Sooner or later, every stage of human life comes to an end. It seems that the first day in college was yesterday. You were a fresh student not knowing how to get to the local café just a moment ago, and here you are, considering what to talk about in a graduation speech. That’s confusing.
That is why many students feel frustrated when there appears a need to come up with ideas and topics for their graduation speeches. A bit of uncertainty will surely add to the cocktail of emotions disturbing your mind. However, a thorough approach towards your last college responsibility will allow you to turn that stress to your advantage. Using the entire mass of that emotional blend bothering your soul, you can come up with outstanding ideas for graduation speeches and process them all perfectly to make your upcoming speech a real masterpiece.
Here below, you’ll find professional recommendations and examples on writing a graduation speech, along with a list of suitable topic prompts. Use them as they are, or take them as reference concepts to come up with something original. It’s your call.
College Graduation Speech Ideas and Some Tips
Crafting a successful graduation speech can be easier if you know common tricks and ideas to use. The fact that you use popular methods to write it doesn’t mean your speech will be banal and secondary. The list of recommendations below shows time-tested tips that can suit the graduation speech regardless of any factor, including its:
You don’t have to use them all obligately. The point of this list is to show you some landmarks to know the way to go. Examples are included.
The Start is Most Difficult
Most probably, you don’t know how to start that graduation speech. Well, actually, you know the right solution, but it seems to be overused by past generations of students, and, again, banal due to that. Of course, the beginning of your speech should not be too simple. It’s like an essay intro: oversimplifying it does not do you a favor.
However, you can, for instance, use an introductory part of your speech to transmit its mood and idea and to grab the attention of your listeners. It is okay to thank a person who invited you to the scene and to admit what you feel after being honored to hold a grad speech on that day.
So, you can go this way: “Thanks a lot, Linda! Thanks to everyone who is looking at me and listening to me now. It is a great honor for me to speak here today when every graduate of our school is about to turn the page of their life book once more.”
You are a graduate student, so you feel that the college campus and dormitory walls are your second home. That’s normal. However, even if you have been extremely popular throughout your studying years, nobody can guarantee that every student that is going to hear your graduation speech knows who you actually are. So, introducing yourself is not only a matter of good tone and manners. Saying your name to the audience allows you to establish personal contact with every listener and lets them know you a bit better. Everyone benefits from that: they get some interest; you get their attention.
Here is a funny self-introduction example: “My name is Brian, and I’m that guy who broke a coffee machine near the main college gate. Twice.”
If you think such humor doesn’t suit the idea of your speech, you can pick a different tone. The key here is to let the audience feel your personality along with the mood that your speech is about to bring them. Still, feel free to use the introduction part as you find suitable.
Reflect on Common Memories and Relevant Events
A lot could happen during your college years. Maybe, your school’s football team won in a remarkable competition, and you watched their final game with excitement. Or you were the one who participated in a local theater show that brought many impressions to students. All the moments like that have a certain value for everyone listening to your speech in the audience. So, that is how you can consolidate their thoughts and emotions and finally tune them to the note you want your speech to sound in their minds and hearts.
“While thinking over the speech intro, I reminded myself of our basketball team and their final game of the recent season. Our rivals seemed too strong, but our desire for victory was stronger. That is the life lesson I think everyone would be happy to get.”
Yes, here is a tip for memory or event: don’t implement them in the speech just to be there. The chosen common college life episode should carry a clearly understandable meaning, and you might surely want to connect it to the topic of your speech to strengthen the effect.
Add Some Humor
As it was mentioned already, humor will make it much better when the chosen mood of your speech supposes some jokes to appear. Additionally, you should pick your jokes carefully to avoid potential confusion or misunderstanding. There will be no examples here below because they could limit your imagination. That wouldn’t be for good when it comes to humor parts of graduation speeches.
Take a Look Forward to the Future
This move will again suit any kind of grad speech, no matter if you want to make your one sound serious, funny, inspirational, reflexive, or whatever else. The future is what expects all the students, graduates, and people all over the world. Hopefully, your school gave you and your mates everything you might need to craft exactly the future you all want to have.
“I know that the future will be full of trials. It is never too easy to achieve something great. But I also know that the knowledge and experience that we all have got in this school together will surely let us become whoever we want to be.”
End with a Positive Mood
That’s simple. Negativity has little to no place in the grad speech in general, and it is forbidden to appear in its last paragraph in particular. Nobody wants to hear that their life will be difficult and challenging them on purpose. They know. What graduate students surely want to get is a positive, boosting, and motivating mental charge.
“I think, time spent at this school was amazing. So, I know that the future life of every today’s graduate is going to be amazing, too.”
Please note that the examples given above are just references to illustrate the point. Every speech is individual, so their sentences and even separate words require in-depth customization and careful placement. That’s the only way to craft an unforgettable grad speech.
Now, let’s proceed with some topics. At last.
5 Core Topics for Graduation Speech
A graduation speech should have a topic, and you need to pick it thoroughly. Just like with essay writing, here a theme defines the focal point, the idea, and the impression that you are going to make on the audience. Here are some concepts able to suit any speech regardless of its type.
The first topic on the list is probably the most common of all graduation speech themes. Again, the fact that it is widely used does not make it banal. It only shows that the topic of goal achievement is relevant for students and graduates.
How Mistakes Make Everyone Stronger
Among the themes for graduation speeches, the discussion of mistakes that students make will always have a special place. Mistakes are unavoidable. Whoever is busy with mastering something new is bound to fail at least once. However, any failure is valuable because it carries experience one can use to become better, more qualified, and more prepared for upcoming career and life challenges.
The Effect of Being Grateful
Gratitude is another widespread concept they use in valedictorian speech themes. Being grateful allows understanding oneself much deeper. So, gratitude for the knowledge and experience that students got during their college years can be the core element of your graduate speech.
Work/Fun Balance to Keep Career and Life Healthy
Future graduates surely are experienced students. However, being experienced in studying does not always help them understand their adult life, especially right after the graduation ceremony. Try to eliminate some of their doubts and confusions by paying attention to the topic of work, fun, and balance that are critical if one wants to live a full life.