It's not about YOU and YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS, you droning, monotone asshole.
No one cares. Everyone is there to celebrate what the graduates have accomplished. Your job is to keep it short (under ten minutes, preferably), sweet and congratulatory. To prolong your speech is to piss everyone off, prevent them from acquiring a bit of the hair of the dog (there were some truly monster hangovers amongst the undergrads -- I saw someone barf into their mortarboard)) and delay luncheon reservations (Great Aunt Edna wants to hit that buffet harder than Grant hit Richmond, and she gets dangerously cranky when her blood sugar gets low). All you have to do is hit the salient points:
- "You've accomplished a lot in four years!" - "Your liver capacities have grown to gargantuan proportions, you've smoked a one-ton bale of weed and banged everything within campus limits."
- "Your families should be justifiably proud!" -- "That you did not get arrested, maimed or killed during any of your epic 'tarded adventures."
- "You've got a bright future ahead of you!" -- "Even if you're broke as a mofo and will probably be moving in to mom and dad's basement."
- "You've invested in a great financial future for yourself and guaranteed yourself monetary comfort!" -- "Even if you're headed in to the worst job market in years and have no applicable skills."
The Chancellor -- wielder of the ceremonial university mace -- was seen to caress the weapon contemplatively on more than one occasion. (I was rooting for her to lay about with it and crack a few skulls.) Finally, three members of the Board of Trustees cleared their throats at once (it sounded like a Rottweiler growling -- and he wrapped up rather abruptly.
Seriously. When you give a speech, plan it out beforehand, so as not to wander hither and yon pointlessly, and time that shit, so your audience isn't ready to rend you limb from limb. This is sound advice no matter what the venue.