Two must-see college graduation speeches

Presentation Zen

It's graduation time in many parts of the world , and that means long ceremonies and a lot of speeches. The graduation speech is a tough gig; most speeches are soon forgotten, assuming they made any impact at all. If you are graduating this year, all the best to you!

NYU PR Graduate Course Keynote

TJ Walker Interactive

Videos of the keynote speech made to NYU graduate students in a media PR class. Communications Public Speaking Skills public relations Media NYU pr

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.


Mary McCarthy's "The Group" - When Graduates of Women's Colleges Get Old

Jane Genova: Speechwriter - Ghostwriter

" It chronicled eight graduates of an elite all-women's college. In 1963, Mary McCarthy shocked the literary world with her novel "The Group." They seemed unable to get a handle on life.   Here Vanity Fair recounts that publishing milestone.

Did Admiral McRaven REALLY Speak & Deliver?

Speak and Deliver

Admiral McRaven Commencement Ring the Bell SEALS University of Texas UT Graduation Speech Naval Adm. William H. McRaven, BJ ''77, ninth commander of U.S.Special Operations CommandThe commencement speech by Naval Adm. William H.

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Graduation Quotes

Joan Detz Speaker Services

“You have but to hold forth in cap and gown, and any gibberish becomes learning, all nonsense passes for sense.&# (Moliere). “Training is everything. Cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education.&# (Mark Twain). “Commencement speakers, said Father Flynn, should think of themselves as the body at an old-fashioned Irish wake.

Harvard Law School Graduation - Mumps Protocol

Jane Genova: Speechwriter - Ghostwriter

In , lawyer-journalist Joe Patrice reports that the outbreak of mumps on the Harvard campus has impacted the prestigious graduation rites and rituals of Harvard Law School. Nature still has the upper hand.

Living Like Graduate Student @ Age 71

Jane Genova: Speechwriter - Ghostwriter

And, as a graduate student, on a fellowship and with a part-time teaching contract, I enjoyed that fine style of living. Here in the hot desert of Arizona, I have returned to the simple and low-cost way of living of a graduate student. Currently I keep wondering: Why did it take me so long to re-discover the good life of a graduate student? In university town Ann Arbor, Michigan, the status symbol was being able to afford to rent a studio apartment.

PowerPoint Tip - Graduated Backgrounds

Dave Paradi's PowerPoint Blog

One of the most popular ideas I shared on my webinar last month about creating your own custom PowerPoint template was to use a graduated background instead of a solid color. So I suggest a graduated background where the color at the top gradually changes to the color at the bottom. While this is a better idea than a flat color, too many times I have seen the color choices make a graduated background look worse than any distracting picture could ever do.

Humanities - Young, Hopeful Graduate Students Start Perilous Journey

Jane Genova: Speechwriter - Ghostwriter

" They are young, hopeful graduate students in the Humanities. But current law and Humanities graduate students might cave to the same tactic, in time.  Their friends from the state they came from or even a mother have helped them "get settled in."

A Great Speaker - er.Leader - Retires.

Speak and Deliver

Stanford Graduation Steve Jobs Speaking Storytelling AppleSteve Jobs, the iconic CEO of Apple, the financial engine behind the success of Pixar, and oft-described fantastic speaker has retired. Jobs' speaking was peppered with stories, humor, and dream-building.

J.K. Rowling’s Commencement Address – Grabbing and keeping audience engagement

Pivotal Public Speaking

public speaking videos commencement address graduation J.K. Just magic!! What an inspiring speech this was! Even if you watch only the beginning, you can learn from her technique. She had them laughing with her from the start. . Rowling

Graduate With Skills, Not Just a Degree

Executive Speech Coach

Thursday, August 26, 2010 Graduate With Skills, Not Just a Degree The Wall Street Journal By Heather R. ▼ August (6) The “One Thing&# to be a Powerful Presenter: Pause Graduate With Skills, Not Just a Degree Speaker Boot Camp in the UK Presentation Skills Club Page on Facebook How Long is Forever?

Even Elite Liberal Arts Institutions Leave Graduates Behind In Earning Power

Jane Genova: Speechwriter - Ghostwriter

In fact, I graduated college in 1967. My Millennial clients who graduated from research universities were required to take 1 course in the Humanities.

Cute Power Tricks - Stanford Graduate Business School Scandal Position 'Em As, Well, Crass

Jane Genova: Speechwriter - Ghostwriter

That is among the lessons Stanford Graduate Business School tenured professor, Deborah Gruenfeld, teaches the next generation of leaders. Cute Power Trick: When someone is speaking to you, look down to your smartphone, fiddle with it.

Underemployed College Graduates' Majors - Criminal Justice, Liberal Arts, English Lit Top List

Jane Genova: Speechwriter - Ghostwriter

No shock to those of us who are out here hustling for work, PayScale reports that among the top majors for underemployed college graduates are Criminal Justice, Liberal Arts and English Literature.

6 Tips for Getting a Communications Job in Silicon Valley

Ian Griffin - Professionally Speaking

The convocation speaker at the May 23, 2013 San Jose State University graduation ceremony for Communications, Journalism and PR students was René Shimada Siegel, the President and Founder of High Tech Connect.

NSA/NC Speaker Academy Success Stories

Ian Griffin - Professionally Speaking

The Speakers Academy (originally called Pro-Track) has graduated over 300 speakers from the year-long training program. Since 2007 I have interviewed over 45 graduates and posted their information and the accompanying podcasts to this blog.

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That Personal Essay for Admission to College, Graduate/Professional Schools: Make it personal

Jane Genova: Speechwriter - Ghostwriter

Globally, students, from ages 17 to 70, are having difficulty with the required personal essay for admission to college as well as graduate and professional schools. 

Plastic: Just as in "The Graduate," only it refers to credit cards

Jane Genova: Speechwriter - Ghostwriter

In writing - oh, excuse me, we have to now call what we do "creating content" - the game is all about following the money.    Some of us assumed the money was going to be in green, pun not intended. 

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

Duarte Blog

Celebrities, statesmen, and scholars across the world are delivering words of encouragement as graduates cross school stages to receive their diplomas. It wasn’t hard for Will Ferrell to find common ground with his listeners: he, too, had graduated from USC in 1990.

Famous Speech Friday: Sally Yates on your moral compass

The Eloquent Woman

In May, Yates addressed the graduating class at Harvard Law School, looked back on her own legal career--much of it spent as a career civil servant prosecutor at the Department of Justice--to share four lessons with the graduates. Fired from her transitional post as Acting U.S.

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Improving Communication is Key to Closing Millennials’ Workplace Skills Gap

Ian Griffin - Professionally Speaking

A survey by the Hay Group revealed that 80 percent of employers are struggling to find graduates with the soft skills they […]. It’s universally acknowledged that employers seek applicants with strong speaking and writing abilities.

The Secret Sauce of Successful Commencement Speakers

Duarte Blog

Matt Damon set this year’s standard for self-deprecating jokes in his commencement address at MIT , making fun of his second “fake graduation” from college and reading aloud a terrible review of Good Will Hunting. It’s that season again.

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Music for the holidays

Kate's Voice

I have a Master’s Degree in applied voice and began teaching singing in graduate school, which was far too long ago (but it’s given me at least 10,000 hours doing it!!) I have taken what I learned as a performer and vocalist, and applied it to [.]. It’s not a secret. I am a singer.

Picture this: US college kids – then and now

Ian Griffin - Professionally Speaking

In 1940, in the vast majority of counties no more than 10% of the population had graduated from college [.]. Thanks to the fascinating website Sociological Images for a pointer to this interactive map at The Chronicle of Higher Education website that presents data on the proportion of U.S. adults with a bachelor’s degree over time. Business Communication Keynotes Speechwriting

New Holiday: Take your college-graduate son/daugther to peek at work underbelly

Jane Genova: Speechwriter - Ghostwriter

Total perception management.    From the admissions online information to the commencement address, most of the messages undergraduates receive is that their future work will have meaning, provide a self of belonging, and pay well.    In her book THE WORKING LIFE: THE PROMISE AND BETRAY OF MODERN WORK, Joanne B. Ciculla describes those embedded mindsets about professions. 

"Everything is Going to be Okay:" Words for grads or commencement speakers?

The Eloquent Woman

New Yorker cartoonist BEK (real name Bruce Eric Kaplan) likes graduation speeches--even though they seem to occupy our thoughts only on one day, and don't necessarily say anything truly profound. Here's how much he loves them: I love graduation speeches.

Quintessential Public Speaking: The Commencement Address

DeFinis Communications

When my son was in the 8 th grade I had the privilege of preparing and coaching the graduation speakers of Kent Middle School in Kentfield, California. It’s hard to believe, but those 8 th graders from Kent Middle School are graduating from college this year.

15 famous commencement speeches by women speakers

The Eloquent Woman

Can you remember your commencement speakers, or any memorable speakers at the graduations you've attended? But a speech that included a scene from The Exorcist as a way to encourage graduates to find their authentic selves?

Steve Jobs on life: change it, improve it, make your mark

Presentation Zen

Every year around this time I look for inspirational speeches, presentations, and other words of advice for graduating seniors. Last year, for example, I pointed to these three graduation speeches.

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Famous Speech Friday: Maria Shriver on "The Power of the Pause"

The Eloquent Woman

But Shriver urged the graduates not to feel pushed to rush toward things. Instead, she invoked "the power of the pause," and made it a call to action (or inaction, if you like) to the graduates: "Pausing allows you to take a beat -- to take a breath in your life. "What are you gonna do?"

Lydia Pinkham

The Communication Blog

I want to bring to your attention a new book by a friend of mine; we went to graduate school together at the U of I. The book— Lydia Pinkham: The Face that Launched a Thousand Ads by Sammy R.

Review of “Start strong – 3 gripping ways to open your talk” by Craig Hadden

PowerPoint Tips

” Craig has a Graduate Diploma in Computer-Based Learning. * * * * *. This is a review of a blog post by Craig Hadden , who blogs about presenting at Remote Possibilities. Craig is an instructional designer living in Sydney, Australia.

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Speakers: To persuade, get concrete. To inspire, be abstract.

The Eloquent Woman

While it's not possible to extrapolate the findings to the workplace, this study made me think of commencement speeches, which are traditionally long on high-minded abstractions and short on what's actually about to happen to the graduates. Here's an example that urges the graduates to worry less about doing something grand and positive, and more about not doing any harm: Everyone will tell you that you can change the world. Consider that, graduates!

A Lasting Impression: A Lesson Once Again on the Power of Stories

DeFinis Communications

Tags: Examples of Powerful Speakers Speaking Tips Analogies Commencement Graduation Lasting Impression Metaphors Quotes Stories

11 famous speeches by women in engineering & technology

The Eloquent Woman

They all come from Former Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz told graduates to "embrace failure" in her 2012 commencement address, embracing her own high profile firing to inspire the new grads. Her talk made a point of resonating with all ages of graduates in the audience.

Famous Speech Friday: Jill Abramson's "to anyone who's been dumped"

The Eloquent Woman

The university live-streamed it, Twitter lit up with people watching from afar, and the media ( including the outlet that fired her ) covered it like a blanket, giving her a great opener: "I think the only real news here today is your graduation from this great university."

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Five Essential Questions to ask Yourself

Presentation Zen

It’s graduation time around the United States, and while many speeches are forgettable, some of them stick. Dean James Ryan’s speech at the Harvard Graduate School of Education ceremony was one such speech.

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The "A" in College - Losing Its Brand Equity, Marketability

Jane Genova: Speechwriter - Ghostwriter

Whether they will be bullish about advanced degrees, professional and graduate, is in play. They tell employers that this college graduate does what it takes to generate positive outcomes in a certain environment. For new graduates, that can a plus.

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