Speak! The Class of 2020 Needs Leaders.

posted in: Blog, Uncategorized

Speak now or forever wish you had.

As college and university presidents cancel commencement and scramble to figure out how to reward graduates who have worked SO hard…I beg you to give them a gift greater than a ceremony.

Give them a commencement speech.

This moment in time is an incredible opportunity for leaders to prove that they are in fact leaders.

This moment in time is an incredible opportunity for creative thinkers to dig deep to inspire the future with words that matter.

This moment in time is an incredible opportunity for us to put aside nonsense and negativity.

Truth.

Hope.

Empathy.

Guidance.

Throughout history great speeches have been key equalizers in times of chaos and uncertainty.  Guess what?

We are in a time of chaos and uncertainty.

We may not be able to prop up our public figure at a podium, but we CAN give them a platform.

Zoom. Skype. Smartphone at the kitchen table???

It doesn’t matter.

It may not be perfectly produced.

It doesn’t matter.

It may not provide pomp and circumstance.

It doesn’t matter.

For the first time…in a really long time…the speech will matter.

I believe we will see established leaders rise to the occasion to offer their insight and experience and we will unearth new leaders who will enlighten us with their perspective.

And we will be better for it.

I hope every higher learning establishment is listening and reaching out to the people they have previously booked to speak and keeping them scheduled!

I hope every speaker, CEO or thought leader is keeping their promise to deliver their remarks with even more passion and attention to what matters.

Some speakers may fall short in this challenge. It happens every year regardless of what is unfolding in the world.

But, many will blow us away.

Many will provide needed comfort in a time when we all feel unsafe.

Many will leave our graduates and their families looking ahead instead of dwelling on what has been lost.

Many will have their message travel far beyond the walls of an auditorium because more people will hear them.

The loss of tradition and communal coming together leaves a great void, especially in times of celebration. I get that…and I too grieve for the gathering. But this is the new way for now.

Universities and colleges of this country…you can do this!

Speakers and speechwriters you can create this!

Parents, honored guests, professors and The Class of 2020…you deserve this!

By Kristen Daly