Student orator header 2023

Student Oration


Share your experience with fellow graduands, guests, and staff

Applications for Student Oration 2024 have now closed. Candidates will be notified of the outcomes by Friday 21 June 2024.

Student Oration Key Dates
 Date Activity
March 2024

Student Oration applications open

For stage one we ask students to complete an application form to indicate why they would like to deliver the student speech at graduation. All applicants who complete stage one will then recieve an email from the graduation team with further details on stage two. 

For stage two, students will be asked to create a short 1-2 minute video, the focus of which should be an experience at Royal Holloway that has been transformational  

12pm Monday 3 June 

Student Oration Stage One registration of interest form closes, and

Stage Two remains open shortly for final submissions.

12pm Wednesday 5 June  Student Oration Stage Two submissions close. All Stage Two submissions will be sent to the judging panel. 
Friday 21 June  Results. Applicants will be informed whether they have been successful or unsuccessful.
Monday 24 June  Successful applicants will need to be available for an MS Teams briefing session on this date.

What is Student Oration?

At each graduation ceremony there will be an opportunity for a graduating student to deliver a speech to their fellow graduands, guests and the academic staff.

This is an opportunity for graduands to share their experiences and thank those who have supported them during their time at Royal Holloway.

The speech delivered in the cermeony should last 4-5 minutes (approximately 350-700 words).

Each Student Orator will receive VIP seats for their guests, and a certificate for recognition.

How to apply - Stage One

Graduands will be asked to complete an application form on MS teams indicating why they would like to deliver the speech at the summer graduation ceremonies. The Stage One application form has now closed.

Once the form has been completed, students will be given access to the Stage 2 Student Oration (Summer 2024) Moodle page. These uploads will be done in bulk each week, so please check moodle at the end of the week to see that you have been provided access.

How to apply - Stage Two

For stage two, we ask applicants to upload a short video (1-2 minutes long). The focus of the video should be an experience at Royal Holloway that has been transformational. Ideas for inspiration are below: 

  • A turning point in your academic studies
  • A positive memory of an extra-curricular activity
  • A social experience with students from different backgrounds

In your video, please make sure to reflect on how that experience enabled you to learn and grow.

You must submit your Stage Two video by 12pm Wednesday 5 June 2024 or you will not be submitted as a candidate to the judging panel. We will be unable to accept any late submissions, so please ensure you plan your time appropriately to avoid disappointment.

Application evaluation criteria

Once submitted, both the content of your video and your communication skills will be evaluated. We are looking for speakers who can:

  • Convey a positive message about their experience at Royal Holloway that is uplifting, inclusive and thought-provoking
  • Communicate in an engaging way and demonstrate varied pitch and pace

The Student Orator speech should be uplifting and celebratory to fit the occasion. Please ensure that your speech is inclusive, engaging, and relevant. Further assessment criteria will be available here once applications open.

For guidance on how to prepare for Stage Two, a link will be available here soon where you can find a range of advice and support.

Unsuccessful candidates will be informed via email by latest Friday 21 June 2024. Due to the expected high number of applications, we will be unable to provide individual feedback to unsuccessful candidates.

What do I do if my application is successful?

All successful students will be contacted by email by latest Friday 21 June 2024.

Your final speech will need to be sent to by 12pm Monday 8 July 2024.

Please ensure you are free for a one hour briefing session via MS Teams on Monday 24 June 2024. This session will cover what to expect on the day and provide you with an opportunity to ask any questions.

Successful applicants will be expected to sign a consent form for their speech to be recorded and shared by the University. 

Further guidance and support

A Stage Two Guide will be available on the Moodle page that offers examples of successful student orators and further guidance for your two minute video.

If you would like further support for preparing your two minue video, we reccommend reaching out to book a 1:1 tutorial or drop-in with the CeDAS team here.

Successful Candidates

A second Guide will be available for successful candidates, to help you prepare your final speech.

You will also be offerred a 1:1 meeting with a member of the CeDAS team in late June, who will be able to work with you to refine your final speech and delivery.