It's Not About You

Commencement Address Tip: It isn't about you. You're part of the story, but it isn't your story. Speak to the story of all students. You're the speaker but you're not the message. Set your political views aside. Be who you are, but don't make it about yourself.

Examine how many sentences start with "I." Look for ways of saying "we." Watch for words and phrases which divide. Gather, don't scatter the hearts of your audience.

Administrators: Review student speeches. Have those students commit to that speech. A student (or anyone) who uses a commencement address as a bully pulpit can ruin a beautiful evening.

Keep it positive.

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Five Tips for a Good Commencement Speech

  1. Know why you are invited.
  2. Know your audience and their goals.
  3. Consider the breadth of your skills and personality.
  4. Speak efficiently.
  5. Play.

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