I’ve been asked by my son’s high school to help the speakers at the various graduation ceremonies.Â And I’m happy to do it.
Here’s what I’m going to tell them.Â
Your audience goes to graduation ceremonies Â because they are excited for their kids. They are filled with hope for the future. They want to connect with that sense of hope.
So here’s what you can do to connect.
1. Tell stories.Â Think of all the best speeches you’ve ever heard. They all have stories. Don’t give me of platitudes.Â Tell me one key thing that you’ve learned. Then tell me a story that illustrates the point.
2.Â Don’t read your speech.Â Too many students get in front of their classmates with a text and read it.Â But when you read your speech, you utterly fail to connect with the audience. If that’s what you’re going to do, then just print it out and send the speech to everyone via email.
3. Speak with passion.Â You’re a new graduate!Â Sound like one!
4. Practice. If you practice a lot, then you will be able to deliver the presentation despite your anxiety.
5. Have fun.