Online Public Speaking

Training & Practice


Sarrah Shahaway Valedictorian Speech

This speech is a good example of a well written, well thought out, confidently delivered presentation. Copy and paste this link to check it out:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jb6hzQu1bAs

Synopsis: This speech is a good example of a well written, well thought out, confidently delivered presentation.

Body language: Sarrah’s voice and energy are strong and positive.

Connecting with the audience: Sarrah makes reference to campus life several times during her presentation. This resonates with her audience and draws them into her presentation. Note she gets a bigger response when mentioning a food truck on campus than at times when she mentions macro concepts such as fearlessly pursing dreams! 

Tempo: Sarrah’s is very deliberate in her tempo. She measures her words and timing carefully to sound confident and unrushed, yet not too slow.

Writing a great speech/Coming up with a unique perspective: Sarrah’s speech is generally well written, and it cleverly builds from familiar references to philosophical statements. By doing this she endears the audience before “laying it on thick”, and towards the end of her presentation she returns to making familiar references again. This is a clever approach.

At other times her speech does delves into clichés a bit. For instance, she states that the world will “tremble” at the approach of her fellow graduates. Emphasis should be made to come up with truly unique viewpoints when giving a presentation and to avoid clichés if possible. Valedictorian speeches are particularly predictable when it comes to statements about “opportunity”, “dreams”, and the like. These are relevant to the occasion, but it’s preferable to be more creative if possible.

Was the presentation a success? It's hard not to call this presentation a success. When a presentation is this well thought out, confidently delivered, and well written, success is almost always guaranteed.