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Sample Graduation Speech

Speaking Tips     Overcoming Fear     Speech Writing     Wedding Speeches
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt,
so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. - Collosians 4:6

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It’s as if a metamorphosis has taken place and we are not the same creatures. For those business and social science majors out there metamorphosis is a scientific term meaning, to change. And thank goodness we aren’t the same people!

Our years here at George Fox have been spent preparing us for this day. We’ve taken the classes, retaken some of those classes, and had the internships or work experiences that are all supposed to make us ready to enter the real world. We all know college hasn’t been the real world – we’ve been living in a bubble of like-minded individuals and now that bubble has popped and we’re being thrust out onto society.

Are you ready? Do you feel mature enough, prepared enough and courageous enough to enter the world outside the bubble? I don’t! I suspect most of you don’t either. But that’s ok. We’re standing on the brink of a great adventure. Who knows what lies ahead? Job, marriage, happiness, loss, sorrow? If you aren’t feeling trepidation then I maintain you’re not truly cognizant of the enormity of this next step. There’s always a niggling sense of doubt or fear or misgiving connected to any time of great change or great occasion. And that is where we find ourselves today.

Personally, I think we are prepared, despite how we feel. We have what it takes to be successful because we have persevered and made it to this graduation day. The personal growth we experienced throughout our college years is the launching pad for the next phase of our lives. College doesn’t just provide you with academic understanding and knowledge. College fosters a deep level of growth as you overcome obstacles and struggles. Our college years planted seeds of perseverance, courage, tenacity and confidence in our minds and hearts. That’s what will equip us for what lies beyond.

This growth and character development we’ve engendered is what we need to change the world. Every college graduate wants to change the world. Our generation is no different, except we will accomplish our mission. We are people who have gone to the ends of the earth and we’ve seen what needs to change. We’ve heard the heart cries of the world and we realize we are in a position to respond. Whether we are nurses, engineers, teachers, accountants, scientists or musicians, we know we have something to offer the world and we are prepared to act on that.

George Fox Class of 2012, be brave today! We’re ready for the world. We are ready to set out and fan into flame the sparks of change in the world. The only question is, “Is the world ready for us?!”

Sample Graduation Speech Notes

1) The sample graduation speech does some reminiscing about the past - "Remember what it was like as a freshman?".  College graduation marks the end of an influential era in anyone’s life, and a graduation speech is the appropriate time to briefly reflect on some of the best times of this era.  Don’t be scared to share personal stories or ‘highlights’ from your time as a student.

2) The sample graduation speech is honest - "Our college careers have been difficult".  As I always say, audiences love authenticity.  Don’t pretend and put on a fake face in an attempt to try and impress.  People will appreciate and love you more when you’re honest with them and when have the guts to mean what you say.

3) The sample graduation speech employs humour wisely - "For those business and social science majors out there".  Humour works with any kind of speech, and this one is no exception. 

4) The speech is introspective - "Do you feel mature enough...".  It's never a bad idea to give the audience something to think about, and a great way to do this is by asking introspective questions.  Take the attention from yourself from just a moment, and let the audience wonder about something more personal, something 'closer to home'...

5) The speech reflects on the future - "That’s what will equip us for what lies beyond".  The end of an era marks the beginning of a new one, so take time to share some feelings and (positive) expectations on the future.

6) The speech is positive - "we have something to offer the world and we are prepared to act on that."  Avoid negative and depressing themes or stories.  Keep your speech positive and create anticipation for the bright future that lies ahead of you and your fellow students.
If the dormitories are emptying and the lawn chairs are being dusted off, you know what's coming...  Luckily, the sample graduation speech below will give you some much-needed ammunition for compiling a college farewell address that'll ensure you leave with a positive legacy!
Sample Graduation Speech
If first impressions were important, then last impressions are doubly so!  This sample graduation speech, and the analyses and notes that follow, will help you as you set out to write your own 'last impression' on the lawn...

Sample Graduation Speech
Four years ago, or for most of us it has been longer than that, we began our college careers and today marks our day of completion. It’s graduation day. It’s a time of endings as well as beginnings.

Our college careers have been difficult. These years have stretched us far beyond our wildest imaginations. If someone could have sat down with us four or more years ago and made us understand what we’d experience during these years, I doubt if most of us would have had the tenacity or determination or courage to continue. These have definitely been life changing years.

Remember what it was like as a freshman? Look back at some of those thousands of photos you posted to Facebook and see if you can even recognize yourself.