Truth. Relevance. Grads should hear both. – SCN Encourager 6/4/2013

Gee… why didn’t I think of that?

I ask myself this question a lot this time of year. I’m always impressed by the quality of the Baccalaureate and Commencement speakers I hear. (And some are still students!)

Over the weekend I listened to a speaker connect with a large group of grads in a memorable way for his entire ten minute presentation before he challenged the rest of us in the audience in his closing.

“Is there anyone here this afternoon who can deny that our world does not sorely need the energy, talent, and idealism of every graduate now sitting right in front of you?” he asked.

The silence that followed reminded me of those times at home when I inquired, “who wants to help me clean the garage?”

The results were similar, too: He got as many “deny-ers” as I usually get helpers. ZERO.

What actually struck me about the question at the end of his speech was its simplicity.

And that’s what gave it its power. He had all of us in attendance intensely hoping and longing (inwardly praying even…) for the future success of every grad – here and elsewhere.

He wasn’t wrong, was he? Who in your district would “deny that our world does not sorely need the energy, talent, and idealism of every graduate?”

I’m sure you don’t have any “deny-ers” in your school community, either.

Another Commencement speech I liked (but didn’t hear, see, go to, or set up for) is this one from marketing consultant Heidi Cohen. It’s from her blog.

She created seven themes from beginning to end and then parsed out 17 “actionable” social media tips within her seven themes. You might find it interesting for two reasons.

On top of Cohen’s high topical relevance, note her format. it reads well. It shows well. It’s pretty appealing.

But don’t worry. I won’t try my version out on you – at least not tomorrow!

Tom Page, SCN

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