What's Your Commencement Speech for Grads?

4 replies
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So, everyone is in the Spirit of doing their Commencement Speehes these days.

I just saw this story.....

Dear Grads, You Need a P&L - WSJ

I think if you search for it in Google you can see if if you don't have a subscription and you haven't ready too many of their articles for free.

But, as an internet marketer....what would you tell College Grads in your speech?

Put yourself on the dais as if you were invited to speak.

Honestly, I don't think it's necessary that you have graduated or not.


  • Profile picture of the author ForumGuru
    I'm getting a "must sign in or subscribe" warning before I can read the article via the link. If I do a google search for the article and then click from the G listings I can read it without subscribing.

    An old trick...



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  • Profile picture of the author DRP
    While I appreciate the author's curtness (a personal characteristic of mine), most of this article seems to be a proverbial "brown-nosing" of capitalism.

    My commencement speech would be similar, but I'd have more important points other than giving an elementary lesson in economics. Also, "changing the world" is cliche and misleading. Nobody is changing the world, and wanting to do so is arrogant...perhaps even narcissistic.

    Here are the points I'd make in my hypothetical speech. I'd explain each in more detail, but these are the general points I'd make:

    1. Capitalism is how the world works. It's neither good nor evil. It just is. The sooner you accept that on a personal level, the faster you'll be able to adapt and become well adjusted.

    2. Each of us has a personal responsibility to be well adjusted citizens. You've already taken a step in the right direction with your education, but there's more to it than that. Each of us need to be compliant with the law, financially responsible, and emotionally intelligent. In a word, it's time to become an adult, in every sense of the word. This also means driving safely and responsibly. Cite automotive fatalities and reinforce personal accountability.

    3. Understand that most of us are average. We're never going to change the world, become famous, become fabulously wealthy, or the like...and that's perfectly fine! For years you've been subtly indoctrinated to believe that everyone is unique, special, exceptional, and the like. Again, the sooner you accept this on a personal level, the faster you'll become a well adjusted and effective citizen within society. Talk about how being a well adjusted adult contributes much more to society's well-being than most people think...it's a greatly underrated quality that is surprisingly hard to find.

    4. Don't underestimate the power of financial responsibility. I know this might seem like I'm revisiting point 2, but this deserves more explanation. Spend much less than you make, save and invest for retirement, be thrifty, be patient, don't be greedy, don't fall for scams that prey on your vulnerability or greed. Don't invest in high risk investments. Similar to the OP's P/L.

    5. Take care of your body to the best of your ability. Living a healthy lifestyle is its own reward, but more than that, it helps the system by not taxing it with another broken body. The government does in fact, want you to be healthy because it's cost effective. Obesity is an epidemic not only on a social level, but on an economic level as well.

    6. Appreciate your job/career and understand your place in society. Each of us has a job to do. Thanks to our system, most of us get to choose exactly how we will contribute to society as professionals. Whether you're a doctor, lawyer, soldier, marketer, salesperson, programmer, cleric, or accountant - understand that your role is important to the organization you work for, and it deserves your best efforts. (Bring up auto factory example where employees had a sweet deal but didn't realize it. They sabotaged their work causing future recalls, complained, and were unproductive. This caused the plant to close in the future and devastated the workers. But most of them failed to realize that they contributed greatly to the loss of their jobs...and the failure of that plant.)

    7. This is more in line with my remarks about emotional intelligence, but deserves greater explanation as well. Be wise enough to know that you probably don't know. Utilize your critical thinking skills (assuming they learned them in their gen ed classes) and don't be so quick to jump into conclusions about many things. This can range from religious beliefs, current events, political ideologies, and even things you observe. Think like a skeptic or detective. Understand your bias and get all the facts before making a decision or passing judgement. Don't try to be "right", try to be objective about what "IS".

    I could probably think of more, but this is my immediate response to your question OP. Not sure if I'll ever give a graduation or commencement speech, but if I do, these will most likely be points that I'll address.
    I'd rather tell you an ugly truth than a pretty lie.
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    • Profile picture of the author Charles Harper
      Originally Posted by DRP View Post

      I could probably think of more, but this is my immediate response to your question OP. Not sure if I'll ever give a graduation or commencement speech, but if I do, these will most likely be points that I'll address.
      If I have the opportunity to nominate you, I will.

      That's a pretty awesome speech.

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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    Figure out a goal that makes you feel amazing just to imagine it. Then go make it happen.

    Nobody's going to do it for you.

    Take the risks now, while you don't have dependents.

    You can become whatever you wish to be...if you keep at it long enough.
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