Hello faculty members, parents, superintendent, guests, and graduates. When I was first informed that I was going to be given this great opportunity to speak at graduation, I was overwhelmed. I was confounded with excitement and pride, as I am sure we all are on this great day. Nonetheless, I was mostly overwhelmed with the idea that I had to speak in front of a multitude of people, a task I had never tackled before. Accordingly, I did what every other student in my situation would do; I approached my friends for advice. The pieces of information that I was given were: Number 1: Do not mess up! Number 2: Be humorous! Obviously, after receiving those pieces of advice, I was well prepared to write a compelling and brilliant speech that will be imprinted on our minds for the rest of our lives until we expire. So, do not be afraid. I am well aware that on such a great day of excitement, what you require of a speaker is brevity, humor and most importantly, that I do not mess up. I will not disappoint you in this respect.
When we arrived at this institution, every single thing was new to us, and we strolled around looking at every part of the school in awe. Now, as we are about to leave, we were rewarded with the chance to view the institution from a high rise building in the school. We looked down on every part of the school in nostalgia, from our class to the library that we were well familiar with due to the countless late nights spent there. Although each part of the institution meant something different for each, we could not deny the fact that we all emerged better citizens and people because of this institution. Consequently, in the speech herein, I will utilize examples from my class to elaborate the different ways in which I became better and how we all learned to speak effectively.
One of the first things that we were taught during our lectures was effective communication. Effective communication is highly related to listening. To learn English as a new language one needs to learn to listen. The general understanding of listening as hearing needs to cease and instead be replaced by the actual meaning. Listening is an active process that entails more of thinking, understanding, internalizing and drawing the response from what is heard. It is far much more than the perception of sound. When a new learner of English listens to a native English speaker, the focus is emphasized on the understanding of the words spoken. This assists the student to boost his/ her knowledge of the language. As the student tries to remember the phrase, he/ she builds a pool of vocabularies and how words link up with each other. Accordingly, I utilized the formulation of my speech, and I am utilizing this knowledge at this instance. I also advise you to do the same by actively listening.
Another important thing we learned was that the essence of practicing cannot be overlooked. Accordingly, the new learner needs to try to speak the language without fearing to make mistakes. Indeed, one needs to keep on practicing since if one becomes too reluctant to attempt to speak in English, he/she loses even what she has learned and heard. One needs to keep on saying new words as well as sentences in order to be perfect (Alan). An example of the new words that I learned includes glossophobia, procrastination, extemporaneous as well as many other words. To prove to you that I am well aware of their meanings and that I indeed attended my lectures, I will briefly define a few of these words. Glossophobia is the fear to speak in public, somewhat similar to the feeling I had before stepping on this podium. On the other hand, extemporaneous is a form of communication that occurs without proper preparation. Consequently, it leads to unclear communication whereby the speaker doesn’t drive any point home; the audience is left floating with so many questions. Lastly, procrastination is simply defined as the act of regularly delaying a particular event (Halonen 67). I could go on, but I do not want gloat too much.
Finally, we also learned informational, persuasive as well as motivational speaking, all of which are represented in my speech today (Tracy 89). From these, we learned that the speaker needs to be very clear in his/ her communication, accurately encode the information that is to be sent and that the speaker needs to understand his/ her environment as well as the audience. We also learned that the audience plays a vital role in speech and must be willing to hear as well as listen to what the speaker is saying. Accordingly, speeches must be about what is relevant to the audience.
In conclusion, I would like to accentuate how proud I am of my classmates. I am proud of our diverse nationalities and personalities because, in reality, the world we are about to enter into is made up of this; a lot of diverse people, with different personalities and nationalities who have something unique to contribute to the society’s fabric. If you cannot remember a single word I uttered here today, just keep this in mind; houses, success, money, and jobs will come and go, but good friends can never fade. I urge you to keep in touch with each other even as we go out to pursue our dreams. Thank you all for the remarkable memories and good luck in every step, path and dream you pursue. Congratulations, Class of 2015, we earned it!
BIBLIOGRAPHY Alan, Jessica Dawdy and. How to Speak English Well: 10 Simple Tips for Extraordinary Fluency. 2014. http://www.fluentu.com/english/blog/how-to-speak-english-well-fluently/. 9th December 2015.
Halonen, Susanna M. “6 Reasons Why Procrastination Can Be Good For You.” Psychology Today 2015: 1-3.
Tracy, Brian. “Learn How to Become a Motivational Speaker in 3 Steps.” n.d. Brian Tracy. http://www.briantracy.com/blog/business-success/how-to-become-a-public-speaker-4-steps/. 9th December 2015.