The Valedictorian Speech

The valedictorian speech video below is an excellent example of how to give an inspiring, funny and exciting graduation speech.

Being chosen to give a valedictory speech is a high honor, and you want to present yourself in the best possible light. However, that doesn't mean you can't have fun or that you have to bore your audience to sleep!

Valedictorian Speech Video

Good, wasn't it?

The valedictorian speech in the video includes many qualities of a graduation speech that students, parents, and administrators will appreciate.  In particular, Paul's delivery:

  • puts the audience at ease with relatable anecdotes
  • incorporates humility and humor
  • establishes a clear theme ("and you're our valedictorian")
  • proceeds with a speaking pace suitable for the occasion
  • uses personal experiences to support the main points
  • shares memories the audience of students appreciates
  • gives thanks for the work of students, teachers, and administrators
  • pauses where appropriate for dramatic effect
  • keeps the presentation to an appropriate length

Finally, Paul finishes his speech with a clincher that includes words of inspiration and a call for action. 

Here's a written example of a high school graduation speech to view for more information and ideas. This example includes additional tips for perfecting the statement made to those attending. Also, the article breaks the text into parts: introduction, body, conclusion to help readers comprehend the structure and flow of the talk concerning the occasion of finishing high school.

Also, read through these quotes for a graduation speech as well.

Even if you don't feel you're at the stage of needing a quote for your speech yet, take a look. I find that quotes sometimes give you the inspiration you need to get started. You may even end up basing your entire presentation around a quote that particularly moved you!

Valedictorian Speech

There are many do's and don'ts that you need to be aware of when giving graduation speeches. Following are a few ideals:


  • keep it short
  • tell a story or two
  • use humor sensitively
  • include everyone
  • give thanks
  • inspire confidence in the future


  • exceed your expected speaking time limits
  • ramble on about many personal stories from high school
  • insult others or be insensitive
  • express pessimism

If you speak from your heart, your experience, and your concern for others, in a positive expression, then your valedictorian speech will be one that your audience is inspired by and remembers for a long time.

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