COVID putting a halt to nearly all in person events had a drastic impact on everyone, however one group who was affected immensely by this was college students. The canceling of classes and sending students back to their homes to conduct online school was something that generally students were extremely upset by, however many universities were forced to cancel graduations which was crushing for seniors. While the pandemic is still prevalent with the Coronavirus Omicron variant, many universities are hopeful that they will be able to continue classes in-person, while also placing an emphasis on providing an in-person graduation ceremony.
With speakers bureaus having extremely limited bookings over the past year or so, there has been a huge spike in inquiries for commencement speakers for this upcoming May. When universities are selecting commencement speakers, it’s important to think about what kind of message they are hoping to send off the seniors with, however this year’s commencement speaker decision is more important than in previous years. Not only will graduations be the largest in-person event the universities have been able to offer since 2020, but it is an event not only to celebrate the students getting their degree, but getting their degree in such a confusing, unpredictable and unprecedented time.
In choosing what kind of speaker you should book for your university, it is easy to feel overwhelmed by options and unsure of where to start. Here at Celebrity Speaker’s Bureau, we’re here to help. We have the best commencement speakers available in all categories, with the top categories being booked right now being motivational speakers, inspirational sports/ sports motivational speakers and empowered women speakers.
Motivational Speakers: Motivational speakers have always been a popular booking category for commencement speakers, however has been much more popular than in recent years. See below some of the top motivational speakers being booked:
Alexis Jones: Alexis has acted as a keynote speaker for a number of organizations and companies including the United Nations, Girls Scouts of America, Nike, ESPN and NASA. She is one of Fast Company’s Female Trailblazers and ESPN’s Pop Culture’s Top Ten. Alexis is also credited for organizing the first ever TEDx Austin Women’s Conference which took place in 2013.
Alex Sheen: Alex Sheen is an inspirational speaker and Founder of the social movement, because I said I would. The non-profit is dedicated to bettering humanity through promises made. Sheen shares his thoughts on leadership and activism, talking about promise keeping, superheroes, altruism and his movement starting Promise Cards. As an author, podcast host and internationally recognized humanitarian, Sheen also leads Leadership development workshops and has spoken at hundreds of events in recent years.
Inspirational Sports Speakers: While professional athletes and sports speakers are always in high demand for commencement speakers, one of the most popular bookings in this category is retired athletes who focused on philanthropy or making a difference in their community.
Alan Page: Alan Page is an associate justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court, a motivational speaker, and a former star NFL defensive tackle. Page has won an abundance of significant awards, including the National Football Foundation Distinguished American Award, the Theodore Roosevelt Award, and a Silver Anniversary award. In 1988, Page launched the Page Education Foundation, which provides financial and mentoring assistance to students of color in exchange for those students’ commitment to volunteer service in the community.
Aly Raisman: From being one of the most decorated American Olympic gymnasts of all time, to promoting the mental health of women across the world, it’s no wonder why so many people are inspired by Aly Raisman. She has continued to make a lasting impact on those she encounters, and it is for that reason an incredibly powerful as well as motivational speaker.
Empowered Women Speakers: Women speakers have continually received higher bookings for commencement speakers over the past few years, with this trend continuing to grow. See below some of the most popular speakers!
Andrea Jung: Andrea Jung is a business executive and avid women’s issues supporter. She is the current President and CEO of Grameen America, a nonprofit microfinance organization. Additionally, she has been named one of Forbes’ “Most Powerful Women in the World, Financial Times’ “Top Women in Business” as well as Fortune Magazine’s “Most Powerful Women in Business.” Along with her success in business, business speaker Jung has made great strides in women’s health and empowerment movements.
Alexis Maybank: A savvy businesswoman and entrepreneur that has had a hand in building some of the largest online shopping experiences in the world today. She is lauded for her position as the co-founder and Chief Strategic Officer of the Gilt Groupe. In 2009, Alexis was named to Crain’s annual 40 Under 40 list and the following year she was given Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Gilt has been highlighted in several print publications such as GQ magazine, The New York Times, and InStyle magazine.