We appoint one Student Orator for each Congregation ceremony. The orator speaks at their ceremony on behalf of their cohort of students.
If you are chosen as Student Orator, you'll provide a invaluable contribution to the day. You'll help to make it unique and memorable for everyone there. It will be an unforgettable experience for you - and one which will enhance your CV.
Student Orators are awarded a certificate in recognition of their contribution, and a studio photography package with our official photographers free of charge.
If you're shortlisted, you'll be invited to audition in front of a panel. Auditions will be held on 9, 10, 11 and 12 May in the King's Gate Building.
Guidance on speechesGuidance on speeches
Your speech should last for about five minutes. It should be between 500 and 700 words. It needs to be positive and uplifting.
Reflect on your time at University, and talk about the graduation day and hopes for the future.
Don't be too specific to your course or subject area. You may be speaking on behalf of graduates from different academic schools, as well as your own.
You can mention how University life has benefitted you as a person, and students generally.
It is fine to acknowledge the support given by family and friends, but don't include personal thanks, and don't mention anyone by name.
You can include anecdotes of your time at University. Just be sure that the story is meaningful to the whole cohort, and suitable for the audience. There'll be senior members of the University there, and many parents. You can include stories of the famous Newcastle social scene - but please don't include explicit reference to alcohol consumption.
Remember, you'll give your speech at the end of the ceremony, so you can refer to ‘graduation’ in the past tense.
Don't mention collecting your degree certificate in the context of the ceremony, because graduates collect their parchments from a different building, not during the ceremony itself.
When preparing your speech and practising your delivery, have a look at our videos of past ceremonies.
If you've got any questions about the role of Student Orator, feel free to contact us.