Commencement Address Information
Please refer back to this information as necessary
The commencement speaker praises, inspires, and congratulates a graduating class.
commencement audience contains family members, friends, instructors, administrators and staff
of the graduates, they usually want to hear glowing statements of praise about the graduates'
achievements. Commencement speakers acknowledge how both the graduates and members of
the audience contributed to the success being recognized that day (Gamble and Gamble, 2000).
Your goals when designing your graduation speech are as follows:
- Magnify the significance of the graduates' accomplishments.
- Unify the audience by affirming common values exhibited through the graduation.
- Understand that you must represent all the graduates' experiences at MJC, not only
- Help the audiences identify with the event you are all experiencing.
All commencement addresses will be unique, however, there are a few guidelines and pitfalls to
avoid when designing your commencement address.
- The speaker should begin his/her speech by congratulating the graduates.
- Recognize what the graduates have accomplished at MJC. Focus on universal
successes and challenges most graduates have had to face, i.e. navigating the campus,
passing a test etc.
- Acknowledge people in the graduate's lives that have helped her/him achieve their
goals, i.e. teachers, parents, grandparents, children, friends, spouses, etc ...
- The speech should contain inspirational messages that challenge graduates to focus
on the future and roles they will play in the months and years ahead.
- Do not concentrate your speech on isolated incidents that are particular to your
experiences at MJC.
- One or two personal stories can be used to make reference to a larger issue, but try
unify the audience with common references.
- Remember there are many unique individuals sharing the commencement experience
with you. You should always be conscientious of who is in the audience and not to
- Commencement addresses should avoid cliches while emphasizing the
accomplishments and promise of the graduates.
Feel free to contact any communication studies faculty member for assistance. They cannot write your presentation for you, but can offer invaluable coaching advice.
Commencement Speech should be five minutes.