It’s a time of transition for many in our area as graduates move on from high schools and colleges in search of new challenges and opportunities.
With each step in the education process, there comes the obligatory commencement speech.
Young men and women who want most to flip their tassels and join the ranks of a schools’ alumni, hear first from a speaker who’s compelled to give them advice on how to succeed in that next step.
I’ve attended at least 7 college commencements, and can remember just one speech out of all of them.
I’ve also given a few graduation speeches and I doubt my listeners can remember much of what I said either.
Most of the graduation addresses include the suggestion that the world is waiting for your new ideas, and your new energy, which most in the audience recognize as patently inaccurate.
The fact is that the world is only interested if you as a graduate have something to contribute.
Few of the addresses probably focus on what is, or should be, a larger concern, and that’s how today’s students will be able to climb over the mountain of debt they’ve accumulated with a job that probably doesn’t provide them with the money and benefits their education entitles them to think they deserve.
If you’re called on to make a commencement speech this spring, I’d suggest you…
- Start with a prayer,
- End with a flourish…and
- Keep it short.
That’s the way I see it.