lost interest. You take your sweet time during the speech, and all you are doing is rambling!
- Practice makes a man (and woman) perfect
If you have the knack for impromptu speeches, go ahead. However, it is advised that you prepare way beforehand. Write down your speech and practice it in front of a mirror or your family or friends. The more you practice, the better your command will be on your goal. You will recognize mistakes, fumble less, keep the speech well-timed, and maintain a favorable tone. During practice, make sure you work on eye contact because that is a must when delivering the speech on the day of the event. Work on your posture: it should be upright but relaxed. Try not to speak like a robot; don’t forget emotions!
- It is a great honor
It is quite often that the valedictory speaker is selected after due deliberations. This means you have been entrusted with a big responsibility because people selecting you think that you are best suited for this. Therefore, it is expected that you consider it a great honor. Getting the opportunity to deliver the graduation speech implies that you are understood to be a fitting representative of the graduating student community. Take your speech seriously and perform well on the trust which has been placed in you. Make sure that the audience remembers the day as one of the fondest memories of their life.