Graduation speech: what to talk about and how to behave

Graduation speech: what to talk about and how to behave

Your studies are behind you, the most difficult thing is left – defending your diploma. Even a well-written diploma does not guarantee success at the defence. The harsh reality is that nobody but you will read your thesis. The mark will depend on your defence speech and how you will present it. So have patience, prepare an action plan and start writing your speech.

How to prepare a graduation speech

Divide your speech into three parts – introduction, main part, conclusion. To write a proper speech and not to embarrass yourself, follow our advice:

  • Study the thesis. You won’t write a decent speech if you don’t know the topic of your thesis well. Even if you suddenly wrote it with someone else’s essay help – don’t be lazy to figure it out.
  • Remember about the time of the speech. No one expects you to give a 30-minute speech – on the contrary, it is not welcome. Your diploma defense speech should last 5-7 minutes, no more. To add to your speech only the most necessary things.
  • In the introduction, state the relevance of your work, goals, and objectives. It is the introduction that should interest the committee members. They just want to listen to you next.
  • Speak to the point. You do not need to elaborate on every aspect of the thesis.
  • Express your opinion. This way you will show that you are fully immersed in the topic and you care.
  • Think in advance about possible questions from the committee members and answers to them. If possible, include some points in the speech right away.
  • End the speech on a positive note and do not raise new issues. The speech should be finished.

The defence is tomorrow. How to prepare?

If your diploma defence speech is already ready, rehearse it. First in front of a mirror, and then – in front of your family or friends. You can correct the speech and memorize it faster.

  1. Be sure to print out the speech (in two or maybe three copies), underline the key points for yourself with a marker. It may be a separate piece of text, which is worth emphasizing.
  2. Immediately prepare the clothes you will wear. Pack a bag, put a flash drive with your presentation and your speech. And don’t forget your thesis, if you haven’t had it taken away from you in the department.
  3. Get some rest and a good night’s sleep. Come to the defense fully armed, with a fresh head and a good mood.
  4. If the speech is not written – do not panic. For you and for all those who want to simplify the writing of thesis defense speech, we have prepared special hints cards. You can download them at the end of the article.

Defence in half an hour. What do I need to know?

As the saying goes, you can’t breathe before you die. So exhale deeply and gather your thoughts. Just five minutes, and it’s done. When it’s your turn, keep a few simple rules in mind:

  • Speak loudly and confidently. It’s better to stretch your voice a little before you speak, so there’s no hoarseness.
  • Don’t be silent. While you are silent, in the head of the Commission there are a lot of questions. And the answers to them you may not know. So speak without long pauses.
  • Do not rush. Rapid speech only increases the excitement. And, again, the Commission may have additional questions.
  • A low voice sounds more convincing than a high one.
  • If you speak very slowly or monotonously, the members of the Commission will get bored and lose interest in you. To control the pace and tone of your speech.
  • Speak with enthusiasm. If you believe in the importance and relevance of your work, the committee members will believe it too.
  • Tear yourself away from the paper with the text. Or better yet, speak in your own words. You should look at the audience, not at the paper – so you show your confidence and good preparation.
  • Put all the pages in order right away. Don’t leaf through or turn them over, just push them aside slightly.
  • Do not say unnecessary things. This is especially true of answers to questions. Answers that are too long may lead to more questions. So speak only to the point.

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Follow our advice and rules, and good luck with your defence!

Graduation speech: what to talk about and how to behave

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