15 famous commencement speeches by women speakers

The Eloquent Woman

(Editor's note: It's commencement time again, so we've updated this 2013 post since it first appeared with new additions to The Eloquent Woman Index of Famous Speeches by Women. If you're a woman commencement speaker, or the speechwriter for one, here's your inspiration.)

Meryl Streep: Barnard Commencement Speech

Ian Griffin - Professionally Speaking

In a compelling commencement speech acknowledging the value of single-sex education, she celebrated both the power of a women’s perspective and the power of empathy to bring real change. Ethos, Logos, Pathos Her speech employed the classic Aristotelian elements of persuasive public speaking: ethos, [.]. Tags: Public Speaking Speech Showcase Barnard Meryl Streep Meryl Streep opened her soul to the Barnard College graduating class last Monday.

Commencement speeches

Joan Detz Speaker Services

May and June are prime graduation months … which means they’re prime months for commencement speeches. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be posting information for speechwriters who have to tackle a commencement address. To get started: Read the &# Commencement&# chapter in CAN YOU SAY A FEW WORDS? (St. Tags: commencement speeches

Commencement speeches

Joan Detz Speaker Services

I’ve received several inquiries about reference materials for commencement speeches. . Tags: commencement speeches Looking for interesting trivia about colleges/universities? Nothing beats PILED HIGHER AND DEEPER: THE FOLKLORE OF CAMPUS LIFE (written by Simon J. Bronner, published by August House, Little Rock, Arkansas). . This book provides outstanding references, plus a detailed index. .

Commencement speeches

Joan Detz Speaker Services

It’s the season when speechwriters start tackling those all-important commencement assignments. You’ll find an entire chapter devoted to commencement speeches in CAN YOU SAY A FEW WORDS? (St. This chapter will give you practical guidelines, plus excerpts from a wide range of commencements. Wisconsin Public Radio interviewed me for a one-hour show on commencement speeches (May 23 2007). His W&M commencement speech remains a classic.).

5 books that capture commencement speeches by women

The Eloquent Woman

Commencement ceremonies often feature women speakers, but their speeches are less frequently published than those of male speakers. Rowling in a now-viral Harvard commencement address. It's one of my all-time favorite speeches, and a favorite gift I give.

Famous Speech Friday: Hillary Clinton's 1969 commencement speech

The Eloquent Woman

Long before she became a Clinton, Hillary Rodham had an early and activist career as a speaker--so much so that Wellesley College broke with tradition and gave her a place on the commencement podium as its first student commencement speaker. Even in 1969, the speech was a sensation.

Commencement Speeches to Class of 2016 - Borrow from Pema Chodron

Jane Genova: Speechwriter - Ghostwriter

At a commencement speech in Naropa, American Buddhist nun, Pema Chodron, did something very unusual. In your commencement speech, whether it's at college or a law school, you can also introduce the failure meme.

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Commencement Speeches

Executive Speech Coach

Enjoy this top 10 list of commencement speeches as posted on Onlinecolleges.net Top 10 Commencement Speeches for Tech Lovers By Kathleen Baker Listening to or reading transcripts of old commencement speeches is a great way to feel inspired to take chances, start a new career, or find out what truly drives you. Executive Speech Coach & Business Presentation Skills Expert George Torok www.SpeechCoachforExecutives.com.

Commencement Speeches

Speaking Of...

Some schools have bucked the trend of inviting celebrities to give commencement addresses, in response to alumni and student feedback that says these speakers don't relate well to students. Brilliant man, poor commencement speaker.

Get them Standing: Commencement Speeches 2010

Green Room Speakers

Tuesday, June 22, 2010 Get them Standing: Commencement Speeches 2010 As I looked through this years commencement speeches, I came across this delightful opener. At the end of his speech, Mir gets the audience on their feet again - this time for a standing ovation.

Why Will Ferrell’s USC Commencement Speech Was a Grand Slam

Duarte Blog

Commencement season is upon us and you know what that means. Sure, we all agree that Will Ferrell is hilarious, but what is it about his speech that’s caused it to garner more than 1.9 Ferrell used it masterfully by making the most of his speech a story about his time at USC.

‘Tis the Season … for Commencement Speeches

Joan Detz Speaker Services

I’ve received several requests for information on writing commencement speeches. The book features a large chapter on commencement speeches. Also: Wisconsin Public Radio interviewed me for a one-hour show on commencement speeches: www.wpr.org #070523M (&# At Issue with Ben Merens&# ). Tags: commencement speeches For starters, turn to CAN YOU SAY A FEW WORDS? (St. Martin’s Press, 2006).

SCOTUS Chief Justice John Roberts' Commencement Speech - Tops Steve Jobs' Classic at Stanford

Jane Genova: Speechwriter - Ghostwriter

In the speechwriting community, Steve Jobs' Commencement Speech at Stanford  continues to resonates. On Abovethelaw.com , lawyer-journalist Kathryn Rubino features that speech. The university president used it in an internal speech to faculty.

6 Ways to Make a Commencement Speech Soar

Ian Griffin - Professionally Speaking

Kudos to speechwriters Vinca Lafleur and Jeff Nussbaum for a recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education on 6 Ways to Make a Commencement Speech Soar. They note: …graduations are high-quality speaking occasions, with a sizable, knowledgeable, multigenerational audience; an upbeat theme; an aura of pageantry and pomp; and a decent chance of sunshine. A well-prepared [.].

Quotes for Public Speakers (No. 235) – Garry Trudeau

Manner of Speaking

Commencement speeches were invented largely in the belief that outgoing college students should never be released into the world until they have been properly sedated.” — Garry Trudeau Photo courtesy of Linda A. Quotes for Public Speakers Commencement speech Garry Trudeau Humour public speaking Public Speaking Quotations quotes

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Quotes for Public Speakers (No. 235) – Garry Trudeau

Manner of Speaking

Commencement speeches were invented largely in the belief that outgoing college students should never be released into the world until they have been properly sedated.” — Garry Trudeau Photo courtesy of Linda A. Quotes for Public Speakers Commencement speech Garry Trudeau Humour public speaking Public Speaking Quotations quotes

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From The Eloquent Woman Index: 8 famous commencement speeches by women

The Eloquent Woman

Commencement is the start of something new, yes, but we''re often stuck listening to the same old tired speeches in celebration. Can you remember your commencement speakers, or any memorable speakers at the graduations you''ve attended?

Commencement speech by Jim Lehrer

Joan Detz Speaker Services

Commencement Speaker Jim Lehrer’s Remarks. Iconic public broadcasting journalist Jim Lehrer gave commencement remarks at The College of William and Mary, urging members of the Class of 2012 to “serve and risk” Lehrer also outlined his personal guidelines for practicing journalism.

Put local details in a commencement speech

Joan Detz Speaker Services

Writing “special occasion&# speeches. . I encouraged the speechwriters to put local details in special occasion speeches - the more specific, the better. According to the Alumni Magazine: Brokaw said that in preparation for his speech, he had asked Jon Stewart ‘84, D.A. Stewart gave William and Mary’s commencement address in 2004. Tags: commencement speeches Last month, I taught my annual Advanced Speechwriting seminar.

Famous Speech Friday: Carol Bartz's commencement speech "Embrace failure"

The Eloquent Woman

Close to the start of this commencement speech to the 2012 graduates of the University of Wisconsin at Madison, Carol Bartz laid it out plain, as is her habit: "I do feel like my remarks today should come with a warning label.Attention! What can you learn from this speech?

A woman delivers top commencement speech

The Eloquent Woman

The Cicero Awards for speechwriting are out, and I'm happy to say that colleague and speechwriter Jeff Porro has won top honors for the commencement speech he wrote for Anne Lynam Goddard , President & CEO of the Christian Children’s Fund. The speech was delivered to the graduating class at Assumption College in Worcester, Mass., Read Jeff's speech (scroll to page 71 in this PDF full of winners ) as well as the others to get some great examples of top speeches today.

Watch lights fade in every room: Cautions about commencement speeches

The Eloquent Woman

I've never given a commencement speech, but as a college senior, I judged the entries from fellow students who wanted to speak, along with a committee of faculty. Commencement speeches are fraught with all sorts of perils like this one.

Commencement Speeches 2011: The best. and the rest

OnSpeechwriting

All of which means it’s time again to commit ourselves to a reckoning of the best, the worst and the merely mediocre commencement speeches of 2011. This year’s crop of speeches – from luminaries, CEOs, actors, and secretaries of this department or that – was largely “B” work.

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How to give a commencement speech and include the audience

The Eloquent Woman

Founder of the Webby Awards, filmmaker and Aspen Institute fellow Tiffany Shlain -- one of Newsweek's “Women Shaping the 21st Century -- explains on Huffington Post how she prepared for and delivered the commencement speech at the University of California at Berkeley this year.

Famous Speech Friday: Viola Davis's commencement speech "Go on and live!"

The Eloquent Woman

Not so Viola Davis, who makes every speech a thrilling performance--mainly because it's clear she isn't acting. A nice coincidence for me: My own college classmate, Vicki-Ann Downing, wrote this great article about Davis's speech for Providence College.

Green Room Speakers: Will Ferrell's Harvard Commencement Speech

Green Room Speakers

Sunday, June 27, 2010 Will Ferrells Harvard Commencement Speech OK - So this is from 2003 and I am honestly not sure what you can learn from it, but I had to include it because it is just so funny. (I

J. K. Rowling, Harvard, and the memorable commencement speech

Public Speaking Advice and Commentary

Rowling’s commencement address to Harvard in 2008 and ask what I thought of her performance.  s  is a classic commencement speech.    It’s a good speech – it’s well written – but there is something about it that feels terribly old-fashioned.    Rowling reads the speech from start to finish, looking up occasionally to see the audience, but for a good deal of the time her head is buried in her text. 

Commencement Speeches: The Bad, the Horrendous, and the Inspired

OnSpeechwriting

Commencement season has largely come and gone at universities and colleges around the nation. And, once again, we’re left with the remains of speeches that ran the gamut from wonderful (thank you, Tom Brokaw.) So, here’s a quick, non-scientific roundup of 2009 commencement speeches.

Ellen's 3 rules for a great commencement speech

Public Speaking Advice and Commentary

It’s the commencement address season, and the advice of the age is:  be yourself.    The speech is a great reminder that humor always makes its own rules.    So think of this as Ellen’s Three Rules for a Successful Commencement Speech.      Humor is so rare at the podium, that a funny speech will fall like manna from heaven.    Ellen’s speech lasts less than 10 minutes. 

Quotes for Public Speakers (No. 89)

Manner of Speaking

“A graduation ceremony is an event where the commencement speaker tells thousands of students dressed in identical caps and gowns that ‘individuality’ is the key to success.&# — Robert Orben. Robert Orben - American Magician, Author and Comedy Writer.

Analysis of a Speech by Conan O’Brien

Manner of Speaking

On 12 June 2011, Conan O’Brien delivered the commencement address to the 2011 graduating class of Dartmouth College. Clearly, he put a lot of effort into the speech, and was rewarded with a 30-second standing ovation when it was over. He should be able to deliver a dynamic and memorable speech. There is a lot that we can learn from this speech. His opening comments about the cold and how he needed gloves was not in the text of his speech.

Analysis of a Speech by Conan O’Brien

Manner of Speaking

On 12 June 2011, Conan O’Brien delivered the commencement address to the 2011 graduating class of Dartmouth College. But then the direction of the speech changed, and he spoke openly and poignantly about his recent setback with The Tonight Show. Clearly, he put a lot of effort into the speech, and was rewarded with a 30-second standing ovation when it was over. He should be able to deliver a dynamic and memorable speech.

inspiration from steve jobs

Green Room Speakers

Monday, September 14, 2009 Inspiration from Steve Jobs Given Steve Jobs return to work last week after a 5-month medical leave following his liver transplant , theres no better time than now to go back and listen to Jobs 2005 commencement speech at Stanford University.

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Commencement 2010: Another Great Opener

Green Room Speakers

Thursday, June 24, 2010 Commencement 2010: Another Great Opener I love the way Meryl Streep opens her speech at this years Barnard College graduation: (You have to first listen to a rather long intoduction, which is not bad either.)

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Graduation Quotes

Joan Detz Speaker Services

Commencement speakers, said Father Flynn, should think of themselves as the body at an old-fashioned Irish wake. They need you in order to have the party, but nobody expects you to say very much.&# (NY Governor Mario Cuomo, giving the commencement address at Iona College). Tags: commencement speeches “You have but to hold forth in cap and gown, and any gibberish becomes learning, all nonsense passes for sense.&# (Moliere). “Training is everything.

Media tip (for speechwriters and presenters)

Joan Detz Speaker Services

Whether you’re writing the speech or delivering the speech, be sure it has a great title. Note: Titles are particularly important with commencement speeches Great titles get noticed, get remembered, and get quoted.

Steve Jobs Commencement Address

The Communication Blog

With the recent death of Steve Jobs--one of the real geniuses of our time--I thought that public speaking students (and actually just about anyone) would enjoy reading a commencement speech he delivered some years ago. I think this is a wonderful speech and I tried to reprint it in the last edition of my public speaking book but, unfortunately, permission was denied. But, it's a great speech and, fortunately, readily available online.

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My report on Obama’s speech ignites a firestorm of comments

Ian Griffin - Professionally Speaking

Earlier this month I was asked by the editors of Ragan.com to write an analysis of President Obama’s commencement speech at Notre Dame. Here’s the full text and video of the speech. My article ran on the front page of Ragan.com (&# News, ideas & conversations for communicators worldwide&# ) the morning after Obama spoke. It’s now [.].

The Eloquent Woman's weekly speaker toolkit

The Eloquent Woman

This week, the blog looked at whether women should include--or avoid--topics about women in their speeches , and Famous Speech Friday shared 15 famous commencement speeches by women.

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