English Language; Drama & Speech; Social Etiquette. Est. 1986, Hong Kong

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18 March 2016

Today is the Beginning of Your Act 2

         – Legally Blonde screenwriter Kirsten Smith told graduating students


It will soon be graduation time at universities around the world. The graduation ceremony is a great experience for all involved and celebrates the academic achievements of those who have worked hard to meet their goals.

Graduation ceremonies typically feature a visiting famous person, often a renowned alumnus, who offers 15-20 minutes of stirring words, that send the graduating students out into the wider world of work and careers.

Memorable and inspirational, these speeches should avoid the use of clichés such as “today is the beginning of the rest of your lives”.  The most popular speeches usually relate to the personal experiences of the keynote speaker, yet touch the graduating students.

Often, the stories that are told appeal to the emotions and are simultaneously funny and serious.  They make us think.  The speaker not only celebrates the success of the graduating students, but explains how that success will translate into their futures. Sometimes a touch of controversy is introduced to highlight the importance of a message.

Pretend you have been invited to address a graduation ceremony at a university or high school that you have already or will in the future graduate from. Try to write a short speech for this hypothetical occasion and test it out on your classmates or friends.

The following link has the texts of 10 top graduation speeches: http://content.time.com/time/specials/packages/completelist/0,29569,1898670,00.html