It is an honor to be selected to deliver the opening remarks for a graduation ceremony for high school. The best way to approach the task at hand is to have fun and use it as an opportunity to deliver an impactful message. Put your positive memories into action that will leave the audience spellbound.
Themes for a High School Graduation Welcome Speech
Begin writing the high school graduation welcome speech by determining a thematic purpose. It’s important to think about your audience and their interests. You’ll be speaking to students, teachers and parents who will all find graduation meaningful for different reasons.
Pick an overarching theme and then include some subpoints that will fill in the gaps. Here are some topics to consider:
- Meaningful relationships
- The meaning of success
- Leaving a mark
- Making a difference
- Overcoming hurdles
- Creating lasting memories
- Tributes to others
- Advice for the future
- Dreaming big
- Unique traits of your class
- School pride
- Important things in life
- Risk taking
- The journey of life
- Staying united and becoming reunited
- Developing a personal identity
- Learning from failure and success
- Becoming a problem solver
- Giving to others
Focus on the Introduction
A catchy beginning for your high school graduation welcome speech will signal to the audience that you have something meaningful to say. A story that describes the graduating class or a lesson that impacted you is a great way to illustrate the thesis of your speech.
Don’t be afraid to be colorful and funny. You may also choose to be vulnerable and share a story about your own trials and tribulations. The audience will be intrigued if you start with a story that is interesting.
Don’t Forget to Show Your Gratitude
Within the body of your high school graduation welcome speech, be sure to include a few words of thanks. This isn’t your time to tell your mom and dad how much they mean to you, but instead, think about gratitude on a larger scale.
Is there a janitor, cafeteria worker or science teacher who touched the lives of your classmates? Use a few words of gratitude to encourage the graduating class to show their thanks to those people who helped them reach the finish line.
Leave a Lasting Impact With Your Conclusion
The conclusion of your speech should leave a lasting impression. Similar to the opening, what kind of story or message will reinforce the theme of your speech? Your final words should summarize your thesis and leave a few words of advice for the graduating class.
You may also want to include a message about staying in touch and reuniting in the future. Close with conviction, and you’re sure to get a standing ovation.
Practice Makes Perfect
Once you’ve written your opening remarks for a graduation ceremony for high school, the hard work begins. An impactful speech means nothing if it’s not delivered with energy and confidence.
Practice your speech for several days so that it’s rolling off your tongue with ease. Deliver it to your family and close friends to get their feedback and thoughts. When it comes time to share your speech at graduation, you’ll want to have a few notes that you won’t need because you’re so prepared.
Deliver the Speech With Conviction
Giving the opening remarks for a graduation ceremony for high school is a nerve-racking endeavor for even the most skilled speaker. Remember that you were hand picked for this honor and rise to the occasion with pride and confidence. Attendees are eager to hear what you have to say, and if you’re prepared, you’ll shine with success.
Dr. Kelly Meier earned her doctorate from Minnesota State Mankato in Educational Leadership. She is the author and co-author of 12 books and serves as a consultant in K-12 and higher education. Dr. Meier is is a regular contributor for The Equity Network and has worked in education for more than 30 years.