Commencement Speeches


Graduation is rapidly approaching, and with two months left, now is the time to begin preparing your commencement speech.  If you’re a valedictorian providing a speech to celebrate your successes and to honor your graduating class or a keynote speaker delivering advice to young people ready to conquer the world, the links below will allow you to craft a speech that impacts your audience and truly resonates.



The TED blog featured a post back in 2012 called “Commencement 2012, Flipped: Lessons from Great Grad Addresses.”  Each of the three commencement speeches have been “flipped”… turned into TED Ed lessons.  Check out the post here.

Maria Popova of Brain Pickings, one of my favorite websites of all time, writes “5 1/2 Timeless Commencement Speeches to Teach You to Define Your Own Successes.”  This collection of five (and a half) keynote commencement speeches includes Ellen DeGeneres and Aaron Sorkin among others.

Back in August of 2012, after watching a particularly terrible set of commencement speeches, I wrote “Commencement Speeches: 5 Best Practices.”  If you’re set to write a speech, this is the article for you.  Don’t make the mistake and try to “wing it” during one of the most important speeches of your life!

Last, but not least, be sure to check out my favorite commencement speech of all time by Bill Cosby.  What a perfect graduation speech!