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Student Speaker Audition Criteria


  • Speaker candidates must be eligible for spring graduation
  • A minimum 3.0 overall GPA is required
  • Students who must complete additional courses in Fall 2023 to graduate are not eligible to audition

Basis for Evaluation


The speech should be

  • thoughtful, creative and inspirational; avoid the use of clichés
  • well-organized with a clear message
  • appropriate for graduation
  • relevant to the audience, including other graduates, families, and the UH community

Keep in mind that while the idea might be about the speaker, the speech should not be all about the speaker. It is about the whole class.


Speaker should

  • project voice and pace/speech well
  • connect with the audience
  • make regular eye contact
  • use written notes sparingly/not at all

The speech should not exceed five minutes.

Additional Information

  • Preliminary Auditions will be held on Friday, March 31st at 4:30 p.m. in Crawford Hall 105. If a speaker is not selected at the preliminary round, the top three speakers of the preliminary round will be asked to return for a final round of auditions.
  • Sign-up to audition via the Student Speaker Google Form by Wednesday, March 29th.
  • Email a copy of your speech to by Thursday, March 30th at 11:59 p.m.
  • Be prepared to introduce yourself prior to the audition (not included in the time constraint). The judges may ask you a few questions about yourself before you begin your speech.
  • The content is to be identical to the content of the speech delivered in the ceremony.
  • The order of auditions will be determined by lottery.
  • The auditions are open to the public, but not to those auditioning. If attendees in any way distract the speaker or the audience from the speech, they will be asked to leave.
  • A selection committee comprised of representatives from the administration, faculty, staff, students, and the alumni association will select the winning speech.
  • All candidates will be notified of the committee’s decision by email, letter, or phone call.
  • The selected speaker will meet with a coach from the Communicology Department prior to commencement for coaching.

If you have any questions, please email