Funny Graduation Speeches

Michele Meleen
Contributor: Jennifer Betts
girl in cap and gown giving speech

Graduation speeches infused with humor bring life to these traditional celebrations and speak to the nature of the youth in attendance. If you're not a natural comedian, these samples provide a great starting point to customize your speech.

Humorous Speech #1 - Finding Out Who You Are

Who are we? That is a great question. We've spent the last 13 years of our lives trying to prepare for that, but it isn't something that you can Google. Well, you can Google it, but make sure that you turn on the safe search first. There is no telling what your results might be.

It's Okay to Not Know

teen boy in cap and gown holding cell phone

However, Google won't tell us where our passion lies. It won't tell us who we are. And while some of us know, (your parents are breathing a deep sigh of relief right now), others of us don't, (sorry Mom and Dad). We don't know what we want to be when we grow up yet, and that is okay. Well, your parents might not think so when you are on your fourth major and they're paying your tuition, but it is still okay.

A New Chapter and Finding Your Passion

High school was fun, but we have turned a page in our life. We have moved from childhood into adulthood and now is the time to find our passion. It's time to learn what we want to be if we haven't figured it out, or follow our dream if we have. So parents, open up your wallets because studying philosophy isn't cheap.

Thank You All

Teachers, your passion and dedication has helped us to realize that being first in line isn't a life or death situation. And thank you for understanding that dogs can eat anything from homework to gym shorts. True story. Faculty, thank you for putting up with us from our nose picking days to raging hormonal breakdowns. Through it all, you have been our rocks. So as we take this final walk out of this school, we thank you all for helping us to answer the question of who we are.

Humorous Sample Speech #2 - Learn From Your Mistakes

We all make mistakes. I know that I have. Stealing Shelly's boyfriend in 3rd grade was definitely a mistake, but I think I did her a favor. Staying up the night before ACTs was a mistake, but I'm standing up here so it wasn't that bad. I have made mistakes. Hundreds, no thousands, okay maybe millions, of mistakes within my short 18 years.

Mistakes Help You Grow

Have I learned from all of them? Probably not. But more often than not mistakes helped me to grow. I mean I learned that volunteering to give a graduation speech was probably not my best chose 13 hours and four speeches later. But then again, I'm killing it right now, so time well spent. I also learned that I'll probably never volunteer for this again. So as you can see, mistakes are all about learning.

New Adventure - New Mistakes

As we bust through this new adventure in our lives, some call being a grown up, I call the end of freeloading, we will make mistakes. We will choose the wrong major and have to pay thousands extra in student loans, but we will learn to be more frugal. Honestly, we will probably just learn how to live on Ramen, but who knows. We will miss deadlines and be late, but all these things will make us grow and change. Our mistakes will become as important as our successes because they will define us.

Thank You All

So, don't aim for perfect, instead, it is better to be flawed. So, thank you, parents and teachers, for letting us make mistakes. Thank you for molding us into the imperfect creatures we are today. And most of all thank you for allowing us to learn from our mistakes as we move forward.

Customization Options

Each sample speech is general enough to be used for most school graduations. If you want to create an original speech, you can modify both samples by:

  • Changing out terminology with words like high school or senior class
  • Adding in personal stories or examples
  • Including funny sound effects and facial expressions where they make sense
  • Changing the greeting or closing statements

Tips for a Great Speech

Giving a speech in front of a large crowd, especially in front of people you know well, can be a challenge if you plan to give an unexpected surprise like a funny speech. These suggestions and ideas will help you prepare so your speech gets the positive reaction you hope for.

Bits of Humor

You don't have to be known for your humor to add it into a speech, but there is a right way and a wrong way to give a humorous speech. Funny graduation speeches command an audience's attention and involve them in the ceremony. However, adding humor that is well-timed, appropriate, and funny can be tricky. Keep the following points in mind as you plan your speech.

  • Timing is everything. Take a look at your speech ahead of time and decide where humor will be most appropriate.
  • Stories of classmates and faculty members are your best sources for funny stories. Think about funny moments that included others at the school.
  • Search for funny quotes, jokes, sayings, poems, song lyrics or even newspaper headlines that could be related to the ceremony. Be sure they complement the moment.
  • Don't be afraid to talk about yourself, especially any embarrassing moments you might have experienced during your academic years.
  • Tell stories. Even without trying to inject humor, you might find that your stories about your graduating class, the faculty, and the administration are funny.
  • Refer to subjects that everyone is familiar with, such as politics or especially pop culture. Think about popular TV shows, bands, movie stars, etc. Remind the audience about fads that have been popular while your graduating class has been in school. If you know a funny story relating to this theme, tell it.

Practice Pointers

teen boy talking in front of peers in classroom

Before the actual ceremony, you'll want to practice your speech several times. You'll also want to:

  • Give a copy of your speech to the principal and any other faculty members involved in the ceremony. Be sure you get their approval before you give your speech.
  • Practice your speech in front of several friends and ask for their honest feedback.
  • When adding humor to a speech, it is important that you stress certain words to add emphasis to the funny parts of the speech.
  • Don't just focus on stories that relate to you and your friends. It's important to include as many of the groups in your school as possible. You want to reach all of your audience, not just some of them.
  • Funny graduation speeches should not be rude or cruel. Do not use this time to ridicule a teacher or principal who is disliked by you or your friends. Be sure your speech material is appropriate.
  • Sometimes, there is a fine line between poking fun at something or someone and being offensive. Use tact and consideration in your speech.

A Fun Way to Say Goodbye

Your graduation speech is the perfect time to sum up your experiences over the past years and close this chapter of life. Infuse the speech with a youthful spirit, ingenuity, and humor to make it an experience others will never forget.

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Funny Graduation Speeches