Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Rockin' the graduation commencement speech

Today is a very proud day for me.

At 7PM this evening, my client will be delivering a graduation commencement speech at Nassau Community College... a commencement speech I wrote!

He was asked to give the speech as an alumnus and entrepreneur, alongside keynote speaker Chuck Schumer.

Apparently the crowd will be upwards of 13,000... CRRRRAAZY!!!!!

After hearing me speak at my sister's wedding a few months ago, he enlisted my help in getting his ideas down on paper.

I was so thrilled and flattered. This is exactly the kind of writing I'd love to be doing more often.

It was definitely a challenge though. We met for a few hours to brainstorm and the process unfolded from there.

We went through several drafts over several weeks before finally getting it right.

Believe it or not, the initial problem was too much content. Shocker.

We had so many great ideas and only 4-7 minutes to deliver them... a little scary when we realized the first draft timed out at 14 minutes!!

It was hard to let go of some really great inspirational nuggets, but I eventually went at it with a chainsaw and hacked off anything that wasn't absolutely essential.

So excited to hear my words over the mic! I can only hope they inspire the audience as much as I was inspired writing them.

This is the reaction I envision!

I'll upload the video version of the speech asap on my WORD-OLOGY site, so stay tuned for that.

In the meantime, check out these memorable, laugh-out-loud commencement speeches below.

Humor is a common thread that's always welcome in speeches... especially during long ceremonies involving thousands of people with super short attention spans.

I wouldn't ever attempt to be that funny, but I did throw some jokes in there so hopefully we'll get some laughs.

There's always an element of research involved in writing. Watch and learn from the masters and then toss in your own spin.

Luckily in this case, the research was thoroughly entertaining!

LOVE Coco!! F-ing genius!

2000 Harvard Commencement Speech Part 1

2000 Harvard Commencement Speech Part 2

Steven Colbert... another comedic genuis!

Take a look here for a more straightforward, but amazingly poignant commencement speech delivered by Steve Jobs...
...short, sweet, and inspiring.
It's one of my favorites!


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