I don’t have much help on a topic, but here are some things to consider…
I was valedictorian of my class, and our graduation ceremony ended up being two weeks to the date after my father passed away. I wanted to say something meaningful, and so I decided to devote my five minutes to opportunity and why you should never pass up the chance to do something great. Well, the night came, and the class president spoke first. She gave a bouncy speech about how much friends have meant to her and how God is great. The salutatorian spoke next, and she also gave a bouncy speech about how much friends have meant to her and how God is great. I spoke last and talked about opportunity. I stuck out like a sore thumb, and not in a good way. I ended up wishing I had spent less time on the thing.
Moral of the story: Find out what the other speakers are talking about. Don’t talk about the same things, but do make it mesh.
Another helpful hint: The salutatorian was my best friend, and she made a great segue into my speech. She introduced me, too. You might want to consider doing that, it went over really well and made the ceremony “flow” (until my speech brough it to a standstill).
The best speech I ever heard under these circumstances (secondary school graduation) was made by a young man in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Usually the person who makes such a speech is a young man or woman who has achieved great things academically but–no offense intended–does not yet have much experience of life. So it’s hard to offer great wisdom in a speech when so much of the audience is older than you.
This young man talked about the universality of music instead; how he had learned more about other cultures and the connections between them from musical studies than from hisory and geography. A novel concept, but the wonderful part was that he illustrated his speech with examples, provided by the school orchestra. Usually the audience at graduations is falling asleep; for this speech, everyone was wide awake and interested.
Maybe music is not the thing that YOU want to use, but whatever you can do to make your speech specific and concrete, as opposed to vague and theoretical, is bound to make it better and more meaningful for your audience.
Good luck, and congratulations on your hard work!!
Finally, if your school will use “Pomp & Circumstance” as the musical theme for any part of the graduation ceremony, I’d be happy to share the “secret” lyrics which will cause you to laugh whenever you hear this piece of music.
If I was allowed to give a speech at my graduation I would probably talk about how much my classmates sucked.
If a week ago, I asked you (your classmates) to difine yourselves you may have answered , I’m the class clown, I’m the pretty girl, I’m the star athlete, I’m the class geek. But you know what. These ‘diplomas’ are really death certificates. After today those people are all dead. Now we will all have the ability to redifine ourselves. We have to do this. High School is our past. Our future is not yet written. Become the hero of your story.
lovelyluka I just had to laugh.
See, the valedictorian in my class was my arch enemy. We’d been best friends a few years back, but had a hellish falling out. It wasn’t that I resented her for being number 1 (frankly I didn’t care) but I was pissed that because I was salutatorian I couldn’t sit in the standard class seating, but had a special seat RIGHT NEXT TO HER for the whole ceremony.
She was the last person I wanted to be sitting next to while I was sweating bullets about my speech. And she tried to be all nicey nice, which pissed me off even more.
So obviously we didn’t coordinate our topics.