Home >> High School Graduation Speeches
Graduation speeches may seem a bit daunting but some simple steps can help you produce a great speech and deliver it with some style.
I hope to give you everything you need to create a speech that gets the applause! I have easy to use tips, more detailed techniques, free speeches, and resources to help you add that special touch.
Graduation is a great time to recognize the academic achievement that forms the graduation but also to look forward to the next steps in life and continuing achievement. This is the basic template for high school graduation speeches.
Free PDF copy, just click, read and print.
Tip 1: Audience - make sure you speak to everyone. The audience will include graduates, teachers and family. Entertaining the whole audience will greatly improve the reaction you get. You are using their time and their participation is voluntary. Be brief and as interest them as much as possible
Tip 2: Be Inclusive, a student speaker is speaking on behalf of all the graduates. The language use must be "we and us" and not "I and me", also include everyone and not just those who have excelled in some way. A guest speaker should make sure their high school graduation speeches include everyone.
Tip 3: Be Positive, we all have negative experiences in our life, but there is little point in going back over it. A positive speech will gain the attention of the audience and help you make your points effectively. A guest speaker particularly needs to be positive and inspiring.
Tip 4: Be Personal, although you are speaking on behalf of the students, you can add a personal story which is relevant and entertaining! For a guest speaker this can give you credibility with your audience.
Tip 5: Create an Attention Grabbing Opening, as this will give you a solid start. Of course you may have to formally recognize the Principal and Honored Guests. However you can enthusiastically congratulate the graduates, use a great quote and go on to your introduction.
Tip 6: Keep The Audience's Attention by making your points with enthusiasm. Your speech should be well organised with a review of the past, celebrating graduation day and looking forward to the next steps. Adding a little humor and an inspiring message can make it fun.
Tip 7: Finish On a High Note by reinforcing your message and leaving your audience inspired about the future.
Tip 8: Delivery, a few simple tips can make a big difference in how well you put your high school graduation speeches across.
You may feel you would like some help with a part of writing or delivering your high school graduation speeches.
If you do need some help simply fill in the form giving me as much detail as possible on the speech topic and any background material you have as well as the help you need.
I am happy to help!
"When I get ready to talk to people, I spend two thirds of the time thinking what they want hear and one third thinking about what I want to say." by Abraham Lincoln
Understanding your audience and what they would want to hear from you is a key part of any speech. We all love a good audience reaction!
Everyone in the audience is delighted to be there, however they will not want to be bored. Hence,
However it is better to focus on:
The majority of the audience are graduates and your speech is primarily aimed at them. They will value being congratulated on their achievements, thanked for their friendship, and reminded of amazing past times. They will love to feel a real sense of celebration about graduation day and a sense of the importance of this major milestone. A realistic and inspiring view of the future will excite the graduates and help bring your speech to a memorable ending.
The audience includes family members. You can welcome them, thank them, mention them in some way and perhaps recognize their support for the graduates. You also need to be sure they will understand your speech, so avoid jargon.
Also, there will be teachers and staff present. Simply recognizing the key part they have played in helping the graduates achieve their success will delight them. Of course there may be an exceptional person and contribution to mention.
Increase the impact of your speech with truthful, revealing, personal stories, as long as it means a lot to the audience and most of the speech is about the class as a whole. Any personal story must help make the point, enhance the subject matter and can be a very powerful way of getting close to the audience.:
A personal story added in the right way, can help the speaker connect with the audience. There are many ways of using personal stories – just use one or two in the speech.
Some points to consider are:
Example: I was easily the shyest person at school. My Physics teacher was excellent at getting me to talk and trust that I had something useful to say. A great illustration of how the school teaches you to be a stronger person as well as the usual school work.
To engage with your audience you do need to have a captivating start.
Your audience may have been at the ceremony for a while, may be too hot in the sun, might be ready to party or may be enthusiastic to get home to watch a baseball game, for example.
Find a start which will get the audience to sit up and take notice.
Unique, well organised high school graduation speeches will be appreciated by the audience, and can be much easier to write and deliver.
Real material can come from the challenges the Class have faced over the years. Keeping your speech real can be best.
To start with you should brainstorm the material that you need. You may also need to do some research to find points to support your key messages.
Once you get your material brainstormed you can use the speech topic to pick out the relevant material.
Use these ideas to pull together the material you need:
Prioritize your material, picking out the important points that make your speech a great one!
For example, if your speech is about learning from mistakes, brainstorm the top mistakes by the class as a whole, find out exactly what happened, and the learning points that the class took from them.
Prioritize the high school graduation speeches material you have gathered picking out the top few items.
Remember, as Cicero said, "Brevity is a great charm of eloquence"
Arrange the material into a simple format. For a graduation speech the easiest way to do that is split your material between Past, Present and Future.
To have that effect on your audience you would love you need to end your speech enthusiastically, leaving your audience in no doubt you are wrapping up. Go out with a bang! Typically, you would be inspiring the graduates to create a thrilling future. You might also wish to congratulate the graduates one last time.
Some ideas to help you create a memorable ending are:
· Emphatic: Give the audience an emphatic ending reinforcing your key points. For example, using a “learning from mistakes” topic, I stated at the start of my speech that I would expose the shocking truth. The truth is we have made some big mistakes. Luckily we have learned so much from them. I hope we can continue to have many more shocking errors in life as they will show that we are alive and trying the new things we need to learn from.
Write out your first draft speech once you are ready. Then you can review it and start to polish it into your final version. Ask yourself
So, now you have written a good high school graduation speech. You have checked it with a few people.
Now some simple preparation steps will make your delivery live up to the great high school graduation speeches.
Free PDF copy, just click, read and print.
This simple speech appears to cover the main points required from any graduation speech. However reviewing it based on the techniques here you can see that it lacks personality, real feeling, real stories and humor.
There is a critique attached to the speech which covers some simple improvements in each area such as a more powerful opening, more forceful message at the end and just remembering that the audience give the speaker their attention voluntarily, so grab their attention and keep it.
Some simple guidelines to help you give a solid Introductory Graduation Speech.
I am very excited to introduce James Khan.
Although you may not have heard of James, he has a hugely impressive CV, and will truly inspire you with his speech.
James is the Chief Executive of Milton Engineering which makes high pressure valves for the oil and gas industry. He has led his company through difficult times to be the main supplier to the oil industry in our region. He is a passionate advocate for Engineering and Science. Indeed he sits on the Government Advisory Committee for education furthering the cause of science and engineering teaching and work experience.
From humble beginnings James graduated High School and then paid himself through College and University working in cafe’s, summer work on oil rigs and temporary office work. He has sold engineering products worldwide and can communicate fluently in 3 languages. His wife and 3 children all help James raise money for Type 1 Diabetes which his youngest daughter has. They also help raise awareness and teach schools how to care for a diabetic child.
James is one of the most energetic people I have ever met and I know you will be totally engaged in his speech.
Please give a huge welcome to JAMES KHAN
Making a thank you high school graduation speeches at Graduation or at a Graduation Party is simple to do and will always be very well received. Follow some simple steps and you will do well:
On behalf of all the graduates, I am honored to thank all of those who have helped us on our way to graduation.
Principal Heaton has been an inspiration. She has been actively involved in encouraging us to be our best and helped all of us with any issues we have faced, backing her teaching staff effectively.
Thanks to our teachers and mentors for not only doing their jobs but going beyond what is expected to make sure we learned all we needed to and also were able to pass tests and complete term papers.
Thanks to the support team at the school. From the dinner team to the janitorial services, everything happens in a friendly but efficient way.
A huge thanks to our parents. They have supported us personally, volunteered at school, raised money, bought books and paid for field trips. Oustanding!
Thanks to our Class. Laughter, support, study buddies, taking time to talk to each other, teamwork and charity work. I will miss being amongst this group every day.
Thanks to local business for taking us during our work experience week. We were made to feel welcome and given useful jobs to do.
Thanks also to all those who set up our Graduation Day. What a wonderful event set in a great location.
Write a highly personal tribute to the graduate.
There are 3 Graduation Toasts and a selection of short and meaningful graduation toasts.
Proudly I look at you Ellie and see an impressive young adult.
Only yesterday, it seemed, you walked into Kindergarten carrying a bag twice your size!
Over the years you have tackled your challenges with determination and achieved many great things. Your grades have been exceptional, you passed your ballet exams, worked in Grandad’s store and have been a great friend to all of us. Everyone who has spent time with you loves your sense of fun and the enthusiasm you have for life.
Family times have been very special. Those days at the beach, vacations, anniversaries and birthday parties are treasured memories. One of my favourites was at Crieff Hydro in Scotland with 3 generations of family all having fun. Playing all day and attending the dance at night, outstanding!
This is a special time for you and I hope you love your party. Certainly all your family and friends are here to honor you – thank you to them all for being here.
Looking ahead you will be a Math major at University with a whole new life to lead away from home. Your future will be so bright.
I want to congratulate you and wish you all the best for the future.
I love you Ellie.
With enormous pride I propose a toast to our daughter Lisa.
I remember that determined little girl who went to Elementary school with no tears, just a quick kiss goodbye and in your went. You have now blossomed into a very successful young adult.
I have always wondered how a constantly smiling, even tempered girl could cope with some of the challenges she has had along the way and still keep smiling. But you did cope and worked hard in a very determined way to graduate.
Today we get to celebrate your graduation from High School – a true milestone as you go through your life. This point where you leave school successfully, and move on to College, is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate your life so far. It is also great to do it with all the people who have been part of it.
Lisa leaves in the Fall to go to college in New York. I know you will take it on with your normal calm but highly determined approach.
Please raise a glass and join me in wishing Lisa Congratulations!
I wish you all the best in everything you do.
I love you
They say hard work is its own reward. That must be the case for Jim. I have never seen a child work so hard. Your determination to succeed is enormous. There is a great quote “there are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going”. You certainly did not use any shortcuts. I am so proud of you and I am delighted to congratulate on your richly deserved success. Graduating from High School really is a major milestone. I hope you take a moment to enjoy your success and your summer vacation.
Jim is not all about hard work. He has been a great friend to all of you and a loving son and brother.
I am sure you will be equally determined to succeed at college studying economics. I know you will be the most excited student on earth on your first day at college. Your hard working approach will make you just as successful at college.
I still remember my amazement when you told me you wanted to work at London School of Economics or Harvard. I do believe you will make it.
Let us all congratulate you and wish you every success in the future.
Welcoming your guests to the Graduation Party is a nice touch. I have a Free Graduation Party Welcome Speech which I hope you can use to help you get started.
A warm welcome to you all.
I feel honored that you have come to our home to help us celebrate Ellie’s graduation.
Many of you have been part of Ellie’s life for many years and it is fitting that you are here today. We thank all of you for all you support and interest in Ellie over the years. Some of you have traveled far to be here, the effort you have made is greatly appreciated. Thank you, also, very much for the gifts you have given her.
Let me congratulate the graduates here. I have known you all for so long and feel very proud of you too!
Ellie will be going on to study Math at University, leaving in the Fall. We are very proud of her and look forward to the next steps in her young life. I do admit, though, that we will miss her a lot. However we have all summer to enjoy and I am sure she will make the most of it.
We have, I hope, a great party lined up with games, food, entertainment and a lot of fun. I look forward to spending time with each of you. Meantime I hope we can create some special memories of a great occasion.
You might like to add a special touch to your high school graduation speeches using;
There are brilliant high school graduation speeches delivered each year. Take a look at some excellent high school graduation speeches examples:
Steve Jobs Speech At Stanford
Bill Gates Speech at Harvard- contains lots of highly personal messages and a great insight into what he holds dear. Learn from the highly personal words and the way the speech is written.
Good luck with your high school graduation speeches.
Just ask for help with any aspect of your speech!
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