Valedictorian Speech Examples Challenge Class To Reach For The Stars

Valedictiran speech examples - valedictorian inspoired graduates

A valediction speech is a short speech that recaps the years the graduating class spent at the school and honors their achievement. The valedictorian prepares it, and it may be heartfelt, humorous, or inspirational. The best valedictorian speech examples advice, wish the graduates good luck, thank honored guests, and reminisce about the journey the class has experienced together.

At high school and college graduations, the students who rank the highest in the class are the ones who speak on behalf of their classes. The top student, called the valedictorian, presents a short speech known as the valedictorian speech.

This often follows words by the salutatorian, the second highest-ranking student, who also gives a speech.

What Is The Definition Of Valedictorian Speech?

A valedictorian speech is a commencement speech given by the person with the highest grade point average (GPA) in the graduating class. It is worth noting that some schools have a weighted scale to ensure that students who have taken honors or advanced placement classes outscore students with an easier load of courses through their high school years.

It is a high honor to be the person to give this speech, as it is clear to all that the valedictorian has engaged in years of hard work to get to that point.

Valedictorian speech example/ Highest-ranking classmate speaks

What Is A Valedictorian Speech About?

The graduation day speech given by the valedictorian is typically given after the salutatorian has spoken. While the salutatorian speaks on behalf of the graduating class, the valedictorian is speaking for (and to) his or her fellow students who are graduating.

Topics presented during great valedictorian speeches include:

  • Gratitude: The valedictorian or salutatorian expresses gratitude to everyone who has helped the graduates get to where they are appropriate, including faculty members, family, community members, friends, and fellow graduates. Speakers should communicate with other speakers to prevent duplication.
  • Memories: It is worth noting that class valedictorian recount not only their personal memories but those relevant to the entire class during their high school experience.
  • Future Endeavors: As graduates prepare to move to the next stage of life, a speaker may discuss what the future holds for the assembled students.
  • Inspire: The speaker inspires the class to pursue their dreams as they move on to the next stage of life.
  • Quotes: Quotes that inspire or reflect are excellent for graduation speeches. One might choose inspirational quotes to help set the stage for the speech or as part of the conclusion. The quote can also help transition between main points.

How Do You Write A Short Valedictorian Speech?

What if you are tasked with writing a very short speech? In some middle or high school graduation ceremonies, the speakers are requested to keep it short (3-5 minutes). When that is the challenge set before you, speech writing can feel tricky.

When given a shorter time, you need to get a lot of bang with fewer words. Shorten your introduction. Limit your main ideas to two (rather than 3-4). Find efficient transition thoughts. As you conclude your speech, you can pull the ideas together in a few sentences to make sure the anecdotes you have shared are clearly linked for those listening. One important rule for public speaking is quality over quantity. You can say a lot in just a few words!

Maya Angelou quote

What Do You Do If You Have A Lot Of Things To Say In A Valedictorian Speech?

It may be necessary to limit your speech due to certain factors. First, knowing how long the faculty advisors expect you to speak is important. Traditionally the valedictorian speaks for anywhere from 5-10 minutes.

As you begin brainstorming about your speech, sticking to the main ideas that resonate with most people assembled is essential. In other words, this is not about you and your best friends. The speech you prepare for the graduating class’s big day should engage the entire class. This is not the time or place for inside jokes or stories involving just a few class members.

Valededictorian speech examples appeals to whole class

Often, a class’s years together may revolve around a significant event that occurred during high school or college. Recent classes may have bonded over Covid restrictions, but natural disasters, the untimely death of a classmate, or political upheaval may have marked the years. (Ask grandparents. They may remember the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the Vietnam War, or Y2K as the focal point of their school years.)

One should also refrain from discussing anything controversial during a graduation speech. While current issues can be significant and worth talking about, this is not the forum for doing so.

When choosing anecdotes to share, limit it to three or four stories or thoughts that can be somehow linked together in an interesting way.

How To Write A Valedictory Speech For Graduation?

Wondering how to write your speech?

  • Talk to others: Classmates will have ideas on important memories you might want to share.
  • Brainstorm: Give yourself some time to think things through and brainstorm ideas on topics to cover.
  • Planning: Make an outline or organize your thoughts before writing. Do you have stories you can pull together?
  • Write: Start writing your speech! Like all speeches, the valedictorian speech should have a beginning, middle, and end.
  • Read it out loud: As you read your speech out loud, set a timer. Do you fit within the parameters given to you?
  • Revise: All great writers revise. Don’t assume your first copy is the best.
  • Practice: Once you have the final speech written, be sure to practice it either with someone, in front of a mirror, or by making a video.

What Are Some Valedictorian Speech Examples?

Valedictorian Carl Aquino, graduating class of 2010 from West Hall High School, compares life to solving a Rubik’s Cube. He gives his speech with the help of a classmate who accompanies him by playing the guitar. You will enjoy the stories and analogies he uses with such fun humor.

Chase Dahl of Weber High School class of 2015 gave another speech in a unique style. His speech is also a fairly short 5 minutes.

What Is The Best Valedictorian Speech Example?

Arguably, a contender for the best high school valedictorian speech ever was given by Alex Stone, part of West Boca Ratan’s high school class of 2022. He was particularly poised as he hit all the required elements for a graduation speech, wove an important personal loss into his speech, and tied the speech together with the quote by May Angelou, “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away,

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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