On high school graduation day, two of the biggest speeches will be given by students. Of course there is the valedictorian, who will close the ceremony with a farewell address to her classmates. But before that another student, the salutatorian, will speak, welcoming the audience to the ceremony. If you're scheduled to give a salutatorian speech of your own, here are a few tips to help you along the way.

Before you put pen to paper, ask whoever is in charge of the graduation event how long they expect you to speak. You'll want to make sure that your speech does not run too long, or is not too short for the event. Once you've completed your speech, read it aloud a few times, at a normal pace, to gauge just how long it will run from the podium.

Outline your speech. Since this is the welcoming speech to the graduation event, you'll want to steer clear of talking about the past all that much (that is the valedictorian's job). The salutatorian speech is designed to greet the audience and invite them warmly to the event, so you'll want to focus on positive, forward-looking thoughts. Be sure to include "thank you" statements addressed not only to your fellow classmates, but to staff and parents as well.

Write a draft. Now that you have your outline, put words on paper. Be sure to have someone, such as a teacher or a parent, review your speech for grammatical errors or other mistakes that could detract from the speech.

Practice. As was mentioned earlier, read your speech out loud a few times to judge not only its length, but how it will sound to the audience. If you need to, you can make changes at this time to make the speech clearer and more pleasing to the ear.