Best Graduation Speech Ideas and Examples
- By Jac Jo.
- April 19, 2022
- 8 Min Read
The graduation ceremony is one of the significant transitional phases of a student’s life. It is a celebration of hard work and achievements. Delivering a graduation speech in such a ceremony is a great honor.
At the same time, it is also a great responsibility that can stress you out. Because it is challenging to summarize your entire experience in a single talk. And how to give a fantastic send-off to your peers?
Questions like these can leave you confused without a proper answer. All you want is a good speech idea to present in front of so many people. You have your fellow graduates, parents, teachers, and family members as your audience.
As much as it is exciting, it is also terrifying to address such a vast gathering. A minor mistake amidst such a crowd can blot your image for years to come.
However, let that task not make you nervous. You can make use of this golden opportunity to make one last impression among your peers, teachers, and family. Prepare yourself for some fantastic ideas you can include in the speech that we have prepared for you.
Please go through different speech types, the outline of speech format. And also some bonus tips to help you ace the talk.
But before going through the speech ideas, remember that your audience is a motley group of people. They are with varying degrees of knowledge. If you want your speech to be victorious, you must speak in an understandable way to everyone. Also, it must be enjoyable and informative.
Let us first get started with different types of speech. The different kinds of graduation speech themes mentioned here are based on various personality types. So, please select the one which reflects your personality well. Make sure your address does not sound dry.
Types of graduation speech
You may not be the only one to take the podium. So, when it is your turn, make sure you deliver a memorable speech.
Graduation discourse can be broadly divided into several categories:
Tip: Choose the type of speech that fits your personality. Do not go for a creative talk if you are not a creative person. And also, never deliver a severe speech if you are humorous.
Ideas for each type of graduation speech
- Funny ideas
Try a funny graduation speech if you are known for your sense of humor. Everyone likes humor, so use your humorous side to make your oration as enjoyable as possible.
Pick a funny incident that happened: Numerous funny incidents would have occurred during your study. There may be a funny prank played by your seniors, a fun trip with your fellow students. Or an accidental mishap in a science lab, which you can recount to make everyone laugh.
Private joke: All have their private jokes with close friends and family members. And having a private joke concerning college, which is known only to you people, is not far behind. Bring it up once again on stage so everyone can relate to it.
Recount mistakes: No one is perfect and everyone makes mistakes in their life. And some mistakes turn into life lessons. The funny mistakes that you made can be a lesson that is worth sharing on this big day.
Make use of jokes: If you do not want to share any personal experience. Yet, at the same time you want your speech to be funny, then use witty one-liners in your discourse.
2. Inspirational ideas
Graduation marks the commencement of a new future that awaits you and your fellow students. Here are some ideas for you to boost and inspire your audience with your high school graduation speech.
Reflect on memories: The college experiences would have shaped you into the person that you are today. Thus, you can speak about how college life broke your prejudice. And you can also talk about how your experiences at college made you more humble.
Accomplishments: Did your college/university win a sports match or a science competition. Did any of your classmates or a senior win a medal for college? Recount those moments of pride and how they strengthened you and your class.
Story of courage: Do you have those memories when you overcame fear? Or do you know someone who overcame fear and achieved great heights? Share inspiring stories of famous personalities or regular people that motivate everyone.
Gratitude: Thank your friends, teachers, and family for their steadfast support and assistance throughout your journey. Speak about the value of appreciation that every student must possess. Lines of gratefulness will make a good closing statement for your speech.
3. Serious ideas
When you want to deliver a serious message, brainstorm about your experience in college. What did you learn in all these years? How will you implement that in your life?
Have a look at some of the ideas here:
Life lessons: Most of the life lessons come from college. Recall what you learned in college and talk about it. The importance of hard work and a risk-taking attitude can be great speech topics to talk about. Last but not least, the importance of friendship in everyone’s life makes a great idea too.
Adversities: Reflect and speak about how you overcame adversities. This makes a great topic for severe types of speech. When you are making a severe speech, be honest about the hardships you faced. Speak about the benefits of having a never-give-up attitude. And explain its value to overcome difficulties.
Importance of maturity: There is a difference between first-year students and graduates. So, talk about how college inculcated responsibility in your life. And how it helped you make decisions and take action.
Tip: When delivering a serious discourse, your voice and tone should match your message. Therefore, do not sound emotional or funny. Plus, your attitude while giving the speech matters, so be aware of it. Formal oration is not just about personal experiences, but rather of the message you are sharing.
4. Creative ideas
Delivering a creative speech will make you unique amidst the crowd. You can choose a clever idea if you are a creative person.
Step away from the usual: Try not to deliver the typical graduation speech that everyone does. Use creative ideas such as spoken word poetry or use metaphors in your discourse to make your talk engaging.
Tell a story: Weave a story of your journey in college – how did you select the college, what your aspirations were, how was your first day at college, and go on touching all crucial incidents. Be creative in your approach. You can make it a funny or inspirational story.
Class anthem: Make use of good lyrics in your speech. Better yet, pen down the lyrics yourself if you can or take help from your friends to add a personal touch.
These are some graduation speech ideas that can help you with your graduation discourse.
How to write a memorable graduation speech?
Knowing what to speak does not matter when you do not know how to say it. How you put forth your ideas in speech is essential, else your discourse will be mistaken for a mindless rant even if your ideas are great.
Having a speech structure/outline makes it easier to speak seamlessly. Once you establish a speech structure, the following tasks will be a lot more straightforward.
Do not jump into outlining your speech without some pre-work, have a look at the points below to set your thoughts right.
- Before you start writing the speech, brainstorm for ideas.
- Think about your past experiences and future challenges.
- Rewind your college memories and pick any unique or noteworthy incident that you can talk about.
- Make a list of such ideas as you brainstorm and choose one.
- Let that idea be your theme for your speech.
- Ensure that your theme compliments your personality, experience, and attitude.
Outline of the speech
- Welcome the audience
- Introduce the theme
- Tell a story, joke, or anything relevant to the theme
- Add originality
- Conclude your speech
- Thank your audience
- End with a one-line summation of your discourse
You can use this outline to write the speech. However, if you still find it difficult on how to start your discourse, then please go through some examples that we have included below.
A good beginning is essential to hook your audience. You can start your commencement speech by:
- Thanking everyone for the opportunity
For example, “Thank you (to the person who introduced you). And thank you to the teacher, students, parents, and faculty who made these four years unforgettable.”
- Saying that you are fortunate to speak on this big day
For example, “It’s my honor today to deliver the graduation speech for this incredible student body.”
- Welcoming the guests
For example, “It is my pleasure to welcome students, families, and faculty to graduation day at [school’s name]. Every one of you has made an impression on the graduates who sit here today.”
The above ideas can be used to start your commencement address in front of your graduating class of 2022..
Make your speech memorable with a great conclusion. Instead of just ending with a formal thank you
- Use a quote that reflects the future that you and your fellow students must face
For example, “Graduation is not the end; it’s beginning,” by Orrin Hatch sounds apt for an endnote.
- Conclude with a poem written by a poet, or you can also write your poem.
Once you have written down your speech, go through it again and see if you can improve. Edit, revise, and repeat. Deliver a short and concise speech that resonates with your audience.
- Do not rant about your achievements alone. At the same time, it is ok to speak about it. Just remember that this speech is not about you alone. Please do not make it all about you.
- Highlight your friends, teachers, or any others when you recount personal experiences.
- Never say anything that you may regret some years later.
- Practice your speech in front of a mirror or with few close friends to build confidence.
- Be specific when you narrate any personal incident. Avoid vague descriptions. Instead, give a detailed description of your experience.
- Avoid overusing quotes. Using famous quotes at the end or in the middle of your discourse is fine. However, Avoid stuffing your speech with quotes.
- Start with a humble beginning and end it on a high note.
Finally, your graduation speech must not sound overwhelming or daunting. You have earned the privilege of speaking on behalf of your entire class, which is a great responsibility. If you can deliver this task perfectly, it will be remembered for years to come. Make appropriate preparations for this day, do not rush through your speech, take your time and say what you want to say.
Have a plan, work on your ideas and theme, structure your speech, ask for an opinion, rework it if needed and deliver it perfectly without overdoing it. Start practicing your address early so that you are comfortable.
In the end, have fun with your classmates and enjoy the event. This day is never going to return. All the best.