Advice for High School Graduation Speech

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by AvSRoCkCO1067, Apr 25, 2006.

  1. AvSRoCkCO1067 macrumors 65816

    AvSRoCkCO1067

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2005
    Location:
    CO
    #1
    Hi Everyone!

    I'm the Student Body President at my high school; and, of course, graduation is fast approaching, and I have to make a speech :(

    Right now, my idea is to gather advice for graduating seniors from a wide variety of age groups, ranging from elementary school students to the elderly, and bring all the advice together into some kind of harmony...:eek:

    SO: if you could give some advice to seniors preparing to go off to college, what would it be? The more meaningful/comical the response, the better - the other speeches (I've heard them all already) are somewhat bland and dull, so funny and meaningful is good!!!

    :eek: HELP if you can. Please :)
     
  2. maxterpiece macrumors 6502a

    maxterpiece

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2003
    #2
    Your idea sounds kind of like a journalistic thing. Yes, you want to get everyone's opinion on the subject, but don't forget that it is your responsibility to formulate it into a more specific message. In other words, take those opinions and give your perspective on them. Basically what you have to cover in your graduation speech is "what has HS taught us, what are the challenges ahead, and how has HS equipped us for those challenges?" Make sure you maintain your focus on those things.

    As far as comedy, I'm sure you'll find plenty of funny quotes that you can comment on.

    Not to change the subject, but you don't go to Columbine High School do you?
     
  3. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    #3
    Keep it simple, short and sweet.

    Do not, repeat, do not use a recipe metaphor - they suck.

    Make sure it's not too nostalgic, don't use anecdotes, focus on looking to the future cause once you leave High School (we don't call it graduation here) none of the things you thought would matter (friends, popularity, social status, that prom king/queen thing you guys do etc.), don't. What matters is the lessons you take away; how to make good friends, what to do when the chips are down, how to really rely on yourself to get things done but also how to ask others for help when needs arise. Life's little lessons, not the stuff from the classroom - you can relearn that in a week at Uni. I always thought it was best to never let schooling get in the way of education - a very famous quote oft used in these situations.

    But whatever you do, don't ramble on, don't go on for ages and never, ever start a speech like so:

    "Take one cup of..."
     
  4. Kwyjibo macrumors 68040

    Kwyjibo

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    Nov 5, 2002
    #4
    Don't do anything clichéd for the love of god, no clichés!

    don't quote anyone unless you have to, I hated that.
     
  5. AvSRoCkCO1067 thread starter macrumors 65816

    AvSRoCkCO1067

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    #5
    Thanks so far!

    I really don't want this to be a cliche thing...!!!
     
  6. Peyton macrumors 68000

    Peyton

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    Feb 2, 2006
    #6
    Dance. It always helps the mood, and especially if you're good, you'll knock em' dead.

    Quote steve jobs. His whole stanford address. JK
     
  7. cantthinkofone macrumors 65816

    cantthinkofone

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    Missouri, USA
    #7
    i am graduating in may, and i hope that who ever gives the speech for my school leaves out politics. But if its the person i think it is, his whole speech will be a state of the union address. I would also recommend to keep it short. Might just be me, but i cant wait to get out of high school.
     
  8. rontheancient macrumors regular

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    Nov 22, 2005
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    USA
    #8
    Take a look at Steve Jobs speech at Stanford last year. Pretty good IMO. Video is avaliable via YouTube.
     
  9. AvSRoCkCO1067 thread starter macrumors 65816

    AvSRoCkCO1067

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    CO
    #9
    So far all I've gathered is advice from a college student; additionally, I plan on adding advice from someone working, someone retired, and an elementary school student. I'll add all the advice together, add some solid transitions, and BAM - practical, short but sweet, politicless speech :) .

    For those of you interested, the college student gave me his "typical" shopping list (I'll present this in as comical a way as possible)
    -Spaghettios (no, not the kind with meatballs, you won't be able to afford those!)
    -Top Ramen (any one of over 25 varieties of shrimp "flavoring")
    -Condiments will become the entrees (wonder bread + ketchup = bliss)
    -Totino Pizzas
     
  10. XNine macrumors 68040

    XNine

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    Why are you wearing that stupid man suit?
    #10
    Whatever you do, shout CANUCKS SUCK!!!!! :D

    It's hard to say. I'd say you should choose a quote that's important to you, then go from there. Don't get too sentimental, because it's high school after all.
     
  11. thedude110 macrumors 68020

    thedude110

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    Jun 13, 2005
    #11
    Thank your teachers.

    We like that.

    The student body will like that, too, because it will give them a chance to boo their teachers.

    It's a win/win.
     
  12. Saluki Alex macrumors 6502

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    Feb 26, 2006
    Location:
    Illinois
    #12
    I too have to give a speech at graduation, I'm the Salutatorian, and the Student Council President for that matter. :rolleyes: But I'm going for short and powerful for mine, I've sat through far too many long and boring speeches in my time, so I know better. I'd suggest that if you go for something funny, then make sure it actually is funny, I saw a kid at Beta Convention completely bomb when he repeatedly tried to get a laugh.

    In the end, I guess all that matters is what you're trying to convey, if you're to pass on a message, then go for that, if you're trying to be funny, then get them to laugh, if you're gonna be serious, make them think. It's up to you, and as one of my friends told me today, it's your time to shine up there, make it count.
     
  13. mjstew33 macrumors 601

    mjstew33

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    May 29, 2005
    Location:
    Illinois
    #13
    Just, as thedude110 said, thank them - get the point across, point out positive things through out the year. :)

    And if I were you, I would take out where you go to school - there's some freaky people out there. ;)
     
  14. AvSRoCkCO1067 thread starter macrumors 65816

    AvSRoCkCO1067

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    #14
    gotcha.

    Honestly, I don't think I want to focus on the past (i.e. thanking the teachers and everything). I give the entire staff a speech the previous week, so I'll take advantage of that time to thank everyone. Graduation speeches always focus either too much on the past, or say too many general things about the future.

    That's why I'm going for short, sweet, helpful advice.
     
  15. AvSRoCkCO1067 thread starter macrumors 65816

    AvSRoCkCO1067

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    #15
    Congrats! I'm the Salutatorian too, but my school doesn't have the top 2 students speak (not like it would matter in this case...)

    More importantly: I've seen a lot of speeches where people make a complete fool out of themselves by thinking that they're saying something funny, when it's actually not. Fortunately, I haven't been in that situation...yet, anyway ;) .

    How exactly are you making it "powerful" - that's what the other girl said she was going for, and her speech turned out to be awful (it was bad...seriously). I'm interested in hearing what 'powerful' implies tho - is it useful, does it make you think, or what? Thanks!!!
     
  16. Saluki Alex macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2006
    Location:
    Illinois
    #16
    What I mean by powerful is that instead of giving the usual speech of thanking everybody and saying good-bye, I've chosen to go out with something that means a lot to me. And since we're all a big Mac family here, I'll share with you what I've written so far (it needs some work I know, but as with anything, revising can go on ad infinitum.)

    "I’m ever reminded of my favorite quote. Gandhi said, “You must be the change you want to see in the world.” No matter where any of us go in life, no matter what we do, or who we become, we should always remember that each and every one of us is a catalyst for change, not only within the confines of our own life, but indeed, in the world as we know it. It is my only hope that we all work for that ever-constant change and that dream of a better tomorrow that burns like an eternal flame deep within our soul."

    I need to figure out a little more in the introduction, and punch it up a little more, but that's the basic idea. Any comments would be greatly appreciated.

    Edit: I should also add that power also comes from how you give a speech and not just the speech itself.
     
  17. jamesi macrumors 6502a

    jamesi

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    Sep 13, 2005
    Location:
    Davis CA
    #17
    haha im remembering the speeches during my graduation last year. gah they were awful. dont say any lame jokes about teachers or something that went on during the school year. dont talk about how life is a journey and that we are all now ready to embark. dont have a peppy voice when you speak it, be relaxed and forward. just tell everyone that everything is going to happen exactly how it should and win or lose you should party
     
  18. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

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    Jul 4, 2005
    #18
    We had our male and female school captains speak, top speeches both of them, very good in fact - the male captain wrote his at our swimming carnival in between races.

    Then they had a male and female member of Year 12 who weren't Prefects (not me, I was a Prefect) to give a speech. The girls did some silly thing about boys and parties full of anecdotes (great way to isolate the vast majority of your audience who weren't there to witness the event) - in all it was total bollocks unfortunately cause these were smart, funny girls who could've done much better. Then when it was the guy's turn to talk he said he sucked at public speaking, pulled out his guitar and sang "Drive." Very cool, he's a musician so it was an awesome rendition.

    Then we walked out of the final assembly to "End of the world as we know it" and that was the end of that. We caught up during our final exams and when the UAI came out and that was that. 120 people going their separate ways. I keep in contact with my two best mates (still my two best mates) and that's about it. Uni is when you make your best mates, High School's just there to show you how to make mates.
     
  19. w_parietti22 macrumors 68020

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    Apr 16, 2005
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #19
    It is always good to make it short and funny.

    If it gets long and boring your jokes wont be funny.

    If its not funny it will seem long.

    If your student body president you probably were chosen because your speech was funny and not because you were necessarily the right person for the job. :p (Or at least that has been my experience) If thats the case then this should be easy for you.
     
  20. asherman13 macrumors 6502a

    asherman13

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    SF Bay Area, CA
    #20
    Our school doesn't have Validictory/Salutory speeches; students audition for two spots. I'm auditioning, so I guess I'm in the same boat!

    I was thinking about using the quote "For in the final analysis, we all inhabit the same small planet, we all breathe the same air, we all cherish our children’s future and we are all mortal." by Ted Sorenson (he was the first person to say that, right?), and tying it into how our experiences define who we are and what we do in the future.

    How does that sound?

    EDIT Alright, so Sorenson didn't say it; his boss, John F. Kennedy, did. I'm guessing Teddy wrote it, being the presidential speechwriter and all.
     
  21. AvSRoCkCO1067 thread starter macrumors 65816

    AvSRoCkCO1067

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    #21
    Yeah that pretty much sums it up :p
     
  22. AvSRoCkCO1067 thread starter macrumors 65816

    AvSRoCkCO1067

    Joined:
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    CO
    #22
    Exactly - power is derived from how someone says their speech, not necessarily the content within the speech.

    However, as someone else said above, I'm going to go with the opposite - practical, present-it-how-it-is, brief, and helpful. I'm straying away from "powerful", because honestly there are quite a few 'powerful' speeches already, and leaning towards a relaxed, brief-but-useful speech.

    Thanks for all your help!
     
  23. baby duck monge macrumors 68000

    baby duck monge

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    Memphis, TN
    #23
    We had a Senior lounge at my highschool, and we played a lot of MarioKart 64 there. My speech was about how MarioKart was actually an allegory for the human condition and so all the time we "wasted" hanging out playing video games was actually good for us. The student, teachers, and parents all liked it because it was funny, but had some serious undertones. Also, every damn one of us played that game (small school - my class was only 34).

    I would try to think of something that your peers can relate to (is there some sort of school tradition that's fun, but non-students think is really worthless?), and use that as a way to talk about how you have prepared yourselves for later life.

    Just a thought, and good luck.
     
  24. Saluki Alex macrumors 6502

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    Illinois
    #24
    Glad to see someone else from a small school, my class only has 24 students.
     
  25. asherman13 macrumors 6502a

    asherman13

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    #25
    Something my English teacher told me today about graduation speeches while she was editing my draft was that you should try and relate to / touch everybody in your audience. If you go to a public school, take into consideration that there will parents with Ph.D.'s and parents who dropped out of high school in your audience. Also, remember that teachers are part of the audience too. That said, I made myself a little checklist of who I feel should be able to relate to at least one part, if not all, of my speech:

    -straight-A students
    -barely-graduated students
    -teachers
    -parents who didn't graduate high school
    -parents who went to graduate school

    I figure that if you're in between (parent- or student-wise), you'll be able to relate as well. Now, I'm not saying you should make part of your speech relate to each of those groups, but rather your speech should be generic (if you will) enough so that ALL of them can connect to your speech, hopefully all for the same reason. Graduation is about (at least at my school) unity as a graduating class, not about what groups you were in or what grades you got.
     

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