What is the main purpose of a commencement speech?

What is the main purpose of a commencement speech?

The objective of the commencement speaker should be to inspire the members of the graduating class, not to entertain, inform, or bore them. Of course, he may utilize humor, teach, convince, and actuate while inspiring, but they should be secondary to the fundamental purpose of inspiration!

Commencement speeches are meant to be personal, yet universal. They should offer hope to those who may feel like their dreams are out of reach, while at the same time providing guidance to those ready to take the next step toward success.

By definition, a commencement speech has nothing to do with business. The speaker's role is that of teacher, and his message should reflect this. He may discuss lessons learned, challenges faced, and alternatives considered, but he should never talk down to his audience nor attempt to persuade them by arguing their case for being given an honorary degree.

If you were to ask 100 people what the purpose of a commencement speech is, I'm sure you would get 100 different answers. But if you were to ask one person who the speaker wants to influence, then that one person would be you!

So, the main purpose of a commencement speech is to inspire one's listeners to achieve their goals in life.

Why do you want to speak at graduation?

Commencement speakers are chosen to recognize the accomplishments of the graduating class, and how they do so differs each speaker. Some people make it fun with jokes, while others focus on serious future counsel. No matter what position you take, remember to be supportive and encourage the graduates.

The keynote address is an important part of any commencement ceremony because it brings attention to itself and its message. Therefore, choose your keynote speaker carefully and make sure it's someone who will resonate with the audience. It could be a famous actor or actress, a political figure, a local or national leader - anyone who would attract interest and admiration from the students.

Keynotes are usually given after the awarding of degrees, but they can also be given during other parts of the ceremony. For example, a keynote might be given at the beginning of the ceremony to introduce the different types of speeches that will follow or even before the commencement procession takes place. Keynotes are often familiar faces from outside the world of academia who inspire the students with their personal stories of success and courage.

Finally, keynotes can also be called upon to give moral support to the graduates. For example, in 2003, then-President George W. Bush gave the keynote address at the University of California, Berkeley's graduation ceremony. He encouraged the students to use their freedom thoughtfully and to always act morally.

Which speech opens any formal event or occasion?

A commencement speech, a form of keynote address, is delivered to commemorate a school's graduation ceremony, during which diplomas are distributed to graduating students. The graduation speech is festive in character since it symbolizes a major milestone in the lives of the graduates.

Commencement speeches can be given by anyone who wishes to give inspiration to the new class of graduates. They often include personal anecdotes about successful people who have had similar achievements, quotes from great leaders, and lessons they hope the graduates will take with them into the world.

The term "commencement speech" came from the first such speech that was ever given. It was delivered in 1772 at the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) by Thomas Jefferson, then-25 years old. The college president at the time, Benjamin Rush, introduced Jefferson as being "eminent for his various talents, and particularly for his genius in the art of rhetoric."

In 1838, when William Henry Harrison died just two hours after he finished giving a farewell address to students at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, they decided to repeat the event for fear that more people would want to hear him speak. This time, however, they had the honor of having Martin Van Buren deliver the address on behalf of Harrison.

About Article Author

Emma Willis

Emma Willis is a brilliant mind with a passion for learning. She loves to study history, especially the more obscure parts of the world's history. She also enjoys reading books on psychology and how people are influenced by their environment.

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