elements of a successful graduation speech
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Elements of a Successful Graduation Speech

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Elements of a Successful Graduation Speech. Writing. Theme Brevity Specificity Scope/Audience Analysis Bookends. Theme. Your speech should have a comprehensive theme What is theme? Sample themes? Adversity? Friendship? Compassion? Grit? Creativity? Fun?

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  • Theme
  • Brevity
  • Specificity
  • Scope/Audience Analysis
  • Bookends
  • Your speech should have a comprehensive theme
  • What is theme?
  • Sample themes?
    • Adversity? Friendship? Compassion? Grit? Creativity? Fun?
  • Your speech should consistently explain, enhance, deepen, its theme
  • High school, graduation, moving on, the future, etc, are NOT themes, they are topics
  • Express/develop theme THROUGH topic
  • Its hot, humid, sunny, and the seats/bleachers are really uncomfortable
    • Parents and grandparents want to see their kids, kids want to get out of there, etc
    • Be quick!
    • Get it, make your point, and get out. Your speech will be better for it.
    • Brevity requires proper planning, focus, and most importantly REVISION!
scope audience analysis
Scope/Audience Analysis
  • High school and college students will often use the “shot gun approach” with respect to anecdotal evidence
    • Like remember that time, freshman year. . .
    • OMG, and like, sophomore year on the bus . . .
    • And all those crazy Mr. Smith days . . .
      • If you weren’t on the bus, didn’t have Mr. Smith, YOU DON’T CARE, like, AT ALL
scope audience analysis1
Scope/Audience Analysis
  • You’re speaking to a varied audience here; make sure that you appeal to every member
    • Teachers
    • Parents
    • Classmates
    • Grandparents
    • Yourself
      • This often means striking a balance between building connections with your audience while speaking through/about personal experience
  • Back to the “shot gun approach” to anecdotes
  • Don’t just throw out all the good times you had in school
      • These are meaningless essentially. Centered around a topic (high school), with no theme, no scope, etc
  • Instead, choose moments (1-3 at MOST) carefully
    • Make sure they appeal to your WHOLE audience
      • This is generally achieved by advancing/developing your theme
      • AGAIN, develop theme through topic (anecdotes)
  • Reference your introduction in your conclusion
    • A properly developed and delivered theme will usually make it easy to bookend your speech
    • Example: Sam’s Tribute Speech
      • Nelson Mandela as “The Troublemaker”
        • Effective use of bookends
  • Speak SLOWLY
  • Use/display emotion properly
  • Connect with audience (all members)
  • Be confident
    • Pauses
    • No “fillers”
    • Don’t apologize or break cadence for mistakes, move on
  • Be Humble
    • “Taking credit like he did it by himself, too much pride to realize that he really had help”
    • You are the speaker, but it isn’t about you! You are SERVING your class and your audience with speech
  • Evaluate the follow speeches using the peer evaluation worksheets
  • Also consider
    • Theme
    • Brevity
    • Specificity and Scope
      • Address these areas on the back of your sheet
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