Ellen DeGeneres is well-known for her ability to use her personable and humorous demeanor to tell engaging stories and the motivational commencement speech she presented to Tulane University's graduating class of 2009 is a perfect example of the rapport she creates with her audiences.
Her use of pop-culture references, mention of tequila-drinking skills and freestyle dance moves provided a casual and entertaining atmosphere for the graduates. Her lighthearted attitude transformed what could easily have been a mundane and cliché keynote address into one that had even the President of the University engaged.
Ellen's motivational commencement speech hit all of the main points traditionally given at graduation ceremonies such as advice to stay true to oneself, to carve one's own path and to follow one's passions.
The resounding takeaway from the celebrity's speech was to "live life with integrity," and that no matter how bleak or difficult a time in one's life may seem, enough determination and perseverance can turn things around.