“We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better.” —J.K. Rowling, Harvard University
I was invited to deliver a convocation address in 2020. Here is how you can proceed with your commencement or graduation speech. Research about the audience thoroughly, brainstorm several ideas, shortlist the best one, prepare a unique content and rehearse several times to build your confidence, connect with your audience effectively and ensure takeaways to them successfully. Here is the template for your commencement speech. In the introduction, thank the host and congratulate the audience for their efforts and achievements. In the body, share three ideas with anecdotes or inspiring stories. Appreciate the audience. In conclusion, thank the listeners for their time and listening, and wish them good luck.
Preparation and Delivery of Your Speech
“I know that men are won over less by the written than by the spoken word, that every great movement on this earth owes its growth to orators and not to great writers.” —Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf
Delivering a commencement address is a great responsibility. So, you must choose your words carefully. The audience expects unique content on your presentation plate. Here are some tips to consider before delivering your speech successfully. Keep your speech between 10 to 15 minutes. Focus maximum on three ideas and share them with anecdotes, examples, and illustrations. Keep your content crisp and communication clear. Write your speech and edit it several times to drive home your messages effectively. Rehearse your prepared speeches, delivery, hand gestures, and body language. Include animation to convey your ideas and ideals emphatically. Take feedback from your facial expressions, vocal expressions, and body expressions to improve your oratory. Perfect the art and craft of public speaking by emphasizing excellence.
Be an energetic and inspiring speaker. Appreciate the audience for their efforts, discipline, focus, and sacrifices to acquire their degrees. Don’t spoon-feed the audience by defining the concepts. Get straight into the examples and illustrations. Avoid using famous quotes. When you are invited as a speaker, you are special and your messages should become quotes for others. Avoid sharing conventional content. Instead, share unconventional and unique content to make your speech memorable and everlasting. Understand the body language of your audiences and adopt your oral language accordingly. Give adequate pauses to enable your audiences to understand your ideas and applaud. Communicate in the language of the audiences to connect with them. Create a unique brand by including emotional and inspiring words. Speak with humility with an emphasis on humanity and hope. Share them slowly and steadily to enable your audiences to digest the essences easily. Be lively filled with energy and enthusiasm. Your voice must be clear, content must be crisp, and communication must be effective. Avoid jargon. Use your body language positively. Use your sense of humor appropriately. Remember that your speech must come from your heart, not head.
Don’t make your speech preachy. Ensure that your speech is inspiring and calling for an action to dream and achieve big. To conclude, delivering a commencement or graduation speech is a great opportunity for speakers to convey their ideas, insights, and challenges. The content must be strong and communication must be clear. The ideas and insights must be simple and straight hitting the bull’s eye.