An Inspirational Speech to Graduating Students


Snapshots of the Future

My alma mater called and requested that I give an inspirational speech during the graduation rites of its Grade School Department.


A week before, I made a self-assessment and determined I wanted more training / experience in public speaking.  Hmmm…  What can I say?  The universe will conspire to get you what you want, when you want it.  That is, immediately, or almost immediately.

Let me share with you the text of my speech.

Beloved director, principal and members of the faculty, proud parents, and above all, the graduates.  My congratulations.

I imagine that you are excited at graduating, a little scared of going to highschool, sad about saying goodbye to friends and teachers, and excited about the summer.  I also felt the same way when I was 12.

Looking at your faces, at this school, at the teachers, I realize that everything has changed.  And nothing has changed.

But let me tell you, tomorrow will be the beginning of one of the most wonderful, memorable, exciting part of your lives.

So let me speak to you now as someone speaking to another who is starting on the most wonderful journey.  But you have to listen, and you have to listen hard, because I am going to tell you some of the secrets to success.

They are growth, generosity, gratitude and love of God.  You can call them the 4 G’s.  And they are the secrets to success.

The first is GROWTH.

Let me tell you about growth by telling you about Mulan.  You all know Mulan’s story.  She wanted to defeat the Huns but she was a girl who did not know how to fight.  She could not even carry a weapon!  But she did not let that stop her.  She practiced until she got so tired she could not practice anymore.  The next day, she got up and practiced, she got beat up but she practiced, left hanging on a pole but practiced, got buried in snow but practiced.  Before she knew it, she was China’s hero.

What am I trying to say?  The next years of your life will determine your future.  Make the next years one of growth.  Embrace growth.  Find out what you are good at, find out what you like to do.  And then grow.  Practice.  Practice some more.  Because here is another secret – if you practice – You can be anything you want to be.  So do not be afraid.  While you are at it, do not be afraid to fail.

Let me also tell you more about failure because it is important in growing.  You all know Michael Jordan, right?  He is the greatest basketball player of all time.  Michael Jordan missed more than 9,000 shots in his career, lost almost 300 games, and missed 26 winning shots. He failed over and over and over again. But that is why he is the greatest basketball player in the world.

The second is GENEROSITY.

You have to be generous, even overly generous, because here is the secret – if you give more, you will have more.  We are all familiar with the sayings – it is better to give than to receive, or God loves a cheerful giver.  You know they are all clues – clues to great riches (both material and spiritual) – and they are all true.  Because when you give, you release a powerful blessing and it embraces you.

The third is GRATITUDE.

We say it every day – “Thank you”.   But we do not know how much power THANK YOU has.  When you appreciate people and events and the things you have in your life, the whole universe jumps up and down and what it wants to do is to give you more.  Try it.  Say thank you more often, say it with your every step, say it with your every prayer.  You will be amazed at the wonderful surprises it will give you.

While we are at it, thank you for having me.  It is really my great privilege to be in your presence today.

The last G is for God

God the power and source of all things.  He is the reason why we are all here.  He is your stronghold here in the present and in the future.  He is great.  And he loves you more than you know.

So let me end with my wish for all of you.  In your life may you have people who will listen and spend time with you, encourage you and believe in you.  May you embrace growth and excellence, may you be generous, may you say thank you often, may God watch over you.  With this blessing, may you go forth and do wonderful things.  Again, my congratulations.

Article by Issa. Painting by Danvic Briones. Copyright 2011.

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  1. Glenda says:

    Hi Issa! Very inspiring speech! I have a daughter who graduated from grade school last March. I’ll be sharing this with her.

    Thanks for sharing!


  2. Issa says:

    @Glenda Thanks so much! And congratulations to your daughter! It is a wonderful world ahead. 🙂

  3. Mildred says:

    While I’m in it, thank you very much for sharing it that now I also benefited from it. Awe-inspiring and easy to remember the 4 G’s. Can I make it my model for a similar speech? Again, thank you.

  4. Junjiematic says:

    awesome.. speech…… very inspiring
    im was inspired by it,,,,, now im practicing for my piece … that i will deliver tomm. thanks i’ve got lots of idea,,, God bless

  5. youwanttoberich says:

    You are very welcome. Good luck tomorrow. I am sure you will do great.

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  10. chay says:


    Thank you for this wonderful message it really inspire me. I will be delivering my inspirational message on the 27th of this month for the graduation of my son’s school. The school principal asks me to give one. With your speech I was able to give an nice message on this occasion. This will help me a lot.

    May GOD bless you always for sharing this to all of us.


  11. Analyn says:

    Hello , can i ask little favor from you that i will take this as sample on my spheech this coming friday.

  12. Martin says:

    I have loved your speech. I am doing an inspirational speech today in a foreign country and was lost as to what I might say. I hope you do not mind if I borrow from your powerful speech

  13. Madel Joy P. Paras says:

    great speech!! Hi, can I ask if is it ok if I will take this as example on my speech this coming April on my dear alama mater where I graduated my elementary? Thanks!!

  14. Sabado hingangan says:

    Sir thank you so much for this wonderful speech that u have..exactly that I am looking a best speech that I can share this coming graduation can I ask you a favor/permission to use the 4G’s what u have shared? thank you and God bless.

  15. noemi betco says:

    hi can ai ask a little favor from your script that i will get some of the line which i am really inspired most as my guide on my speech this coming march 30

  16. Aurora Santarin says:

    Nice Speech particularly the 4Gs. Can I used this for my speech. Thankyou.

  17. may says:

    Hello. This is a very great message you have here. I am also invited to attend my elementary alma matter’s graduation. Do you mind if i share this great message of yours?

  18. Ten says:

    So touching! I’ve learned a lot. May I also take this sample for my speech I like to share the 4G’s 🙂
    Thank you!

  19. Anne says:

    Hi Issa! This is very inspiring. Can I qoute your 4Gs on my speech as well?

  20. Claire says:

    Hello Issa,your message is so inspiring,can i also share your 4g’s to success to the graduating pupils of my beloved alma mater on the 31st of march? Thank u

  21. Sung says:

    It’s a beautiful, well-written speech. I’ve been invited by my alma mater for a graduation speech and it’s my first time. Fortunately, I came across your blog and would like to share some of your lines here, may I? 🙂

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