My fiance is graduating. I’m about to pop because I’m so proud of him and how hard he worked for his degree. His upcoming graduation has brought on a bit of nostalgia–or at least memories of my own graduations.
Including high school, I’ve been in three. I was never the student thrilled to be walking on the stage in the cap and gown. The cap messes up a girl’s hair unless she uses copious amounts of hair spray and that’s generally frowned upon by those trying to save the atmosphere. On top of that, the gown is miserable unless the temperature happens to be a crisp 30 degrees. Quit frowning. You know it’s true.
But the part I always dreaded as a graduate (more so than the cap and gown) was the speaker. My brother got lucky at his graduation. The speaker was very short, which made everyone happy. I, on the other hand, was not so lucky. The speakers at mine always had a speech the length of the Gettysburg Address and they weren’t going to cut corners on it either.
I don’t remember much of what they talked about, but a couple of points stood out to me, a future (wannabe) graduation speaker:
1. Tell Everyone How Educated You Are
It’s important that your audience understands how much smarter you are than them so that when you use grammar incorrectly, they are in awe at how masterfully you break the rules. The best way to do this: explain in great detail the many degrees you have attained in your life and note that none of them are in English or communications.
I had a graduation speaker who, every time she said “tonight”, said “on tonight”. For example, “Thank you for being here on tonight.” No joke, people.
2. Talk About All of the Irrelevant Things
Did you have a puppy when you were three? Did your best friend in high school snub you one time in favor of her new boyfriend who dumped her a week later? Those are perfect topics for graduation speeches. And then if you can tie in those with themes of resilience and hope, you get mega bonus points because it’s impossible.
3. Make Someone Sleep
If your speech is the length of the Gettysburg Address, it is a fact that someone will either go to sleep or die of boredom. While you don’t want to kill someone, putting them to sleep is socially acceptable at graduations. Just remember the above points and you’re set.
I hope you’re prepared for this upcoming graduation season now. And if you’re ever asked to speak, keep these tips in mind and you’re on the road to success.
Want to know what my speech would be?
“Congrats! You graduated. Keep working hard.”
I’d be the lamest graduation speaker ever.