Speech Writing

This speech will be President Mitch Daniels commencement speech at the upcoming summer graduation (August 6th) as he just gave a powerful speech at the recent spring graduation (May 16th).
As I approached the podium and took a look out into the audience I saw a variety of emotions. In comparison, commencement ceremonies are a lot like funerals. At a funeral you look into the audience and you see the same expressions; sadness, optimism and happiness. I say happiness at funerals, because they know their loved one is now at peace and has entered into the next chapter. Today graduates, you have entered into the next chapter of your life and for that you deserve a round of applause. Now even though you may be writing the book you can’t get your book to sell without a publisher, so let’s give your family and friends a round of applause for being that support you needed.
I count it as an honor and privilege to be able to address the students of one of the greatest universities in the world. I was told to be brief, so I cut my hour speech down to 59 minutes and 30 seconds. At the spring commencement I spoke about not forgetting who helped you, but your failures and successes are your own. Standing before you a few months later, I feel the same, but with a different take on the topic. As stated before you’re the writer of your book and if it becomes a best-seller or not that’s your responsibility. Your family and friends can be your editing team that corrects you when you’re wrong. They can be your publisher that helps you sell the book and put them on shelves, but whether or not if your book succeeds solely lays on the writer. Purdue University has given you the tools to be a best-seller, you have your editing team and your publisher, so now it’s time for you to become the writer we’re all waiting for you to become.
I’ll leave you with this quote by the incomparable champion of freedom, Frederick Douglass, “People might not get all they work for in this world, but they must certainly work for all they get.” Graduates go out there and put in the work and write those stories. Thank you and Hail Purdue!