Are you giving a speech at your child’s graduation? Whether it’s high school, college, University, or even a kindergarten graduation ceremony – as a parent – this can be a daunting task. You might be wondering, when you start to think about speech writing, “is there anyone that can write my speech for me online?” But here’s some helpful advice to write your own speech on Graduation Day.
There’s a huge level of gravitas with giving a speech. A room of people, even if it’s friends and other parents you’ve known for years, can feel at least a little daunting to speak in front of.
Many parents will put huge expectations on themselves for a speech. When we see speeches on TV or in movies, they always seem larger than life, like these unforgettable moments that will stand the test of history.
This adds to the aforementioned gravitas, but it can be helpful to keep things in perspective. You aren’t giving a speech to encourage your country to venture to the moon, nor to bring rivals together during a time of catastrophe, nor to inspire a room full of struggling salespeople.
Having said that, a speech is still something that is significant, it’s a chance to express yourself, and it’s a chance to leave a mark on a captive audience.
Tips for Writing a Parent Speech for Graduation Day
Here are some helpful tips if you’re writing a parent speech. You can make a memorable and impacting speech following this advice.
Keep It Short and Sweet
If many parents are reading speeches, there can be a natural impulse to try to one-up the other parents, take more time, do the best speech… but nobody else is going to be nearly as interested in your speech as your own kid and family, so don’t worry about trying to overdo it or to appeal to everyone.
Keep it short and sweet for the sake of everyone who will be listening to a ton of speeches, and if you have more to say or chat about, you can do that privately with your graduate.
Think About Your Audience
There can be different styles of parent speeches. Think about who your audience is (your kid, their close friends and students they’ve known their whole lives, or one of many students in a larger class?) Use these thoughts to inform the length and style of your speech. For example, the smaller and more intimate the crowd is, the more likely that people are to be familiar with your child, their quirks, references, and so on.
Read your speech over and over, in front of a mirror or to friends/family, to check how long it typically takes you to read through it. Be mindful of your pacing. While it’s good to get through it quickly and to avoid having a speech that’s too long, you want to avoid reading through it really quickly. We’ve all heard speeches where the person is obviously nervous and reading too fast. Being nervous is okay on its own, if you can avoid reading too quickly!
If you aren’t experienced in public speaking, or you’re a bit nervous, you might find yourself speed-reading it. Pacing is really difficult to nail, but a few trial runs should take care of most issues. When you’re giving your speech, just be mindful that you aren’t reading too quickly. Try to be present in the moment instead of zoning-out.
After presenting your speech to friends or family, it’s a good idea to ask them for their honest feedback. Ask them for suggestions, if there are any parts that didn’t make sense or didn’t flow as well, and anything else they can suggest.
Sometimes, a fresh set of eyes and ears is really helpful, especially if you’ve been looking at this same speech for days. Don’t neglect to lean on those around you for their thoughts and ideas!
Do You Need To Memorize Your Parent Speech?
You don’t need to 100% memorize your entire speech, and going up to give the speech without a copy of it written down can be a recipe for disaster.
Even if you know your entire speech perfectly and can recite it flawlessly, it’s a totally different story when the moment finally arrives and you’re up there with an audience. Keep a copy of the speech with you, glance down occasionally if you need to, there’s nothing wrong with this. You’re not acting in a movie, you don’t need to remember all of your lines.
Parent Speech Template
Here’s a quick outline for a parent speech, you can fill in the blanks with your own stories and experiences and anecdotes. This parent speech template will help you get started if you’re not sure how to get the ball rolling.
- Begin your speech with a heartfelt message to your child. You could tell them how proud you are and why, or tell a story about some of the challenges they’ve overcome to arrive here at graduation.
- Share some of their biggest accomplishments. This will vary from person to person, so think about an accomplishment that your child was most proud of (as long as they wouldn’t mind having it shared). Here’s some useful information about tracking your child’s accomplishments.
- Share some advice. This is a good part in the speech to offer some advice, words or encouragement, or just looking forward to the future as your child closes one chapter in their life and opens another. Whether they’re taking some time to plan for the future, staying in school to advance further, or looking to enter the workforce – big chances are on the horizon and there’s a lot to look forward to!
- Thank those who have helped. Take a brief moment at this part of the speech to say thanks to people who have helped along the way. It could be teachers, administrators, someone else on the school’s staff, a family member who rose to the occasion to give support, and so on. You don’t need to list everyone in the world here since it’s not an Oscar acceptance speech, sticking to a poignant moment or two will keep your speech flowing best.
- Wrap things up with a second heartfelt message. If you can finish things up with one more heartfelt message to your grad, especially if you can reference something from the introduction that ties these two messages together, your speech will feel a lot more impactful.
This isn’t set in stone. Come up with something that works for you, and the guidelines of your speech, too. When you’re asked to write a speech, they’ll typically give you some guidelines to follow. If not, don’t be afraid to ask or refer to other parent speeches.
Final Thoughts About Writing a Parent’s Speech on Graduation Day
At the end of the day, it’s a good idea to remember a few things. Most importantly, this day is for your child. It’s about celebrating their accomplishment. Don’t try to make a joke that will make them uncomfortable or feel humiliated at all. It can feel good to get a laugh from a crowd, but it’s not about you, it’s about them, it’s their day.
As a parent, you know what a challenge it can be to think about balancing motherhood and balancing fatherhood and college graduations, highschool graduations, or even elementary school graduations.
Hopefully, you’ve found some helpful tips and advice about how to write a parent speech on graduation day. Preparing for your speech will ensure that everything goes smoothly, and you’re able to present a great speech that your kid will remember proudly (even if they roll their eyes in the moment, that’s just kind of how teens are…)