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Good Advice: Make Your Commencement Speech Memorable19:06
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Newly commissioned officers from the U.S. Naval Academy class of 2010 celebrate the conclusion of their graduation and commissioning ceremony May 28, 2010 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Md. (AP)
Newly commissioned officers from the U.S. Naval Academy class of 2010 celebrate the conclusion of their graduation and commissioning ceremony May 28, 2010 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Md. (AP)

It's graduation day.

You're melting in your cap and gown as the sun beats down on the biggest green open space on your college campus. You've heard pomp and circumstance well over 10 times today, and the President's address went on for what felt like hours. . . now it's time for that big name graduation speaker. This guy had better bring it.

Some graduation speakers make us laugh (Stephen Colbert, Ellen Degeneres). Others inspire students to achieve greatness (Barack Obama, Steve Jobs, J.K. Rowling). Even more speakers fail to deliver an address worth remembering.

What's the difference between a ho-hum graduation speech and one destined for the history books?

Guests:

  • Cristina Negrut, curator, Graduation Wisdom
  • Les Perelman, director of the writing program, MIT

This segment aired on May 26, 2011.

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