Get Commencement Address essential facts below. View Videos or join the Commencement Address discussion. Add Commencement Address to your PopFlock.com topic list for future reference or share this resource on social media.
Software methodologist Kent Beck giving a commencement speech
The "commencement" is a ceremony in which degrees or diplomas are conferred upon graduating students. A commencement speech is typically given by a notable figure in the community, during the commencement exercise. The person giving such a speech is known as a commencement speaker. Very commonly, colleges or universities will invite politicians, important citizens, or other noted speakers to come and address the graduating class.
A commencement speech is less bound by the structure found in other forms of public address, like eulogies or wedding speeches. The speaker accordingly enjoys a unique freedom to express him or herself.
Dianne Pleuss, from Toastmasters International, emphasizes that the speech "should not be a lecture, but rather a personal, engaging story the audience can relate to".
Toastmasters World Champion of Public Speaking, Ramona J. Smith, identifies six elements in a good commencement speech:
"authenticity (being yourself)
transparency (sharing a story of failure)
wisdom (having failed, picked yourself back up, failed again, hit reset, and used the lessons learned from the previous failures to become successful)
humor (comic relief, keep their attention, make that connection)
credibility (Are you somebody?)
preparation (practicing the speech or hiring an exceptional speech writer)"
Despite meaning "beginning", commencement may be mistaken to mean "ending" due to its association with the end of college. Its usage originated with students finishing their studies and being awarded a degree, thus commencing as bachelors or masters in a subject and enjoying new privileges within academia.