Writing a speech is like writing (and then telling) a story — hook us into your story and give us a beginning, middle, and end.
Your speech should reflect your Brandeis journey, lessons, and experiences that will be carried throughout life.
Remember that writing a speech to be given is different from writing a speech to be read.
The audience is not just your class, it includes honorary degree recipients, faculty, parents, friends, relatives, graduate students, etc. Speaking to your classmates is fine, but too many ‘inside’ jokes or information might lose the rest of the audience.
Read the speech out loud. If you fumble over transitions, change them, no matter how brilliantly written they are.
Punctuation is your friend and helps you breathe and transition within the speech.
A speech cannot be overly complicated, especially in a large hall.
Be careful about being personal. Too many ‘I’s” will leave the rest of us out.
Keep in mind that someone else is giving the official Commencement address. You are giving the Student Commencement address.