College Student Leaders Share Expectations for 2014 Commencement Speeches with the National Society of Leadership and Success

Survey among members of a national leadership society offers advice for 2014 commencement speakers at upcoming college graduation ceremonies

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2014 National Society of Leadership and Success Graduation Commencement Survey Results

“Student leaders in our Society are brutally honest when it comes to sharing opinions about leadership and success,” stated Charles Knippen, president of the National Society of Leadership and Success.

Hoboken, NJ (PRWEB) May 15, 2014

Survey highlights from a poll of 1,045 college student leaders at campuses across the U.S. provide the following advice for commencement speakers:    

  • Be inspiring and motivating -- 52.5%
  • Use relevant humor, be funny -- 17.5%
  • Keep it brief, be concise -- 11.7%
The online survey was conducted in late April by the National Society of Leadership and Success, a New Jersey-based organization with more than 400 active chapters at colleges in the U.S.    

Student leaders expressed little support for speakers that offer job-hunting tips (1.5%) as part of the commencement speech. They were also lukewarm about speakers who provide in-depth anecdotes about life’s setbacks (6.7%), and those who share extensive details about the speaker’s personal success story (7.4%).

When asked to “Share one word that best describes past commencement speeches,” the student leaders most often pointed to these negatives:

  • Long, Confusing, Boring, Horrible, Wordy, Unimpressive.
On the positive side, many student leaders provided these responses:    
  • Inspiring, Engaged, Optimistic, Amazing, Awesome, Enlightening, Exciting.
Despite negative experiences at past graduation ceremonies, survey respondents were generally upbeat and realistic when asked to summarize expectations for upcoming commencement speeches at their respective universities:    
  • Very excited about it – 37.4%
  • Not sure what to expect – 33.6%
  • Cautiously optimistic – 22.1%
“Student leaders in our Society are brutally honest when it comes to sharing opinions about leadership and success,” stated Charles Knippen, president of the National Society of Leadership and Success. “We’re hoping that insights from this survey will motivate future commencement speakers to sharpen the message, keep it brief, and deliver remarks that meet or exceed students’ expectations.”

About The National Society of Leadership and Success
The National Society of Leadership and Success serves more than 350,000 students at over 400 university and college campuses nationwide. The Society enables students to achieve profound results in discovering and attaining their goals. The Society fosters a community in which students help one another succeed through Success Networking Teams, and offers its members access to life-changing lectures from the nation’s leading presenters. Members all over the nation are united in one community of leaders. For more information, visit http://www.societyleadership.org/.


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