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nromstadt1's avatar

Does anyone have any suggestions for my graduation speech?

Asked by nromstadt1 (30points) May 10th, 2009

This is my rough draft for my graduation speech. I was once excited about writing it and giving it, but at this point, with graduation so close, it just feels like a chore. I wanted to make it something meaningful and not cliche. So, if anyone has any suggestions, they’d be greatly appreciated.

Four years has gone so quickly, and I can’t believe that the day I wished for almost every day for the past year is already happening.

As corny as this may sound, I’ve always believed that doing well isn’t just about being smart, but instead about working hard and giving it your all. So often the focus of school is on grades, GPAs and test scores. It’s all about who got what grade or who’s the smartest, or the best. In fact, we put so much emphasis on intelligence, that we often overlook the other important gifts that we’re given.

While intelligence may have seemed like the most important component for success over the past twelve years, we must remember that life is not structured like school. Challenges in life will come in all forms, not just those written down on paper and crammed into a fourty-five minute block. It is in these life challenges that we must all use the gifts that we are given. Intelligence is only one of these such gifts. To name all of them would surely take longer than the two minutes I’m given, but there are a few common ones worth mentioning.

There is the gift of compassion, which allows people to truly empathize and understand others. Then, there is leadership, which drives people to take charge and make a difference, by getting others together to strive towards a common goal. There’s also artistic talent, which lets people design buildings and create masterpieces for the world to see. Then, there is mechanical talent, which people use to build and fix things, while making life easier for those less mechanically inclined. Then there is loyalty, which people use to defend their country and loved ones.

Each of these qualities are very different, yet equally important when used for the betterment of the world.

Then, there is the most important quality in a person. It’s not necessarily a gift, because it is something that you can decide for yourself. This quality, is hard work. You don’t have to be a genius, or artist, or philanthropist to work hard. You can make a difference simply by giving your all to everything that you do.

We are each unique individuals. There is no one gift, nor one word to describe any one of us.

To me, success is leaving the world in a better place than you found it. Making a difference doesn’t have to be something huge like saving endangered species or rescuing people from burning buildings. It could be something as simple as making a difference in one persons life.

Speaking of which, we’ve all had someone who has made a difference in our lives. We’ve each felt at one point or another like quitting, and each of us have been pushed by someone who cares about us enough to keep us going. My mother always told me that one of the most important and meaningful things that you can give someone is a genuine “Thank you”. So, please, let’s take a second to thank these people who came here today to support you, those people who love you, and those people who have helped you along the way.

(Applause :) )

Having a gift is invaluable if you don’t use it, just like having a car won’t get you anywhere if you don’t drive it. So, I ask all of you, at this exciting time in your lives, to go out and make a difference. For the past twelve years, school has pretty much been your life, whether that was a good or bad thing. But, now, on this day, it becomes simply a part of a life. It becomes a stepping stone to bigger and better things. The only things limiting you in your life and your dreams are the laws of nature, physics, and yourself. So, please, use your gifts to make the world a better place. This day is a new beginning, and all you have to do is embrace it and choose to make the best of each day after this.

Congratulations Class of 09.

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4 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

This does need some editing and some more precise language, but you are on the right track. “Smart” and “intelligent” do cover all the non-academic skills that I previously mentioned. So you might want to substitute.

And use some concrete examples and perhaps a little original humor to counterbalance the abstractions (which do have a familiar ring.) Think about how you would feel if you were the listener and someone else was giving this speech

Good start; consider this draft #1.

jackfright's avatar

i’d mention the peers i thought had the most potential- remember, depending on the calibre of your school, you may be addressing a number of future leaders who could come in handy one day. they’ll appreciate it, and will likely remember you for it.

and thank specific people you feel contributed most to your progress- lecturers, etc.

eponymoushipster's avatar

I’d mention how once they get old, they’ll be useless.~

also, tell them to wear sunscreen.

Jeruba's avatar

You are indeed on the right track and have some good points here. Note that none of those talents is of any use without the work of learning and mastering the pertinent skills.

“Invaluable” means the value is too great to be measured. It is the opposite of “worthless.”

Don’t mention anyone’s names. This speech is for everyone. Remember why you were chosen.

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