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How to Develop and Deliver a High School Commencement Speech

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Every spring for many years I was asked to coach one or more students who had to deliver a speech at our high school's commencement ceremony. And every year I would have the same problem: students who didn't know where to begin. Even though many of them were academically talented, writing a commencement speech--let alone delivering one--was not something they'd done before. So I developed this guide to help them get the job done.

Along with ideas for coming up with a suitable topic, the guide also includes a list of important tips for the actual delivery of the speech. Since, in addition to teaching English, I also had many years experience teaching speech, I knew I was giving them good, practical advice.

In the end, this guide saved my students lots of anxiety, and it made my job easier because--let's face it--spring time in high school is packed with activity, not the least of which is prepping for graduation. When that time came, I always felt relieved when I could simply give this handy little guide to a wheel-spinning, in-denial, or baffled student and say, "Here you go--this should help." And it did. My students were thankful, and so was I.

Bonus: If you needed a speech idea for a senior English or speech class, you could assign a commencement speech and then use this guide as a tool for developing that assignment.

Thanks for considering Tim's Tool Box!
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2
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