Sunday, May 11, 2008

Seven Tips for a College Commencement Speaker

      1. Don't try to be hip. You may have graduated a mere three years ago but to most of the students, you are no longer one of them.

      2. Unless you are a professional comedian, don't tell a lot of jokes.

      3. Keep it short. Your audience is already eyeing the exits.

      4. Keep it nonpolitical. This should be an occasion for unity, not cheap political shots at any party or politician.

      5. Try to say one thing that might be of practical use to the graduates 20 years from now.

      6. Let your unspoken message be your example. Scrap any tasteless, cruel or ignorant remarks.
      7. Translate all foreign phrases and keep jargon to a minimum.


      Wally Bock said...

      Not bad advice for speakers anywhere, Michael. Bravo.

      Number 3 reminds me of advice that my father, the preacher used to give to his students. It was to "Stand up, speak up and shut up because there are darn few souls saved after fifteen minutes."

      Michael Wade said...


      "Stand up, speak up, and shut up" should be silently reviewed by every speaker just before the speech.