Commencement Addresses

Written by Will Baum
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Commencement addresses have the opportunity to register on their audience like no other speech. Graduates are at the cusp of a new life. It is a frightening and exciting time. The right piece of advice delivered at this key moment can literally alter how people approach their new lives.

The best commencement addresses are informative, inspiring, and not without humor. The old adage remains true: "Open with a joke." Great commencement addresses can be delivered by anyone with wisdom to impart: scholars, sports figures, or entertainers. What matters is the message.

Hunter Adams is among the more interesting choices for commencement speaker. Adams is the doctor, clown, and social activist who became famous as the subject of the Robin Williams movie, "Patch Adams." Adams founded the Gesundheit Institute 1971. The Institute provides an unusual service, free medical care. Adams believes the healthcare system in America is an expensive mess. To Patch Adams' way of thinking, doctors are entirely too focused on textbook medicine and money, and not enough on healing. He believes in having a real connection with patients, making house calls, and treating pain with the old-time "best medicine," laughter.

Commencement Addresses Needn't Bore

Commencement addresses from people like Patch Adams are the cure for droned platitudes about success and achievement. Graduates face a scary, changing world. Speakers with a narrow definition of success can easily alienate their young audience. Speakers bureaus represent professional speakers of all kinds, many of them ideal for commencement addresses. The Internet is a great resource for information about the wide range of speakers available.

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