Tips for Giving Inspirational Graduation Speeches

Effective speaking isn't that difficult, as long as you incorporate some basic ideas that will make your inspirational graduation speeches memorable. Here are some tips and speech ideas, to get you started.

What to Mention
To make a graduation speech a great graduation speech, be sure to include the following:

  • Thanks to teachers, administrators, parents and people who inspired you personally. Give anecdotes as examples to make it personal and interesting.
  • Mention and praise of accomplishments of your class, including specific examples. Small details can be interesting if you can connect them to how they made a big impact. What life skills did you and your class learn in high school that apply to life in general?
  • Jokes and quotes, when inspiring, are great to include. Avoid clichés and always be appropriate. Grandmothers are in the audience, too.
  • Advice, humorously presented, can be welcome, especially if it is different from what might be expected. Again, avoid clichés but think about the value of what was learned and how it can help everyone be successful.

Setting the Tone
To make a graduation speech relevant and inspiring, follow these guidelines:

  • Know your audience. Choose topics that both your peers and their parents will care about.
  • Be positive. Even if you are going to mention something negative, spin it in a positive way. Is the economy in trouble? Talk about all the great skills and creativity that this class will bring to making the problems of the world a thing of the past.
  • Don't be too formal. Make your speech something understandable and relatable instead. Personal anecdotes are the best for this. Your speech is not a thesis, so you don't need to choose businesslike vocabulary words. You were chosen to give the speech, so you don't have to prove anything. Be gracious and approachable.

Knowing a little bit about what you need to say and how to say it can help you lay the groundwork for your speech, and you will impress the audience with your poise and preparation.

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