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4 Steps To Deliver The Best Graduation Speech 👩‍🎓

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Graduation speech
Graduation cap with diploma over the table. Clipping path included.

Graduation is a tiny step into the world, and after that, living life on your terms. Graduation is one of the most significant achievements and a feather in your cap. After years of hard work, sleepless nights, and self-discovery, all graduates are privileged to give life-changing speeches. It can be challenging to summarise all these experiences into one speech. How do we all concise these experiences? How do you send off all your peers with a heartfelt message?  Don’t worry- all you have to do is embrace this moment and make the most of it. We are sure having the best graduation speech is something you are looking at. So do not rack your brain and feel inundated when you have to speak. This article will help you overcome the cloudiness in your brain and give you an excellent edge to speak confidently on your graduation day.

Graduation Speech Themes

  • Gratitude: – Expressing your appreciation to everyone who made this day come alive completely. Your parents, faculty members, and friends supported you through the thick and thin of your crucial life.
  • Accomplishment: – Narrate your achievements to the institution and the support your school or university has given you to achieve great heights and your accomplished credits.
  • Humor Experience: Humour is the best bet and the easiest way to escape through tricky situations. Using humor keeps the interest of the audience.
  • Stories of Change: – Looking at things and situations in retrospect gives you the perspective on the change and evolution that these experiences are unfolding to make you who you are and will be.
  • Look Forward: – Throwing in your advice on how everyone should move ahead and aspire to develop the attitude of letting go of past experiences. These experiences have made them stronger and more skilled over time.
  • Convey a Message: – It is imperative to convey and impart a message to everyone during your graduation speech. Choose something that relates to the audience: inspiring, funny, motivating, and engaging. Choosing something you feel comfortable with.

Here’s a video of a typical graduation speech:

Once you are ready to pen down all your experiences and emotions, here are some tips for you that are mentioned below.

The Process Of Writing and Articulating a Graduation Speech

How to start a graduation speech?

DO NOT PROCRASTINATE. Write down everything you want to pen down. Do not overthink it. A writer and creative block are natural. However, to overcome it is to start at where you are in the process and continue the writing. There would be several drafts, but that’s the beginning. Once you do that, a lot of ideas will flow through. You would have a rough understanding of what you want to incorporate in the speech. Do not look for perfection initially, or we suggest you do not look for perfection when you have to write down or say your speech once you have started to pen down your thoughts and emotions. Narrow down your work, speech, and themes you want to cover. There are several themes you could cover. Some could be inspirational, funny, emotional, creative, or just a general theme covering all these themes together.

However, these ideas below could help you develop your speech beginning.

The best and most effective way to start a speech is to quote someone you admire and introduce yourself by narrating a life-changing incident. These beginnings are an easy-breezy ride to having a successful speech on your graduation day. It is also imperative to have a very friendly tone to the speech rather than a formal one. Another way to start the speech is to add witty inside jokes to set an informal, warm tone. Remember, graduation day is one of the fondest memories of your life, so make the most of it. The graduation speeches are when you share all your impactful and inspiring sentiments with your batch mates.

What to say in your graduation speech?

In your speech, talk about personal experiences or experiences that have been life-changing for you. While writing your speech, do not forget to list the people you would like to thank and show gratitude to. This can be a brownie point when you say your speech, especially when you personalize some parts for the bonds, friendships, and relationships that paved the way for a lifetime of happiness and support. You could also narrate your trajectory and growth as an individual. How have the course, college, and people influenced you to be a better version of yourself?  Saying inspiring words and personal experiences is a rite of passage to all the graduates and their fellow mates.

One could also incorporate a list of learnings the institution has instilled in the individuals and the highlights of their journey in college. An emotional quality to your speech is also an exciting angle one could partake in. One could also make their speech interactive by shouting questions to the audience or, in this situation, your batch mates. When you make it interactive, the audience will feel included, which will also help you perceive the energy in the room.

Writing a graduation speech isn’t a Hercules task, but when you find yourself in a block. Remember, narrate a story when in doubt or just be creative and sing a song with your folks; connect them to a theme your folks love. Repetition is another way to get all your folks to remember your speech. Repeat as much as you can.

How do you deliver your graduation speech?

PRACTISE IT OUT LOUD AND OFTEN, not because you have to be perfect so that it flows more organically and retains authenticity. Do not fear imperfection. You can be imperfect, but you can improvise the speech as much as you want to because addressing a large crowd is not the focal point at the end of the day. The focus is to enjoy and embrace your achievement. Once you are a gathering as small and informal as your college or high school setup. Once you practice it enough. You will realize what is working for you and what is not working for you. Life would be an easy ride, my folks!

You can also practice for the big day with Orai. Orai gives you feedback on tone, tempo, conciseness, and confidence.

How long should your graduation speech be?

In all honesty, your speech could be 20 pages, but in reality, short, crisp, precise, and concise speeches are highly beneficial. A brief work goes a long way for all graduates in the future. This is the best takeaway for future endeavors. People will generally remember one funny joke, a great anecdote, or the general message, so cut out the extra fluff and only include the parts you think are the most important.

Personality Trait

The speech could be mesmerizing, but one thing that stands out is the “you” factor. The speech should do justice to yourself and your traits and characteristics. Try to be more of yourself. Anything more would sound pretentious to the audience. Let your personality be seen through your writing and speech delivery.  One could also talk about their journeys and ideologies. Ideology exchange through speeches is an exciting aspect to incorporate into your speech. Adding personalized elements to the speech makes it memorable, and it’s something the audience can take with them.

Preparedness for the future, believing in yourself and your vision, and not taking rejections personally are a few phrases and themes that make a difference in articulating the speech and writing your work. Having concise and precise speech is a knack one should develop.

Graduation speech
Successful Masters Ph.D. Graduation College Concept

How do you end your graduation speech?

One could end the graduation speech with a memory that ties everything from the introduction to the main body. This may be a repetition of the central message and theme that you have chosen. Leave the audience with a rhetorical question or an open-ended statement, something they could ponder after your speech. Leaving a remarkable remark at the end of your speech is always interesting because the human brain tends to captivate words from the introduction or the conclusion. Ideally, their speech’s opening and the conclusive section are two spheres where the most impactful inspirations are drawn.

Some Inspiring quotes for your Graduation speech ideas:

Below are some quotes and graduation speech examples one could incorporate.

  • So, as you go on to the next stage in your life and experience failure because you will experience loss, use that as a stepping stone to your subsequent success. Persevere. Don’t rest on that success. Use it as a stepping stone to your next success. Persevere, and you will experience a series of successes and failures that will allow you to accomplish something great.
  • Don’t Wait for the Perfect Opportunity. Look for a Way to Create Your Opportunity.
  • Opportunities don’t happen. You create them.” — Chris Grosser.
  • Don’t strive for perfection. Strive to keep working and creating what you want. Perfection will follow
  • “You are educated. Your certification is in your degree. You may think of it as the ticket to the good life. Let me ask you to think of an alternative. Think of it as your ticket to change the world.” Tom Brokaw
  • “Education makes a people easy to lead, but difficult to drive: easy to govern, but impossible to enslave.” Henry Peter Brougham
  • “What we learn with pleasure, we never forget.” Alfred Mercier
  • “The old rules are crumbling, and nobody knows the new ones. So make up your own rules.” Neil Gaiman
  • “Real courage is holding on to a still voice in your head that says, ‘I must keep going.’ That voice says nothing is a failure if it is not final. That voice that says to you, ‘Get out of bed. Keep going. I will not quit.’” Cory Booker
  • “It is impossible to live without failing at something unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all—in which case, you fail by default.” J.K. Rowling

High school Graduation

You should be honored to speak at your high school graduation. If you are chosen to represent your classmates, selecting a personal and universal theme would be a great start to the speech.  Practice it well enough so you are confident and comfortable during the speech. Having clear notes is always a plus point. Use gestures and points that are engaging to the class and the audience. Recalling class memories and touching on nostalgic points makes the speech memorable and authentic. Try not to use pop-culture references. Pop culture fads come and go, and using these references may not age well in the eyes of good high school graduation speeches. You can add your class’s uniqueness and the bond you all shared. If you cannot add something to your speech, you can make those pointers in your school yearbook for friends and classmates.

In your high school speech, do not forget to show gratitude and thank all your peers, teachers, parents, and the institution. As a good graduation speech example, discussing the many opportunities and possibilities of your class’s potential and ending it on a hopeful note is always an excellent possibility to explore. Here’s a video that you can check to understand what we’re talking about:

Elementary Graduation Speech Ideas

Students giving elementary graduation speeches should keep it short and straightforward. It is essential to use a light-hearted and friendly tone and not dwell on emotional, sentimental feelings for kids. Kids generally love and enjoy a happy and fun-loving energy in class. Kids love jokes; humor is the best bet in such a situation and a perfect touch to the graduation speech. Narrating some school or class experience will draw the student’s attention and be more relatable to them. Kids love stories and fiction. So go as creative and imaginative with your elementary graduation speech.

Graduation Speech Examples

Steve Jobs: Standford, 2005


“You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work will fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”

Michelle Obama: Tuskegee University, 2015

“I’ve found that this journey has been incredibly freeing. Because no matter what happened, I knew that all of the chatter, the name-calling, the doubting was just noise. It did not define me, it didn’t change who I was, and most importantly, it couldn’t hold me back.”

Amy Poehler: Harvard University, 2011

“I have discovered this: You can’t do it alone … Listen. Say ‘yes.’ Live in the moment. Make sure you play with people who have your back. Make big choices early and often.”

Through all these graduation speech examples. It is very imperative to know your highest calling in life. Life is all about learning and creating your niche. This niche may not make sense to many stuck in a rut, but it will satisfy you. There is work for the kitchen and the work for the soul. Initially, it all begins with gaining experience in the kitchen. When the time is right, the work for the soul becomes an enthralling experience. DO NOT BE HARD ON YOURSELF!

Life isn’t all that difficult. You will have failures and be rejected, but these downfalls just hone your expertise and experience in handling life situations.

What is the importance of curiosity and exploration?

Driven by curiosity, we explore, learn, and grow. This fuels innovation, widens perspectives, and fosters empathy, building a brighter future where knowledge lights the way.

How does laughter and kindness impact one’s life?

Don’t underestimate the duo of laughter and kindness. Laughter, the universal language, dissolves barriers and uplifts spirits, even in tough times. Kindness, its accessible superpower, fosters unity and self-compassion, reminding us of our shared humanity. Together, they create a ripple effect of positivity, enriching lives and building a more joyful, compassionate world. Embrace them both – it’s a win-win!

What is the importance of embracing detours in life?

Ditch the maps! Life’s detours, though unplanned, unlock hidden talents, foster adaptability, and bring unexpected connections. They force us from our comfort zones, offering fresh perspectives and the courage to navigate the unknown. Embracing these twists and turns enriches our journey, leading to unexpected destinations and a more fulfilling life.

What is the speaker’s personal experience with graduation?

Torn between comedy dreams and Mom’s doctor wishes, I found my path: a medical comedian! With zero politics or news experience, my graduation launched me into the unknown. But by embracing every detour and every new skill, I discovered unexpected opportunities and rewarding destinations. Life’s twists may not follow the plan, but they can lead to amazing places – just ask the funny doctor!

What is the main message for the graduates?

Graduates, life’s your chessboard – seize every challenge, every opportunity, queen-like! Savor now, for soon ramen nights vanish. Embrace stumbles; they pave the path to victory. Flaunt your quirks. Let your colors fly! Find humor in storms, and forgive yourself for flaws. Don’t wait for change, be the difference. Fear not the unknown, explore, discover – the adventure begins now!

Who is the speaker, and what is their profession?

The speaker addressing the audience is an individual who professionally tells jokes. Expressing gratitude to the faculty, loved ones, and the graduating class, they acknowledge the honor of being present in that moment. Standing before the audience, they express their disbelief at the opportunity to speak, recognizing themselves as someone who has built a career around humor and comedy.

What is the theme of the speech?

The central theme of the speech revolves around the concept of “Embracing the unexpected.” The speaker uses a vivid analogy to highlight this idea, comparing life to a game of chess and the individuals as queens and kings, ready to conquer the challenges it presents. They emphasize that the journey should not be treated as a race unless one is trying to avoid their student loan officer’s pursuit. The speaker advocates for embracing the detours encountered since they often lead to unforeseen and rewarding destinations.

What does the speaker say about embracing one’s unique voice and talents?

Ditch the mold, grads! Find your squad, embrace your weirdness, and don’t fear the flop – it’s the fuel for your unique fire! Surround yourself with cheerleaders, take risks, and let your true voice roar. Be loud, be proud, and rewrite the script – the world needs your authentic symphony. Now, go out there and shine!

What does the speaker say about the future and the uncertainty it holds?

Fear not, grads! The future’s a blank canvas, yes, and that means uncertainty but also infinite possibilities! Don’t fret about having all the answers; life’s twists and turns rarely follow scripts. Be the resilient hero, bounce back from stumbles, and embrace change – it’s the secret sauce to self-discovery! Stay open-minded, like a DJ, ready for the next killer beat, and life’s surprises will have you dancing in no time!

What advice does the speaker have for finding supportive people and building a strong network?

Forget toxic solo flights: find your cheer squad! Surround yourself with ride-or-dies who believe in you, weirdness and all. They’ll lift you up, celebrate wins, and hold your hand through the dips. They’re the network that fuels your journey, so find the ones who make you laugh and soar!

How did the speaker handle criticism and stay true to themselves?

Critics called them musical chameleons, who “do something” but never just enough. But instead of blending in, the speaker turned up the volume on their unique sound. No more boxes, no more labels, just unapologetic self-expression. This unleashed hidden fire – confidence bloomed, criticism became fuel. Staying true wasn’t easy, but it forged resilience and paved the way for success, proving that staying you is the most powerful performance.

What challenges did the speaker face in the past, and how did they overcome them?

Awkward nerd with big dreams? Check. Embarrassing musical auditions? Yep. Countless rejections? Been there. But the speaker didn’t let setbacks define them. They dusted themselves off, practiced harder, and landed the lead. They carved their path in the music industry, proving failures are detours, not dead ends. So chase your dreams, embrace your weirdness, and remember: a rockstar (or leader, doctor, or artist) is inside you, waiting to shine!

What is the significance of small actions and their impact on the world?

Don’t underestimate the ripple effect of kindness! Small actions, fueled by empathy, hold immense power. A smile, a helping hand, an open mind – these build bridges, uplift spirits, and spark positive change. Together, they become a tidal wave of inclusivity, dismantling barriers and creating a world where kindness wins. Remember, every small action counts, so let’s join hands and rewrite the story – one kind gesture at a time!

What is the role of empathy and inclusivity in shaping a better future?

Forget division; let’s build bridges! Empathy lets us truly understand others, bridging the gap for collaboration and unity. Inclusivity welcomes diverse voices, fueling innovation and ensuring everyone feels valued. Let’s actively listen, stand up for justice, and dismantle inequality. With empathy and inclusivity as our guides, we pave the way for a future where differences unite us, not divide us, and everyone thrives. It’s not just a better future. It’s an inclusive one – join the movement!

What should graduates consider as they look to the future?

Grads, you’re the architects of tomorrow! Embrace the journey, challenges, and all. Take risks, learn from stumbles, and let your values be your north star. Be empathetic, bridge divides, and remember your unique story has the power to transform the world. Go forth and rewrite the future – it’s yours for the taking!

How does the speaker view change, and how has it shaped their journey?

Don’t fear the plot twist, grads! The speaker says life veers off script, and those detours are where we truly grow. Embracing change, like they did to turn challenges into a global storytelling empire, is the key to unlocking your potential. So buckle up, take risks, and remember: disruption isn’t a dead end; it’s a chance to rewrite your story – and maybe the world’s, too!

How can I find inspiration for my commencement speech?

Feeling like a blank page on graduation day? No worries! To find speech inspiration, dive into your journey, brainstorm freely, chat with loved ones, explore other impactful speeches, and don’t forget to enjoy the creative process! Use online tools like Speeko for an extra boost. Remember, it’s your voice, your story, so make it memorable!

What is the best way to end a commencement speech?

A strong commencement speech ending should resonate. Summarize your key message, leaving listeners with something to remember. Consider ending with humor, gratitude, a call to action, and a powerful quote, but avoid getting sidetracked by personal thank yous. Keep the focus on the graduates and their inspiring future.

What should I avoid when writing a valedictorian speech?

Craft a genuine valedictorian speech by avoiding fluff (honesty over sugarcoating), overused phrases (be original), arrogance (stay humble), divisive topics (keep it inclusive), disrespect (be mindful of others), tangents (stay concise), jargon (speak plainly), or hurtful jokes (be inclusive). Remember, authenticity and respect go a long way toward a memorable message.

What are some tips for delivering a successful commencement speech?

Deliver a winning commencement speech by planning early, rehearsing well, and speaking clearly. Embrace a moderate pace and effective body language. Manage nerves with deep breaths and visualization. Engage the audience through inclusive language and be authentic – they chose you for your unique message!

How can I make sure my commencement speech resonates with my audience?

Connect with your audience at graduation by understanding their diverse perspectives, tailoring your speech to their interests, and forging a genuine connection through shared experiences. Offer valuable insights from your journey, empathize with their achievements, and avoid excessive self-promotion to ensure a truly resonant and impactful speech.

What is the responsibility of the graduates in shaping the world?

Graduates, your degrees empower you to change the world! Use them wisely, harness your inner voice, embrace challenges, and never stop learning. Don’t play it safe, step up, and make your mark – the world needs your unique blend of knowledge, resilience, and courage. Go forth and conquer!

How does failure contribute to personal growth?

Life’s journey includes stumbling blocks, but don’t fear their bite! View failures as stepping stones, each teaching, strengthening, and propelling you closer to your dreams. Embrace challenges, learn from mistakes, and rise stronger with each setback. Remember, success isn’t about avoiding failure but bouncing back even better, fueled by its lessons. Trust your resilience, and turn stumbles into stepping stones to greatness!

What are the three pieces of advice given to the graduates?

To master your graduation speech, start by brainstorming everything, then distill it down to a central theme. Share personal stories and express gratitude, making them relatable. Finally, practice often, be you, and conclude with a powerful message. Let your speech reflect your unique journey and leave a lasting impression!

What is the speaker’s call to action for the graduates?

Graduates fear not! Embrace challenges, learn from stumbles, and rise each time. Hone your unique skills, chase your dreams, and never dim your light. The world awaits your magic, so confidently step out and conquer it! Remember, practice makes perfect, so refine your speech and leave a lasting impression on this momentous occasion. Congratulations, Class of [Year]!

How does the speaker encourage taking risks and embracing failure?

Graduates, remember: failures are inevitable stepping stones, not dead ends. Embrace challenges, ditch perfectionism, and rise with each stumble. Risks and falls unlock growth, so be bold, seize opportunities, and fearlessly pave your way to greatness! Dream big, learn from setbacks, and unleash your potential – the world awaits!

What is the overall message and purpose of the speech?

This speech focuses on educating people on various aspects of public speaking, offering techniques, resources, and even legal considerations. Unlike the other speech-inspiring graduates, it lacks a single unifying theme. However, it empowers individuals by giving them the tools to become confident and effective communicators in diverse situations.

What qualities or values should the graduates embody as they write their stories?

Your speech guide encourages reflection on life lessons, expressing gratitude, and sharing personal growth to inspire fellow graduates. It emphasizes embracing change, nurturing relationships, and dreaming big while advocating empathy, inclusivity, and resilience. Ultimately, it urges them to be bold, embrace risks, and chart their unique paths with courage and compassion, contributing to a better world.

What is the call to action for the graduates?

Graduates, reflect on past lessons, choose inspiring words, and embrace your future path! Be open to change, nurture relationships, and never stop dreaming. Cultivate curiosity, resilience, and compassion. Your unique talents and determination are needed – seize opportunities, make an impact, and build a better world together! Congratulations, Class of [Graduation Year]!

What are some topics to discuss in a commencement speech?

Your guide emphasizes crafting a personal and inspiring speech. Share life-changing experiences, express gratitude, and showcase your growth through college. Captivate your audience with stories, interactive moments, and emotional touch. Don’t forget key lessons learned and repetition for impact. While personalizing is important, consider exploring broader themes, like change and the future, for a well-rounded message.

What are some creative ways to start a commencement speech?

Consider your favorite quote, personal story, or even a touch of humor to start your graduation speech strong! Keep it friendly and relatable while offering engaging options like rhetorical questions, metaphors, or witty jokes. Remember, it’s your moment to inspire and leave a lasting mark – so captivate them right from the beginning!

How can I make my commencement speech meaningful?

Graduation’s a big deal! Here’s how to rock your speech: share impactful personal stories and express gratitude to those who helped you shine. Talk about your growth and inspire others with your journey. Leave a lasting impression with a memorable ending, revisiting your key message and sparking reflection. Be authentic and thoughtful, and you’ll make this day truly unforgettable!

How can I make my commencement speech memorable?

To create a graduation speech that sticks, pick a theme like gratitude or growth, shares impactful personal stories with gratitude, add depth with key learnings, and engage the audience with questions. Repeat key points, practice for a natural delivery, stay true to yourself, and end with a powerful closing thought. Your words can inspire and leave a lasting mark on this special day!

How long should my commencement speech be?

Forget long-winded speeches! Keep your graduation message short, sweet, and impactful. Focus on a funny joke, a touching story, or your core message. Trim the fluff, practice for smooth delivery, and respect your audience’s attention. Remember, less is often more when leaving a lasting impression on this special day.

How do I structure the content of my commencement speech?

Choose your theme (gratitude, humor, etc.) with a resonant message. Share personal stories (past), offer practical advice (present), and inspire for the future. Express gratitude, add interactive elements, and end with a call to action. Structure it with past and present, and let your voice shine through! You’ll inspire and leave a lasting mark.


Writing and giving a speech can be frightening, but the idea is not to get distressed and self-torn. These points will hone your speech and writing skills. It will give your speech an opinion, base, and direction, if not make it easier. These life skills are imperative for one to develop while entering the world. Graduation is a milestone, and there should be no place for compromise when delivering your speech. Practicing the speech is another way to ensure that you get your speech on point.

Practice your Graduation speech with Orai.

Graduation speech
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4 Steps To Deliver The Best Graduation Speech 👩‍🎓
Graduation is an important moment of life. Something, that you'll always remember. Here are 4 easy steps to make your speech a grand success!
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