Speech Writing

Graduation Speech

Barbara P

A Complete Guide of Graduation Speech for Students

11 min read

Published on: Mar 12, 2020

Last updated on: Jan 24, 2023

Graduation Speech

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Are you graduating soon? Do you need help in writing, preparing, and giving a graduation speech? Here's your graduation speech how-to guide.

It's the time of year when high school seniors fill out their college applications, finalize their resumes, and gear up for graduation. Graduation speeches can be a daunting prospect as you want to make them memorable and heartfelt.

This blog post will give you some tips on  speech writing , how to prepare for your speech, what topics to cover in your speech, and examples from famous people so that yours stands out from the rest!

Written by one of our experts, who happens to be a recent graduate with an Honors Degree, this graduation speech guide will give you the necessary knowledge to make your speech a success.

Read on to learn more.

What is a Graduation Speech?

The graduation speech is your moment to shine in front of the entire school. You've had this day coming for so long, and now it's finally here! It should be short - but not too short - with a mix of humor and sincere good wishes.

A graduation or commencement speech is a time to celebrate, reflect on the past year, and look ahead. You will remember this time for the rest of your life.

For your next high school class of graduates, you could talk about what they have accomplished in their four years at this institution.

You will be able to share anecdotal stories from your own experience as well as advice for them moving forward into college life that I learned while attending my university!

A graduation speech should be short but entertaining with some humor sprinkled throughout it. It helps keep the atmosphere of the graduation ceremony light and helps relieve tension among the commencement speakers.

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Elements of Graduation Speech

Here are the key elements of a graduation speech.

All these elements make a strong and memorable speech and help make your graduation successful.

Outline and Structure of a Graduation Speech

No good assignment is written without an outline, and this is true in the case of a speech also. For a memorable speech, make an outline first, and make sure that you follow it through.

‘How do you write a graduation speech outline?’

Here is a sample graduation speech outline.

It is important to show gratitude and grace at the moment. Thank your teacher, or the person who introduced you to the stage, for introducing you, as well as all of the work they did for the school.

Instead of assuming that the people in the room already know you, introduce yourself, and this includes telling your full name also.

Be sure to include a quote that inspires you and your classmates. Sharing personal narratives with the class is also an excellent way to bring everyone together.

This will also help motivate people and show them that you're excited about what's coming up for everyone as they finish their education.

Share the wisdom you have gathered. Share what advice and guidance you wish to offer for this new chapter in your life, as well as some of the expectations that are about to come around the corner.

Remind them it's now up to them how they react with these things- be open-minded but don't forget yourself.

Remember the good times at school, and make sure your peers don't forget them. Whether it's a simple day in class or an exciting event like prom night, you never know when you'll need that memory to get you through tough days ahead.

Encourage your classmates not to take for granted all of their wonderful memories made during high school; whether big or small, every moment counts now more than ever before because graduation is coming up soon.

Restate the motivational quote that you have shared in the beginning and show the audience how it is relatable and significant.

End your speech with a call to action and encourage your fellow students to take action and make a difference in the world.

Thank the audience for hearing you out and their time.

This outline is 100% workable, and following it; you will be able to create your speech with all the necessary elements.

How to Start a Graduation Speech?

Ready to start writing your graduation speech? Here are the guidelines to do it smoothly.

  • To find all the inspiration you can, read your favorite graduation speeches and look for inspirational quotes. Determine what it is that inspires you most so you know how best to craft a speech of motivation.
  • The process of coming up with the perfect topic can be tough. Once you’ve found all your inspiration sources and come up with a general idea of what you want to talk about, make a list of key themes. Circle one that is most important to you for this speech.
  • Quotes can really speak to us on an emotional level. When selecting which ones will appear within your speech, always choose those with messages about inspiration and encouragement. These resonate well with the audience and the key message of your speech.
  • Begin the speech by introducing yourself.

Here are the sample graduation speech introductions;

  • “Thank you, Mr. Pearson (the person who introduced you). And thank you to the students, teachers, parents, and staff who are here and made these four years memorable.
  • “It's an honor to be chosen to deliver this commencement speech in front of the honorable student body.”
  • “It's a great pleasure to welcome the students, families, and the faculty to the graduation day at St. Michael’s School. You have made us what we are today, and it is an honor to be a part of this institution.’
  • “Standing here in front of everyone, I look back and reflect on the four years legacy that we have made together, and I must say, I am nothing but proud of it.”

How to Write a Graduation Speech?

‘How to write a heartfelt graduation speech?’

Once you are done with the beginning of the speech, here are the things to consider when writing the main part of your speech.

  • Take a few minutes to write down all the ideas you’ve had in your head. Don't edit yet; just get them out on paper and try not to let anything distract you while doing it.
  • Keep a stock of your key messages and favorite phrases. Save these for later use, highlighting them to keep track as you go.
  • In case of doubt, tell a story or a personal experience and show the audience how relatable it is.
  • After you are done writing down everything, take a break and do not edit anything yet. Leave the speech for at least 24 hours before you work on it again.
  • Cut out irrelevant and less important details to keep the speech short and sweet.
  • Stay to the point and concise throughout the speech and keep it simple.
  • Repeat the keywords and phrases but do not do anything excessively.

Keep these points in mind when writing your speech.

How to End a Graduation Speech

‘What do you say at the end of a graduation speech?’

Here is how to formulate a strong ending for your speech.

  • End with something worth remembering. It could be anything like a quote, a repetition of the main theme or phrase, or a humorous note.
  • Edit and do not stop till you have cut out everything irrelevant.
  • Consider ending the speech with a Bible verse or with any other religious quote.
  • Ask someone else to edit your speech for you. Again, a different and fresh pair of eyes will help in identifying the faults.
  • Practice and rehearse as much as possible. No matter how commendable your public speaking skills are, it's always better to be prepared and practice everything.

A strong ending is important for a memorable speech. Follow these tips to create a great ending for your speech.

Graduation Speech Outline and Structure

No good assignment is written without an outline, which is true in the case of a speech. For a memorable speech, make an outline first, and make sure that you follow it through.

  • Show Gratitude
  • Introduce Yourself

Instead of assuming that the people in the room already know you, introduce yourself, including telling your full name.

  • Begin with a Motivational Quote or Saying
  • Share a Good and Helpful Advice

Share the wisdom and guidance that you've gathered during this new chapter of your life. Also, share some advice for others going through similar things and an expectation or two on what's about to come around the corner next.

  • Recall and Share the Good Experiences.
  • Restate your Motivational Quote

Restate the motivational quote you have shared in the beginning and show the audience how relatable and significant.

  • End with a Call to Action
  • Thank the Audience

You can create your speech with all the necessary elements if you follow this outline.

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Graduation Speech Examples

Here are some graduation speech samples for more help.

Graduation Speech for Kindergarten - Example

Graduation Speech by Students - Example

Graduation Speech for Parents - Example

Graduation Speech by Teacher - Example

Graduation Speech by Principal- Example

Graduation Speech for 8th Grade - Example

Graduation Speech for Kids

Short Graduation Speech

Graduation Speech Sample

High School Graduation Speech

Graduation Speech Ideas - 2022 and Onwards

Here are some interesting and fun graduation speech ideas.

  • Talk about a current school event.
  • Try something new like poetry or metaphors to make your speech interesting.
  • Tell a story about your class, for example, ‘what was the driving force of the class of 2021?’
  • Use quotes from famous and classic books.
  • Use lyrics from the class anthem.
  • Be inspirational and share an inspirational story.
  • Share a humorous experience.
  • Convey a memorable message.
  • If appropriate, add a song with meaning.
  • Appreciate a fellow classmate or a teacher.
  • Connect your speech with your 1st day at school.
  • Significant events that took place in the school.
  • A professor that made you fall in love with a major subject.
  • The long time you spent in the school library and how it impacted your interactions with other students.
  • Tell me about who inspired you the most in your life.

Graduation Speech Tips for Different Academic Levels

Here are some helpful tips for writing graduation speeches for different academic levels and graduating classes.

How to Write an Elementary Graduation Speech

  • Keep the speech simple, short, and sweet.
  • Keep the tone lighthearted, and remember that kids have a shorter attention span. It means that your speech should be fun and make the kids happy.
  • Add examples from the short stories from the year.
  • Add humor to the speech and make the kids laugh.

If you are guiding a kid to write a speech, use these tips to guide him.

How to Write a Middle School Graduation Speech

  • Focus on the positive aspects and experiences that you had during the school year.
  • Do not make it long but focus on making your speech short and sweet.
  • Be inclusive and talk about things that you and your peers could relate to easily.

The speech does not need to be perfect, but it should convey the message clearly.

How to Write a High School Graduation Speech

  • Talk about the future and the opportunities and possibilities the class has in the future.
  • Thank your parents and teachers for the guidance and support. Things would not have been this smooth if not for their support.
  • Be nostalgic and recall class memories.
  • Use classic quotes and phrases to add depth to your speech.
  • Share the reason you think the class is unique and memorable.

These tips will help you write a great high school graduation speech.

As you take that first step forward, congratulations on your graduation, and we wish you the best of luck in whatever comes next. We hope this graduation speech guide has given you some pointers for what to say in your speech.

If you need further help, you can avail of our  legitimate essay writing service  and get your speech before the big day.

You've had a long road ahead of you these last few years; now is not the time to hold back. The  best essay writers  at  MyPerfectWords.com  help new graduates to make their day memorable by delivering quality speeches for every occasion.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. how do you begin a speech.

Here are some ways to begin your speech.

  • Statements and phrases
  • Creating a scenario

Besides, there are many other ways also. Be original and think of an interesting and novel way of beginning your speech.

2. How long is a graduation speech?

Generally, a graduation speech is 5 to 12 minutes long. These speeches should be short and sweet.

3. What is the purpose of a graduation speech?

A graduation speech is written to remember and celebrate past experiences and accomplishments and looking forward to future and new opportunities.

Barbara P (Literature, Marketing)

Dr. Barbara is a highly experienced writer and author who holds a Ph.D. degree in public health from an Ivy League school. She has worked in the medical field for many years, conducting extensive research on various health topics. Her writing has been featured in several top-tier publications.

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16 Best Graduation Speeches That Leave a Lasting Impression

By Kristi Kellogg and Noor Brara

Listen to words of wisdom from the best graduation speeches.

Some of the most impactful and inspiring sentiments are shared during graduation speeches delivered by the leaders we look up to. Graduation speeches from celebrities , entrepreneurs, authors and other influential thinkers are motivational, inspiring, thought-provoking and just might make you reach for the nearest tissue. After four years of hard work, stress, and exhausting self-discovery, lucky graduates are privy to a life-changing speech to top it all off.

Here, we rounded up up 16 of the best graduation speeches of all time, including words of wisdom from Natalie Portman, Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, and more.

1. Steve Jobs: Stanford, 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 is going to 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."

2. Michelle Obama: Tuskegee University, 2015

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

3. Natalie Portman: Harvard, 2015

"I just directed my first film. I was completely unprepared, but my own ignorance to my own limitations looked like confidence and got me into the director's chair. Once there, I had to figure it all out, and my belief that I could handle these things, contrary to all evidence of my ability to do so was half the battle. The other half was very hard work. The experience was the deepest and most meaningful one of my career."

4. Amy Poehler: Harvard University, 2011

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"What I have discovered is 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."

5. Meryl Streep: Barnard College, 2010

"This is your time and it feels normal to you but really there is no normal. There's only change, and resistance to it and then more change."

6. David Foster Wallace: Kenyon College, 2005

"Twenty years after my own graduation, I have come gradually to understand that the liberal arts cliché about teaching you how to think is actually shorthand for a much deeper, more serious idea: learning how to think really means learning how to exercise some control over how and what you think. It means being conscious and aware enough to choose what you pay attention to and to choose how you construct meaning from experience. Because if you cannot exercise this kind of choice in adult life, you will be totally hosed. Think of the old cliché about quote the mind being an excellent servant but a terrible master."

7. Barack Obama: Howard University, 2016

"You have to go through life with more than just passion for change; you need a strategy. I’ll repeat that. I want you to have passion, but you have to have a strategy. Not just awareness, but action. Not just hashtags, but votes."

8. Kerry Washington: George Washington University, 2013

"You and you alone are the only person who can live the life that can write the story that you were meant to tell."

9. Conan O'Brien: Dartmouth College, 2011

"There are few things more liberating in this life than having your worst fear realized. Today I tell you that whether you fear it or not, disappointment will come. The beauty is that through disappointment you can gain clarity, and with clarity comes conviction and true originality … Work hard, be kind, and amazing things will happen."

10. J.K. Rowling: Harvard, 2008

"I stopped pretending to be anything than what I was. My greatest fear had been realized. I had an old typewriter and a big idea. Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life."

11. Oprah Winfrey: Harvard University, 2013

"Learn from every mistake because every experience, encounter, and particularly your mistakes are there to teach you and force you into being more who you are. And then figure out what is the next right move. And the key to life is to develop an internal moral, emotional G.P.S. that can tell you which way to go."

12. Joss Whedon: Wesleyan University, 2013

"You have, which is a rare thing, that ability and the responsibility to listen to the dissent in yourself, to at least give it the floor, because it is the key—not only to consciousness–but to real growth. To accept duality is to earn identity. And identity is something that you are constantly earning. It is not just who you are. It is a process that you must be active in. It's not just parroting your parents or the thoughts of your learned teachers. It is now more than ever about understanding yourself so you can become yourself."

13. George Saunders: Syracuse University, 2013

"Do all the other things, the ambitious things … Travel, get rich, get famous, innovate, lead, fall in love, make and lose fortunes, swim naked in wild jungle rivers (after first having it tested for monkey poop)—but as you do, to the extent that you can, err in the direction of kindness."

14. Nora Ephron: Wellesley College, 1996

"Be the heroine of your life, not the victim."

15. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Wellesley College, 2015

"As you graduate, as you deal with your excitement and your doubts today, I urge you to try and create the world you want to live in. Minister to the world in a way that can change it. Minister radically in a real, active, practical, get your hands dirty way."

16. Admiral William H. McRaven: University of Texas at Austin, 2014

"If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter. If you can't do the little things right, you will never do the big things right."

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Great Tips on Writing an Effective Welcome Speech for Graduation

As the valedictorian of your class you will be expected to write a welcome speech for your graduation ceremony. Welcome speeches are very easy to draft once you decide how you want it to sound and what message you want to give out to your audience.

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Welcome Speeches for Graduation

If you are not a born orator who has a way with words then making a speech may be a cause of concern for you. It will therefore be important for you to learn how to write welcome speeches, if you have been given the responsibility of making the welcome speech at your graduation. In this article, we give you tips on how to write these speeches and give you a sample for the same. This could be a guide for you when you are writing a speech for your graduation ceremony.

How to Write a Welcome Speech for Your Graduation

Before writing a welcome speech for your graduation ceremony, it is important to know what the important things that need to be included in these welcome speeches are. Like introduction speeches, they need to serve the basic purpose of introducing a person and the event. Here are some tips that will help you in coming up with welcome speech ideas and also help you learn how to write them.

  • Any welcome speech should start by thanking everyone attending the graduation ceremony. Welcome all the special guests who have been invited to the graduation ceremony.
  • While writing these speeches for your graduation, you will need to thank all those people who have helped your batch in the smallest of manners. To make these speeches interesting, it is important to add anecdotes that are funny and nostalgic.
  • Decide what you would want your speech to be like; would you want it to be humorous, entertaining, inspiring, or informative. While writing your welcome speech, this is something that you need to keep in mind.
  • While deciding on the constituent elements that make up your welcome speech, try to figure out what is the special message that you want people to carry back home. This is an important inclusion in any welcome speech. You want at least something of what you say to be inspirational.
  • Pay attention to your grammar and structure the speech well. This is very important. Do not use words or references that will leave your audience confounded in any manner.
  • Since the audience is going to primarily comprise your classmates, you could add a few personal references but try and keep these to a minimum.
  • While ending your welcome speech, ensure that you end with something that creates an impact. Do not have an ending that leaves your audience confused about whether or not there is something more to come.
  • Before you give the welcome speech, it may be a good idea to check with a few people about whether the speech is appropriate so that you do not end up offending any member of the audience.
  • If you are nervous, it may be a good idea to practice your welcome speech in front of a few people or in front of the mirror.
  • End the speech by thanking all those people who have helped organize the event and then end by wishing all graduates good wishes for the future.

There are many websites out there which offer you templates to help draft these oratory pieces for your graduation. While these templates are tempting to use, a welcome speech should be drafted from a more personal space. Resist the use of templates to draft a speech for your high school graduation.

Sample Welcome Speech

Given below is a sample of a welcome speech that could work as inspiration for you if you are drafting welcome speeches. Probably the most popular and oft repeated rendition of a welcome speech or graduation speech and one of the most famous speeches of recent time is the column Wear Sunscreen written by columnist Mary Schmich and published in the Chicago Tribune on 1st June, 1997.

This is just a sample of a welcome speech that can be given on the occasion of your graduation. Welcome speeches need to be personal and should be drafted in a manner that helps the audience relate to you. This is a day that many of you will look back at with extreme fondness and therefore, make it as memorable as possible.

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This writer analyzed 100 graduation speeches — here are the 4 tips they all share

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example of a graduation welcome speech

Steve Jobs has been credited over the years with popularizing any number of other people’s inventions, from the personal computer to the tablet to the mobile phone. But none of these gifts may be as enduring as one of his rarely credited contributions to contemporary life — popularizing the viral commencement address.

On June 12, 2005, Jobs stood before the graduating class of Stanford University and reminded them that he had never graduated from college. “Truth be told, this is the closest I’ve ever gotten to a college graduation.” He then told three stories about his life. “That’s it. No big deal. Just three stories.”

That speech , coinciding as it did with the rise of internet virality (the first TED Talk would be posted on TED.com exactly 12 months later; the iPhone was introduced exactly 12 months after that), launched a global obsession with pithy, inspirational talks. Jobs’s speech has since been viewed more than 40 million times on YouTube.

Graduation speeches, long viewed as the burdensome interruption before diplomas were granted and mortar boards were tossed, have since become big business. Kurt Vonnegut, Ann Patchett, Carl Hiaasen, J.K. Rowling, Mary Karr, David Foster Wallace and many others have all had their commencement speeches published as books.

I’ve been fortunate to give a handful of commencement addresses over the years, and I confess to a fascination with the genre. The internet has been a boon this hobby. There are thousands of commencement speeches on the web. Can we learn anything from their messages?

I’ve spent the last few years gathering and coding hundreds of life stories, looking for patterns and takeaways that could help all of us live with more meaning, purpose and joy. I decided to put some of my coding tools to work, analyzing 100 of the most popular recent commencement speeches.

Here are the four tips they all contain:

1. Dream big

“I think it is often easier to make progress on mega-ambitious dreams. I know that sounds completely nuts. But, since no one else is crazy enough to do it, you have little competition. There are so few people this crazy that I feel like I know them all by first name. They all travel as if they are pack dogs and stick to each other like glue. The best people want to work the big challenges.” — Larry Page at University of Michigan , 2009

“We don’t beat the reaper by living longer. We beat the reaper by living well and living fully. For the reaper is always going to come for all of us. The question is: What do we do between the time we are born, and the time he shows up? Because when he shows up, it’s too late to do all the things that you’re always gonna, kinda get around to.” — Randy Pausch at Carnegie Mellon University , 2009

“Graduates, we need you. We need you to run companies and make decisions about who has access to capital. We need you to serve at the highest levels of government and determine our country’s standing in the world. We need you to work in our hospitals and in our courtrooms and in our schools. We need you to shape the future of technology. We need you because your perspective — the sum total of your intellect and your lived experience — will make our country stronger.” — Kamala Harris at Tennessee State University , 2022

2. Work hard

“Your work is going to 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.” — Steve Jobs at Stanford University , 2005

“I just directed my first film. I was completely unprepared, but my own ignorance to my own limitations looked like confidence and got me into the director’s chair. Once there, I had to figure it all out, and my belief that I could handle these things, contrary to all evidence of my ability to do so was half the battle. The other half was very hard work. The experience was the deepest and most meaningful one of my career.” — Natalie Portman at Harvard University , 2015

“When you’re doing the work you’re meant to do, it feels right and every day is a bonus, regardless of what you’re getting paid … But make it your life’s work to remake the world because there is nothing more beautiful or more worthwhile than working to leave something better for humanity.” — Oprah Winfrey at Stanford University , 2008

3. Make mistakes

”Fail big. That’s right. Fail big … It’s a new world out there, and it’s a mean world out there, and you only live once. So do what you feel passionate about. Take chances, professionally. Don’t be afraid to fail. There’s an old IQ test with nine dots, and you had to draw five lines with a pencil within these nine dots without lifting the pencil, and the only way to do it was to go outside the box. So don’t be afraid to go outside the box.” — Denzel Washington at University of Pennsylvania , 2011

“The world doesn’t care how many times you fall down, as long as it’s one fewer than the number of times you get back up.” — Aaron Sorkin at Syracuse University , 2013

“My experience has been that my mistakes led to the best thing in my life. Being embarrassed when you mess up is part of the human experience of getting back up dusting yourself off and seeing who still wants to hang out with you afterward and laugh about it. That’s a gift. The times I was told no or wasn’t included wasn’t chosen, didn’t win, didn’t make the cut, looking back it really feels like those moments we’re as important if not more crucial than the moments I was told yes.” — Taylor Swift at NYU , 2022

“Work hard, be kind, and amazing things will happen.” — Conan O’Brien at Dartmouth College , 2011

“Empathy and kindness are the true signs of emotional intelligence.” — Will Ferrell at the University of Southern California , 2017

“So here’s something I know to be true, although it’s a little corny, and I don’t quite know what to do with it: What I regret most in my life are failures of kindness. Those moments when another human being was there, in front of me, suffering, and I responded … sensibly. Reservedly. Mildly. Or, to look at it from the other end of the telescope: Who, in your life, do you remember most fondly, with the most undeniable feelings of warmth? Those who were kindest to you, I bet. It’s a little facile, maybe, and certainly hard to implement, but I’d say, as a goal in life, you could do worse than: Try to be kinder.” — George Saunders at Syracuse University , 2013

So what can we learn from these themes?

Every era in American life has its own standards of what it means to be a success. Shortly after America’s founding, success was all about character. Led by Benjamin Franklin, Americans embraced virtue, industry, and frugality. In the twentieth century, success was all about personality. Led by Dale Carnegie, Americans embraced salesmanship, reinvention and charisma. Today, led by Steve Jobs, Americans are embracing meaning, authenticity and bliss. Or, as Kermit the Frog put it in a 1996 commencement speech at Southampton College , “May success and a smile always be yours … even when you’re knee-deep in the sticky muck of life.”

Dream, work, fail and smile are as good a foursome of American identity today as I know. And if those ideas don’t inspire you, you can always embrace the far more practical advice erroneously attributed to Kurt Vonnegut in a commencement speech that he never gave at MIT, but was instead delivered by Chicago Tribune columnist Mary Schmich in an imaginary speech to graduates she published in an old-fashioned newspaper, “Ladies and gentlemen of the class of ’97: Wear sunscreen.”

This post was adapted from one published on his newsletter The Nonlinear Life; go here to subscribe.

Watch his TEDxIEMadrid Talk now:

About the author

Bruce Feiler is the author of seven New York Times bestsellers, including The Secrets of Happy Families and Council of Dads, both of which became the subject of TED Talks. His latest book, Life Is in the Transitions: Mastering Change at Any Age, from which this post and TEDx Talk are adapted, describes his journey across America, collecting hundreds of life stories, exploring how we can navigate life’s growing number of transitions with more meaning, purpose and joy. To learn more, visit brucefeiler.com, follow him on Twitter (@brucefeiler), or sign up for his newsletter The Nonlinear Life. 

  • bruce feiler
  • communication
  • inspiration
  • society and culture
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How to Write a Graduation Speech (Graduation Speech Examples)

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Have you been asked to deliver a commencement speech? Or have you worked your butt off to become valedictorian or salutatorian, and now you have to deliver a graduation speech? In this post, we will cover one of the more challenging types of presentation creation: How to Write a Graduation Speech . (By the way, I have also included a few popular graduation speech examples as a guide for you.)

This post is a continuation of our How to Create a Presentation series. We are going to break this post down into three parts, though. We will show you how to create a commencement speech in this post. Next week, I’ll show you how to write a valedictorian speech and how to deliver a salutatorian speech. Each of these graduation speeches has a slightly different purpose, but all of them need to be inspirational and funny.

How to Write a Commencement Speech

The commencement speech is often the keynote speech of the graduation ceremony. This presentation should be uplifting and entertaining, but this graduation speech should also teach a life lesson to the graduating students. If you do a search on YouTube of the best graduation speeches, many of these speakers will be famous comedians. When a comedian delivers a commencement speech, and the speech is posted on YouTube, it will always get a ton of views. The humor alone will make people want to watch the video. Three of the most popular of these speeches are by Conan O’Brien, Will Ferrell, and Ellen DeGeneres. The interesting thing about the speeches from these famous comedians is that, yes, they are funny, but the inspiration comes from what they learned from their failures.

“There is no such thing as failure. Failure is just life life trying to push you in another direction.” Oprah Winfrey, Harvard University Commencement Speech

Conan’s commencement speech to Dartmouth occurred a short time after he was fired from NBC. The first 10 minutes is basically just a monologue like he would deliver on his TV show. However, the final 15 minutes is an inspirational tale of how he turned things around after the biggest failure of his life. When Ellen spoke at Tulane, she talked about how she recovered after her popular sit-com was canceled. The trend in great commencement speeches is that the speakers want to prepare the graduates for setbacks. Whatever goals that they have will likely change.

A Good Structure When You Write a Commencement Address

Thank the crowd.

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Start with Something Funny

How Humor helps your speech

Be Inspirational

The inspirational part of your commencement speech will come from the theme of the graduation speech . (For Sample Graduation Speech Themes , see the section below.) The easiest way to develop a theme is to look for an inspirational famous quote about success. You can do this by just going to Google and type in “success quotes”. Once you come up with a great quote, you can either paraphrase the quote and make it your own or quote the original speaker.

Inspire others with your speech

Tell Stories from Your Own Experience Related to Your Quote (Theme).

This the most important part of how to write a graduation speech. The stories and examples are what the audience will remember. These stories add emotion and inspiration to your graduation speech. They also help you build rapport with the audience. Finally, these stories make your delivery much easier. You don’t have to memorize a lot of material. Instead, just play the video in your head of what happened and describe the incident to the graduates.

For a great example of this, watch the YouTube video on Stanford University’s channel where Steve Jobs gives the commencement speech. I love this speech, because Jobs skips the introduction and the funny stuff and starts his speech with the following. “I’m going to tell you three stories.” It’s simple, and the crowd loves him.

End with an Inspirational Call to Action.

How to end a graduation speech

So as you go on to the next stage in your life and you experience failure… because you will experience failure, use that as a stepping stone to your next 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!”

Use this outline to create a simple 20 to 30 minute speech. (The shorter the better… No one gets a diploma until you finish.)

Sample Graduation Speech Themes

Inspiration comes from failure

If you are having trouble coming up with a theme for your graduation speech, here are a few Sample Commencement Speech Themes. As you read through them, think about which them or quote has been most applicable in your career? Once you choose a graduation speech them, use the outline above to create your speech.

  • Hard Work Leads to Success
“I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.” — Coleman Cox
  • Create Your Own Path.
“It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.” — Herman Melville
  • Make Things Happen.
“Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.” — Henry David Thoreau
  • Don’t Settle for Average. Strive for Greatness.
“Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” –John D. Rockefeller
  • Don’t Wait for the Perfect Opportunity. Look for a Way to Create Your Own Opportunity.
“Opportunities don’t happen. You create them.” — Chris Grosser/blockquote> The Road Ahead is Hard, But It Leads to Success. “Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Don’t wish it were easier; wish you were better.” — Jim Rohn
  • Focus on Your Dream.
“The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.” — Bruce Lee
  • Learn from Every Mistake to Move Toward Success.
“Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.” — Conrad Hilton
  • When Your Why is Big Enough, Your How Will Appear.
“If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.” — Jim Rohn
  • Happiness is the Key to Success.
“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” — Albert Schweitzer

Use the Speech Creator as a Guide to How to Create a Graduation Speech

Once you have chosen a them, and you have a few stories to inspire your audience, use our Online Speech Writer to help you organize your thoughts. (It’s free.)

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40+ Graduation Speech Ideas and Tips

Written by  Shutterfly Community Last Updated: Aug 14, 2020

Graduations and commencements ceremonies mark major transitional moments in your life. They celebrate all the hard work you put into your education and achievements, and look forward to the future. Through the years of school, you’ve made new friends, developed new skills, and discovered new things about yourself. And it can be extremely difficult to summarize these experiences into a single graduation speech. How do you explain how much the experience meant to you? How do you properly send off all your incredible peers? Don’t worry– we’re here to help you craft that perfect graduation speech. When you’re ready to put pen the paper, look to our graduation speech ideas below.

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The process on writing a graduation speech, graduation speech themes, commencement speech ideas and tips.

Even if you love to write, or have a lot you want to say–writer’s block is a common obstacle when it comes to speech writing. The best way to beat it? Just start writing. Know that your first draft (or the ten or twenty after that) doesn’t have to be perfect, or even very good. Just start writing all your thoughts down and eventually your speech will start to take shape. For specific guidance on speech writing, look to the steps below.

male valedictorian speaking at graduation

How To Start A Graduation Speech

Ready to start writing? Do your best to follow the guidelines below:

  • Find all the inspiration you can. Search for and save your favorite graduation speeches, look for the perfect quotes , and try to determine the key themes to what inspires you.
  • Pick a theme. Once you’ve found all your inspiration sources and come up with a general idea of what you want to talk about, make a list of key themes. Circle the one most important to you.
  • Write down your favorite quotes and messages, and start planning where in your speech you want them to appear.
  • Start off by introducing yourself. Not sure what to say? Use the graduation speech introduction examples below.

Graduation Speech Introductions Examples

  • “Thank you [person who introduced you]. And thank you to the students, teachers, parents, and staff who made these four years everything that they were.”
  • “It’s my honor today to deliver the commencement address for this incredible student body.”
  • “It is my pleasure to welcome students, families, and faculty to graduation day at [school’s name]. Every one of you have made an impact on the graduates who sit here today.”
  • “I stand here before you, looking back on four years of legacy we’ve all made together.”

How To Write A Graduation Speech

Once you’ve reached the body of your speech, consider keeping the tips below in mind:

  • Take time to write out things you want to cover. Don’t edit yet, just write. Try to stay as undistracted as possible while doing this step.
  • Take stock of your key messages and favorite phrases. Save these. Consider highlighting them to keep track.
  • When in doubt, tell a story. Talk about your personal experiences and relate them to the whole class.
  • Check out our graduation messages and wishes for special messages you might want to include.
  • Once you’ve exhausted everything you want to say, take a break. Don’t edit until at least 24 hours later.
  • Cut down everything that you don’t absolutely love. As painful as it might be to cut down your work, it’ll pay off in the long run.
  • Connect the dots, but stay concise and to the point. Keep it simple.
  • Repetition of key points can help your peers remember more of your speech.

How To End A Graduation Speech

Once you’re ready to end your speech, use these guidelines to find a memorable ending.

  • End with something memorable that ties it all together. This may be a quotes, repetition of your central message, or just a fun send off.
  • Start to edit. Cut it down. Then cut it down again.
  • If appropriate, consider closing with one of these graduation bible verses .
  • Have someone edit your speech for you. A fresh pair of eyes makes a world of difference when it comes to editing.
  • Practice, practice, practice. Even if you have great presentation skills, only practice makes perfect!

Grad makes a speech in her graduation ceremony.

Looking for the perfect graduation speech theme to tie it all together? Then check out our favorite funny, creative, and general themes for graduation speeches below:

Funny Graduation Speech Ideas

  • Touch on Current (School) Events: A lot can happen in four years. Take the opportunity to reflect on past school happenings like beating your rival school, an accidental mishap in one of the science labs, or a senior prank. The students will surely love it.
  • Turn Humility to Wisdom: Mistakes turn into lessons learned, and humility can help you turn funny and embarrassing stories into wisdom for the ages. Share them with your peers.
  • Insta-Worthy: Find inspiration for our funny graduation captions to use for your graduation speech.
  • Make it a Classic: Use the classic, hilarious quotes from our graduation quotes and sayings resource to keep your speech lighthearted and fun.

Creative Graduation Speech Ideas

  • Step Out of Tradition: Step away from the traditional grad speech format. Try something like spoken word poetry, or using unique patterns and metaphors in your speech.
  • Tell a Unique Story: We’re always ready to listen to new and interesting stories. What makes your experience so unique? What lesson has it taught you?
  • Children’s Book Inspired: Use the classic children’s book quotes we’ve found for you to inspire a nostalgia filled grad speech.
  • A Class Anthem: Use lyrics from a special graduation song to inspire a full speech, and connect back to the song for a theme your peers will love.

Class President Graduation Speech Ideas

  • Never Give Up: Inspire your class to always keep striving for their goals by utilizing our words of encouragement .
  • A Thankful Class: Take the chance of delivering the graduation speech to thank everyone who helped make it happen. Feel free to browse our gratitude quotes and appreciation quotes for help.
  • Inspire Them Until the End: Center your commencement speech around a key inspirational idea or message. Visit our resource on inspirational quotes about life for help finding one.

Graduate Gives Speech In Auditorium

Want a few final tips and tricks for making your graduation speech extra special? We’ve got you covered. Look to our advice below:

High School Graduation Speech Ideas

  • Look to the future. Talk about the multitude of opportunities and possibilities your class has.
  • Thank your teachers and parents. You can never thank the adults in your life enough for supporting and helping you all these years.
  • Recall class memories. Nostalgia is a powerful tool that when used well can make a speech more memorable.
  • Try not to rely on pop culture references. Pop culture fads come and go, and using them in your speech might mean it won’t age very well.
  • Ask yourself: what makes this class unique? If you have an answer, feel free to share it.
  • Is there anything you want to say but can’t fit it into your speech? If so, you may know exactly what to write in your yearbook for friends and classmates.

8th Grade Graduation Speech Ideas

  • Focus on the positive. Even if not everything was always perfect in your school experience, it’s important to focus on the positive during a graduation speech.
  • Keep it short and sweet. Long speeches typically mean not everyone will be able to pay attention. Keep it short and to the point.
  • Remember to be inclusive. Talk about things that all of your peers can relate to, not just individual groups.

Elementary Graduation Speech Ideas

  • Keep it short and simple.
  • Use a lighthearted tone- Don’t try to make it too sentimental. Keeping the kids happy means the ceremony will go smoother.
  • Give examples and short stories from the year. Elementary students usually connect to stories well and this will help keep their attention.
  • Remember kids love to laugh. A joke here and there might be the perfect touch.
  • If you’re helping a student write a speech, walk them through it. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but their parents are sure to love it.

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Resources Related to Graduation Speech Ideas

If you liked this resource on graduation speech ideas and you’re looking for similar content, make sure to check out our related graduation resources.

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Updates from the vc’s office about the work and activities of the president and vice-chancellor of the university of surrey., speech — graduation welcome address, july 2021.

Firstly, thank you to the Cathedral team for allowing us to hold today’s ceremony in this magnificent setting.

Your Royal Highness and Chancellor , members of the University Council, University staff, distinguished guests, our graduands, and ladies and gentlemen: Good afternoon!

As President and Vice-Chancellor, I am delighted to extend a warm welcome to you all, at this wonderful milestone in Surrey’s calendar, as we celebrate the achievements of our students. I am so pleased that we can gather today in person – something we do not take for granted anymore. This is an unusual ceremony in an extraordinary time, which reminds us of the simple joy of being together.

example of a graduation welcome speech

To all graduands, I offer my warmest congratulations on your academic successes – the culmination of many years of dedication and hard work. But, of course, this is only part of the story. Your graduating class has endured and overcome exceptional uncertainty and challenges.

Education is about growth, not just about grades.  You have adapted and grown in this difficult time, which has undoubtedly enriched you and added to your academic success. While your university experience is not quite what you expected, it should still be cherished. All the triumphs and setbacks you and your fellow students shared together have given you a remarkable bond and made your path unique.

example of a graduation welcome speech

You, your family and friends, and all of us, should be proud of your achievement, as you are graduating from one of the best universities in the UK, renowned for our excellent teaching, research and innovation. Your Surrey qualification tells the world that you are ambitious, passionate and tenacious. These are excellent qualities, equipping you to make a difference to changing lives and shaping society for the better.

example of a graduation welcome speech

Yours is the first generation in many decades that can take such individual and collective pride in your achievements in the face of adversity. In a fast-changing world, be confident, expect the unexpected, embrace new challenges and opportunities. A Surrey education certifies that you are ready for anything.

example of a graduation welcome speech

Graduands, remember that the University of Surrey is forever your intellectual home. As you graduate and start out in your career, we hope you will stay in touch with the University and one another on our new SurreyConnects platform.  It is an online community just for you – where you can help by mentoring current students, be mentored by more experienced alumni, and network with our global Surrey community of over 120K alumni. 

example of a graduation welcome speech

Once again, my heartfelt congratulations to you and your families, and my very best wishes for your personal and professional successes. I know you will make your alma mater proud.

example of a graduation welcome speech

Editor’s note: This speech was delivered in July 2021, when our graduation ceremonies looked a little different to the norm due to UK government guidance and restrictions for Covid-19.

If you are preparing to experience your own Surrey graduation then please visit our graduation webpages to discover what to expect from your big celebration and to book your tickets when they become available.

Speech — RAEng and CESAER Joint Conference: ‘Key Technologies — Shaping the Future,’ Opening Remarks, 1 July 2021

Speech – tree-planting to celebrate hrh the duke of kent’s 45th anniversary as chancellor.

example of a graduation welcome speech

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Speechwriters.com

Graduation Speech Examples

Click here to view our wide range of Graduation Speeches   –  downloadable instantly

graduation speech examples

Our graduation speech examples are a clear indication that we have words for every occasion. Of course these are only individual samples of what you might say whereas when you order from us your will receive at least three different speeches in every set we send. This means that you can use one speech individually or selected passages from the set. Whether you are graduating yourself or addressing graduates our speeches say all that needs to be said on the day. Most sets also have the added bonus of optional poems that will help make your speech even more memorable. So please read our graduation speech examples and see how we can help you make a really impressive speech on a very special day. He is a great example graduation speech from Harvard. It’s one of our favorites.

Please choose a sample speech below!  

Graduation speech by college head, teacher or guest speaker.

This sample graduation speech speaks of the importance of the day and expresses hopes for the future. Such a speech may be given by a Grauate or Student.

Has it ever occurred to you that Graduation day is a bit like looking into a kaleidoscope? It’s full of pictures jumbled together all of which together make up your life. There are the images of your growing years with your family and friends. Then there are the pictures of your student activities, the classmates you met and, finally, the wonderful excitement of today your graduation day. The pictures of your future are very vague because, of course, none of us knows what the future holds.

Today we have the good feel factor that comes from knowing that we have done our best. We have achieved and qualified. We didn’t do it alone of course. All along the way we had the wonderful support of our families and the encouragement and help of our tutors. It’s likely that some of us took this for granted as only our due. Today, though, as mature and newly qualified adults, we recognise that without that back-up we could not have succeeded. So today I know my fellow students would like to join me in saying how much we appreciate all those who have helped make this day possible.

Included in that are our fellow students. They pored over the textbooks with us, drank innumerable cups of coffee with us and exchanged views with us. That is probably what has given us the most important education of all. After all when we enter the working world we will be working with all sorts of people from varying backgrounds and our experience here will tell us this is a good thing, that the world is full of wonderful people with different ideas and talents.

From now on we will be taking our talents and beliefs with us wherever we go .If we have learned anything it is that we have to be adaptable. ready to take chances and go different routes. The day of a job for life is almost gone. These days we have to be ready to update our knowledge, add to our skills and be ready to cope with change.

That’s the challenge before us and it is one that we will all meet in our different ways. Some of us will want to stay at home, others to travel the four corners of the earth. Some will like to work alone while others will want to work in a partnership. Whatever we do our wherever we go we won’t forget today. Hopefully in years to come we will meet up with our friends again at a college re-union. That is, of course something we have to organise so I am sure you will understand that we will have to go out on the town tonight to make our plans.

Finally, I would like to wish my fellow graduates, fellow graduates now that has a nice ring to it doesn’t it? I would like to wish them health and happiness in the future and the satisfaction of knowing that whatever they do they will do it well. After all they are graduates of (Name of college) and that is just another name for the college of excellence.

Today we are throwing our caps in the air Getting ready to go different ways To tackle the world head on my friends And to start on the very first phase Of adult life with all it implies No more running home to mum But making her proud of the lives we lead And showing our dads we’re not dumb. So today as we sit in this great big hall We’d like to give our thanks to you all For being there when we needed you Now it’s our turn to show what we do I don’t know how or why or when But goodbye my friends until we meet again

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Graduation Speech by a Graduate or Valedictorian

This sample graduation speech speaks of the importance of the day and expresses hopes for the future. Such a speech may be given by a Dean or teacher or indeed a visiting speaker.

Graduate Speech Sample

I think Graduation day is a bit like walking a gangplank. You are leaving behind the safety and security of college for the uncertainty and adventure of the rest of your life. Some of you will return to terra firma and resume your studies. The rest of you will pause on that gangplank. Poised over the water below you have no idea what the future will hold, what people you will meet and what will happen to your career.

That is not to say that you do not have your own ideas about that career. You have worked hard while at college and have graduated so you have more than a basic understanding of your subject. You may know exactly what you want to do and, of course, you may realize your dreams. On the other hand life could throw up some surprises and you could find yourself doing something diametrically opposed to what you had planned. So your degree is something like having the security of a lifebelt. It will keep you afloat until you find your own particular niche. In a rapidly changing world you will have to be able to adapt to changing times. You may have to add to your existing qualification or find a new career altogether.

The ship you board may be a luxurious liner or a working vessel. It may bring you around the coast or across the world. You may face fierce storms or have plain sailing and a following wind. You may choose your particular destination or you may just go where the tide brings you. On that ship called life you will find new friends. Some will share your hopes. Others may have their own agenda. Each one will influence you in a different way.

Today I say to you try to be choosy about those friends. It is tempting to befriend those who you feel will help you in your career and of course there is no harm in that. It is good to be willing to keep learning from those who have gone ahead of you. Don’t, however, close your mind to what others may bring to your life to enrich it. That penniless loafer may seem like a good for nothing but be, in reality, a brilliant musician. The plodder may not seem to have much to offer but perhaps he or she will get to the shore before you do. So don’t judge others harshly but do try to choose wisely people who will be good friends to you over the years. Life can be hard and we all need good friends.

Speaking of friends you are leaving some behind today. Over the past few years they have shared your workload, your ambitions and your coffee breaks not to mention your socialising. It is hard to part with them and whatever about the global village the world can be a big place and it’s easy to lose touch. That is why I am suggesting to you that you make concrete arrangements to stay in touch by email or phone. Whatever about the new friends you make there is something special about those who shared your college life and those long talks deep into the night.

Some of you will rush aboard your ship. Others may be more hesitant. Some of you will have plenty of baggage to bring, others will travel lightly. One thing you will all bring is your memories of your growing years and of your families. Today, those who have encouraged you all those years are happy to see you graduate. I know you will agree with me that they are owed a huge dept of gratitude for their support and love. Obviously, judging by your results, you studied hard but you also had help from your tutors and professors. It’s worth mentioning too that a college like this is made up of many different components and many different people. Think, for instance, of the library staff, the canteen staff and those who keep the grounds in such immaculate order. There were many people involved in your graduation and it will be a sign of your maturity that you thank them for their efforts on your behalf. Gratitude to and graciousness towards others will always stand to you in life. We always remember the person who speaks kindly of us so always remember to speak kindly of others too.

Tonight you will be celebrating and quite rightly so. You deserve to have a night on the town. Whether or not your tutors are also celebrating I leave open to you to guess. When tomorrow comes, but obviously not too early in the morning, you can pack for that all important journey. Bring with you the knowledge you have but bring also an open mind. It’s great to have a route planned but be willing to travel the bye ways and to see what they have to offer too. Make a decision that you are going to make a difference in the world, even if it is in one small corner of it. Work hard but do get your priorities right. Always have time for your families and friends. Take time to enjoy the beauties of nature and to care for them because without water and air our planet, and you, cannot survive.

Finally, enjoy the trip. Go on your journey armed with enthusiasm and curiosity. Open your hearts to your fellow passengers and they will surely open theirs to you. I wish you well on your journey and as they say when they launch a ship, “May God bless all who sail in her.”

Here’s to you all as you graduate You’ve studied and have your degrees The world is your oyster and soon you will work At home or perhaps overseas. You’re saying goodbye to tutors and friends And tonight you will party in style And drink champagne and eat cavier And sing and dance for a while. May your ship sail smoothly over the blue And may faraway places they welcome you May the sun shine on you as you go on your way And so as you leave here Bon Voyage I say May your lives be filled with loving and laughter And may you find happiness in your ever after.

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Earning a role as a speaker at a graduation ceremony is an honor, whether you're the principal, a faculty member, a student or the official commencement speaker. The commencement ceremony is one that graduates and their families will remember, so you want your speech to be inspirational and memorable. You should start your speech by extending a welcome, which you can do in several ways.

Inclusive Welcome

Although the focus of the graduation ceremony is, of course, on the students who are graduating, you can extend a welcome to everyone in attendance, from the graduates and faculty members to other students to family and friends in the audience. Kick off your speech by addressing each of these groups by name and briefly discussing the significance of the event. This welcome idea brings all of the groups in attendance together in celebration of the graduation.

Support Network Welcome

Everyone in attendance knows that the graduates are the focus of the commencement ceremony. What they might forget, however, is the support that family and friends have provided to the graduates to help them earn their diplomas or degrees. Take time in your opening remarks to welcome, in particular, the supportive family and friends of the graduates who played an integral role in shaping the graduates' success. Note the many ways they have offered their support, such as financially or by helping students with class assignments.

Graduate-Focused Welcome

If you're a student speaking at the graduation, you have enough knowledge of your fellow graduates to focus your welcoming remarks on them. Use inclusive first-person language to address your fellow graduates and reflect on how far you have come together since you started school. Reflect on shared experiences that you had. Though you do not directly address the assembled guests in these welcoming comments, they will enjoy hearing about the growth you have experienced as students.

Anecdotal Welcome

An anecdotal welcome works well for a small graduation ceremony in which you can find a common thread among students, faculty and audience members. If you are closely connected to the graduates, you can tell a story about their time as students, their achievements or the strides they have made since enrolling. Your speech can be anything from humorous to sentimental and should be able to engage the audience as well as the graduates.

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Barbie Carpenter worked as a technical writer and editor in the defense industry for six years. She also served as a newspaper feature page editor and nationally syndicated columnist for the Hearst Corp. Carpenter holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from the University of Florida and a graduate certificate in professional writing from the University of Central Florida.

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A Sample High School Graduation Speech

Sami sent in this sample high school graduation speech from the United States, a student who graduated in 2014 and submitted her speech to inspire and help others.

Sample Graduation Speech Head

  • Sami's Sample Speech
  • Audio Example of Sami's Speech
  • Analysis and Tips Based on Sami's Speech
  • Links to More Tips for a Graduation Speech

Being invited to make a speech when graduating from high school is an honor and Sami's speech, in turn, honors all those who helped her throughout her high school journey. Making good use of a well placed quote, this is a great speech that I hope will help you to confidently craft your own.

If YOU have a speech on any subject that you would like to share with visitors to best-speech-topics.com, then please complete this form .

Thank you, Sami, for sharing your speech with us.

  • Sample High School Graduation Speech

Welcome friends, family, and teachers that helped me get to where I am today. It is an honor to be standing before you on such a memorable occasion.

I want to start out by saying thank you to all my friends, family, and most of all, my Savior who is Jesus Christ for helping me every step of the way.

sample high school graduation speech

It has been an amazing journey and one my fellow Class of 2014 members will most likely never forget.

Four years ago, the Class of 2014 was just walking through the doors of Landrum High School and we have had many memories over the course of our high school journey. We all had one goal in mind and that was to make our mark on the school that we attended and make our mark on the world once we graduate. We all have different career choices but we're all bound by the same common cause and that is to GRADUATE!

We are your Class of 2014 not just because we scooted our way past every year but because we put in the hard work and the effort to get to where we are today and we could not have done that without the friends, family and teachers constantly encouraging us to keep up the good work.

It's not all about if you look good, or fit in at your school, it's about the legacy that you will leave once you graduate.

Dr. Seuss once said, "You're off to great places, TODAY is your DAY, Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way!"

I pray that the Class of 2014 will walk out of here today feeling proud of all they have accomplished over these last four years. And always remember, it's not about the friends that you make while you're in school, it's the memories that you leave behind that really count.

Listen to this speech

End of Sample High School Graduation Speech

Analysis and tips.

graduation rocks

Based on the sample high school graduation speech, here are some key takeaways for preparing your speech:

  • Begin with a Warm Welcome: Start your speech by acknowledging and thanking everyone in attendance including friends, family, and teachers. This sets a friendly and respectful tone.
  • Express Gratitude: Show appreciation for those who helped you get to this point in your life, including specific groups or individuals. The speaker thanked Jesus Christ, family, and friends, illustrating their personal values and community support.
  • Reflect on the Journey: Recall your shared experiences during the high school years. The speaker took their audience back to their first day of high school and highlighted the shared goal of making a mark on the school and the world.
  • Celebrate Collective Achievement: Highlight the achievements of the class as a whole, emphasizing the hard work and effort it took to get to graduation. The speaker not only celebrated the fact that they graduated, but also the journey that got them there.
  • Encourage Individuality: Stress the importance of being yourself and making your own mark. The speaker suggests that it's not about looking good or fitting in, but about the legacy you leave behind.
  • Use Inspirational Quotes: Inspirational quotes can help to encapsulate the message and theme of your speech. The speaker used a quote by Dr. Seuss to inspire their peers as they move on to their next adventure.
  • End with a Positive Note: Conclude your speech by wishing your classmates well for the future. The speaker expressed hope that their classmates would leave feeling proud of their achievements.
  • Highlight Importance of Memories: Remind your classmates that the friendships and memories made during high school are more important than any temporary popularity or status. The speaker encouraged their peers to remember the importance of the memories they've created.

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This example high school graduation speech was sent in by a visitor to Best Speech Topics. It meets all the requirements of a good graduation speech and will give you ideas for what to say on YOUR big day.

Example High School Graduation Speech as a Model for Your Own

This example high school graduation speech was sent in by a visitor to Best Speech Topics. It meets all the requirements of a good graduation speech and will give you ideas for what to say on YOUR big day.

I hope you found Sami's speech useful. If you're still looking for inspiration, here are some more suggestions for you...

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Your one-stop resource for government services in the philippines, sample of welcome address for the graduation 2023: the basic tips.

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Sample of Welcome Address for the Graduation: The Basic Tips

example of a graduation welcome speech

The welcome address is very important in the program. Welcoming all attendees at the graduation is a sign of respect for everyone present. In the welcome address, the most obvious thing is that it signals the beginning of an event or occasion requiring a formal opening. For instance, a meeting, a lecture, a workshop, or a celebration could all be officially opened with a short welcome speech.

A welcome address is primarily a one-way dialogue between the event host and the event attendees (making them the two participants) and is meant to engage those attendees from the get-go. It is that a welcome address invites the audience to listen as the speaker welcomes all the attendees.

Here are some tips to follow in making a welcome address.

1. Greeting the Audience: To greet the audience with “Good morning ladies and gentlemen.” It is my pleasure to welcome everyone to this momentous event.

  • Welcome the audience using serious language for a formal occasion.
  • Greet guests informally by using light-hearted language.
  • Add individual greetings for any special guests.
  • Introduce the event itself.    

2. Forming the body of the speech: To form the body of the speech by emphasizing how important the event is and acknowledging those who played the biggest role in it.

  • Acknowledge those who have played an important part in the event.
  • Mention any parts of the event that are of special importance. 
  • Reiterate your welcoming line. 

 3. Ending the speech: To end the speech by saying, “I hope this day motivates you to inspire by continuing your studies.”

  • Say that you hope the audience enjoys the event, if applicable. 
  • Introduce the next speaker if necessary, if applicable.
  • Thanks to the audience for attending.
  • Keep your speech within a suitable time limit. 

Here is a sample of a welcome address.    

example of a graduation welcome speech

A good beginning is a good ending. A good ending is a worthwhile experience. Good morning everyone, especially to our graduates, who are the main reason why we celebrate this graduation today and to our visitors who have exerted effort to attend this event.  

A special mention to our guest speaker from the Division office, Dr. Reymond T. Sales, our school district supervisor, Mrs. Felena A. Marnes, our school principal, Mr. Ricardo P. Santos, our FPTA President, Mr. Roland T. Ocampo, NHSS teachers, non-teaching personnel, parents, and audience, a pleasant day to all of you.

Today is an extra-ordinary day for all of us, especially the graduates, who are very excited to attend this event. This is a special day, and your parents are taking the time and making the effort to prepare a small feast to celebrate your success. Although this is not the biggest peak of achievement, this achievement serves as your path to move forward and finish your college education.

Hence, graduation is one of the most unforgettable days where your parents will experience unrelenting joy while witnessing their sons and daughters receive diplomas while wearing a white gown or toga. Graduation is the start of your dream to grow and reach the top of success step by step.

Dear NHHS graduates, may this day serve as a reflection of who you can become as you mature in humility and responsibility. Fly like an eagle as God protects and blesses you to soon join the ranks of the successful. The only person who can motivate you the most is you, so strive to fulfill your goals with ambition. Use your ambition as your inspiration to become a professional.

I would like to extend a sincere thank you and a warm welcome to everyone who is here to witness this beautiful occasion. All of you have a blessed day.

Therefore, the speaker must prepare the welcome address the day before the graduation to be aware of everyone involved in the event. To provide a brief history of the event’s significance, he or she must also do some study on it. – Doki | Helpline PH

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Short Highschool Graduation Speech Examples (2023 Updated)

Writing a good graduation speech can be hectic and for those… who aren’t used to public speaking like me, It can be panicking !

But Don’t worry, I analyzed over a dozen Graduation speeches and have made some speeches that you can take inspiration from; to write your own Speech. let’s begin

High School Graduation Speech Examples with Pdf

Good Evening teachers, parents and all my fellow graduates of the most unique high school class batch ever. We the class of 2022 probably have a very different high school experience than all other students who have graduated high school or will graduate in years to come.

Past few years have really been tough. Pandemic, Lockdowns, Protests, Voilence and what not. My deep condolences are with those who have lost their loved ones in the pandemic. It’s times like these that test the limits of our bonds and I can proudly say Walton high* didn’t gave up.

Online classes taught us the importance of physical interaction and school. Schools aren’t just the places we come to read some formulas or books. It’s friends, teachers and the environment that makes schools a place of learning and growing. 

To all the teachers and parents who tried their best to keep learning going, You have my respect and admiration. I have learnt a lot of things from high school that I know has changed me from the boy I was 4 years ago.

And the most important thing that I learnt is to live and enjoy every moment of life. I Wish all my friends a happy and content life ahead. May all our dreams and aspirations come true and we get the success we deserve.

Important –  Don’t Plagairize Speeches  (You can use these speeches just to take inspiration for your own UNIQUE speech)

[Example no 2]

Respected Teachers, Honorable guests and all my dear Friends. A very pleasant good morning to all of you. My name is Emilie James. We have spent 4 years of our life in this wonderful high school and It’s the time when we’ll have to say ‘Goodbye’ to this beautiful campus.

These 4 years were probably the best years of my life. Everything about these years is so colorful in my memories. Great friends and co-operative Teachers really make your high school journey wonderful and I would especially like to thank Miss Chloe* ( Our English Teacher ) for teaching so brilliantly and always being there to help us.

I consider myself to be very fortunate that I found some of the funniest and loyal friends. Eric, Sam, Kylie * You will always be my best buddies and I can’t describe, how much I enjoyed and how much I will miss your company and Your random silly pranks.

We all are High school graduates now and We have achieved the first Milestone in our life But There’s much more to achieve ahead, I wish you all best luck for your future. Be happy and Bold wherever you are.

Thank You .

( It’s actually my own Graduation speech 😊 )

Graduation speech example no 1

 [Example no 3]

Greetings to everyone who’s present here and is a part of my High school life. My name is kelly* and I am a proud member of Walton high’s awesome family.

My High school journey has been full of ups and downs. I was new to this locality and had no friends here But in no time all of the class became my friend. I never expected such friendliness and support from people who were complete strangers to me.

The years we spend at high school are the most important period of our life. These are the years that shape us as a professional, as a citizen and as a person. I was very lucky to be in the company of such Good, friendly and happy people. Spending time with you all… was really a time well spent and memorable.

I would also like Thank my mom, I can’t express in words how grateful I am to her. She is the one that keeps me together. I must have done very good deeds in my previous life that God blessed me with all these wonderful people.

And at last All the best to everyone for their future, Keep hustling and never ever give up.

Thank you .

Graduation speech example no 3

[Example no 4]

Good evening Parents, Teachers, Friends and family and my fellow graduates. Today I have the unique opportunity to talk about what I truly love about us as a class… and that is Our flexibility and our independence. Both of those traits have pushed us forward allowing us to continually redefine the finish line.

In Mark Twain’s words, the secret to getting ahead is getting started. Our goals may have been completing a particularly hard class or getting our licenses or getting our first jobs but today rather than individual tasks, our finish line becomes an attitude and an aspiration.

First and foremost I wanna thank all my classmates and my friends. Thank you for providing me with comfort and accepting it for me. Thank you for daring me to achieve things I never would have pushed myself to accomplish. Thank you for allowing me to get ahead by showing me how to get started.

And to the amazing teachers that fostered my interests in diverse academic areas and the staff that encouraged each student here to break barriers of their expectations, I owe you all a lot. 

I would also like to express my gratitude to my parents, for being the people I knew would never turn their backs on me. I feel lucky to have you all. and at last I would like to wish all the graduates a very happy and prosperous life ahead.

Graduation Speech examples Pdf –

Download one of the best and unique Graduation speech examples in a Pdf file by clicking the button below 👇  – 

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Read more – 7 Tips to write a Perfect Graduation Speech

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How to write a good graduation speech (top 7 tips).

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10+ Short Welcome Speech Examples [ Event, School, Chief Guest ]

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short welcome celebration speech

  • Prepare – start by simply preparing. The question here is to prepare what. Start by thinking about what you want to write. What event are you attending that needs a short introduction?
  • Draft – the next thing you should do is to make a draft of your welcome speech. Start with the important details. For example, if you are attending a church event , remember to write the names of the important people. If you are attending a graduation event, the honored guests’ names must be written as well.
  • Choice of Words – Pick your words carefully when writing a short welcome speech. Add some lively details to it but also keep it simple. You are only welcoming people and thanking them for coming . The welcome speech is not used as the main course, but merely an appetizer to the whole event.
  • Revise – After you have written it down, check your whole speech. Make sure the details are there as well as the correct spelling and word usage.
  • Tone – The tone of your writing should match the event you are attending. If it is a lively event, make it as lively as possible, if it is a depressing event, make sure it is as well.
  • Voice – Your voice should not be too loud nor too soft. Rather, it is enough to be heard from the back.
  • Practice – Practice on doing your speech before the actual event. Ask someone to give you feedback on how well you presented yourself and work from there.
  • Maintain Eye Contact – remember when talking to people you must make eye contact. Let your audience feel you are happy to see them attend the event.
  • Posture – How you bring yourself when making the welcome speech can say a lot of things. So it is best to stand up straight, be confident, and welcome your guests with a smile.

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How to Write a Welcome Speech

Last Updated: July 29, 2023 References Approved

This article was co-authored by Patrick Muñoz . Patrick is an internationally recognized Voice & Speech Coach, focusing on public speaking, vocal power, accent and dialects, accent reduction, voiceover, acting and speech therapy. He has worked with clients such as Penelope Cruz, Eva Longoria, and Roselyn Sanchez. He was voted LA's Favorite Voice and Dialect Coach by BACKSTAGE, is the voice and speech coach for Disney and Turner Classic Movies, and is a member of Voice and Speech Trainers Association. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 82% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 1,483,973 times.

Are you on welcome speech duty for an upcoming program or event? You’ve got nothing to worry about—with the right format and tone, it’s super easy to write and present a welcome speech for just about any occasion. We’ve outlined everything you need to know, from your opening greetings and acknowledgments, to establishing the right tone and nailing your closing remarks. You’ve got this in the bag!

Greeting the Audience

Image titled Write a Welcome Speech Step 1

  • Keep the tone more serious if it's an important occasion. Use more formal language and don't crack any inappropriate jokes. For example, at a wake, you might say, "We're so glad to have you all here tonight. We appreciate your presence at this difficult time."

Image titled Write a Welcome Speech Step 2

  • For an event with close friends and family, more informal language might be appropriate. Include a few jokes and keep your speech more lighthearted.

Patrick Muñoz

Patrick Muñoz

Grab your audience's attention with a strong opening. Start with a loud voice and a strong presence that welcomes everyone and gets them involved. Ask a question they can respond to or tell a joke — anything to connect with the audience. Do something that grabs their attention and excites them and makes them thrilled about the event.

Image titled Write a Welcome Speech Step 3

  • Special guests include any people of honor, those that may play a particularly important part in the event, or those who have traveled a long way to be there.
  • Make sure that you practice all of names, titles, and pronunciations of the special guests before your speech.
  • For example you could say, "We'd like to extend a special welcome to our guest of honor, Judge McHenry, who will be speaking later tonight."
  • Alternatively to welcome a group of people you might say, "While we're excited to have you all here tonight, we'd especially like to say welcome to the students from Johnson Middle School."

Image titled Write a Welcome Speech Step 4

  • For an informal event such as a birthday party, you could say, "We're so happy to have you here tonight to eat, drink, and celebrate another year of Jessica's life. Now, let's get to it."
  • For a more formal event such as one run by an organisation, you could say, “We are so excited to have you all here to participate in our 10th annual pet’s day, organised by the Animal Rescue Group.”

Forming the Body of the Speech

Image titled Write a Welcome Speech Step 5

  • An example of acknowledging individual people is saying, “We couldn’t have pulled off this fundraiser without the hard work and dedication of Grace and Sally, who worked tirelessly from day 1 to make today a reality.”
  • Avoid reading off a long list of people or sponsors, as your audience will begin to get bored. Stick to just a handful of highlights.

Image titled Write a Welcome Speech Step 6

  • For instance, at a conference, you might point out when the dinner will be held, or where particular sessions will take place.
  • At a wedding reception, you might note when dancing will start or when the cake will be served.

Image titled Write a Welcome Speech Step 7

  • Alternatively, you could end the body of your speech during an informal gathering by saying, “I can't wait to see you all out on the dancefloor!”

Ending the Speech

Image titled Write a Welcome Speech Step 8

  • You could also say that you hope that the audience takes something away from the event. For example, “I hope that today inspires ideas and discussions around the ways that we can make our city a better place!”

Image titled Write a Welcome Speech Step 9

  • At a formal event, you might say, "Now, for our speaker. Rebecca Roberts comes here from Montreal, Canada, and she is a leading expert in the study of the human brain. She'll be speaking tonight on what drives humans to make decisions. Let's welcome her."
  • For a more informal event such as a party, you could say, “Next up is Sam, who has been Kyle’s best friend for 10 years strong. He has a decade of embarrassing stories about Kyle to share with us tonight!"

Image titled Write a Welcome Speech Step 10

  • Alternatively you might say, “Thank you again to everyone for being here tonight to celebrate Joe and Kathleen’s 50th wedding anniversary! Let the celebrations begin!”

Image titled Write a Welcome Speech Step 11

  • If you are unsure, ask the organiser or host what an appropriate length of time for your speech will be.

Writing Help

example of a graduation welcome speech

Community Q&A

wikiHow Staff Editor

  • Practice your speech in front of trusted friends and family in the days leading up to the event. [12] X Research source Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

example of a graduation welcome speech

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  • ↑ https://www.yourdictionary.com/articles/effective-welcome-speech
  • ↑ https://www.examples.com/education/speech/welcome-speech-for-conference.html
  • ↑ https://penandthepad.com/how-5574707-write-welcome-speech.html
  • ↑ https://penandthepad.com/write-after-dinner-speech-8035341.html
  • ↑ https://uark.pressbooks.pub/speaking/chapter/closing-a-speech/
  • ↑ https://www.unr.edu/writing-speaking-center/student-resources/writing-speaking-resources/speech-delivery

About This Article

Patrick Muñoz

To write a welcome speech, start with a greeting to your audience that’s appropriate to the situation. For example, you could try “Good evening ladies and gentlemen” if you’re introducing a formal event, or “Thank you everyone for coming on this sunny day” for a more relaxed occasion. After you’ve finished the greeting, introduce the event by talking about who organized it and what its purpose is. In the main body of your speech, acknowledge 2 or 3 people who played important parts in organizing the event. You should also emphasize special parts of the event that people should pay attention to, such as where dinner will be or where a conference session will take place. When you’re ready to conclude your speech, tell the audience to enjoy the event by saying something like “I hope you all enjoy the exciting speakers to come.” Finish your speech by thanking the audience for attending. For tips on how to introduce people at a special occasion, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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A graduation speech for the Class of 2021, by Aryan A.

A graduation speech for the Class of 2021, by Aryan A.

On May 1, 2021, EF Academy New York senior Aryan A. gave the following speech on behalf of the Class of 2021 at their graduation ceremony in New York.

Good morning respected teachers, administrators, parents and the amazing Class of 2021. Before I start, I would like to thank all the teachers for coming through for us this year and therefore I ask all the graduates to stand up and join me in giving all the teachers a round of applause.

Congratulations! We’ve done it, all the hard work has finally paid off and we’re all ready to take the next big step in life beyond high school. I was lucky enough to be chosen to speak today before all of you and reflect on our collective journey in this school, and if I were to think of one word to describe this journey, it would be: Unprecedented . 

Unprecedented is defined as never done or known before, and I’m sure all of you have heard this word countless times over the last year, being normalised into a word that correlates directly with COVID-19. But here, my intention is to connect this word with all of you ; you are unprecedented, you are a high school class that has done something never known before. You see, all of us have had a roller coaster ride; from week-long quarantines to distance learning, masked classes to countless pending Google Classroom assignments, brunch check-ins to Monster-fuelled all-nighters and numerous other things.

All of our crazy roller coaster rides have been unprecedented, never seen before in the history of education, let alone at EF Academy, because let’s be honest, every batch that graduates from EF Academy is a special one. Maybe not the underclassmen we so lovingly dislike.

Living in such unprecedented times made us cherish the small yet important aspects in life. Leaving the campus for field trips felt like freedom to us; and somehow breathing the polluted Manhattan air felt unusually fresh. Snow days felt like gifts from heaven since the term snow day apparently doesn’t exist in Dr. K’s dictionary. We love you Dr. K.

Countless Uber Eats orders were the closest glimpses to tasting the outside world, but we arguably valued such glimpses higher than our own IAs. Most importantly, we formed relationships with the people we love, people we care about, people that went on this crazy journey along with us, the journey without any exams, yet being stressed out over countless deadlines and mock exams. Unprecedented.

We have now learnt how to foster relationships through these tough times, quite literally finding the meaning behind the saying “through thick and thin” at a much younger age than other older folks, like the teachers here. Unprecedented. We were thrown into this thunderstorm of uncertainty and irregularities throughout the year, but we fought through it through ways we could’ve never imagined; be it through Vietnamese cooking sessions in the lounges or the Spanish and Russian parties with insanely loud music that we claimed to hate but never actually stopped tapping our feet or bopping our heads to. Unprecedented.

Learning from these experiences, I’m sure all of us will remember the families of friends we created amongst ourselves that looked out for each other at every step of the way. If there is one sentiment I want you to take away from this speech, it’s this: You are all capable of taking on any obstacle that may lie in your life in any country in the world at any time of the year. You have all faced a challenging high school experience that has never happened before, and you overcame it, made it worthwhile . . . something that I would like to call: Unprecedented.

IMAGES

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    Good morning respected teachers, administrators, parents and the amazing Class of 2021. Before I start, I would like to thank all the teachers for coming through for us this year and therefore I ask all the graduates to stand up and join me in giving all the teachers a round of applause. Congratulations!

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