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