Ever wonder what a guest speaker might say to a graduating class at any high school in Newfoundland and Labrador? It must be difficult to prepare for such a task knowing that the students have been looking forward to this night for such a long time and that they’re very eager to get the formalities over with. Most of them are not going to pay too much attention to what any guest speaker has to say anyway.
Of course, a speaker can always rely on the old clichés – ‘The Future is Yours’ – ‘Any Dream is Possible’ – ‘Reach for the Stars’ – ‘You Can Achieve Any Goal’.
While these clichés may be very true, maybe we need some new ones to get across to the students.
So, with the students not really caring about what a guest speaker has to say, what can he/she talk about to keep the students’ attention? Maybe the message should be short and to the point.
Congratulations should be in order. The students, or most of them anyway, have worked hard and have been cooperative with their teachers, in getting to their graduation. No doubt, it is a significant milestone in a person’s life that can open many doors to the future.
What about advice on choosing a career?
A guest speaker might say: ‘Graduates, choose your career wisely. Someone once said, if you love what you work at, the money will follow. Many students get off on the wrong foot by realizing one or two years after finishing high school that the career that they thought they would like is not for them. It’s really important to know what type of work you like and what kind of career you may be suited for.’
A guest speaker might say: ‘Students, when you start your post-secondary studies, give yourselves some time to adjust and adapt to this new stage in life. You’re going to be in larger classes, the work load may seem difficult at first, making new friends may not be easy, but it will all work out if you give it time. Remember that most of the students there will be feeling as inadequate as you might be. You can adapt fairly quickly and fit in in a rather short time.
Congratulations should be in order. The students, or most of them anyway, have worked hard and have been cooperative with their teachers, in getting to their graduation. No doubt, it is a significant milestone in a person’s life that can open many doors to the future. -
A guest speaker might say: ‘Students, when you enter a post-secondary institution of learning you have to be very serious about your classes, assignments and in keeping on task. While this is very important, you should also take some time to enjoy the journey. It is good to be serious about it all, but have some fun along the way. Take time to spend with your friends, get involved with the community life of the institution, take in a movie or go to a party on a Saturday night. Just remember to be back in class on Monday morning.’
A guest speaker might say: Graduates, no matter where you go in life or what you may do, don’t forget your school and community. Take some time to visit your school when you return to the community to say hello to your teachers who helped you in high school. You should always remember your community and be proud of your heritage and roots all through your life.’
A guest speaker might sum it all up by saying: ‘Graduates, this is your night. Enjoy it. Be safe. Be serious about your future but don’t forget to enjoy life along the way.
A guest speaker might think: ‘I wonder were they listening to that.