Commencement Speechwriting 101: Secrets to Writing a Speech that Soars

Everything you need to know to hit that uncanny blend of humor, praise, depth, insight and inspiration that brings graduates and their families to their feet.


Aaron Hoover

With nine Cicero Speechwriting Awards, including two for commencements, longtime university speechwriter Aaron Hoover knows what the best commencement speeches share in common—and the speechwriting tricks that will help you bring those qualities to your own speech.

In this 90-minute webinar recording, Aaron will guide you through the process of writing a great commencement speech with a minimum of hair-pulling agony.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Develop an original theme with emotional resonance, avoiding the empty platitudes that leave audiences cold.
  • Delight the crowd by poking fun at the stuffy academic ritual that suffocates lesser speakers.
  • Put the audience’s addiction to their smartphones to your advantage by making social media part of your speech.
  • Convey wisdom without lecturing and inspire without exhorting.
  • Have fun, and especially, open the door to the joy and sense of celebration that graduates and their families want and deserve to feel.

The truth is, writing a great commencement speech is hard. But you can do it—and when you do it well, it can be a particularly rewarding speechwriting experience.

Let commencement-speech guru Aaron Hoover show you how.

INSTRUCTOR: Aaron Hoover is director of executive communications at the University of Florida, where he has won nine Cicero Speechwriting Awards, including two for commencement speeches.


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Format: This is a 90-minute webinar.