Posts Tagged ‘Speeches’

Steve Jobs’ Commencement Speech to Stanford Graduates

December 10, 2010 Leave a comment

Many of us know Steve Jobs as the co-founder of Apple and Pixar, but did you know Jobs encountered many hardships, failures, and unexpected turns throughout his life, including dropping out of college?

In his commencement address to Stanford’s graduating class of 2005, Jobs is very generous, personal, and honest. Unlike many speakers who focus on their successes and impart advice to students to emulate that kind of success, Jobs’ speech is composed of three surprising stories from his life that have made him the person he is today. Jobs offers no easy answers, but delivers an incredibly inspirational speech that may feature some of the most valuable words of wisdom for any graduate.


A Resource for Writing Your Commencement Speech

August 28, 2010 Leave a comment

Have you been asked to give a commencement speech? With Fall commencement coming up, you may have been asked as an expert in a given field to offer words of guidance and encouragement to a new graduating class or as valedictorian it might be your duty to give a farewell address. Either way, public speaking is always a somewhat frightening prospect. Graduation Wisdom offers a vast collection of famous inspirational quotes and of commencement speeches by famous figures such as Meryl Streep and Steve Jobs. These speeches are an excellent resource, but remember to attribute quotes and ideas to those who came up with them!

Lance Armstrong to Give Graduation Speech for HPU

August 20, 2010 Leave a comment

Recent news has come out indicating Lance Armstrong, famous cyclist, will be giving the commencement speech for High Point University for their 2011 spring graduation. According to the Huffington Post blog article on the subject, High Point is renowned for their famous commencement speakers.  So I thought I’d include a video of Bill Cosby’s commencement speech at the university. The video quality isn’t fantastic, but Cosby, as always, is charming and hilarious.

Bill Cosby’s Commencement Speech Part 1

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A Valedictorian and Her Shocking Proposal

August 15, 2010 Leave a comment

When you sit at graduation, anticipating the valedictory speech, you ordinarily expect to hear words of encouragement to the graduating class and expressions of gratitude to the school and community.  Centenary College’s valedictorian, Emily Hawley, very well may have lived up to this tradition, but she shocked her school and her boyfriend when she concluded her speech by asking him to marry her! The Vice President of the school, the only faculty member who knew the speech would conclude with a marriage proposal, gave Hawley permission to pop the question in front of her entire graduating class feeling that it would be a “special memory” the school and community would all cherish. Click here for the CNN article and video!

“Best Graduation Speech EVER!”

August 13, 2010 Leave a comment

Who says a commencement speech has to be a yawn-fest? Jefferey Herman, the speaker in the video below, breathes fresh air into the time-worn tradition of graduation by adding a little music and a lot of humor. He gives a “meta-speech,” parodying the very speech he is giving as he gives it! Yes, he’s hilarious, but he also gives his audience cause to reflect and to look forward. Not sure if it gets my vote for “Best Speech EVER!” but it’s certainly near the top of my list.

The Unique Challenges of the Modern Commencement Speech

August 11, 2010 1 comment

Whether you’re a student, faculty member, or famous alum, giving a commencement speech at a university or high school is quite an endeavor. You want to challenge graduates to work hard as they leave the world of academia and enter the world of careers, but you want to encourage them to succeed, even if they face a bleak economic climate. You might want to make the audience laugh, make them cry, instill them with hope—most likely all of the above. The year 2010 featured numerous notable current events lending commencement speech makers plentiful fodder for a wide variety of speeches—one blogger even referred to 2010 as “a watershed year” for commencement speeches. In fact,  Sam Dillon,  writer for the New York Times,  sewed together a “tapestry of opinion” from the diverse range of speeches famous figures gave to graduating classes this year, comparing Obama’s commencement speech at West Point, in which he painted an optimistic picture of the war in Afghanistan to Jeffrey Sachs who referred to the war as “a futile and misguided effort to restore order through a military approach.”

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