Graduation Speech Ideas


Focus on the Future

Dr. Seuss quote Graduation speech ideas are aplenty. Be yourself to create a sincere connection.

Graduation speech ideas are clouding your mind; you only have one opportunity to impart wisdom and encouragement. What could you possibly say that would both inspire and remain memorable to your peers, relatives and community members on that special day?

Celebrate achievements, thank supporters and pay tribute to everyone’s hard work and devotion. Acknowledge the arduous educational journey and commemorate today as a milestone. Embrace the future.

Whether you’re a graduate or school administrator paying respect to the class, there’s a multitude of graduation speech ideas, tips and tricks certain to leave your audience in awe. Express the importance of the day and speak your hopes of the future.

Graduation Speech Themes

Face it… without a theme, your speech will turn into a mumbo jumbo recollection of memories. Your speech should serve as a farewell gift to the graduating class. The theme is the big red bow that ties everything together and provides a lesson or moral. Below, are several themes to consider. Each of these themes can be used to convey your congratulations of success and wishes of prosperity:


Overcoming challenges teaches us to become better people and accept that there are some circumstances out of our control. Perhaps a family member was unexpectedly diagnosed with a terminal illness. Did that person’s circumstance guide you to prioritize what’s truly important in your own life? Talk about how your relative’s illness sparked your interest in working towards a degree as a hospital administrator. Adversity helps us learn to focus on what we find meaningful.

Personal growth

How do you think school contributes to a person’s maturity? Perhaps certain responsibilities such as moving away from home, balancing work and internships or a heavy class schedule prepares students for demanding careers and financial accountability later on. Mom or dad may not be there to wake you if you overslept or lend you money if you overspent while shopping. Personal growth often leads to a strong work ethic and motivation to succeed.

Pursuing dreams

In all likelihood, your dreams have transformed as you’ve grown and they will continue to do so. You probably have a much better grasp on your dreams now than when you were five and wanted to be a prince or princess. Remind others of this fact. Let your peers know that to simply work towards a dream is to succeed, regardless if the dream changes. For many of us, graduation is a dream. Ask your audience to consider what they want out of life and what comprises their standards. Many of us forget that it is only ourselves who stand in the way. Creating realistic goals is the first step towards achieving what we want.

Don't take life for granted

Emphasize in your speech that inspiration is everywhere. Many people recognize that graduating is a big accomplishment, but fear the imminent unknown that follows. Encourage your audience to let go of their fears and find inspiration in what most people take for granted. Maybe it’s found in music, nature, a painting or the wisdom of grandparents. Include a narrative of yourself or a person you know achieving something great because of a changed attitude.

Give it some flare and a kicker

fireworks Give your audience a remarkable presentation

You want your speech to be unforgettable for all of the right reasons. Your speech will address graduates, but will also be heard by family, friends, faculty and other community members. Don’t drown your audience’s auditory senses in mediocre muttering.

Don't be cliche.

No one wants to hear run-of-the-mill guidance that’s been shoved in our faces numerous occasions throughout life. “Make today the best day of the rest of your life” is common advice and won’t inspire others to take action. Allow your own words to serve as the vessel through which you convey unique life experience. Are you a photographer? Let your audience know that each moment is like a photograph and only they can choose how it gets developed.

Connect with the audience on a personal level.

Don’t give your audience store brand sauce when they desire gourmet, organic ingredients. A generic speech will get you snores and boos. On the other hand, your audience also doesn’t want to hear your detailed student history. Think of a relatable time or two that had a significant effect on your perspective of a situation. Maybe you realized the project in which your professor gave you a theoretical crisis to address prepared you for an emergency situation in the workplace. Stories appeal to human emotion and allow us to identify with each other.

Leave the politics out of it.

You’re not trying to win an election, so don’t spew your personal opinion all over an audience who is present to hear words of praise and motivation. Originality is respectable, but don’t say anything controversial or offensive. Relaying a message that goes heavily against audience anticipation will cause people to fume. The goal of your speech is to congratulate success and assert how it will translate in the future.

Don't over-rehearse.

Practice makes perfect does not necessarily apply here. The best speeches have been read aloud just enough times to flow well and sound sincere. Your audience isn’t going to be inspired by a robot. People want to hear a graduation speech that comes across as enthusiastic and thoughtful.

Engage the audience with a quote or poem.

People recall the beginning and the ending of a speech more than any other part. Do you have a favorite poet, leader or author? Poems and quotes can help convey your message and keep readers engaged during the point which you want to leave the biggest impression(s). They have the added benefit of helping your speech sound unique.

Most of us fear public speaking. Graduation speech ideas can be mind-boggling. Opting for a professionally written speech can offset some apprehension. Whether you are a graduate addressing your peers, or a school official speaking to students, you want to express a memorable, inspirational message. An extraordinary graduation speech commemorates past accomplishments and celebrates what the future holds.

Check out some of our favorite inspirational commencement speeches!

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