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How to start graduation speech: best tips from paper writing services wordsmith

How to Start Graduation Speech

The graduation speech serves as your last goodbye to your alma mater before proceeding with your journey into adult life. Although composing it can be challenging, especially for those who struggle with public speaking, it's a perfect opportunity to reflect on your academic life while reminiscing on successes and failures.

Using all the writing experience I have now, I realize, in retrospect, that I shouldn't have neglected such an important thing when I was a graduate. I should have worked on my graduation speech harder or at least asked professional writers to teach me how to write a speech like I always did if I needed to write my paper. And so should all alumni.

However, many people find themselves at a loss for how to start graduation speech, since they rarely get enough practice for public speaking. Stage fright is also a common phenomenon. Gripped with fear, people get frozen to the spot, afraid of saying a word in front of a huge audience. But armed with a good speech, written and polished in advance, even those feeling insecure before crowds can ace this task.

The first thing graduates should think of is, of course, how to start graduation speech. Here, one should remember that first impressions always matter since, due to a phenomenon called the primacy effect, people are inclined to remember the first thing they hear, see, and feel better than everything that follows.


Here's a set of rules to adhere to even experts from Boston University agree on:

  1. Greet the audience

The first thing a speaker should do is pay the audience proper respect. Phrases like "Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen" should suffice, but if you think that’s not how to start graduation speech, feel free to come up with something less official.

  1. Introduce yourself

This one is quite obvious, but due to anxiety, sometimes people forget to introduce themselves properly. However, the listener should know who you are to establish a better rapport.

  1. Thank everyone for coming

While thinking about how to start a graduation speech, you should always care to write a passage to express your gratitude to those who attended the event. It's also a good moment to give special thanks to people who supported you throughout your academic journey.

  1. Use an inspiring quote

To make your speech fancier and more personal, think of a quote that resonates with you and can potentially resonate with your fellow graduates. Not only does this make your speech moving, but it can also inspire everyone listening to you, supporting them in their endeavors. 

  1. Reflect on the key moments

Before going into details, give a brief overview of your following speech to emphasize the moments that have affected you the most, shaping your academic experience.

Structuring Your Graduation Speech

Now, when you already have a general idea about how to start off a graduation speech, you should think about structuring it.

Organizing the Content of Your Speech

Just like an essay, a graduation speech has an outline:

  1. Introduction

This part should be brief but impactful. Its goal is to set the right mood for the rest of your speech and grip the audience's attention. That's why you should think of how to start a graduation speech in the most creative way.

  1. Body

Here, you should share personal stories related to your study experience,, How did this experience change you? Were there any life-changing events happening to you while you were studying? What were higher education marketing trends like when you were choosing a place to study, and what exactly made you choose this institution?

  1. Conclusion

This is where you should summarize everything you've said in the body. Although it's usually brief, just like the introduction, it's very important. Don't focus on how to start a graduation speech only and pay attention to the conclusion to make sure you leave a lasting impression on the listener.

Ensuring Resonance with Your Audience

Be genuine, and don't be afraid of getting emotional. This way, when referring to the challenges you've faced, you'll be able to strike a chord with the audience. After all, what is a commencement speech without some good personal insights?

Determining the Ideal Length for Your Speech

Keep in mind that people have very different attention spans, and thanks to technology, the situation has been getting even worse lately. That's why a perfect length would be somewhere between five and ten minutes.

Making Your Speech Memorable

Still confused about how to start a graduation speech and make it impactful? It's not often that people get a chance to make a difference by delivering an impactful speech, so here are some tips:

Tips for Delivering a Successful Speech

  1. Rehearse

Practice makes perfect, so if you want to sound confident, you should rehearse in front of a mirror or anyone willing to help you.

  1. Share personal stories

No matter how official the event is, the more personal experience you share in your graduation speech, the better. It gives your words some special charm and makes you stand out.

  1. Add a bit of humor

Thinking how to start graduation speech in an upbeat way? Nothing keeps the listener focused more than a good-natured joke or a spicy drop of irony.

  1. Pay attention to your body language

Eloquence makes only half of a memorable performance. Your gestures and facial expressions should be in check as well.

Exploring Topics and Themes if You Are Out of Graduation Speech Ideas

If you want to sound confident, speak of things you really care about. Only then you'll be able to write a speech that can reach people's hearts and make a change.

Finding Inspiration for Your Speech

If you don't know how to start a speech for graduation and sweep everyone off their feet with your eloquence, just go watch the best speeches by celebrities, such as Jim Carrey's speech at the Maharishi University of Management or Taylor Swift's commencement speech at New York University.

Topics to Discuss in Your Graduation Address

To give you a hint on things to include in your speech, here are some graduation speech ideas:

  1. Achievements and milestones
  2. Experience gained
  3. Lessons learned
  4. Challenges faced
  5. The importance of education
  6. Plans for the future

FAQ About How to Write a Graduation Speech

  1. Should I memorize my graduation speech or use notes?

If you are sure you can memorize your full speech and want to do it, then do so. However, keep your notes in front of you just in case you get too nervous.

If you opt to use notes, it's totally fine, but in that case, don't just read the speech. Don't forget to look at the audience as often as you can.

  1. Should I start my graduation speech with humor or seriousness?

This one depends solely on you. Decide for yourself if you want to keep it super official or opt for something more casual.

  1. What are some common mistakes to avoid when starting a graduation speech?

While trying to wrap your head around how to write a graduation speech, don't underestimate the importance of a captivating opening to ensnare the attention of one's audience. Here are a few missteps to avoid:

  1. Being too formal
  2. Being too casual
  3. Talking about yourself too much (your personal stories should be relevant to the point you are making)
  4. Using сlichés
  5. Not looking at the audience


As you can see, the art of creating a good commencement speech requires some effort and reflection on your academic journey. But if you follow the tips I've provided above, your graduation speech will leave everyone impressed.
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