It's an honor and a big responsibility to deliver a commencement speech for your class. If you'll be speaking at your middle school graduation, prepare a thoughtful and meaningful address that will inspire, entertain and pay tribute to your classmates and teachers.

Thank all of your teachers, principal and school administrators. Discuss the ways they offered guidance and support as you transitioned from grammar school to middle school and made difficult subjects interesting. Single out instructors that the students found particularly inspiring.

Express gratitude for the sacrifices and support your parents have given you throughout your childhood and middle school years. Discuss common power struggles that you and your classmates may have had with parents over the past few years and joke that the arguments will probably get worse in high school.

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Offer well wishes and encouragement for your friends and fellow graduates. Reminisce about school dances, class trips and spirit week events. Discuss the challenges and exciting opportunities you'll all face in high school.

Include an inspirational quote or song lyric that sums up the occasion. Use it to start a section of the speech that touches on your hopes for the future and everything your graduating class can achieve.

Use humor wherever possible to lighten the mood and engage your audience. Discuss science class mishaps, common locker problems, school lunch snafus and other humorous moments. Keep your jokes "clean" so you won't offend anyone in the audience.

Practice the speech in front of your family several times before the graduation ceremony. Ask if any areas need rewriting, if your jokes are funny or if there's anything important you're leaving out. Videotape yourself, if possible, to discover areas where you look uncomfortable or need to work on your delivery.

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