College, university, or high school graduation can be a stressful time, even without your worries about preparing and delivering a speech. Let’s face it, not every student is a born writer. However, the good news is that even if you’re assigned this task, you can produce a meaningful speech if you prepare well. Here are some simple techniques on how to generate a perfect graduation speech that will linger in the minds of your peers for a long while.
Get in the Mood for Nostalgia
Brainstorm about the most precious experience that you had in college. You’ve been a college student for quite a while now, so you can easily ask yourself, “What was the most memorable moment in my academic life? What has this experience taught you? Have you grown up along the way? Besides, some other questions may serve as a road map as you work on your graduation speech:
- What is the most important lesson that you can take away from your time in college?
- How have you changed since your first year? How have your classmates changed since they started college?
- Do you know some success stories that happened at your alma mater?
- What are the challenges that you expect to face in the nearest future?
Choose Your Theme and Stick with It
If you’re going to stuff your graduation speech with loads of quotes and mention everything that happened to you during your college time, your audience will get confused eventually. You want them to be inspired, don’t you? So make sure to choose one key theme or message that you can relate, and compose the rest of your speech based on it.
Structure Your Graduation Message
Where do you want to place each of the speech sections? Remember that your graduation speech should make sense, so any mess with the order of your thoughts may confuse your audience and make them lose any interest in what you’re saying. We recommend using the well-known burger method. Put your into as the top bun. Your paragraphs containing your ideas will serve as the patty. Finally, your conclusion will become the bottom bun. Don’t forget to add some ‘mayonnaise’ or ‘ketchup’ in the form of jokes, quotes, or starts to make a great burger at the end.
Begin with the Hook
An interesting introduction contains a catchy story, quote, fact, or even some nice joke about your college routine or your classmates. Whatever you choose to open up your story, ensure it hooks your audience and keeps it willing to hear more. For instance, your graduation speech may start off with something as follows, “Remember that day when we all entered this place for the first time? How young we all looked! It felt as if we all had had a sleepless night. And even though today we look older, I see that all of us are as sleepy as we were on that memorable day.”
Use Your Visuals
Using images as part of your graduation message is encouraged. However, you have to make sure that you:
- Work on your graduation speech first and then search for visuals to support your words. Never pick an image first and then write your speech based on it only because the image seems nice.
- Find photos of all your classmates, not just your best friends and the guy you find handsome. Also, keep in mind that you have no right to use embarrassing photos.
- If you’re going to run the slideshow with someone else, ensure to practice together several times to make sure it will work perfectly
Ensure Every Word Counts
If you believe this or that sentence matters, don’t cross it out. If it is pointless, don’t keep it. Ensure your text is simple and contains the most important pieces of information. It’s not that hard to cut down your graduation speech – just think what parts of it you wouldn’t like to hear if you were in your classmates’ shoes. Besides, all these ‘very,’ ‘pretty,’ ‘quite,’ and ‘fairly’ issues are taboo as well. Make sure to use your intonation, if you want to stress your adjectives.
Check Winning Speech Examples
Having a proper role model helps no matter what you do. In the case of a graduation speech, reading some examples will help you understand how to begin your piece, discuss your ideas, and end it like a pro. What is more, you can notice many other things that will make your speech effective and memorable.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Rehearsal is a must when it comes to delivering a graduation speech. Read it out loud to ensure it sounds like a good thing. Do you like what you hear? Understand why you have chosen this or that word, memory, or event. Will your audience get the essence of your message? Repeat your rehearsal until you’re happy with your work.