For all these years, you have been working hard and giving your very best. You have faced many challenges, acquired a lot of achievements, and even become a different person – a better one, to be sure. There is only one small step left before you can turn this page and embrace a bright future, but as you’ve probably learned by that point, every single step is important. In this context, writing a graduation speech is but another obstacle, a challenge you’re going to overcome just like you did it with many others. Being a collective of writers facing this kind of tasks on a regular basis, we’re eager to help! Let’s talk about the steps this process comprises, as well as the most common problems and various tips for doing everything right.
What Can Go Wrong When Writing a Graduation Speech?
Everything, actually. Coming up with a truly terrible speech isn’t an easy task because you can always play it safe and choose a simple, popular topic with tons of examples. The thing is, you shouldn’t want to play it safe, should you? You may not have another chance like that in your whole life, so it’s a perfect time to tell an original story, play with a format, and risk a bit. If you’re going to do things that way —the best way! — here are some things to avoid.
First, choosing the wrong type of graduation speech. Technically, there is no such thing as “wrong” type; however, by no means should you try to be a person you aren’t. It’s up to a speaker whether they want their audience to laugh, feel proud, or be engaged with a story, but the general recommendation is that one should stick to the format he or she feels most comfortable with. Have you ever seen a comedian who’s trying hard — really, really hard — while the public remains silent? You don’t want to be this guy.
Is that all?
Second, hear us when we say that you WANT to avoid making your speech too short or too long. The former will show you in a bad light since if you can’t come up with more than 100–200 words, which is roughly the equivalent of one-minute talk, then you probably don’t take this whole business seriously at all. The latter, on the contrary, will make you look trying too hard, and there are technical limitations to take into account — there will be other people who have a story to tell, and they will certainly need some time to do it, too. The perfect length for a graduation speech is between five and twelve minutes, so aim at 900–2000 words if your speaking rate is more or less corresponds to the average level.
Third, not giving the writing process enough time is a bad idea, too. Here’s the kicker: you’ll have to revise your text no matter how good you are at drafting speeches. Don’t try to make everything perfect at the first attempt as even the greatest writers had to edit, change, and even rewrite big parts of their work on a regular basis. The general procedure is to put your words on paper as they are, take some time to rest, and re-read the text again with a fresh mind. While guarantees the best results, this approach requires a lot of time to be invested; the revision part, for example, is almost as long as the writing one in many cases, meaning that you really want to have reverse days so you can fully immerse yourself into the writing process. In other words, drafting a speech six hours prior to graduation ceremony is not an option — if you’re serious about your task, be prepared that it will take twice and sometimes thrice as long as you expected.
I have neither time for writing a graduation speech nor good ideas to start with
What to do if you don’t have enough time, then? Whether it’s a work schedule or family circumstances, a person entrusted with giving a graduation speech may find themselves too busy to spend valuable hours and days on the task they can’t focus on. In this situation, professional writers’ services will be of great help. People who have extensive experience in writing strong, inspirational, and thought-provoking texts, will sketch out the draft of your speech in a day, taking into account your wishes and comments.
If you don’t want to use someone else’s writing, but you need a little help finding a decent idea and making it work, don’t hesitate to ask professionals for assistance as well. You can always use another person’s work as a sample, making it much easier for yourself to draft a great speech. The brainstorming process is both difficult and very time-consuming, so sometimes doing everything on your own means accomplishing nothing at all. Let professionals provide you with some ideas if you feel that the first step of speech writing has lasted too long.
An Interesting Graduation Speech Theme
The education process is basically the chain of mistakes from which a student is supposed to learn and draw the right conclusions. Why not use it as the main theme of your graduation speech, then? Most people in the audience will be able to relate to your story, and that’s the important part when you want them to listen to you and HEAR you.
Tell your fellow students about that one mistake that made a difference in your life. At first, it could disappoint you, discourage you, make you think that you were bad at many more things than you’d thought. By showing a moment of your weakness to the audience, you’ll have a great chance to accumulate their attention. After all, they know what you’re talking about — everyone does.
After the narrative of a great mistake has been established, tell your listeners about how you overcame it and, most importantly, what you learned from your lesson. It’s up to you whether to go full encourager or try to be cold and rational. The one thing you want to share with your audience, however, is that learning from mistakes — even crucial, fatal ones — have made you a better person with a healthier perspective on what life is and how one should live it to be happy and make happy those close to him or her.
Other Graduation Speech Ideas
Since the story of learning and getting better from mistakes may have this vibe that one’s trying to play smart, some students prefer to choose more personal themes for their speeches. For example, you can tell your audience about the person that has been your source of inspiration throughout college life. Tell a story about how important it was to always have in mind someone bigger than you, as it gave you the power to improve yourself, too. Make people think for a moment about a person THEY could call their source of inspiration. Is that their friend or family member? A celebrity? A fictional character, even?
And yeah, about fiction. While not as common as the two previous options, quoting fiction books and songs is a decent way to shape your graduation speech as well. Art mirrors reality, after all. In some way, one could even call this option cheating because when you quote song lyrics, you give the listeners a chance to hear their own personal message. You’ll have to give some comments, of course, on the topic why you, yourself, consider the song lyrics suitable for the occasion, but there is no need to be too detailed.
For now, that’s it for graduation speech ideas. As we’ve noted before, the important thing is to understand your strengths and weaknesses correctly so you could choose the type of speech you’ll be comfortable to work with. It may be tempting to play a stand-up comedian, but we recommend to avoid that kind of adventure if you don’t have experience at all.
In case you still want to try it, though, feel free to ask our professional writers for help. They’ll make sure that your speech works as intended, meaning that you will not have to stay on a podium, eagerly trying to finish your speech because no one’s really listening. It doesn’t happen often but, well, still happens.