High School Graduation Speech Samples

High school graduation speeches are a big responsibility, and they can be intimidating. With a few tips and some sample graduation speeches to look at, you will be well on your way to writing a very engaging speech.

Sample Speeches for High School Graduation

The following speeches are examples meant to inspire your own creativity. You can download and edit them for your own use by clicking here. 

If you like the style or sentiment of a particular speech, consider how it relates to your own high school experience, and use that as a basis for your own speech. 

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Sample One: How We’ll Measure These Years

Here is a sample speech that discusses how things have changed since high school.

In the second example, we look at what a high school graduate can expect in the future.

The third sample is about thanking and recognizing those who have assisted everyone in successfully graduating.

Here is an inspirational high school graduation speech that asks the students to reflect on the moments from high school that will inspire them for the rest of their lives.

This video offers a great example of a graduation speech that is funny, appropriate, and entertaining while really speaking to the graduates. The memory of a humorous speech like this will last long after other graduation memories have faded if you have a natural gift for humor.

Tips for Writing a Graduation Speech

Whether you’re writing a speech for your homeschool graduation, as the class Valedictorian, or as a graduation thank you speech, there are some tips to help you make your talk memorable.

Know Your Audience

Although parents, faculty, and members of the community will be present, your speech should focus on your classmates. Get in touch with them!

Grab Their Attention

Speeches that are good grab the audience’s attention and don’t let it go. Whether you ask a question or make a strong statement, be sure to get your audience’s attention. In your speech, don’t be afraid to use humor. It is also helpful to have a theme for the speech.

Tell Stories

Make sure you don’t just read your speech. Include emotional stories in your speech that inspire positive actions or tug at the heartstrings. If you want to express your feelings, you might consider writing a poem.

Include Everyone

You shouldn’t limit yourself to speaking to the popular crowd, the sports stars, or the academic achievers. All members of your graduating class should be included in your topic.

Keep It Short, But Not Too Short

Before you begin writing your high school graduation speech, you need to know how long it should be. There are generally between five and ten minutes in length for student speeches at high school graduations, although closer to five minutes is ideal.

End With a Memorable Message

Students and special guests often end their high school graduation speeches with a memorable, and actionable sentence that inspires the audience to do something great. In your graduation speech, it’s customary to end with “Thank you,” which you can do after your memorable one-liner.

Don’t Wear Out Your Welcome

In a great commencement speech, the audience enjoys it, not just endures it. Put some serious thought into your speech, say something meaningful, and stay on topic so your message doesn’t get lost. Above all, don’t talk too much. 

Everyone wants to receive their diplomas, take off their caps and gowns, and celebrate.

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