University graduation days can be marked by some pretty dry speeches from the assembled dignitaries and faculty members. But that’s not always the case at American universities. That’s because commencement speeches are a highlight of the whole graduation package. And they certainly help to create a truly memorable day for the departing graduates, their friends, family and all the university staff. This was the case with the commencement speeches at Bates College in Maine this week where a Robert de Niro commencement speech was eagerly anticipated.
The veteran actor was on fine form with this commencement speech. Not just because of the fact that he was the recent recipient of a doctorate in fine arts.
And yes, this Robert de Niro commencement speech proved exceptional, mixing humour, politics and seriousness to great effect. Unlike many celebrity speakers, he wasn’t afraid of some rhetoric:
I have one message for you, Class of 2012. Stay in school. I know you’re here to graduate, I know you think your work is done, but hang on just a minute. It’s tough out there. The world is a scary place. Stay in school.
You’re not alone. Surveys show that many undergraduates are staying for four and a half to six years. Really! Nothing gets better after this. So now, say it with me, “Stay in school!”.
It won’t be easy; the best things seldom are. I know you’ve already rented the cap and gown, gotten an internship, broken up with your girlfriends and boyfriends, and started sleeping with new ones, had your last drink at the Goose, deposited the early graduation gifts. But listen to me: Yes, stay in school.
Some superb repetition in this Robert de Niro commencement speech that resonated with his graduate audience.
When you need public speaking tips and hints, then you can always find them with our regular series of tips and podcasts. And, when you have to give a commencement speech, or something equally special, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Because we can always help with a range of public speaking training and coaching services for any occasion.
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The Principal Trainer at training business Time to Market. Based in Oxford, I run presentation and public speaking training courses, coaching sessions and seminars throughout the UK. Andrew Ivey on Google+
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