Speak for Yourself

Claire Duffy's blog about public speaking and communication (in real life). Speak well, do well!

Ten things they won’t tell you at Graduation

It was like a fiesta in the foyer when I arrived at work yesterday, with hundreds of Law graduates and their parents crowding around beaming and hugging and laughing and posing for photos. I am a sucker for ceremonies, and graduations are particularly potent. All that joy and excitement and  youth and hope and achievement and  regalia had me  reaching for my kleenex.

Reflecting on why these events stir so much emotion led me to think how important it is to have  a speaker  who will seal the deal by  making the occasion live in everyone’s memory, for EVER.

What synchronicity then to find these two stories  in my morning newsfeed: 10 things they won’t tell you at Graduation and  Speakers: to inspire  get concrete, to persuade be abstract.

‘Commencement Speeches’ as they are known the US are  a fantastic resource for speechwriters and speakers.  Here is Time’s list of the 10 best, HuffPo’s list of the best from 2011. And  another great selection – just one of many. You should watch Meryl Streep at Barnard  for sure.

Australian  equivalents are  not so high profile or easy to  source. However, here are some places to start:  ANU has theirs archived, Sydney University has a list, so  does UTS, and Melbourne Uni.

What’s your view? Do you remember your graduation speech, or your kid’s or your parent’s? Can you find a copy or a record of it?  What  made it so special? Use the comments to  share your experience.


2 comments on “Ten things they won’t tell you at Graduation

  1. I remember my graduation speech, mainly because my father was angry about all the middle class BS about careers that it espoused.

    • Debbie

      I was at the same graduation and have no recollection at all. Would have to look up the program to know who spoke.

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This entry was posted on 04/05/2012 by in Public speaking, Special Occasions, Toasts, Congratulations, Presenting awards and tagged .

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