Salutatorian Speech Examples To Make Guests Feel Welcome

Salutatorian speech examples welcome, thank, reminesce, and inspire

Salutatorian speeches are considered the opening act to other speeches by the valedictorian and guest speakers. They can be general, serious, funny, inspirational, long, or short, but they should always be heartfelt. These salutatorian speech examples show how to welcome guests and gets the ceremony going.

At college or high school graduations, the salutatorian, the person with the second highest grade points average in a graduating class, typically speaks first. Following the salutatorian speech, the valedictorian gives the main student speech of the ceremony.

Here are some salutatorian speech examples to guide your writing.

What Is The Purpose of A Salutatorian Speech?

The salutatorian speech often serves as a welcome speech to greet those at the commencement ceremony. Whether you are at a college or high school graduation, the salutatorian speeches are similar. While the valedictorian typically speaks to their fellow graduates, the salutatorian speaks on behalf of the class in their graduation speech.

Salutatorian speech examples on behalf of the class

When Is It Usually Given During Graduation?

The salutatorian speech, or salutation, is often the first speech in the graduation ceremony. A high school salutatorian speech might welcome everyone for coming, thank faculty, staff, and loved ones for their hard work and support of the graduates, and serve as an introduction for the festivities to follow.

What Is The Usual Content Of The Speech?

  • Introduction: Be certain to introduce yourself in the opening portions of the speech. Include a greeting such as “good morning” or “good evening” before explaining who you are and why you are honored to represent this college or high school class.
  • Thanks: It is common for the salutatorian to thank those assembled to celebrate the special day. Acknowledging staff members at this time is also appropriate.
  •  Welcoming: Someone needs to welcome everyone to the commencement ceremony, and as the first speaker, that task often falls to the salutatorian.
  •  Inspiring: A salutatorian speech can serve as a tool to give pieces of advice or wisdom to the graduates. This can be done through stories, quotes, or both.
  •  Reminiscing: Recapping and reminiscing about the years the class has spent together is often the most meaningful part of the speech.
Salutatorian sppech exampels recap the past

Should The Speech Be Coordinated With That Of The Valedictorian?

Before finalizing ideas for the salutatorian speech, the salutatorian should compare notes with the valedictorian before they are solidified. Each speech should have a distinct and exciting focus that will not render the other redundant. Coordinating your approaches is an excellent way to ensure attendees enjoy both of your speeches.

How Do You Write The Speech?

  • Ask a teacher, administrator, or faculty advisor to determine your speech length. If they say 3-5 minutes, you should stick within that time frame. These speeches are usually at most 10 minutes.
  •  Talk to classmates to gather material. Are there stories you want to share about your graduating class? Be sure you are not focusing on a small group of people, as it is graduation day for an entire class, not just a few.
  •  Choose a few main points to make. Don’t try to cram too many speech topics into the 5 or so minutes you have to talk.
  •  Make an outline. How will you bring your thoughts together into a cohesive speech? Remember that bringing it all together is a big part of powerful public speaking. If you want to write an inspirational speech, use a quote to either kick off or conclude your speech.
  •  Start writing. Once you have a rough draft, read it out loud and time yourself. Make sure you have avoided clich├ęs. Verify that it fits the time constraints you have been given. The rule of thumb is that one double-spaced typed page is about two minutes worth of speaking.
  •  Don’t forget to revise. Even accomplished authors take the time to take suggestions and revise their work.
  •  Practice, practice, practice. Work on fine-tuning items like making eye contact and not talking too fast.
Salutatorian speech exampels - time your speech

What Is An AI-Produced Example Of A Salutatorian Speech Sound Like?

A generic salutatorian speech primarily produced by Google Bard shows how the parts of the speech come together to welcome, thank, reflect, and inspire.


Good morning, faculty, staff, parents, and fellow graduates. It is an honor to stand before you today as the salutatorian of our graduating class.

I would like to start by thanking my parents, teachers, and friends for their support over the past four years. I would not be standing here today without their help.

I would also like to thank the faculty and staff of our school for their dedication and hard work. They have helped us to learn and grow in so many ways.

AI-generated salutatarian speech example


I would like to take a moment to reflect on our past experiences. Four years ago, we came into these hallways as timid freshmen, unsure of what the next four years would bring. We stumbled through our first day of school, struggling to find the paths to our classes. Since Covid was in full swing, our way to class was often online, and masks were our top fashion accessory.

But as the years went by, we grew and learned together. We experienced moments of triumph and moments of defeat. But through it all, we supported each other and made lasting memories.

I remember the first time we went to the homecoming football game. We were all so excited to be there, and we cheered our team on to victory. I also remember the time we went on the senior trip to Europe. We had so much fun exploring new cities and cultures. And, of course, I will never forget the prom. It was a magical night that we will all cherish forever.

These are just a few of the many memories we shared. We have laughed together, cried together, and supported each other through thick and thin. We have grown up together, and we have become the people we are today because of each other.


As we look to the future, I know that we are all excited about the possibilities that lie ahead. We are ready to take on new challenges and make a difference in the world.

I am confident that we will all achieve great things. We have the talent, the drive, and the support of our loved ones. I know that we will make our school proud.

Thank you again for this opportunity. I wish you all the best in your future endeavors.


Congratulations, class of 2023! I wish you all the best in your future.

Salutatorian speech examples

What Are Some Real-life Salutatorian Speech Examples?

While looking for great graduation speech examples, we stumbled upon this one by Cassidy Bell, Guilford Schools Class of 2016 salutatorian. Notice how she thanks those in attendance, tells stories that relate to the entire graduating class, gives some focus on the school principal, and pulls it all together.

Mariel Camargo is the Waxahachie High School salutatorian, and she gives another great speech. Mariel thanks those dearest to her and explains why their love and support means so much to her. But she does not dwell on her personal story. Rather, she pulls in the entire class repeatedly.

A speech for a parochial school might have some different content and slant to it, as illustrated in this speech by Caroline Kniskern of Gilbert Christian Schools.

Whatever approach you decide to take after looking at salutatorian speech templates, do your best to give it a personal slant that is most appropriate for you, your school, the graduating class you represent, and the community you grew up in.

Pam Berg

A former English teacher and currently an elementary principal in a rural school, Pam has honed her speaking skills in the classroom and before professional groups. Pam enjoys sharing her insights about public speaking almost as much as she enjoys running, which she does daily.

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