9+ Salutatorian Speech Examples – PDF


You have worked your butt off for your entire high school or college life so that you achieve some type of recognition upon graduation. Instead of spending your vacant time going out, you spend studying your subjects and doing your assignments. And all your sacrifices will all be worth it when you find you get the top rank in class. 

The recognition and honor you achieve on your graduation day is the result of your hard work, determination, and perseverance. It will surely be a great feeling once you know that your sacrifices were worth it and the results are more than what you expected. Not only will you make your loved ones proud, but more importantly, you will make yourself proud and impressed of what you are capable of doing. 

In that sense, when you achieve one of the highest honor in your class, say as salutatorian of the class, you will be tasked to make a speech on your graduation day. And although the valedictorian still has a higher rank than you, does not mean you have to be shadowed by the idea of being second. So, how do you make your speech as significant and as important as the valedictorian’s speech?

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What Does It Mean Being a Salutatorian?

By definition, a salutatorian is a student usually having the second highest rank in a graduating class who delivers the salutatory address at the commencement exercises. The said rank comes in after the class valedictorian. Normally, the rank is decided based on a student’s grade point average (GPA). And other cases, credits from other activities are also considered.

Unlike the valedictorian who gives the an address by the end part of the graduation, the salutatorian gives the opening speech. Aside from the opening speech, the salutatorian may also be tasked to introduce other speakers, alumni, or special guests. In other cases or in different educational institutions, the salutatorian may also get a chance to give away awards and honors to the graduates. In religious, private schools, the salutatorian is tasked to give an invocation. 

Short Salutatorian Speech Example

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Simple Salutatorian Speech Example

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Christian High School Salutatorian Speech Example

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Why Is a Salutatorian Speech Needed?

During a graduation ceremony, various speeches will be heard such as an opening speech, inspirational speech, closing speech, and so on. Different people will also have to deliver the speech from politicians, teachers, alumnus, guest speaker, etc. And they can talk about any topic that they want mostly related to the theme of the ceremony.

In that case, the salutatorian speech is one of the ways for students to have a voice during one of their most important days. Since the salutatorian is usually tasked to give an opening address, the students express their sense of achievement, gratitude to the school and friends. Somehow, it is an extension of expression of how ecstatic the students feel as of the moment.

In addition, it is also the graduates’ formal welcome to their guests, families, and friends. In behalf of all the graduates, the salutatorian welcomes everyone on such a momentous event. It also basically lets everyone know what the theme of the ceremony is, introduces some guests, and acknowledges other important people present.

Humorous Salutatorian Speech Example

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Class 2014 Salutatorian Speech Example

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How to Write a Salutatorian Speech

When you are the class salutatorian, you will be tasked to make the speech. And that task entails that you will also have to write a speech, since you are the second highest ranking student for the entire class, you are expected to make a well-written and inspiring speech. Here is an easy guide in writing a salutatorian speech: 

  1. Find out the allotted time for the speech – this means before you even draft your speech, you have to ascertain the time allotted for you to deliver your speech. If you already know the time limit for your speech, you will be able to male an outline on how many and what topics you can include in your speech. 
  2. Confirm special things that should be included – aside from the time allotment, you should also discuss with the school authorities what other things you need to include in your speech. This means you need to confirm if you should mention special things like the school’s beliefs, special guests, and so on. 
  3. Choose a topic – the topic you focus on in your speech should be something close to your heart. It can focus on a quote, personal experience, personal outlook, and so on. If the topic is something special to you, you can easily expound on it making the writing process easier for you. 
  4. Make a first draft – since you already have an idea on how long your speech should be and basically what the school wants to include, you can make an outline of your speech in your draft. You can arrange all the details you have to include from the introduction down to the conclusion.
  5. Proofread – once you have organized the thoughts and ideas in your draft, proofread your speech. Read it aloud so that you can actually hear how your speech sounds out loud. You can also hear if your speech is coherently written and if the topic of your speech is sensitive and appropriate to the occasion. 

Class 2016 Salutatorian Speech Example

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Salutatorian Speech with Subtopics Example

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Retrospective Salutatorian Speech Example

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Tips in Writing a Salutatorian Speech

Aside from the basics, you also need to know some additional tips to help you as you go on writing. To further your insight and knowledge when writing a salutatorian speech, here are some tips you might find useful when writing a salutatorian speech: 

  1. Set a realistic future goals – just because you have graduated doesn’t mean you start being idealistic more than being realistic. You have to set a challenge that you know all of the graduates can achieve. 
  2. Avoid cliched quotes – as far as quotes can go, although you can use it as the focus of your speech, avoid using really common, cliche quotes. There are a lot of inspirational quotes that are not as common; use that to your advantage. 
  3. Keep it brief and direct to the point – avoid straying farther away from your topic, stay on track. Remember that you are most likely to welcome everyone present; say your piece, welcome the guests, and conclude your speech. 
  4. Maintain accuracy – if you are to mention names in your speech, make sure it is correct and accurate. It is extremely disrespectful to mention the wrong names and shows how unprepared and how you didn’t make time to do your research. 
  5. Be mindful and sensitive – avoid diving into controversial and sensitive issues in your speech. Although it may be a wonderful opportunity to do so, people may find extremely aggressive and insensitive if you do. However, if you must, just segue into your chosen topic. Use your non-controversial topic to smoothly transition into current issues and mention how it can all affect you.

Ideas and Topics for Writing a Salutatorian Speech

There will always be a type when you just can’t think of anything to write about, a writer’s block perhaps. Aside from the tips for writing a salutatorian speech, this guide will also give you some ideas and topics you can use in your speech:

1. Acknowledge and be grateful

You can start your speech by expressing your gratitude for all the people that have helped you reach your achievement. And in behalf of the entire class, you can acknowledge the help all your teachers have given all of you. You can also acknowledge your peers that have helped encourage you to push further. You just have to remember that you have to be sincere when doing so; just because you are reading your speech from script does not mean you should lack the emotions. Be sincere in acknowledging and expressing your gratitude to all the people who have helped you most especially to the support your parents have given you.

2. Trip down memory lane

You can also use some of your memories throughout your academic life as the focus of your speech. Although you still have to use recent references in your speech, some of your personal experiences while still in school will not be relatable but can also make your speech more humorous than serious. Nothing is more interesting than hearing how you manage to reach such honor upon graduation day; however, make sure that you avoid sounding conceited and vain. You have to organize your speech in a way that there is an equal amount of discussions about your personal experience and that of the entire class.

3. Quotable quotes

You can also use an non-generic quotes as the focus of your speech. You can break down the contest of the quotes and have a brief discussion for each subtopic. This will make your speech more comprehensive and easy to listen to. The only thing you have to remember is you have to choose quotes that are relevant to the occasion and can be easily relatable. And you never know, you may be even quoted on next year’s graduation speeches.

Class of 2015 Salutatorian Speech Example

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Appreciative Salutatorian Speech Example

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Conclusion

You may think that the salutatorian speech is not as important than that of the class valedictorian, but it is of the same significance. You can still sprinkle the speech with your personal thoughts, ideas, and so, and at the same time officially welcome everyone present to the occasion. However, regardless of that, what matters most is you are able to convey your message clearly and deliver something that everyone will remember. We hope this guide and its examples helped you in your journey to writing a salutatorian speech.

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