As I told you on the first day of school last September -I know you don´t remember, that´s why I have decided to notify it in writing - one of the oral exams this year will be a Valedictorian Speech. I bet this will ring a bell: you´ll have to dress up for it, both to give the speech and to listen to your classmates. I still remember the way you looked at me and at each other in surprise!
Being your class valedictorian is a great honour, that´s why you - each one of you- will give a speech. It´s a memorable moment you do not want to miss!
WHAT IS A VALEDICTORIAN SPEECH?
A Valedictorian or Graduation Speech is a closing or farewell statement or address delivered at a graduation ceremony. Its aim is to thank, exalt, stimulate to action, motivate, to affect and touch, even to raise to a higher emotional level, and finally to say farewell. You do most of these by reflecting on the past years and putting special emphasis on some events; if you are not good at remembering things, you could get together in a group and brainstorm your memories.
Writing your speech is not difficult. Here is a skeleton and structure to use.
PARTS OF THE SPEECH:
1. INTRODUCTION . Start with a quote, a short anecdote, a thought, an incident or a short poem that hooks the public.
2. BODY. Include 3 parts:
- Think about your parents and other family members. What did they do for you? What have you learned from them? Mention a person who has been specially relevant in your life. Show gratitude to those who believe in you.
- Think of your friends. Thank them for their friendship and support.
- Thank your teachers and mentors for what you learned from them, for their patience, the skills, abilities and creativity and the different opportunities they offered you - although it was sometimes hard, for sure.
- Reflect on the past years and draw out some of the events. Tell what you have learned from them. Mention special school events, popular activities, sports, interesting classroom experiences, the academic successes, personal accomplishments, failures, a beloved teacher... Mix in some humoristic anedoctes.
- Have a vivid word picture of a significant event for you as a student. Describe it in such a way that everybody can understand what it meant for you.
- Consider the accomplishments of this group of graduates, your classmates.
"The beginning of the next most important phase of a new life outside of school ...
Consider this moment in time. Reflect on important local, national or international issues, reflect on your place in history.
What experiences or lessons have prepared you for the future? Offer examples of things you have learned that are always valuable in life. What would you like your classmates to remember from this moment, this school year, this school? Do you think you have the skills to learn, aptitude to succeed, abilities and creativity to make a difference, to work to meet the needs and assist in solving of the problems that face society?
- Summarise your three key points in the Past, Present, Future of the Body.
- Return to the Introduction and restate your original statement or goal ( for example it may have been “this school has taught us the elements of character that facilitate success”)
- Thank the audience for their attention.