As HCA Student Union President this year, I was asked to make a speech during the ceremony. I have done a bit of public speaking - I presented at the British Conference of Undergraduate Research and spoke about a student campaign against climate change at the Open Student Forum at HCA. I knew I'd be fine making the speech, although I also knew it would be the most nerve-wracking one yet because the audience included so many people who were important to me, and it was such an important day to them.
The thing is with presenting and making speeches, especially in this case, is that generally everyone in the audience wants to see you do well. A fair amount of the audience were the students who'd voted me into the position, so I knew they'd be supportive. I can't overstate how kind everyone was on the run up the ceremony, and how matter of fact and insightful everyone was being when offering me encouragement.
The speech went really well. The acoustics in the cathedral meant I couldn't even hear that I was speaking through a microphone, which was a bit off-putting, but I had paid attention to how other people who'd been on before me had positioned themselves when speaking so I knew I was fine. Everyone told me I did great afterwards, both after the ceremony and on social media. Graduation is always going to be a great day for everyone, but it was amazing to finish my degree and my SU Presidency on such a high!