Simple Steps to Greatness

16 Short Speeches About Life

At first, I set out to craft a speech about life . But as I delved deeper into the topic, I realized that summing up the vast tapestry of life in a single speech is a tall order. Life is not just one color or a single note; it’s a vibrant spectrum, a rainbow of experiences, moments, highs, lows, lessons, and memories. Each hue represents a different chapter, emotion, or milestone that contributes to our unique stories.

I also recognize that high school students might come across these words. I fondly recall my own school days when teachers would challenge us to pen down our thoughts on life. Such assignments, seemingly simple on the surface, often pushed us to self-reflection and growth.

With these memories and audiences in mind, I present to you not just one, but multiple speeches on life. Through these, I aim to touch upon the myriad facets of our existence, hoping that each reader, regardless of their age or journey, finds a sliver of resonance, a hint of inspiration, or a moment of reflection.

Speeches About Life

Speeches about life resonate with all of us because life, in its vastness and complexity, is the shared journey we all navigate. It’s filled with rainbows of experiences, highs and lows, and tales of courage, fear, triumphs, and setbacks.

Through these speeches, we get a window into the varied perspectives, learnings, and stories of others. They offer a mirror to our own experiences, sometimes teaching us, sometimes validating our feelings, and often inspiring us to see our path in a new light.

Moreover, life speeches bridge the gap between generations.

From a teenager in high school to a professional in their prime, everyone can find a piece of wisdom or an echo of their own story in these words.

By discussing life, we unite in our shared human experience, finding solace in the thought that we’re not alone in our struggles or joys. This universality, this binding thread, is what makes speeches about life timeless and impactful.

I have delivered these speeches in Toastmasters . I share these speeches when I teach about life and leadership. I have written them in the hope that you too will be inspired to write your speech about life and be an inspiration to others.

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2 Short Speeches About Motivation

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A speech about life aims to provide insights, share personal experiences, motivate the audience, or encourage introspection about the various aspects of human existence.

They can be both. Some speakers draw from their personal journeys and lessons learned, while others tap into universal truths and shared human experiences.

No, everyday experiences can provide profound insights. It’s about the message and the perspective, not necessarily the drama of the events.

Using storytelling, anecdotes, humor, and asking thought-provoking questions can make your speech more engaging. Ensure that the content resonates with the audience’s experiences and emotions.

Focus on authenticity, clarity of message, and audience engagement. Also, incorporating relatable stories or analogies can make the content memorable.

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Jef Menguin, motivational speaker

From Arnold Schwarzenneger talking about how he filled every moment of every day with steps to fulfil his ambition of becoming Mr. Universe, to J.K. Rowling’s life as an impoverished single mother, these speeches will fill you with the drive and determination to reach your full potential, and not let anything stand in your way.

Some are long, and some last just a few minutes, but each one will make you want to grab life with both hands and go for what you want, whatever it is.

written speeches about life

“Most people have done all that they’re ever going to do – they raise a family, they earn a living, and then they die.”

That’s what we’re supposed to do, right? Wrong! Life is made for greater things, and you are meant for greater things.

When Les Brown was a child, he was labeled ‘educable mentally retarded’, and until a chance encounter with another teacher, he believed that he would amount to nothing. But this one teacher planted the seeds in Les’ head which would blossom and grow, and eventually make him one of the best motivational speakers of all time.

This speech will give you permission to rise above other people’s opinions, to break free of their prejudices, and make a success of whatever you do. Watch ‘It’s Not Over Until You Win! Your Dream is Possible’ and take those first steps towards following your passion and making your dream come true.

“Stress doesn’t come from the facts, stress comes from the meaning that we give the facts.”

Life is about choices. Every day we’re faced with hundreds of choices, and this speech by Tony Robbins will help you see that it’s the choices, not the conditions, which shape our lives.

Take a moment during this speech to pause and reflect on some choices you have made in the past, and really think about the direction your life took because of them, both good and bad. Tony Robbins explains in his inimitable way that we have the choice to focus on what we want, and that when we focus, we can achieve whatever we want.

Part of Tony’s speech explains how, when the economy is down, some people thrive and some people crash and burn, and the COVID 19 pandemic is the perfect example. Small businesses took a huge hit, and while some of them threw up their hands in despair and said ‘that’s it, it’s over for us’, others adapted, and saw it as an opportunity to expand, diversify, and turn the situation to their advantage.

And that’s the cornerstone of this video – how we react, how we adapt, and how we choose is the difference between success and failure.

“So every rep that I do gets me closer to accomplishing the goal to make this goal – this vision – into reality.”

Be inspired by Arnold Schwarzenneger as he talks about his goal of becoming Mr. Universe. Never wasting a second of his day, Arnie worked in construction, spent 5 hours in the gym, and went to acting classes, all of which took him further along his journey to making his dream come true.

We all have a propensity to waste time, but if you have a goal, if you have a passion that smolders away, take a leaf out of Arnie’s book and make sure that everything you do propels you forward.

And don’t be afraid to fail.

“Your conviction and your convenience don’t live on the same block.”

If you are a fan of The Secret, you will be familiar with Lisa Nicholls. In this video, Lisa tells Tom Bilyeu how she was willing to leave everything and everyone behind in order to grow into the version of herself that she knew she wanted.

Lisa explains how, as a young mother, she was forced to wrap her baby in a towel for two days because she had no money for diapers, and how it was at that moment that she vowed never to be that broke or that broken again.

Change, success, drive…they’re all inconvenient and disruptive, and Lisa Nicholls demonstrates that wonderfully in this emotional and highly motivating interview in which she declares “your story is not meant to be your fortress, your story is meant to be your fuel.”

Eric Thomas had a dream, a goal, and that goal was to be the best motivational speaker in the world. He didn’t achieve this by giving 70%, or 80%…he didn’t achieve it by staying in bed late in the mornings. He achieved it by giving 100% every minute of every day.

Listen to Eric’s words, hear the passion in his voice, and feel the lessons he is giving to you if you want to be the best at whatever you do.

“If we don’t take control of our environment, it takes control of us.”

This short piece by Tony Robbins has been designed to show you that you are in control of your own environment. Whether you realize it or not, what goes on around you has a massive influence on the way you feel and the way you act.

By taking leadership of your own life, you can defy outside influences and set your own tone for the day ahead, regardless of whatever or whoever is exerting pressure from the outside.

Follow Tony’s example of taking 10 minutes for yourself at the start of every day – for gratitude, prayer or wishes for family and friends, and a recap of what you want to accomplish that day, and your day will continue on that same path of thankfulness, hope, and goals.

“Your mind doesn’t know the difference between something you vividly imagined and something that’s real, literally!”

If you want to emulate the way successful people behave, take these 10 billionaires’ habits and adopt them yourself for 21 days.

Billed by Jim Kwik as being ‘like a magic pill’, these habits will rewire your brain into thinking and behaving like some of the world’s most successful people.

In this 8 minute clip, Jim shares how, for instance, your brain reacts the same way when you imagine your dog walking in as it does when your dog actually walks in, and this can apply to anything. What the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.

As much as this applies to positive things, it also can be applied to negative things, so if you imagine failure, that’s what you will get. Fill your mind with thoughts of success and that’s what will happen.

None of these habits are difficult to accomplish, but in doing so you will change your entire mindset into one of a hugely successful person, no matter what you want to achieve in life.

“Don’t leave crumbs.”

If this sounds more like a housekeeping hint and less like a motivational affirmation, you’re 50% right. Our lives do need housekeeping, and not leaving crumbs – i.e. regrets – which will come back and rob your tomorrow of joy, is one of the chores you need to do on a daily basis.

Matthew McConaughey delivers a powerful speech in a gentle way at the University of Houston Commencement Address.

Discussing the five rules he lives by, he will show you how to avoid falling into a trap of entitlement, and why ‘Unbelievable’ is the stupidest word in the dictionary.

With some invaluable life lessons contained inside a highly watchable speech, Matthew McConaughey is an unlikely but very inspiring speaker who has stayed humble despite all his successes.

“There are a lot of sharks in the world; if you hope to complete the swim, you will have to deal with them. So if you want to change the world, don’t back down from the sharks.”

Spoken with eloquence and quiet assuredness, this six-minute speech draws on US Navy Admiral William McRaven’s experience of survival in the Navy Seals.

He explains how making your bed, while seemingly insignificant and even pointless, will set a series of tasks in motion which will ensure that at best, the first job of the day is done, and at worst, you have a neat, tidy bed to fall into at the end of a trying day.

The world is full of people who want to bring you down (the sharks) but if you stand your ground, they will eventually swim away, leaving you to go on to bigger and better things.

“Sometimes life’s gonna hit you in the face with a brick…don’t lose faith.”

Steve Jobs, chairman, CEO, and co-founder of Apple Inc. was hit in the face with more than one brick during his 56 years on earth. From being given up for adoption as a baby, to being fired from the very company which he founded, he never let anything get in his way.

In this commencement speech at Stamford University in 2005, Steve explained how his love for what he did spurred him on to rebuild his life in spectacular fashion.

Life dealt a further blow when, in 2003, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

This speech focuses on three stories which, when combined, show how life offers opportunities for change and growth, no matter how dire the circumstances.

Steve Jobs never graduated college, but when he died in 2011, aged just 56, he had a net worth of US$7 billion. He achieved this by doing what he loved, and in this speech he will inspire you to do the same.

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously than you might as well not have lived at all. In which case, you fail by default.”

Let J. K. Rowling inspire you with this 2008 commencement speech at Harvard University. Extolling the virtues of failure and imagination, she tells the graduates how being at rock bottom set her free to pursue her dreams of being an author.

As poor as it is possible to be without being homeless, she created the world of Harry Potter and went on to amass a fortune of £795 million, but that without her failures in life, she would never have had the opportunity to do so.

Let her words become your own mantra, and view every failure in your life as a future success.

“We shine, because baby you just can’t dim the sun.”

A beautiful antidote for anyone who has ever felt or been told that they are ‘too much’, Gina Hatzis’ winning Speaker Slam speech of 2018 will give you permission to be unashamedly you.

Although written by a woman for women, this powerful and sometimes humorous speech about being your own authentic self will inspire anyone – man or woman – to shine and never dim their own light to suit other people.

“The first step you need to take is just that…step.”

If you are in need of a short, sharp burst of motivation, listen to this speech by ex Navy Seal, Jocko Willink.

Running for less than three minutes, this recording will inspire you to take a step into whatever you want to achieve. Awarded both the Silver Star and the Bronze Star for service, Jocko Willink is no stranger to taking those brave steps, having come face to face with Iraqu insurgents in Ramadi. He will spur you on to put one metaphorical foot in front of the other, and will leave you in no doubt as to what you need to do to achieve your goals.

“On the other side of your maximum fear are all of the best things in life.”

If you like your motivation with a side order of laughter, watch Will Smith as he talks about fear. Agreeing to skydive on a night out with friends, Will realizes that he actually has to go through with it.

Discussing how fear ruins things (he couldn’t sleep or eat before the jump), Will also discloses that beyond fear was the most blissful experience of his life, and how that principle can be applied to anything in life.

“Only those that can see the invisible, can do the impossible.”

Tyrese Gibson knows success, and in this speech he talks about how it can be achieved, by anyone who wants it.

Actor, singer, author, model…Tyrese seems to have the Midas touch, but he didn’t get it by luck. Follow his words as he gently but passionately guides you along the path you need to take if you have goals and dreams in life.

“I refuse to be another man who lived and died, and wasn’t significant’”

“If it is written, so shall it be.”

When Steve Harvey’s teacher crushed his dreams of being on TV, the one person who believed in him was his father. He told him to put a piece of paper with his dreams on in his drawer, and to read it every morning and every night.

His dreams came true.

It didn’t always come easy for Steve Harvey though – he spent years living in his car when he had nowhere else to go, but the one thing he never lost was his ambition and determination to see his dreams through to fruition.

A firm believer in the Law of Attraction, Steve still has vision boards and still commits his dreams to writing, and encourages you to do the same in this speech that made Obama cry.

These motivational speeches, and many more like them, show how having guts, determination, and a vision will get you anywhere you want to go, no matter your beginnings in life. These inspirational speakers have suffered loss, sickness, and unbelievable hardships, but the one thing that got them through was their desire to win and their belief that they could.

Immerse yourself in their words of wisdom, and take that next step into your best life.

More on Motivation

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16 Inspirational Speeches for Career and Life Lessons (+ Speaker Traits)

Erika Giles

Erika Giles | July 9, 2020 | Inspiration | 11 min read

The Most Inspirational Speeches of All Time

  • 1.  J.K. Rowling – Harvard University
  • 2.  Jim Carrey – Maharishi University
  • 3.  Steve Jobs – Stanford University
  • 4.  Al Pacino – Any Given Sunday
  • 5.  Tony Robbins – TED Talk
  • 6.  Will Smith – The Pursuit of Happiness
  • 7.  Matthew McConaughey – University of Houston
  • 8.  Sylvester Stallone – Rocky Balboa
  • 9.  Denzel Washington – University of Pennsylvania
  • 10.  Yoda – The Empire Strikes Back
  • 11.   Elizabeth Gilbert – TED Talk, 2009
  • 12.   Michelle Obama – Eastern Kentucky University
  • 13.   David Goggins – Driven
  • 14.   Peter Dinklage – Bennington College
  • 15.   John Roberts – Cardigan Mountain School
  • 16.  Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson - LA Lakers

Being motivated at work and in life is crucial for your performance. This is true when you have an approaching deadline, an important meeting, or customers depending on you.

The power of words can physically and emotionally rejuvenate you. Inspirational speeches can guide you to keep performing at your best and drive your team to achieve their goals . The right words at the right time can change you and challenge you.

No matter what is thrown at you in life, you can use these speeches to stay motivated. 

How Inspiration Impacts People

Inspiration helps propel people forward. It pushes apathy away and awakens people to new and exciting possibilities. They're able to transcend their limitations and mundane lives. 

It can help all people to become more creative and help them to progress toward their goals if they are open to it. 

Although inspiration impacts people in several meaningful and often magical ways, it is not something as elusive as it seems. Inspiration is everywhere, and it can be captured, activated, and manipulated. 

Most often, inspiration is found in others who say something or do something thought provoking and meaningful. 

What Makes a Speech Inspirational?

Great inspirational speeches all include one key thing – emotions . Emotions motivate actions and beliefs in any given aspect of life. Inspirational speeches are often loaded with tales of struggle, resilience, trials, endurance, and breakthroughs. All things that most people can relate to.

The philosopher, Aristotle, once said that people tend to believe in people who can be perceived as trustworthy or in those who have proper values and morals. This means that speakers who understand the concerns their audience has and empathizes with them are more likely to connect with their audience and gain their trust. 

Speakers who select emotional themes and talking points that people can relate to are more likely to inspire those in the audience with their stories. 

The key to this is making others feel as though they aren’t alone, and that they too can overcome the roadblocks in their way because someone else has. Hope is one of the most powerful emotions that sparks inspiration. 

Next, comes an excellent oral delivery. Facial expressions, tone of voice, and appropriate pausing all help to make a speech that much more effective and inspirational. 

7 Qualities of the Best Motivational Speakers

Here are seven traits, qualities, and characteristics that some of the best motivational speakers have.

1. They Tell Great Stories.

The ability to tell a great story is one of the core qualities that a motivational speaker needs to help add value to the lives of listeners. Motivational speakers tell original stories to provide the audience with fresh and relevant information. 

More importantly, the best motivational speakers paint a picture that lets the audience put themselves into the story so they can feel the emotions to understand the lesson better. 

2. They Are Passionate About What They Do.

Great speakers are often passionate about wanting to change others for the better, and the amount of passion a speaker has translates into their presentation. The audience can tell when a speaker is passionate about their subject matter because it will reflect in the speaker’s enthusiasm and excitement when they perform. 

Passion is infectious, and when a great speaker is passionate, it inspires the audience to cultivate passion as well. 

3. They Are Confident.

It is essential that motivational speakers have confidence in themselves and in their message.

Audience members can tell when speakers are nervous or unsure about what they are doing or saying. This automatically causes the audience to doubt the speaker, and it may invalidate the message. 

Great speakers have confidence that reflects in their speech and gestures while they are on stage, which in turn inspires confidence in the audience. It helps to engage them and makes them believe in what the speaker is saying. 

4. They Are Self-Aware.

A great motivational speaker understands who they are and knows exactly what they stand for. They are also aware of their strengths and weaknesses.

They use their strengths to make a speech more effective, and they work on improving their weaknesses.

5. They Show Empathy.

A defining mark of a great motivational speaker is their ability to put themselves in the shoes of those in their audience. They do their best to understand their audience’s motivation, fears, hopes, challenges, and worries. 

This helps them tailor their speech to appeal to and inspire their audience. Empathetic speakers are also individuals who have gone through what they talk about. 

They have been where the audience is, and they understand what that is like, which helps make a pure connection with them.

6. They Possess Knowledge.

Any motivational speaker must remain up to date and knowledgeable in their area of expertise. Motivational speakers aren’t born; they are made.

This means that they must grow and learn to become an expert with great knowledge and insight to share with others. 

7. They Have a Sense of Humor.

Motivational speeches tend to discuss serious topics, and great speakers know how to add fun anecdotes or jokes when it is appropriate to do so. 

Humor often makes a speech more memorable. Plus, it enthralls listeners, and everyone likes someone with a good sense of humor. 

16 of the Best Inspirational Speeches of All Time

We all need some inspiration from time to time. If you are in need of inspiration, look no further than these 16 best inspirational speeches of all time. 

1. J.K. Rowling – Harvard University

It's well known that J.K. Rowling's famous Harry Potter series was turned down by several publishers before it was finally accepted. But before her success, she was in a dire situation and was on the brink of bankruptcy.

Despite constant rejection, she kept trying and finally her efforts paid off. Her Harvard speech delivered some valuable life lessons about not fearing failure and persevering no matter how bad things get.

2. Jim Carrey – Maharishi University 

Actor/comedian Jim Carrey gave one of the most unique and emotional commencement speeches ever at Maharishi University in Iowa.

In his speech , he offered the students powerful and inspiring words about life, the future, and urged them never to settle for anything less than what they want. His message: Never give up and follow your dreams!

3. Steve Jobs – Stanford University 

This is one of the greatest inspirational speeches! In his commencement speech , Jobs discussed how he dropped out of college after six months, then took another 18 months to figure out what his life's work would be.

He quit college because his parents were struggling financially, and he couldn't see the value in an education that was draining his parents life savings.

His speech talked of the setbacks in life, including death, and how being aware of death can help you make better choices in life. At the time, Jobs was dying of pancreatic cancer, and his inspirational words on the importance of acquiring knowledge and following your dreams was the best life lesson he could bestow upon the graduates.

4. Al Pacino – Any Given Sunday

This movie features an inspirational speech about how even the simplest things can inch you closer to your dream.

Pacino's speech motivated the players on his football team to do whatever it takes to win. The takeaway? The little things you do every day will lead you to success.

5. Tony Robbins – TED Talk

Tony Robbins is one of the most famous motivational speakers around. This TED talk is particularly inspirational. It's topic, “Why We Do What We Do,” asks two key questions: What drives you? What motivates you to do your daily tasks?

By asking these questions, we're able to explore ourselves and appreciate others. The takeaway? We are our own path to success!

6. Will Smith – The Pursuit of Happiness

Considered one of the best motivational speeches in film, this scene starts with Smith and his son playing basketball. When his son shouts “I'm going pro,” Smith decides to try and temper his son's expectations, telling him he never excelled at basketball, so he shouldn't expect to.

His son is visibly disappointed, and Smith launches into his speech proclaiming, “Don't ever let somebody tell you that you can't do something, not even me.” He tells his son, “You got a dream, you gotta protect it. You want something, go get it. Period.”

The takeaway? Only you can decide to chase a dream. No one can stop you besides yourself. 

7. Matthew McConaughey – University of Houston

McConaughey delivered some pertinent points in his speech to the graduating class, but the one that really stuck out was "joy being a constant approach." He said, ”Joy is always in process; it's always under construction."

He spoke of how he takes everything one step at a time when he's making a film, and how when he truly enjoys his craft, things just fall into place. The takeaway? “Define success for yourself.” Figure out what you want to achieve and enjoy the entire journey.

8. Sylvester Stallone – Rocky Balboa

In the sixth film in the Rocky franchise, Stallone gives one of the most inspirational speeches of all time. He starts with, “The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows,” and goes on to talk about the value of hard work and commitment.

“It ain't about how hard you hit; it's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.” The takeaway? Even when your back is up against the wall, winners never give up!

9. Denzel Washington – University of Pennsylvania

In this commencement speech, Denzel Washington speaks about how nothing in life is worthwhile unless you take risks, adding that when you fall in life, fall forward . He speaks of embracing failure and using it as a chance to learn.

This is especially true when it comes to being an entrepreneur. The most important thing isn't winning or losing, it's getting out there and giving it everything you've got!

10. Yoda – The Empire Strikes Back

Ok, you can't have a list of inspirational speeches without at least one offering from Yoda!

In this speech from Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back , Yoda is teaching Luke about the ways of the force. The key teaching? Whether or not something can or can't be done is all in your head and your heart. If you believe in yourself, anything is possible!

The takeaway? In the words of Yoda, “Do or do not. There is no try.”

11. Elizabeth Gilbert – Ted Talk

Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of the bestselling book Eat, Pray, Love , gave an inspiring Ted Talk about the "genius" in all of us.

In her speech, she mentions that everyone can be a creative genius in their work and that the best years of our work and creativity are never behind us if we think of creative genius as something we borrow. 

The key takeaways from Gilbert's speech are to not be daunted or afraid of success. Just keep showing up and doing the work that you love without the anguish of what it will turn into. 

12. Michelle Obama – Eastern Kentucky University

In 2013, Michelle Obama addressed the graduating class of Eastern Kentucky University. She encouraged them to continue learning to challenge their perspectives, and she told them to find a way to turn their weaknesses into strengths. 

The key takeaway from her speech is that the defining moments in your life will not be the moment you get the promotion or breakthrough to a classroom. They will be the days that you have to claw through to keep going.

As long as you keep working and pick yourself up when you fall down, then you will develop skills to apply to anything you do in life. And your resilience can be used in service to others. 

13. David Goggins – Driven

David Goggins is a former Navy Seal and Army Ranger who participates in ultra-marathons. In his talk, he discusses suffering and how you can turn hurt into strength. He talks about how you can still be successful and happy without guidance if you just stay true to who you are because you define greatness. 

The takeaway from Goggins' talk is that we all have greatness no matter what. You just have to find the courage through hard work and discipline. 

14. Peter Dinklage – Bennington College

Peter Dinklage is an actor who is known for his role as Tyrion Lannister on Game of Thrones . He gave the 2012 commencement address at Bennington College.

In his address to the graduates, he discusses persistence and doing whatever it takes to get to where you want to be. He also mentions that you shouldn't wait until you are ready to do what you love. 

The key lesson from his speech was to give yourself permission to fail early instead of waiting for permission. Show the world you're ready by doing it. 

15. John Roberts – Cardigan Mountain School

John Roberts, Chief Justice of the United States, gave the commencement address at his son's high school in 2017. In his speech, he wishes the graduates bad luck instead of good luck.

He tells them that he hopes they will be lonely, fail, and lose from time to time. He says all of this to say that these things are the greatest teachers of compassion, true friendship, and sportsmanship. 

The key takeaway from Roberts' speech is that there is always a message in your misfortunes, and you should not be afraid to fail. If you fail, you should get up and try again. 

16. Dwyane "The Rock" Johnson - LA Lakers

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, tenured WWE superstar & mega Hollywood performer, gave an incredible speech to the Los Angeles Lakers in 2019.

He speaks from the heart, about remembering where you came from, and letting that fuel the hard work you will put in to become successful. 

Per usual, pure gold from Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.

These 16 inspirational speeches touch on three main themes. It's important to love what you're doing. Failure is only bad if you don't learn and continue to move forward. And finally, you need to want it!

Life is hard. If you want something bad enough, whether it's a job, a relationship, or a successful business, you need to prove it!

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General FAQ

An inspirational speech will create a positive emotional experience for the audience that will resonate with them. Similarly, a motivational speech can inspire an audience by motivating them to take action on something.

What Are the Qualities of an Inspirational Speaker?

To be a great inspirational speaker, you should have:

  • A strong speaking voice
  • A good story to tell

How Do You Write an Inspirational Speech?

It's important to know who your audience is and what your message is going to be when writing an inspirational speech. Use should also employ storytelling techniques to evoke emotion into your speech.

Who Is the Most Motivational Speaker in the World?

It is often said that Tony Robbins is the most motivational speaker. Tony Robbins is known best for his TED talks and self-help books.

Erika Giles

Erika Giles

Erika is a Marketing Copywriter at Bluleadz. She is a huge fan of houseplants and podcasts about conspiracy theories. She spends most of her free time reading, writing, and enjoying the outdoors.

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30 Motivational Speeches To Get You Moving Forward Now

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Published Date : October 29, 2021

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Having a sense of purpose in both your professional and personal life is critical to your success. It is useful advice in an impending deadline, an important presentation, or when clients rely on your performance.

Words can revitalize you on both a physical and emotional level. Motivational speeches may help you stay focused on your objectives while also motivating your team. Having the right words to say the right thing at the right moment has the power to transform you and challenge your thinking.

You can use these motivational speeches to stay inspired and fulfilled no matter what life throws at you. These speeches will remind you why you do what you do and how much you enjoy doing it.

How Motivational Speeches Move People

People are propelled ahead by motivation. It rouses individuals from their complacency and opens their eyes to the thrilling possibilities that lie ahead. It is where motivational speeches help people to rise beyond the shackles of their ordinary existences.

Although motivation has a profound and even mystical effect on individuals, it is not as elusive as it first seems. Best motivational speeches are those that provoke thinking and meaning.

What Makes The Best Motivational Speeches

Best motivational speeches all have one thing in common: they’re filled with emotion . Emotions influence our decisions, behaviors, and viewpoints in every area of our lives. Motivational speeches are often filled with: 

  • Anecdotes about overcoming adversity
  • Perseverance
  • Achieving success

Speakers who use emotive topics and talking points that the audience can connect to are more likely to motivate the audience.

Plus, make them believe that they can overcome whatever obstacles stand in their way. The feeling of hope often sparks inspiration.

Qualities of Good Motivational Speakers

A few of the most effective motivational speakers share the characteristics listed below.

For more knowledge in delivering a motivational speech , here are some tips:

  • Initiate mobility . Speakers begin with a speech , but concentrating the audience on various elements leads to a specific outcome. 
  • Straight to the point . Speakers convince the audience of their credibility while giving their speeches.
  • Make it interesting . An effective motivational speaker knows that just standing in front of an audience and blathering is never appreciated.

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Motivational Speeches From Universities

Motivational speeches from well-known people are given during graduation each year to encourage students. Here are the best motivational speeches during the commencement exercises of different universities:

1. Denzel Washington – University of Pennsylvania

Denzel Washington’s motivational speech discusses the importance of taking chances in life and how. It is among the finest motivational speeches that are valid for business owners. He stated that when you fail, you should fall forward to his graduation address. Also, he encourages people to embrace failure and grow from it. 

2. Steve Jobs – Stanford University

Definitely among the finest motivational speeches ever! His motivational speech discussed life’s setbacks, such as death, and how understanding death may help people make better life decisions. His comments to the graduating class on the value of learning and pursuing goals were the most valuable advice he could give them.

3. Jim Carrey – Maharishi University

At Maharishi University in Iowa, actor, and comedian Jim Carrey delivered one of the most original graduation addresses ever. His takeaway from his motivational speech is: Never give up on your goals and never give up on yourself. Indeed, it is one of the best motivational speeches.

4. J.K. Rowling – Harvard University

Several publishers rejected J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series before it was finally accepted, as is well known. However, before she became successful, she was in a desperate position and was about to become bankrupt. In her Harvard address, she stressed the importance of not being afraid of failure and of persisting in the face of adversity.

5. Matthew McConaughey – University of Houston

Next on our list is Matthew McConaughey’s motivational speech . His speech has various excellent ideas. But, the one that stood out was when he said that we should approach happiness constantly.

In the end, he discovered that everything came into place when he approached things step by step. After everything was said and done, Matthew McConaughey gave one of the best motivational speeches in recent years.

6. Michelle Obama – Eastern Kentucky University

Michelle Obama delivered a commencement speech to the Eastern Kentucky University class of 2013. She urged them to keep challenging their assumptions and find a way to make their flaws work for them. Her speech focused on giving the students motivation about life. 

When it comes to defining moments in your life, it won’t be when you receive the promotion or have a breakthrough in your career.

7. Peter Dinklage – Bennington College

Game of Thrones actor Peter Dinklage is well-known for his portrayal as Tyrion Lannister in the show. He delivered the Bennington College graduating speech in 2012. The message he delivered to the graduating class focused on perseverance and doing everything it takes to succeed. 

8. John Roberts – Cardigan Mountain School

US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts addressed his son’s graduating high school class in 2017. It’s not good luck; he wishes the grads in his address. He expresses his want for kids to experience loneliness, failure, and defeat from time to time. 

9. Natalie Portman – Harvard University

Actress Natalie Portman addressed Harvard University’s 2015 graduating class during their graduation ceremony. She uses wide brushstrokes from all periods of her life to build a picture in her compelling speech . Also, she claims to have discovered that taking measured risks may result in life-altering benefits, as she has done it herself.

10. Meryl Streep – Barnard College

Meryl Streep is most recognized for being a 16-time nominee and 2-time winner at the Academy Awards. While at Barnard College, she made a memorable graduating address in 2010 that inspired the audience. However, in her address, she emphasized the importance of her relationships with family and friends. 

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Motivational Speeches From Ted Talk

Reaffirming your confidence in humanity is one of the most powerful benefits of listening to motivational speeches. Next time you need a little additional energy, have this list handy.

1. Elizabeth Gilbert

Famous author and TED speaker Elizabeth Gilbert spoke about how we all have a “genius” that we may unleash. She is the author of the best-selling book Eat, Pray, Love. Gilbert’s motivational speech emphasized the importance of not being intimidated or scared of success. 

2. Tony Robbins

One of the most well-known motivational speakers today is Tony Robbins. This TED lecture, in particular, has a profound effect on the listener. It addresses two major issues in its title, “Why We Do What We Do.”

We learn about ourselves and others by asking these kinds of inquiries. What should you remember? Yourself is the only person who can decide whether or not you succeed.

3. Richard St. John

Next on our list of motivational speeches is Richard St. John’s TED Talk from 2005, given by the author, marketer, and analyst. St. John’s address, which was based on his book “8 To Be Great,” gets to the point in a manner that most speeches don’t

The remainder of St. John’s discourse makes fast transitions from one intriguing topic to the next without wasting time or words. There are also a few well-placed jokes in there. As a result, even though he covers a lot of subjects, his audience retains what he says.

4. Dan Pink

As a writer, Dan Pink’s reputation is supported by a wide range of “legs,” such as his writings and accolades. Also, in the late 1990s, he was the primary speechwriter for former US Vice President Al Gore.

Pink’s TED Talk is a role model for everyone who wants to take a dull subject and convert it into motivating. He started his speech by examining how most economists see the performance, stating, “If you want people to perform better, you reward them. Right? That’s how business works.”

5. Mel Robbins

As far as speakers go, Mel Robbins has a solid reputation for taking a direct and honest stance on even the most emotional subjects. Due to this, she’s not scared to speak her mind regarding difficult issues. She only chooses a person from her audience to underscore her speech ’s enormous chances of being born.

6. Simon Sinek

First seen in his 2009 TED Talk “How Great Leaders Inspire Action,” Simon Sinek is a best-selling author. Sinek proves that he’s not just switching from one stereotyped issue to another. In addition, he encourages audiences to let go of their preconceived notions about the subject to approach it with a fresh perspective.

7. Tali Sharot

Dr. Tali Sharot is dedicated to helping people realize their dreams, both personal and professional. She works to increase awareness of the impact that emotions can have on our decisions and behavior. In this TED talk, she talks about how to motivate yourself to change your behavior.

8. Brene Brown

Brene Brown, a Texan with a penchant for ranting and raving, is an authority on shame and vulnerability. A key focus of Brown’s research is human connection. Over 16 million people have seen her motivational TED presentation in which she offers a profound discovery from her studies. It launched her on a personal mission to understand both herself and humankind.

9. Malcolm Gladwell

It wouldn’t be a list of motivational speeches without Malcolm Gladwell being included. Gladwell tells the tale of a guy who refused to believe in the existence of a ‘perfect’ spaghetti sauce. It contains important insights for executives who want to create work environments where their employees are pleased.

10. Sam Berns

It is one of the best motivational speeches you’ll ever see. A 17-year-old Sam became a public face for Progeria, a hereditary disorder with the evocative moniker aging sickness. While some claimed Sam would never transcend the constraints others had placed on him, he refused to let his illness define him.

He led the life he wanted, ignoring his disease and the things that set him apart in favor of his goals. It’s a remarkable heirloom left by a unique young man.

Best Motivational Speeches From Movies

While narrative and actors are important in movies, speeches leave an impression on audiences. So, here are the best motivational speeches from movies to help you out:

1. Any Given Sunday

To prepare for a rough day, hear this inspiring lecture from a well-known motivational speaker. It focuses on the importance of inches in American Football, even though we prefer to disregard them. He speaks about how his team may gain an inch on their competition by focusing on the little details of winning.

Irrespective of whether or not you saw the film, it provided cinemagoers with one of the most motivational speeches ever. You don’t have to yell or curse a lot. Depending on your personality, it may cause you to enter what we refer to as “the zone.” Speeches in earlier films have included theatrical components; this one does not.

3. Hoosiers

Even though we’re still in college, we’ve already gained enough life experience to realize that working hard doesn’t guarantee a W. Even if we give it our all, dozing off in the library at 3 a.m. on top of our books, that doesn’t guarantee an A. Isn’t it enough if you’re giving it your all?

4. Friday Night Lights

Is it possible for you to speak the truth to your friends while looking them in the eye? That you put out all of your efforts? Coach Gaines, in this film, says that if you can accomplish it with love in your heart, you’ve achieved perfection. In this scenario, his message inspires honesty, camaraderie, and love among his team members.

5. Rocky Balboa

Rocky Balboa reminds his kid that life isn’t fair in this scene since he is a father figure in the Rocky franchise. It is like boxing in that how hard you punch back is immaterial. According to him, what matters is how much you can absorb and how quickly you can go ahead.

6. The Pursuit of Happiness

It’s worth mentioning that the whole picture is moving since it depicts father-son relationships. In this speech , a father instructs his kid to never give up on his dreams, no matter how unlikely it may seem to others. To summarize, if someone tells you that you can’t attain your objectives, don’t believe them.

7. Wolf of Wall Street

The main hero’s speech in Wolf of Wall Street is encouraging because it takes achievement into account. Seeing examples of people who rose from poverty to riches might encourage others to risk when an opportunity arises. Since his speech , it’s become more important to have a decent standard of life.

8. Braveheart

William Wallace gives a speech in this scene on the importance of freedom to a human being. For him, independence trumps the monotony of everyday existence. The speech has the potential to motivate listeners to take real action instead of just producing food.

9. The Shawshank Redemption

Motivational speeches like this one demonstrate confidence in an optimistic future. You can still use it, even if you have to put in a lot of work to get there while another guy gives up. It would help if you had an optimistic outlook on life’s prospects at all times.

10. Independence Day

In this film, the president discusses the importance of humanism and goodwill amongst all countries. His message is motivational because he talks about uniting against common adversaries and preserving lives. If you’re thinking about international relations, this speech is a gold mine.

Parting Words

That concludes our selection of the best motivational speeches to get you through the tough times ahead! Let’s take a look at some of the common themes that appear in all of these talks.

  • It’s critical that you like your work.
  • Even if you fail, that’s not the end of the world.
  • It would be better if you aspired to it.

Now, think about the topics that will motivate your listeners to pay attention to what you have to say. You may also use the Orai App to help you enhance your public speaking skills and capture the attention of your audience. Furthermore, take advantage of the free trial offer and get started right now.

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30 Motivational Speeches To Get You Moving Forward Now

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10 uplifting speeches from history that will inspire you in times of crisis

  • Throughout history, leaders have made speeches that inspired millions and changed the course of history. Those speeches still inspire us today. 
  • Famous speeches like Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" and Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address still resonate today. 
  • Lesser-known speeches like Hillary Clinton's "Human Rights Are Women's Rights" and Nora Ephron's commencement address are considered inspirational. 
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories .

Insider Today

While history is no stranger to crises, there are always leaders who come forward to help usher in more hopeful times by crafting and delivering impactful speeches. 

Leaders like Martin Luther King Jr., Abraham Lincoln, and Maya Angelou have all delivered speeches that inspired millions — and some even changed the course of history. 

Take a look back at some of the most famous speeches from history that still move us today. 

Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address in 1863 reminds people to honor those we have lost.

written speeches about life

President Abraham Lincoln gave a relatively short speech at the deadliest battle site during the Civil War on November 19, 1863. Although it wasn't meant to be monumental, some call it the best speech in history. In it, Lincoln tells his people that they must remember each and every person who fought and died on the battlefield, especially because every human is created equal. 

"The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here," Lincoln says in the address. "It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

In 1938, Lou Gehrig gave his "Luckiest Man" that celebrated the beauty of life.

written speeches about life

On July 4, 1938, Lou Gehrig delivered a speech at Yankee Stadium after it was revealed that the baseball player had ALS. Although he was delivering devastating news to his fans in the speech, he instead focused on everything life has to offer. 

"Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about a bad break. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth," he said in the speech. "I have been in ballparks for 17  years and have never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you fans … So I close in saying that I may have had a tough break, but I have an awful lot to live for."

Winston Churchill delivered the "We Shall Fight on the Beaches" speech in 1940, showing the strength of the human spirit.

written speeches about life

On June 4, 1940, Prime Minister Winston Churchill addressed Parliament during a particularly difficult time in World War II. Smithsonian Magazine called it "one of the most rousing and iconic addresses" of the era. In the speech, the prime minister told his people that they would fight together and use all their strength to defeat their enemies. 

"We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender," Churchill says in the famous speech . 

In 1942, Mahatma Gandhi gave his "Quit India" speech, which encouraged peaceful protests.

written speeches about life

The day before the Quit India movement started, Mahatma Gandhi delivered an inspiring speech, on August 8, 1942 . In the speech, he told his people to resist the British government but to do so in a peaceful, organized manner. He focused on the benefits of a nonviolent uprising, which became the cornerstone of his beliefs. 

The most famous line from the speech is: "I believe that in the history of the world, there has not been a more genuinely democratic struggle for freedom than ours."

John F. Kennedy delivered "The Decision to Go to The Moon" speech in 1961, proving humans know no bounds.

written speeches about life

On May 25, 1961, President John F. Kennedy announced to Congress and the world that the US was committed to sending an American to the moon. In the inspiring speech , the president explains the ambitious goal as one of necessity. 

"Many years ago the great British explorer George Mallory, who was to die on Mount Everest, was asked why did he want to climb it. He said, 'Because it is there,'" Kennedy said in his speech. "Well, space is there, and we're going to climb it, and the moon and the planets are there, and new hopes for knowledge and peace are there. And, therefore, as we set sail we ask God's blessing on the most hazardous and dangerous and greatest adventure on which man has ever embarked."

Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous "I Have a Dream Speech" in 1963 reminds people there is always something better on the horizon.

written speeches about life

On August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King Jr., delivered what is arguably the most famous and most inspiring speech in American history. Before the historic March on Washington, King stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and addressed the 250,000 attendees, calling for the end of discrimination and racism by dreaming about a brighter future. 

"I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice," he said in the speech. "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today."

In 1993, Maya Angelou read her poem "On the Pulse of the Morning" at Bill Clinton's inauguration in an attempt to bring the global community together.

written speeches about life

On the morning of President Bill Clinton's inauguration in 1993, poet Maya Angelou delivered a moving speech when she read out her poem "On the Pulse of the Morning." It was the first time a poem had been recited at the ceremony since 1961 . In it, Angelou touched upon topics of equality and inclusion, and she attempted to inspire the world to unite under these principles.

Part of the poem reads:

"The river sings and sings on. There is a true yearning to respond to The singing river and the wise rock. So say the Asian, the Hispanic, the Jew, The African and Native American, the Sioux, The Catholic, the Muslim, the French, the Greek, The Irish, the Rabbi, the Priest, the Sheikh, The Gay, the Straight, the Preacher, The privileged, the homeless, the teacher. They hear. They all hear The speaking of the tree."

Hillary Clinton delivered the "Human Rights Are Women's Rights" speech in 1995, saying those who are suppressed also have a voice.

written speeches about life

As the first lady, Hillary Clinton attended the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995. She was pressured to water down her message, but instead, she delivered a moving speech that still resonates today. In it, she said women who are held back by sexist governments should be set free and heard. 

"If there is one message that echoes forth from this conference, let it be that human rights are women's rights and women's rights are human rights once and for all," Clinton said in the speech. "Let us not forget that among those rights are the right to speak freely — and the right to be heard."

Nora Ephron encouraged people to break the rules in her commencement address to Wellesley College in 1996.

written speeches about life

While Nora Ephron is known for penning some of the most famous films in the '80s and '90s, she also made a legendary speech at the 1996 Wellesley College graduation ceremony . In it, she inspired women to break free of the mold placed on them. 

"Whatever you choose, however many roads you travel, I hope that you choose not to be a lady. I hope you will find some way to break the rules and make a little trouble out there," Ephron said in the speech. "And I also hope you will choose to make some of that trouble on behalf of women."

She also said, "Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim."

In 1977, Harvey Milk gave his "Give Them Hope" speech, urging people to celebrate their differences and to hold on to messages of hope.

written speeches about life

When he was running for local office in California, Harvey Milk delivered his "Give Them Hope" remarks as a stump speech . It was meant to rally supporters behind him, but it quickly became a speech of hope and celebration for the LGBT community. 

"And the young gay people in Altoona, Pennsylvanias, and the Richmond, Minnesotas, who are coming out and hear Anita Bryant on television and her story. The only thing they have to look forward to is hope. And you have to give them hope," Milk said in his speech . "Hope for a better world, hope for a better tomorrow, hope for a better place to come to if the pressures at home are too great. Hope that all will be all right. Without hope, not only are the gays, but the blacks, the seniors, the handicapped, the 'us-es.' The 'us-es' will give up."

  • 8 inspirational speeches from Martin Luther King Jr. that aren't 'I Have a Dream'
  • The most impactful event in every state that shaped US history
  • 4 famous lines from legendary speeches that were made up on the spot
  • 9 influential speeches that changed the world

written speeches about life

  • Main content

The 24 Best Motivational Speeches Our Employees Have Ever Heard

Published: July 19, 2023

It was halftime during one of my 7th-grade football games. And we were losing 14 - 0. With our knees planted in the grass, my team was quietly huddled, drenched in sweat and defeat. Suddenly, it was game over.

A woman listens to motivational speeches through her headphones

That's when our assistant coach burst into our circle and shattered our pity party, delivering one of the best motivational speeches I've heard to this day.

I can't directly quote him because he said some inappropriate things for a blog post (and, in hindsight, probably for a bunch of 13-year-olds too).

The point is he harnessed the power of words to rejuvenate a physically and emotionally drained team. And we came back clawing to win the game.

→ Click here to download leadership lessons from HubSpot founder, Dharmesh  Shah [Free Guide].

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Motivational Speech

A motivational speech can come from anywhere or anyone, but it usually has a specific audience in mind.

Whether it's a graduation speech, an all-company meeting, a championship sporting event, or a conference keynote, these speeches are designed to change how their listeners see the challenges facing them in the future.

Like in sports, being motivated at work is crucial for your performance. This rings especially true when you have a looming deadline, an important meeting, or colleagues or customers depending on your performance.

Think about the last time you felt generally unmotivated. What brought you out of that feeling? Sometimes all it takes to get you going is a good night's sleep or witnessing the benefits of your labor.

Still, other times, you might listen to someone say something that resonates with you — that alters how you've been looking at a particular task or problem.

Motivational speeches and speakers can come in all different forms, but this is the one thing they have in common — resonance. They resonate with the right listener at the right time and in the right way.

Who knows, this article is doing some for you right now. (I can dream, can't I?)

We selected 24 of the best motivational speeches from business, sports, entertainment, and other fields to help you stay motivated no matter what your work throws at you. Watch these videos if you want to feel inspired by a project.

Trust me, I was wiping my eyes after I saw them. And while the messages vary from speech to speech, they can put you in the optimal frame of mind for tackling and crushing your next big challenge.

(Disclaimer: Some speeches may contain NSFW language.)

Elon Musk: "The Importance of Never Giving Up" (2020)

Angela Ahrendts: "Leading with Empathy" (2023)

Arianna Huffington: "The Power of Sleep" (2023)

Tim Cook: "Inclusion and Diversity" (2023)

J.K. Rowling: “The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination” (2008)

Sheryl Sandberg: "Lean In" (2021)

Jim Carrey: Commencement Speech at Maharishi University of Management (2014)

Steve Jobs: "How to Live Before You Die" (2005)

Matthew McConaughey: "The Pursuit of Happiness" (2022)

Denzel Washington: "Fall Forward" (2011)

Vera Jones: “But the Blind Can Lead the Blind…” (2016)

Oprah Winfrey: "The Power of Self-Belief" (2020)

Charlie Day: Merrimack College Commencement Speech (2014)

Brené Brown: "The Power of Vulnerability" (2013)

Kobe Bryant: “The Path to Greatness" (2020)

David Foster Wallace: "This Is Water" (2005)

Carol Dweck: "The Growth Mindset" (2020)

Al Pacino: "Inch by Inch" (1999)

Satya Nadella: "Empowering Others" (2023)

Sylvester Stallone: Speech from Rocky Balboa (2006)

Will Smith: Speech from The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)

Mel Robbins: "The 5 Second Rule" (2020)

Angela Duckworth: "The Power of Grit" (2020)

Kurt Russell: “This is Your Time” (2004)

The Best Motivational Speeches of All Time

1. elon musk: "the importance of never giving up" (2020), theme of speech: perseverance and resilience.

Elon Musk's "The Importance of Never Giving Up" speech about perseverance and determination is decisive.

In this speech, Musk emphasizes failing and learning from failures as keys to success. He recounts his life and career, demonstrating how he overcame challenges.

One key takeaway from Musk's speech is his advice to adopt a growth mindset.

Musk encourages listeners to view setbacks as learning experiences. He also highlights the value of perseverance, persistence, and taking risks.

Elon Musk's word serves as an upbeat reminder that perseverance, patience, and the desire to attempt things repeatedly in the face of difficulty are essential for success.

"If something is important enough, even if the odds are against you, you should still do it."

2. Angela Ahrendts: "Leading with Empathy" (2023)

Theme of the speech: empathetic leadership....

The "Leading with Empathy" talk by Angela Ahrendts emphasizes the importance of emotional intelligence and compassion in leadership.

According to Ahrendts, leaders must view their employees as whole people with lives outside of work. Leaders can instill trust, respect, and mutual support in their employees and organizations.

Ahrendts emphasizes the importance of team mission as well. Leaders can inspire their teams by connecting them to a greater goal.

She believes that working together fosters creativity, innovation, and growth.

"Leading with Empathy" is a powerful reminder that leadership requires more than technical knowledge. To truly inspire and motivate their employees, leaders must understand their emotional needs and create a supportive, inclusive environment.

"Empathy is the glue that holds relationships together, whether they are personal or professional."

3. Arianna Huffington: "The Power of Sleep" (2023)

Theme of the speech: sleep and productivity.

The Huffington Post's founder, Arianna Huffington, emphasized the importance of sleep to overall health. In her 2023 speech, "The Power of Sleep," she discusses how sleep deprivation affects our health, productivity, and happiness.

Huffington observes that we have been taught to sacrifice sleep for success. She also mentions that well-rested employees are more creative, efficient, and effective.

To address these issues, Huffington proposes a cultural shift that recognizes sleep as essential to health and wellness.

She advises individuals and organizations to prioritize sleep, avoid technology before bedtime, and create a restful sleep environment. Sleep, according to Huffington, is a necessity, not a luxury.

By recognizing the importance of sleep, people and businesses can enhance their health, productivity, and general well-being.

Arianna Huffington's "The Power of Sleep" speech in 2023 emphasizes the importance of sleep and the dangers of sleep deprivation.

It promotes a culture where getting enough sleep is essential for health and well-being.

"Sleep is the Swiss Army knife of health, it does everything."

4. Tim Cook: "Inclusion and Diversity" (2023)

Theme of the speech: inclusion and diversity.

Apple CEO Tim Cook advocates for inclusion and diversity. He has been instrumental in the company's initiatives to advance fairness and equality inside its ranks and across the technology sector.

Cook has prioritized diversity and inclusion at Apple because he believes it is proper and necessary for innovation and business success.

Unconscious bias training, diverse recruitment, and employee resource groups contributed to his success.

Outside of Apple, Cook has advocated for LGBTQ+ rights and immigration reform. He has raised awareness of these issues and advocated for social change as a business leader.

Tech leaders and others have lauded Cook's commitment to diversity and inclusion. He has raised awareness of these issues, leading to significant change at Apple and elsewhere.

"Inclusion and diversity are not just buzzwords, they are fundamental values that drive innovation and creativity."

5. J.K. Rowling: “The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination” (2008)

Theme of speech: failure.

In J.K. Rowling's 2008 Harvard commencement speech, the Harry Potter author explored how two phenomena -- failure and imagination -- can be crucial to success.

While failure can help you understand where your true passion lies, and where you should focus your energy moving forward, imagination is what will allow you to empathize with other people so you can use your influence to do good.

“We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better.”

"You have to understand your own personal DNA. Don't do things because I do them or Steve Jobs or Mark Cuban tried it. You need to know your personal brand and stay true to it."

6. Sheryl Sandberg: "Lean In" (2021)

Theme of the speech: gender equality and leadership.

Sheryl Sandberg's 2021 talk, "Lean In," encourages women to lean into their careers and leadership roles. She urges women to stand up for one another and themselves to overcome societal and cultural hurdles.

Sandberg highlights the need to have distinct objectives and goals and be prepared to take calculated risks to achieve them.

She also underlines how crucial it is for more female leaders to advance diversity and gender equality across all industries.

Sandberg's speech also emphasizes collaboration. She urges women to mentor other women and look for sponsors and mentors themselves.

The "Lean In" talk by Sheryl Sandberg emphasizes women's voices and perspectives in all aspects of society.

To remove barriers and foster more inclusive and varied workplaces and communities, Sandberg urges women to pursue their professional ambitions with confidence and with the help of their communities.

"We need women at all levels, including the top, to change the dynamic, reshape the conversation, to make sure women's voices are heard and heeded, not overlooked and ignored."

7. Jim Carrey: Commencement Speech at Maharishi University of Management (2014)

Theme of speech: taking risks.

Jim Carrey might make a living as the goofiest comedian around, but in 2014, he combined classic Carrey humor with unforgettable insight at Maharishi University of Management's graduation ceremony.

Jim Carrey opened his speech dishing punchlines, but he eventually opened up about his upbringing and the role fear plays in our lives. You can actually hear the amazement in the students' reactions in the video above.

“I learned many great lessons from my father -- not the least of which is that you can fail at what you don't want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.”

8. Steve Jobs: "How to Live Before You Die" (2005)

Theme of speech: life and career.

Considering the YouTube video of Steve Jobs' 2005 Stanford commencement speech has 24 million views, it's likely that you've seen this one already.

In the speech, Jobs plays on two themes: connecting the dots (anecdote: how taking a calligraphy class helped inspire the design of the Mac) and love & loss (anecdote: how getting fired from Apple helped inspire his greatest innovations).

Perhaps the most memorable part his speech comes at the end, when he quotes the (now-famous) lines from the final issue of his favorite publication, The Whole Earth Catalog:

“Stay hungry. Stay foolish.”

steve jobs

9. Matthew McConaughey: "The Pursuit of Happiness" (2022)

Theme of the speech: discovering true happiness and fulfillment in life..

In "The Pursuit of Happiness," famed actor and motivational speaker Matthew McConaughey provides his enlightened viewpoint on obtaining true happiness and fulfillment.

McConaughey presents a genuine and approachable study of what it means to live a fulfilling life through sincere storytelling and personal anecdotes.

The speech discusses the significance of authenticity and remaining true to oneself. McConaughey encourages people to define their success rather than succumb to social pressures or external expectations.

He stresses aligning our behaviors and decisions with our fundamental values and passions.

McConaughey expresses his conviction in the power of thankfulness and the importance of living in the present moment. He encourages people to create a grateful mindset, recognizing the blessings and possibilities surrounding them.

By appreciating the present and finding joy in the journey, individuals can experience more profound happiness and fulfillment.

"Happiness is not a destination. It's a state of mind, a journey, and a choice we make every day."

10. Denzel Washington: "Fall Forward" (2011)

In his 2011 UPenn commencement speech, Denzel Washington highlighted three reasons why we need to embrace failure in order to be successful. First, everybody will fail at something at some point, so you better get used to it.

Second, if you never fail, take that as a sign that you're not really trying. And third, at the end of the day, failure will help you figure out what path you want to be on.

“Fall forward. Here's what I mean: Reggie Jackson struck out twenty-six-hundred times in his career — the most in the history of baseball. But you don't hear about the strikeouts. People remember the home runs.

Fall forward.

Thomas Edison conducted 1,000 failed experiments. Did you know that? I didn't know that—because #1,001 was the light bulb. Fall forward. Every failed experiment is one step closer to success.”

denzel washington

11. Vera Jones: “But the Blind Can Lead the Blind…” (2016)

Theme of speech: perseverance.

Last year at INBOUND, Vera Jones told a moving story about the life lessons she's learned from raising her blind son.

She explains how having faith in your future and letting it lead you toward your true purpose will help you overcome blinding obstacles.

She also discusses how following your passion and trusting your vision develops empathy, which is a critical leadership skill.

“Passionately play your position no matter how bad things get. You are significant. Why we are here is not for our own glory. Ultimately, we're here to lead and serve everybody else. By doing that, we encourage others to do the same.”

12. Oprah Winfrey: "The Power of Self-Belief" (2020)

Theme of Speech: Self-Belief and Confidence

Oprah Winfrey's 2020 speech "The Power of Self-Belief" emphasized the importance of self-assurance. She attributed her success to her unwavering self-assurance.

According to Oprah, self-belief is not about being arrogant or overconfident. She stresses the significance of overcoming self-doubt and fear, which can prevent people from reaching their goals.

Oprah used personal stories to demonstrate how self-confidence has aided her in life and work. She encouraged her audience to believe in themselves and to embrace their inner strength.

The Power of Self-Belief" reminded us how important it is to have faith in ourselves and our ability to succeed.

"The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams."


13. Charlie Day: Merrimack College Commencement Speech (2014)

Best known for his role in the sitcom It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, actor Charlie Day had lots of wisdom to share during the 2014 commencement speech at his alma mater, Merrimack College.

Day explained to the audience how college degrees are inherently valueless, since you can't trade them in for cash. Instead, it's you, your hard work, and the risks you take that provide real value in life.

“You cannot let a fear of failure or a fear of comparison or a fear of judgment stop you from doing the things that will make you great. You cannot succeed without the risk of failure.

You cannot have a voice without the risk of criticism. You cannot love without the risk of loss. You must take these risks.”

14. Brené Brown: "The Power of Vulnerability" (2013)

The video above is an animated excerpt from researcher Brené Brown's speech, " The Power of Vulnerability ." In the speech, Brown explores how our fear of not being good enough (among other fears) drives us to shield ourselves from our own vulnerabilities.

The alternative to wearing this emotional suit of armor: Embrace vulnerability through empathizing with others.

"Empathy is a choice, and it's a vulnerable choice. Because in order to connect with you, I have to connect with something in myself that knows that feeling."


15. Kobe Bryant: “The Path to Greatness" (2020)

Theme of the speech: embracing dedication, perseverance, and a relentless pursuit of greatness..

Bryant emphasizes setting ambitious goals and working tirelessly to achieve them. Through captivating storytelling and personal anecdotes, he reveals the sacrifices and relentless effort required to excel at the highest level.

Bryant's speech is a testament to the power of hard work, discipline, and a growth mindset in attaining greatness.

The speech also explores embracing failure as a stepping stone to success. Bryant shares how setbacks and challenges can fuel personal growth and resilience.

He encourages individuals to embrace failure, learn from it, and use it as motivation to push beyond their limits.

Bryant's speech goes beyond the realm of sports, offering valuable insights and life lessons applicable to all areas of life.

His relentless pursuit of greatness and unwavering commitment to excellence inspires individuals striving to achieve their goals and dreams.

"I have self-doubt. I have insecurity. I have fear of failure. I have nights when I show up at the arena and I'm like, 'My back hurts, my feet hurt, my knees hurt. I don't have it. I just want to chill.'

We all have self-doubt. You don't deny it, but you also don't capitulate to it. You embrace it."

16. David Foster Wallace: "This Is Water" (2005)

From the opening minutes of David Foster Wallace's 2005 Kenyon College commencement speech , in which he questions commencement speech conventions, it's clear that Wallace has some serious wisdom to share.

The crux of his speech: Many of us are oblivious to our own close-mindedness. We picture ourselves as the centers of our own, individual universes, instead of seeing the bigger, more interconnected picture.

“If you're automatically sure that you know what reality is and who and what is really important, if you want to operate on your default setting, then you, like me, probably won't consider possibilities that aren't annoying and miserable.

But if you've really learned how to think, how to pay attention, then you'll know you have other options.

It will actually be within your power to experience a crowded, hot, slow, consumer hell-type situation as not only meaningful, but sacred — on fire with the same force that lit the stars: love, fellowship, the mystical oneness of all things deep down.”

david foster wallace quote

17. Carol Dweck: "The Growth Mindset" (2020)

Theme of the speech: cultivating a growth mindset for personal and professional development..

In "The Growth Mindset," Carol Dweck, a renowned psychologist, and author, delivers an enlightening speech on the power of adopting a growth mindset for personal and professional growth.

Dweck's extensive research on mindset and achievement provides the foundation for her impactful message.

Dweck explains the difference between a fixed mindset, where individuals believe their abilities are fixed traits, and a growth mindset, where individuals believe their abilities can be developed through effort and learning.

She demonstrates how a growth mindset fosters resilience, learning, and innovation through relatable stories and compelling examples.

Dweck's speech resonates with individuals seeking personal and professional development, as she provides insights into how adopting a growth mindset can positively impact all areas of life.

Her research-based approach and engaging speaking style make "The Growth Mindset" an inspiring resource for individuals striving for continuous growth and improvement.

"The passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even when it's not going well, is the hallmark of the growth mindset."

Famous Short Speeches With Inspirational Takeaways

18. al pacino: "inch by inch" (1999), theme of speech: teamwork.

Yes, this speech is from a football movie (Any Given Sunday), but trust me: This isn't your stereotypical rah-rah-go-get-'em sports speech. It's deeper than that. It's about life, and loss, and ... gosh darn it just listen to Al Pacino.

He's pouring his soul out!

“Either we heal as a team or we're gonna crumble, inch by inch, play by play, till we're finished. We're in hell right now, gentlemen, believe me.

And we can stay here and get the $&#@ kicked out of us, or we can fight our way back into the light. We can climb out of hell, one inch at a time.”

al pacino quote

19. Satya Nadella: "Empowering Others" (2023)

Theme of the Speech: Empowerment and Collaboration

Satya Nadella's 2023 lecture, "Empowering Others," emphasizes the importance of leadership that empowers others rather than focusing on personal success.

He emphasizes the importance of leaders cultivating a culture of inclusion and belonging in which everyone feels respected and able to accomplish their best work.

Nadella also discusses the significance of technology in positive development. Some of society's most important issues may be resolved by technology, but proper development and application are required.

According to Nadella, empathy and emotional intelligence are essential for outstanding leadership. He suggests that Leaders listen to and understand. their team members' needs and motivations.

Leaders can develop a culture of trust and collaboration that will help the team flourish.

Satya Nadella's "Empowering Others" provides a special message about leadership in the current day. By emphasizing diversity, empathy, and responsible innovation, Nadella encourages audiences to strive for excellence while being mindful of their impact on others and the world.

"Success is not just about what we achieve individually, but what we enable others to achieve."

20. Sylvester Stallone: Speech from Rocky Balboa (2006)

Theme of speech: never give up.

I had to put this one next since it plays along the same themes as Denzel Washington's UPenn speech. In the scene above, from the 2006 film Rocky Balboa, the title character (played by Sylvester Stallone) is having a heart-to-heart with his son.

The advice he gives him: Don't let your failures or the adversity you face slow you down. Keep. Moving. Forward.

“Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It's a very mean and nasty place, and I don't care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it.

You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard you hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done!”

sylvester stalone quote

21. Will Smith: Speech from The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)

Theme of speech: don’t let them bring you down.

Here's another speech from the big screen, this time from the 2006 film The Pursuit of Happyness.

In the scene above, Will Smith's character explains to his son why he shouldn't pursue basketball (because he'll end up being "below average") before having a major change of heart.

“Don't ever let somebody tell you ... you can't do something. Not even me. All right? You got a dream. You gotta protect it. People can't do something themselves, they want to tell you can't do it. If you want something, go get it. Period.”

22. Mel Robbins: "The 5 Second Rule" (2020)

Theme of the Speech: Action and Overcoming Self-Doubt

The "The 5 Second Rule" speech by Mel Robbins promotes action to achieve goals and overcome concerns and doubts.

When confronted with a decision or action that needs to be completed but you are hesitating or procrastinating, countdown from 5, and then act. According to Robbins, this method breaks habit loops that keep us unhealthy.

Counting down and taking action may assist us in overcoming uncertainty and self-doubt and moving toward our objectives. For success, Robbins also promotes mentality and self-talk.

She believes that to realize our potential, we must consciously reframe negative thoughts and limiting beliefs.

Mel Robbins' presentation "The 5 Second Rule" is a practical and efficient technique to overcome procrastination and achieve goals.

Robbins inspires listeners to take command of their lives and achieve by emphasizing attitude, self-talk, and positive actions.

"You are never going to feel like doing the things that are tough, difficult, or uncertain, but you have a choice."

mel robbins quote

23. Angela Duckworth: "The Power of Grit" (2020)

Theme of the Speech: Spirit and Perseverance

Angela Duckworth examines the significance of perseverance and resilience in achievement in her book "The Power of Grit." According to Duckworth, grit—passion and determination—is essential for long-term success and overcoming obstacles.

Duckworth addresses grit and mentality, believing that people who view challenges and setbacks as opportunities for growth rather than threats will develop resilience and determination over time.

She advocates for a growth mindset, which believes people can acquire intelligence and other qualities through hard work. Duckworth places a premium on rigorous practice to achieve skill and mastery.

She recommends soliciting feedback, setting challenging goals, and intentionally improving abilities and succeeding. Angela Duckworth's "The Power of Grit" illuminates long-term achievement.

Duckworth emphasizes attitude, focused practice, and resilience to urge listeners to acquire grit and pursue their passions with tenacity.

"Grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years, and working really hard to make that future a reality."

24. Kurt Russell: “This is Your Time” (2004)

Theme of speech: inspiring and believing in your team.

The Miracle on Ice is still considered the biggest upset in Olympic hockey history. And for good reason. The Soviet Union won six of the last seven Olympic gold medals, and the U.S. team consisted only of amateur players.

It was obvious the Soviets were better. But, in the movie Miracle, which told the incredible story of the 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team, Kurt Russell's character — Coach Herb Brooks — knew that this game was different.

The U.S. was better than the Soviets that day. And his speech conveyed such a strong belief in his team that they pulled off one of the greatest sports moments of the 20th century.

“If we played 'em ten times, they might win nine. But not this game… Not tonight. Tonight, we skate with them. Tonight, we stay with them. And we shut them down because we can!

Tonight, WE are the greatest hockey team in the world. You were born to be hockey players, every one of you. And you were meant to be here tonight. This is your time.”

kurt russell quote

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30 Famous and Short Inspirational Speeches (5 minutes or less)

  • December 13, 2023

This post is all about the best short inspirational speeches.

Short Inspirational Speeches.

If you are in need of a quick boost of inspiration and motivation, you will find that in this post. I am one of those people who loves to get motivated. That sounds weird, right?

Well, a lot of people these days tend to give motivation a hard time because they don’t believe that it has lasting effects. In other words, they believe that what’s most important is your own self-discipline, because that’s what you have to rely on when motivation isn’t there.

And while I do agree with that sentiment in general, I will never pass up a great motivational podcast or YouTube video! 😀 There’s just something about them that even if they might not have lasting effects, they do truly help pump me up in the moment to get work done. And that’s usually what matters to me the most when I am looking for them in the first place.

So, here are the very best short motivational speeches so you can get that quick fix of motivation that you’re looking for, and ultimately move closer to your goals and dreams.

Short Inspirational Speeches

Believe in yourself speeches.

If you lack confidence or you are doubting yourself, these short motivational speeches will help you to believe in yourself again.

1. Rocky’s Inspirational Speech to His Son | ROCKY BALBOA

In less than 5 minutes, you’ll watch Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) explain to his son that if he wants to have the life he desires, he needs to believe in himself. He needs to stop listening to the people that tell him who he is, and instead go be his own person, and stop looking for someone to blame when things aren’t working out for him because ultimately it’s on HIM. This is one of the greatest inspirational speeches of all time.

2. Find Your Purpose | David Goggins – Motivational Speech

David Goggins is truly incredible. A former Navy SEAL, he has broken records and ran more races than you’d imagine. But the one thing that really stands out about him is his mindset.

Listen to this video if you want to be great. He tells you exactly what you need to do to get there.

Also, if you’ve never read David Goggins’ book “Can’t Hurt Me” , I highly recommend it. He talks about his rough upbringing, and how he was able to essentially become an entirely new person to become a Navy SEAL.

3. BELIEVE IN YOURSELF – Motivational Video (ft. Jaret Grossman & Eric Thomas)

This video is all about how important it is to have the proper belief system. If you truly believe that you are one of the best, you will start acting that you are one of the best, and eventually you may just be one of the best.

4. DON’T LET YOUR DREAMS DIE – Motivational Speech

This YouTube short by Mel Robbins is so good, I had to share it. A light bulb went on in my head when I first watched this. If there is something that is always on your mind, don’t let it haunt you forever because you never put yourself out there to try it. Go and DO!

Motivational Speeches About Not Giving Up

The following short motivational speeches are all about not giving up on your dreams. If you are losing hope, these short motivational speeches will inspire you to keep going.

5. Brené Brown It’s Not The Critic Who Counts

This speech will give you chills, and it is packed with great lessons about life. Brené Brown is a researcher who went viral for a Ted Talk, and here she talks about how to overcome critics and to keep believing in yourself no matter what. If you are worried about what people think of you, you NEED to watch this.

6. Amazing Motivational Speech by Denzel Washington 

This is another video that gave me chills. The main theme of this famous speech is “ease is a greater threat to progress than hardship”. Stay consistent even when it’s hard. Easy task after easy task won’t get you to where you want to be.

7. Steve Harvey – Inspirational Speech | Motivational Short Video | Incredible You

This short motivational speech by Steve Harvey is short but impactful. If you are someone who stepped out of your comfort zone to pursue something really difficult, and you’re thinking about giving up, this speech may just prevent you from doing so.

8. Ed Mylett on The Power of One More

Ed Mylett shares the story of how his father stayed sober until his dying day, and how Ed himself uses that same philosophy to never give up. Personal stories like these are always the most inspiring.

By the way, if you REALLY want to push yourself and become the best, read Ed Mylett’s most recent book on this same topic, “The Power Of One More” .

Motivational Speeches If You’re Feeling Behind

Are you feeling behind in life? If so, let’s change that. Watch these videos to be reminded that you are on your own unique path. You have no competition other than your past self. These short motivational videos will help you believe that.

9. Before You Feel Pressure – WATCH THIS | by Jay Shetty

Jay Shetty talks to a school class about how there’s no one “perfect” life timeline to follow, and that we are all on our own clock. 

10. Kevin Hart Motivational Speech

If you’ve made mistakes in your life (haven’t we all) this is a great story from Kevin Hart (famous comedian and actor) that will remind you of the power of making mistakes and pushing through hard times.

11. Oprah Winfrey | 5 Minutes For The NEXT 50 Years of Your LIFE

In this video, Oprah talks about the importance of really knowing who you are and what you want in your life. She talks about surrounding yourself with great people, and how to have enormous success. “Let excellence be your brand.”

Listen To These If You Need Perspective

Sometimes in life, we get so caught up in the day to day that we forget what truly matters – the people we love. If you are having trouble with something in life, give these videos a listen, because they just might help you realize what is really important.

12. Arnold Schwarzenegger – Organize Your Day | 1 MINUTE MOTIVATIONAL VIDEO

Are you the kind of person who always complains that you don’t have enough time to do something? If so, you’re not alone. We are all busy humans, running around doing a million things. But if you aren’t prioritizing what you know you should be doing, listen to this video.

13. How to Judge Your Life Using 3 Simple Questions | Brendon Burchard Speech| Goalcast

Have you ever heard of Mortality Motivation? It’s essentially what it sounds like… being motivated by the impending reality of your death. It sounds a little morbid, but it’s actually quite beautiful and it can be really beneficial if you harness it for good.

In this video by motivational speaker Brendon Burchard, he shares how a car accident when he was 19 gave him mortality motivation and changed everything for him.


This speech by Oprah was given to Harvard graduates, and it’s a unique speech because she talks about failing, even after the major success of her television show for over 20 years.

It’s refreshing to hear that even the most successful people fail. What really matters, though, is what you do with your failure. Do you learn from it and move on? Or do you give up?

15. YOU VS YOU – Best Motivational Video

This is a pretty intense video about competition. If your #1 competition is someone else, you need to change your perspective. Your only competition is YOU. The only thing preventing you from moving forward is you.

16. The Speech That Brought This Entire School To Tears

This is a speech about a man who never really paid much attention to his mother, until she passed away. It’s an emotional reminder to cherish the time you have with your loved ones, because you never know if the next time you see them will be the last time.

In my opinion, this speaker embodies many qualities of the best motivational speakers because he really knows how to capture the audience’s attention and pull on their heart strings.

17. 5 Minutes to Start Your Day Right! – MORNING MOTIVATION

This motivational speech is by a Navy SEAL who will remind you to start each day with a task completed, respect everyone, take risks, step up during tough times, and never give up. If you do these things, the next generation, and the generations that follow, will live better lives than we live today.

18. The Real You – Jim Carrey

This video is one of the best motivational speech examples because it reminds you of something so important: sometimes we can be so focused on earning more money, gaining fame, and becoming admired that we lose ourselves or we lose sight of what’s really important to us in the process.

Jim Carrey talks about how he is a great example of that. He got all of the money, fame, and admiration, and admits that that wasn’t really who he was. Sometimes it’s nice to be reminded that money and fame, or even getting to the top of the corporate ladder, while nice, aren’t going to be the thing that brings you fulfillment when it’s all said and done.

19. Ed Mylett Motivational Speech

I posted another motivational video by Ed Mylett above, but if you don’t know much about him, prepare to have your world rocked. He’s probably my absolute favorite motivational speaker because he is successful and he works hard, but he’s also (seemingly) a kind, family guy who’s been through a few things.

In this video, he talks about being “the one” that changed his family tree. Take a listen because I’m sure it’ll get you thinking on whether or not you can be “the one” in YOUR family.

P.S. If you love personal growth content, you should check out Ed Mylett’s podcast . I listen to it every week and it is one of my favorites.

20. If You Feel LOST, LAZY & UNMOTIVATED In Life, WATCH THIS! | Tony Robbins Motivation

If you are someone who is constantly blaming others or your circumstances for your unhappiness, you need to listen to this video by Tony Robbins . Bad things happen to us all, it’s up to you to focus on what you can control.

Great Inspirational Speeches About Hard Work

How hard do you think you work? Could you be doing more? If there’s a little voice inside of your heart that knows you could be doing more and better, these motivational videos about the value of hard work will help you push yourself.

And a side note: your chances of having good luck increase the harder and longer you work.

21. You’re Not Tired, You’re Just Weak – David Goggins Motivation

If you’re feeling lazy or like you don’t want to do something, watch this video til 2:25 . It will give you the push you need to put your head down and do the work. It’ll remind you to keep pursuing your goals and to keep challenging yourself. Key takeaway: push yourself beyond your perceived limits.

22. Hard Work & Patience – A Gary Vaynerchuk Original Film

If you want to be motivated to work hard, listen to Gary Vaynerchuk. Gary Vaynerchuk is a creative genius known for his marketing tactics. This famous motivational speech is all about playing “the long game”, as in, working for a long time and having patience instead of working hard for a short period of time and expecting to win quickly.

23. OBSESSION – Best Motivational Speech

This is one of my favorite short motivational speeches because it makes me feel a little more normal for being “weird”. I’m the kind of person who chooses to work on the weekends instead of hanging out with people. Crazy, right? But it’s because I’m working toward a dream of mine and it’s something that’s really important to me. The most important thing to remember: it’s okay to devote yourself to something. It’s the only way to get what you want in life.

24. WORK LIKE HELL – Best Motivational Video

This is a series of motivational speeches about doing a little bit more and outworking your competition. I’m not going to lie – I’m up late writing this post and listening to this very video is what’s motivating me to keep going.

25. The video EVERY woman should watch!

Whether or not you’re a Rachel Hollis fan may be up for debate (and that’s okay!) but I happen to think she’s a great motivational speaker. This entire speech will inspire you to work hard and take massive action – today.

26. NEVER SURRENDER – Powerful Motivational Speech (by Kobe Bryant)

This one minute video by the late Kobe Bryant is one of the most famous short speeches. I read a book recently by his former personal trainer and I learned that Kobe really outworked everyone. He talks about a quote in this video that really stuck with him, and I think it’s great advice if you’re the kind of person who needs motivation to keep working hard.

Motivational Speeches About Working Smart

Have you ever heard the saying “work smarter, not harder”? That saying is all about ensuring that the work you are doing is actually efficient. Are you getting to where you want to go with all of the work that you are putting in? Are you getting closer to your goals and your dreams? Or are you sprinting like a hamster on a wheel and just running in circles?

Here are great videos on the importance of working hard but also working intentionally.

27. SET SYSTEMS RATHER THAN GOALS – Motivational Speech – James Clear

A goal gives you a sense of direction, but if you don’t spell out precisely how you are going to get to a goal, it is useless. You must develop systems. Listen to this James Clear video to gain valuable life lessons.

By the way, James Clear is an author who wrote perhaps my favorite book of all time: “Atomic Habits” . It’s life-changing if you haven’t read it yet.

28. Matthew McConaughey | 5 Minutes for the NEXT 50 Years of Your LIFE

This is one of the best motivational speeches of all time about how to live a great life for YOU. It’s filled with little pieces of wisdom that’ll really get you thinking about how you live your life and in what direction you want to go.

29. Visualization is the key – Bob Proctor

Do you believe in the Law of Attraction? If not, I have to say I’m surprised! I’ve experienced it in my own life more than once, and it is incredibly powerful. Here’s a great video that sums up the power of visualization, and if you want to learn more about the Law of Attraction or manifestation in general, read this post .

This video shows the true power of words, thoughts, and feelings that you have.

30. How to Stay Motivated – Carla Harris

Here is a YouTube short with very practical advice from Carla Harris on HOW to stay motivated. It’s all about having a vision!

This post was all about short inspirational speeches. Which one was your favorite?

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A few years after graduating college, Taylor made it her mission to become debt free. After paying off all $60k of debt, she began to blog about what she's really passionate about: personal development. Nowadays, Taylor blogs about the topics of Mindset, Money, Health, and Career for women.

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How to Write a Speech About Yourself

Last Updated: July 13, 2023 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Michelle Golden, PhD . Michelle Golden is an English teacher in Athens, Georgia. She received her MA in Language Arts Teacher Education in 2008 and received her PhD in English from Georgia State University in 2015. There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 847,036 times.

There is a lot of work and preparation that goes into writing a speech. If you're writing a speech about yourself, you need to consider a variety of factors, including your audience, the purpose of the speech, and how long your speech should be. With a good amount of preparation, planning, and editing, you can craft a speech that introduces yourself effectively and entertainingly.

Sample Template

written speeches about life

Prewriting Your Speech

Step 1 Clarify the purpose of your speech.

  • One method for brainstorming is to create a mind map. You can do this with a paper and pencil, starting by writing your central idea or theme in the middle of the page. Then use lines to connect ideas and points that branch off from this central idea. For a speech about yourself, you might start with a central bubble labeled "Me". Then you might have three or four bubbles connected to the central one that say things like "Interests", "Aspirations", etcetera. Then as you continue branching out the bubbles will get more specific.
  • There are other methods for brainstorming you might find useful. You could try the alphabet method, where you list a few things related to the subject of your speech for each letter, starting with A and working down.
  • Another brainstorming method is the three perspectives method. You think about the subject of the speech in three perspectives. First, describe the subject, which is yourself in this case. Then, trace it. Trace your history, where you came from and where you've come to, and how you've changed over that journey. Finally, map it. Think about who and what has influenced you and how. How do you fit into the bigger picture. [3] X Trustworthy Source University of North Carolina Writing Center UNC's on-campus and online instructional service that provides assistance to students, faculty, and others during the writing process Go to source

Step 3 Tailor your content to your audience and purpose.

  • It's worth thinking about various aspects of the audience, because this will determine various aspects of your speech, such as its length, its tone, etcetera.
  • For example, if your audience is a wedding reception, and this is a best man speech, your audience will be most interested in your relationship with the groom and your history with him. You also don't want a speech like this to drag on because the best man isn't the focal point of the event.

Writing Your Speech

Step 1 Review your assignment.

  • The most important difference between a long and a short speech is the amount of detail. A two minute speech in which you introduce yourself to a class will have a short intro that might be just your opening statement. There might be only a paragraph or two in the body of the speech, and the conclusion will probably be only a sentence or two.
  • A ten to fifteen minute speech will have an introduction that in itself has a beginning, middle, and end, an opening statement, an introduction fo the main points of speech, and a summary of the main theme. The body might consist of four to six paragraphs, and each one will include both explanations of the main points, as well as examples. The conclusion will be a lengthier summary, and might include a sentence or two that ties the theme of the speech into a broader context.

Step 2 Write an outline.

  • Depending on the length of your speech, you may need to break up the body section into multiple parts, like "Paragraph 1," "Paragraph 2," etcetera.
  • Speeches two minutes and shorter should have one or two main points, which can probably fit into a single body paragraph.
  • Speeches between two and five minutes should have two to three main points, given a paragraph each in the body.
  • Longer speeches, over five minutes, should have up to five main points, given a paragraph each in the body.
  • At this stage, you should also begin thinking about how your content will be organized. For a speech about yourself, it would make sense to either organize your content chronologically, with each main point being a different period in your history, or topically, with each main point as a different topic related to yourself.

Step 3 Plan your opening statement.

  • If this is a simple, short speech, meant to introduce you to your class or group, you can start with a basic introduction that includes a brief greeting, your name, and the purpose of the speech. This can look something like "Good morning everyone! My name is so-and-so and I'd like to take this chance to introduce myself to the group."
  • If this speech about yourself is for a more specific purpose than just introducing yourself, you may want to make the introduction a little more entertaining and interesting. You can start with a provocative question, a shocking fact, a joke, or an evocative image. For example, if your speech is about an interesting aspect of your life, like your unusual profession, you can start with something like "Imagine waking up every morning to sound of safari wildlife in every direction around you."

Step 4 Finish the introduction.

  • For example, if you're giving a small speech about yourself to your class you can say something like "First I'll tell you a little bit about my past, and then I'll tell you about some of my interests and aspirations. I'll close with my plans for my career."

Step 5 Continue with the body of the speech.

  • For example, if you're writing an introductory speech for a college organization, like a photography club, you might start the body with a paragraph about how you got interested in photography. The opening sentence might go like "Photography caught my interest very early on, especially with its ability to caption and preserve life's precious moments." The closing sentence might look like "Since then, I've been eagerly pursuing more knowledge on the ins and outs of what makes a photo great."

Step 6 End with a strong conclusion.

  • For example, if your speech was about your interest and experience in the film industry, you can tie your own experiences with the idea of cinema on a grand scale. The conclusion should focus on the overarching importance of the topic of your speech.
  • If your speech is simply to introduce yourself, you can end with a less grand conclusion. The conclusion of a self-introduction speech should reiterate and summarize the most important parts of your speech, the main details about yourself that you shared.

Improving Your Speech

Step 1 Take inspiration from other speeches.

  • Read your speech out loud as well. This will help you hear the rhythm of the speech and make adjustments to improve its flow. Fragments are okay, as long as they're used sparingly. Use active verbs in favor of passive ones.
  • When reading your speech out loud to yourself, note any sentences that are too long to be spoken comfortably in one breath. Split these sentences up as you edit.

Step 3 Include signposts.

  • When running through a short list of ideas, numeric signposts are used like "first," "second," and "third," or "firstly," "secondly," and "thirdly."
  • Signposts that show how two ideas relate to each other include, "furthermore," "in addition," "nevertheless," "however," "subsequently," and "for instance."
  • Major signposts tell the listener where in the speech you are. For example, the first paragraph will often start with something like, "I'd like to start by..." and the final paragraph will often start with something like "To summarize..."

Step 4 Avoid cliches.

  • What do you replace cliches with? First you have to deduce the basic meaning of the cliche phrase, then you can either think of a more interesting way to say the same thing, or, in many cases, you can forgo the phrase entirely.
  • For example, the phrase "in conclusion" means that you are signaling that you going to summarize all the ideas previously stated. This can be replaced by something like, "So what does this all mean?" or "I've told you a lot about myself. Here's the reason."
  • Often, cliche phrases are just filler that don't add anything important to the speech. Instead of saying, "Today I'll be talking to you about..." just start talking about it.

Step 5 Talk about yourself with humble confidence.

  • Avoid speaking too highly of yourself. For example, saying "everyone know's that I'm the best soccer player on the team..." when receiving the captain award in the presence of your entire soccer team probably won't go over well.
  • If, for example, you're the best soccer player on your team, you can instead humbly highlight your accomplishments by saying something like, "I've beat my personal record this season and scored 12 total goals. While it feels great to set this record, I know that it wouldn't be possible without the hard work and help of my teammates."
  • If you feel uncomfortable, it's okay to add some humor or briefly acknowledge that you feel awkward about talking about yourself. This will just make your audience feel like they can relate better to you.

Step 6 Find a friend or teacher who can help.

Community Q&A

Community Answer

Video . By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube.

  • Make cue cards, these are good because if you've practised well enough, you will be able to be reminded on what you're saying by looking at a couple of words written on some card. Your flow will come out more naturally and you can also ad lib around it (if you're allowed). Avoid reading directly from the card. Thanks Helpful 14 Not Helpful 0
  • Always stay connected to your audience and make eye contact with them. Thanks Helpful 19 Not Helpful 1
  • When you've written your speech, be sure to practice it until you feel comfortable. Thanks Helpful 166 Not Helpful 36

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About This Article

Michelle Golden, PhD

Before you start writing a speech about yourself, create an outline on a blank page with the headings Introduction, Body, and Conclusion. Then, add bullet points under each section, and fill them in with the key issues you want to discuss. In the Introduction, tell your audience who you are and explain briefly what you'll cover in the speech. Additionally, you'll want to have 1-2 main ideas in the body if the speech is for 2 minutes, or 3 ideas if it's a 5-minute speech. Finally, write a conclusion to sum up the main points you've made. For tips on how to take inspiration from other speeches and how to edit your first draft, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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  • Speech about Life for Students and Children

Speech about Life

Good morning one and all present here. I am standing before you all to share my thoughts through my speech about life. Life is a continuous ongoing process that has to end someday. Life is all about adoring yourself, creating yourself. A quote for you that life can be only understood backward but it must be lived forwards. Life itself is a golden opportunity to live a meaningful life and support others to do so. It doesn’t matter how many years you live. But it matters how well you live a quality life.

Speech about Life


The fear of death always threatens our lives. Every person has to face death sooner or later, but that doesn’t mean that it should discourage us from living life to the fullest or achieving our goals. A person is wise only when he/she is ready to meet destiny when it comes, but until that time enjoys every bit of it. It is a sense of readiness. It is a journey in everyone’s life wherein we have to cross the bridge of death to be able to wake up to a life eternal.

Get the Huge list of 100+ Speech Topics here

Human life – A very Precious Gift

Human life is truly a very precious gift. Each moment of human life carries us an opportunity, to act to develop and express our virtues. Every moment unlocks the path to us to receive blessings. This is the truth that life gives us both positive and negative situations. What is really important is how we react.

Life is the gift of God in the form of trust that we will make it meaningful in whatever we can. We are all unique individuals. No one is born like you and no one will ever be, so cherish your individuality. Many times, I come across people accusing God of things that they don’t have. They always cursing their lives. But, do they realize that this life itself is precious? If we make it worth living and work hard towards positivity.

Life is a Journey, not a Destination

Life is nothing but a journey with lessons, hardships, heartache and special moments. It will ultimately lead us to our destination, our purpose in life. The road will not always be a plane; in fact, throughout our travels, we will face many challenges.

These challenges will always test our courage, strengths, weaknesses, and faith. Along our way, we may encounter obstacles that will come between the paths and we are destined to take.

In order to be on the right path, we must overcome these obstacles. Sometimes these obstacles are really blessings in disguise, only we don’t understand that at the time. The secret of life is best known to those who are not attached to anything deeply so much.

Therefore, they remain out of touch with worries and shifting fortunes of their lives. They are the people who do not measure their lives in terms of materialistic possessions, but by measuring their lives in terms of people they cannot live without.

Lastly, I will conclude that we should make life worthwhile. It should be with the love of our family and friends that life can be made beautiful. Life can be more beautiful and purposeful by discharging our duties in our family, at work, society and the world at large.

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If You Want to Write a Great Speech, Here’s How to Do It

Joanna Cutrara

Writing a speech isn’t all that different than writing for other mediums. You need to know your audience, the required length, and the purpose or topic. This is true whether your speech is for a business conference, a wedding, a school project, or any other scenario.

But there’s something about speech writing that’s especially nerve-wracking .

If you write and deliver a speech that doesn’t go over well, you’ll get feedback in real time. The people sitting in front of you could lose interest, start talking, doze off, or even wander out of the room. (Don’t worry, only audiences in movies throw tomatoes).

Of course, a poor speech is not the end of the world. You can give plenty of crummy speeches and live to tell the tale.

But we also know that a great speech is capable of changing the world. Or at least sparking an audience’s imagination, catapulting your business into success, earning an A+ on your assignment, or ensuring that the bride and groom are still friends with you after the wedding.

So if you’re feeling stressed over your impending speech writing duties, fret no more! Today we’re breaking down for you the step-by-step process of exactly how to write a great speech.

Here’s a tip: Want to make sure your writing shines? Grammarly can check your spelling and save you from grammar and punctuation mistakes. It even proofreads your text, so your work is extra polished wherever you write.

Your writing, at its best Grammarly helps you communicate confidently Write with Grammarly

1 Tips to write (and live) by

Let’s start with the 30,000 foot, big-picture view. These are the tenets that will guide you in your speech writing process (and pretty much anything else you want to write).

  • Know the purpose: What are you trying to accomplish with your speech? Educate, inspire, entertain, argue a point? Your goals will dictate the tone and structure, and result in dramatically different speeches.
  • Know your audience: Your speech should be tailored for your audience, both in terms of ideas and language. If you’re speaking at a sound healer convention, you won’t need to explain the concept of energetic blocks. And if you’re speaking to an octogenarians-only quilting circle, you probably shouldn’t drop as many F-bombs as you would with your local biker gang.
  • Know the length: You don’t want to underwhelm or overwhelm your audience.Ten minutes may be too short for your keynote address, but it’s probably too long for your best man speech. Don’t leave things up to chance. Your writing process will be much easier if you keep your eye on your target length.
  • Write, revise, practice, revise, practice…: MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech wasn’t written in a day. Give yourself the time you need to practice your material and work through multiple drafts. Don’t expect to nail everything on the first try.

2 The step-by-step process

Still feeling stressed over how to get started? Here’s how to write your speech from concept to completion.

Step 1: Outline your speech’s structure. What are the main ideas for each section?

Step 2: Flesh out the main ideas in your outline. Don’t worry about finding the perfect words. Just let your creativity flow and get it all out!

Step 3: Edit and polish what you’ve written until you have a cohesive first draft of your speech

Step 4: Practice, practice, practice. The more you practice your speech the more you’ll discover which sections need reworked, which transitions should be improved, and which sentences are hard to say. You’ll also find out how you’re doing on length.

Step 5: Update, practice, and revise your speech until it has a great flow and you feel it’s ready to accomplish its purpose.

3 The universal structure

Getting hung up on Step 1? Here’s a structure you can follow for any type of speech.


Who are you, why are are you giving this speech, what is your main thesis?

The “who” and “why” can be longer or shorter depending on the context. For example, if you’re speaking at a wedding, you’ll want to explain your relationship to the bride and groom and why they mean so much to you. But if you’re presenting to your class at school, you may be able to head straight into your thesis.

If you’re presenting in a business or motivational setting, this is a crucial time to hook your audience’s attention and pique their curiosity. Typically someone else will have already introduced you and your accolades, so use this to your advantage and dive straight in.

“Hi everyone, it’s great to be here! As Kevin just said, I’ve been an urban beet farmer for 30 years, and a couple years back I got this absolutely crazy idea. What if…”

Main message

Idea 1, Idea 2, Idea 3…

The majority of your speech should be spent presenting your thesis and supporting material in a simple, organized way.

Whether you’re giving an inspirational talk or a business presentation, rambling is a sure-fire way to lose your audience’s attention. Don’t try to share absolutely everything you know on your topic, instead pick a few (two to five) key points to present to your audience.

Stick to one point at a time and finish the thought before you move on to the next. Build in clear, logical transitions from idea to idea.

Want to make your speech memorable? Studies have shown our brains are great at remember stories! As much as is appropriate, make your speech personal and include your own anecdotes and thoughts.

We’re also better at remembering big ideas if they’re condensed into a few memorable words, so do your best to sum up your thesis.

“I have a dream.”

“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

“Make good art.”

What do you want your audience to walk out of the room remembering?

Wrap everything up and drive home your main idea, whether that’s through providing a few (one to three) key takeaways, or telling one last story that perfectly illustrates your point.

Here are some examples of how your outline might look

As a researcher presenting your findings…

Introduction: Explain the key problem or question of your research.

Main message: Describe the research process, then describe your three key findings.

Takeaway: Present your conclusions and their implications, then your next steps for moving forward.

As the maid of honor giving a speech at your best friend’s wedding…

Introduction: Explain who you are and how you met the bride.

Main message: Recount three funny and heartwarming stories about your decades-long friendship with her, plus your first impressions of the groom.

Takeaway: Wrap things up by expounding on how amazing the bride and groom’s love for each other is, how they’re meant to be together, and how you know their love will last a lifetime. …L’chaim!

What are your favorite tips for writing a great speech?

Here’s a tip: Grammarly’s  Citation Generator  ensures your essays have flawless citations and no plagiarism. Try it for citing speeches in Chicago , MLA , and APA styles.

written speeches about life

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Student Essays


14 Best Written Speeches on Life [ Lessons, Challenges, Gift, Beautiful ]

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The life is a precious gift of God. It has to be filled with true meaning and purpose. The life is joy, wonder, achievements, love, care and happiness. Also it can be the trail of ups and downs somewhere! Therefore, whatever the life or its circumstances are, one should really appreciate life.

List of Topics

We have written following Speeches on Life, that describe, meaning, purpose & importance of life with quotes & images. These short and long, 1,2,3,5 minutes Long Speeches are quite helpful for students.

Speech on Life | Motivational Speech about Life & its Importance

Good Morning Friends – How you all are doing? I would like to welcome you all to today’s speech ceremony. The topic has been selected by our committee, that is about Life. Probably many of us have asked ourselves this question from time to time.  This is an eternal question that we all try to answer in our baffling universe. We must ask the question ‘What does life actually mean?’ The truth is that we all deserve a fair and decent job, no matter where we come from, how much we earn, etc.

I believe that life’s true meaning can be summarized in the word Service to others.  Dalai Lama explained to his followers in the following passage the true meaning of life: “We are guests on this planet. We are here for ninety or one hundred years at the very most.

. You must do something good, something useful with your life during that period. Once you are contributing to the happiness of others, you have found the true meaning of life.”

It is inspiring to take inspiration from this philosophy because it offers immense satisfaction to the needy. True joy is found in serving God and humanity, rest is illusory. A life lived for one’s own self-interests is not a life at all. Nevertheless, I would like to say that doing your Karma and fulfilling your roles and responsibilities is important. A person must work hard and achieve goals if they have hefty packages, a great social standing and materialistic desires.

You just have to find the right balance between your own personal desires and acts of philanthropy. We do not expect you to give away all of your fortune to those in need, but we should at least develop empathy and compassion for others. Only then will the world become a safe space to dwell in if we stop continuously treating it as a battlefield and life as a battle in itself. Only then will we be able to share the message of peace and harmony throughout the world. You may not see the meaning of life until this point; you can then retreat, contemplate, and look within yourself. You will find peace and a sense of direction if you repeat this exercise.

Determine what brings you happiness in life and work on achieving it. If there is anything that makes your soul sad, you should get rid of it. With that, I would like to conclude my speech. Find your passion and pursue it; we only live once. Thank you everyone for listening to me patiently!

5 Minutes Speech on Life & its Challenges

I wish you a happy day , dear friends! I will speak today about ‘Life’. You never know what will happen next in life. Everybody wants to have a happy life and to live it to the fullest. Many people aspire to a successful career, a flourishing business, a healthy lifestyle , and so on. The best way to build a family and make friends is to choose those who can stand by you through thick and thin.

Life offers us all sorts of material possessions, but we wish that all our problems would just disappear. We all want a fulfilling life, and this could take many forms. People define their lives in different ways, for example, one person may have 3 course meals every day and another person has just a roof over their head.  It could also be having a large home or a lot of money in a bank.

In the current times, priorities are shifting, as are people’s needs. Due to high-paying jobs and increasing materialistic desires, stress levels are also increasing. People are facing serious medical conditions because of increased levels of stress, making them unable to cope with the challenges life throws their way. In turn, suicide rates and early deaths are on the rise. Therefore, stress-free living is what everyone wishes for. It is the basic human desire.

It cripples the soul when one has to put up with constant struggle and resistance. Such people become detached from life as a result. As a result, they become exhausted and feel as if they are running a marathon continuously. Afterwards, you cannot handle life anymore. Reality and our lives are also shaped by our perception. No matter how hard things may get, those with sheer will power and perseverance overcome challenges and hurdles.

There is absolutely no such thing as a cake walk in life, and it’s quite normal to become discouraged and broken. However, it is important to persevere against all odds and keep doing your best because it is clear that giving up is not an option and constant effort will certainly take you somewhere and take you closer to your goals.

In order to lead a successful life, one must have faith in oneself and never give in to testing situations. Only those who put all their efforts into pursuing their dreams will reap the benefits of their labor. Get into the chaos and embrace it happily. If life is difficult, then prove that you are also difficult and then success will surely touch your feet. This is all I have to say, thank you everyone!

Short One Minute Speech on Life is a Gift

In short, life is the most precious gift that God has given to us, and it’s up to us how we wish to use it. It’s either up to us or it’s down to us based on our actions. As such, it’s a very relevant topic to discuss in school, college, the workplace or in public. We are of course concerned about the recklessness with which our youth are wasting their lives and whiling away their time these days. 

Every single day we should be grateful to God for giving us this life and another day to achieve our goals. There is no one like you, and there never will be, so cherish your uniqueness. It surprises me how often I hear people blame God for things they don’t have and curse their liveliness, but they have no idea how valuable their lives are if they work hard to make them worthwhile.

The value of life comes from this thinking, and it is through the love of family and friends that life can be made beautiful. We also make our lives more beautiful and fulfilling by discharging our duties in our families, at work, in our communities, and in the world at large.

Speech on Life is Beautiful For Students

Good morning everyone – how are you? Let’s make today a special class by not discussing your syllabus or exams, but by discussing a topic everyone can relate to, namely… That’s life.  How do you define life? What does life mean to you?

Every day, we have the opportunity to live a meaningful life and support others in doing so. The length of your life doesn’t matter; the quality of your life matters. I would also like to acknowledge how many lives you have touched through your encouragement and love.

We all live in fear of death. Death is inevitable for everyone, but that doesn’t mean it should stop us from living our lives to the fullest or achieving our goals. The wise person is the one who is prepared to meet the end when it comes, but enjoys every moment until then. It is a feeling of preparedness. To be able to wake up to a life eternal, every individual must go through the bridge of death in their lives.

Even if you don’t believe it, the secret of life is best known by those who are not attached to anything deeply to the extent that they remain untainted by worries or shifting fortunes. Those who measure their lives in terms of people who cannot be lived without, rather than material possessions, are considered to be the real living.

The gift of life, which is given to us by God in the form of trust that we will make it meaningful in whatever way we can, is also about stewardship. As long as we keep this in the back of our minds, we will never forget that we are responsible for the opportunities, the treasures, and the talents he has given us.

This is in line with the teachings of Jesus, who stated, “Man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.” Likewise, good deeds will definitely be rewarded in this world, and that evil which takes place will be put right.

Al pacino any given Sunday Speech:

Al Pacino’s speech in the movie “Any Given Sunday” is a powerful and inspiring monologue that has become iconic over the years. It is a rallying cry for those who are faced with struggles and adversity, urging them to never give up and always fight for what they believe in.

The speech begins with Pacino’s character, Tony D’Amato, sitting in a locker room surrounded by his football team. He starts off with a quote from the legendary coach Vince Lombardi, “Today, I want to talk to you about being inches.” This sets the tone for the rest of the speech, emphasizing the importance of every little effort and inch towards achieving greatness.

Throughout the speech, Pacino’s character talks about how life is a game of inches, how the margin for error is so small that any little mistake can make all the difference. He goes on to say that in football and in life, we have to fight for every inch, because that’s what ultimately separates the winners from the losers.

But it’s not just about fighting for yourself, as D’Amato says in his speech, “The team with the best individual players will win every time, but the team with the best heart and commitment to each other, that’s who wins when you add up all those inches.” He stresses the importance of teamwork and camaraderie, and how together, we can achieve more than we ever could alone.

Pacino’s character also touches on the subject of fear, and how it can hold us back from reaching our full potential. He encourages his team to face their fears head on, and not let them control or limit their actions.

The most famous line of the speech comes towards the end, when D’Amato declares, “In either game – life or football – the margin for error is so small. I mean one half a step too late or too early and you don’t quite make it. One half second too slow, too fast and you don’t quite catch it.” This line resonates with the audience, as it highlights the fine line between success and failure.

In conclusion, Al Pacino’s “Any Given Sunday” speech is a powerful reminder to never give up, always fight for what we believe in, and to never underestimate the importance of teamwork and perseverance. It’s a testament to the human spirit and our ability to overcome any obstacles that come our way.

So next time you’re faced with adversity, remember D’Amato’s words: “The inches we need are everywhere around us.” So keep fighting for those inches, because they could be the difference between winning and losing, in football and in life. So go out there and give it your all – because every inch counts.

Speeches about Life Lessons:

As humans, we are constantly learning and growing throughout our lives. Along the way, we encounter many experiences that shape us into who we are today. Some of these experiences may be positive while others may be challenging and difficult. However, there is always something to be learned from each and every one of them.

Life lessons can come in various forms – through relationships, career, health, or even from strangers we meet along the way. They are valuable insights that help us navigate through life and make better decisions for ourselves. In this speech, I would like to share with you some of the most important life lessons I have learned throughout my own journey.

Firstly, let’s talk about relationships. Whether it’s romantic, family or friendships, relationships play a key role in our lives. One of the most important lessons I have learned is that communication is the foundation of any healthy relationship. It’s important to express our thoughts and feelings openly and honestly, while also being mindful of how we communicate. This leads me to my next lesson – empathy. Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes allows us to better understand their perspective and truly connect with them. Empathy is a crucial element in building and maintaining meaningful relationships.

Next, let’s dive into career-related life lessons. One of the biggest lessons I have learned is to never stop learning. We live in a constantly evolving world where technology and industries are rapidly changing. In order to stay relevant and be successful in our careers, we must continuously seek knowledge and be adaptable to change. Additionally, it’s important to have a growth mindset – embracing challenges and failures as opportunities for learning and growth.

On the topic of health, I have learned that it is truly our greatest wealth. Without good health, we cannot fully enjoy all the other aspects of our lives. Taking care of ourselves physically, mentally, and emotionally should be a top priority. This includes getting enough rest, exercise, and nourishing our bodies with healthy food.

Lastly, I would like to touch on the importance of being open to learning from others. We often limit ourselves by only seeking knowledge and advice from those who are similar to us or in positions of authority. However, people from different backgrounds and experiences can offer valuable insights that we may not have considered before. Keeping an open mind and being willing to learn from anyone can lead us to new perspectives and opportunities for growth.

In conclusion, life is a continuous journey of learning and growing. Through relationships, career, health, and being open to new experiences, we can gain valuable life lessons that shape us into better individuals.

Motivational Speech for Juniors:

Welcome junior students,

I hope this message finds you well. As we all know, being a junior in high school can be challenging and overwhelming at times. You are caught between the excitement of growing up and the pressure of making important decisions for your future.

But let me tell you something, you are in one of the most exciting phases of your life. This is the time when you get to experience new things, discover your passions, and shape yourself into the person you want to be.

I know it’s not easy. You have to balance schoolwork, extracurricular activities, social life, and family obligations. But let me tell you a secret – the key to success is not just working hard, but also finding joy in what you do.

Yes, it’s important to study and excel in your academics, but don’t forget to make time for the things that truly make you happy. Whether it’s playing a sport, painting, writing, or simply spending time with your loved ones.

You see, life is not just about achieving goals and meeting expectations. It’s about enjoying the journey and finding fulfillment in the little moments. And trust me, those little moments will be the ones that you’ll remember the most.

So my advice to you is this – don’t let anyone else’s expectations define your journey. You have the power to create your own path and live a life that brings you happiness and satisfaction.

And when things get tough, remember that challenges are a part of life. They make us stronger, wiser, and more resilient. So don’t be afraid to take risks, make mistakes, and learn from them.

In the end, it’s not about reaching a certain destination, but rather about who you become along the way. I believe in each and every one of you, and I can’t wait to see the amazing things you’ll accomplish.

So keep your heads up high, and always remember that you are capable, you are talented, and you are destined for greatness. Thank you for listening, and I wish you all the best in your journey ahead. Let’s make it a memorable one!

Speech About Life Goals:

Hello everyone,

I am honored to be standing here today to share my thoughts with you on something that is dear to all of us – life goals. In our fast-paced and ever-changing world, it’s important for us to have a sense of direction and purpose in our lives. Life goals give us this sense of direction and help us stay focused on what truly matters.

Importance of Life Goals

Why are life goals important, you may ask? Well, let me tell you. Having clear and specific life goals helps us prioritize our actions and make better decisions in our daily lives. Without them, we may feel lost or directionless, constantly chasing after the next thing without a clear purpose.

Moreover, life goals give us a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction when we achieve them. They provide a sense of accomplishment and motivate us to keep striving for even greater things in life.

Types of Life Goals

Life goals can vary greatly from person to person, as we all have our own unique desires and aspirations. However, they can generally be categorized into three main types: personal, professional, and social.

Personal goals are focused on self-improvement and can include things like learning a new skill, traveling to a certain destination, or improving personal relationships. Professional goals pertain to our career and can involve things like getting a promotion or starting our own business. Social goals revolve around making a positive impact in the world and can include volunteering, raising awareness for a cause, or helping those in need.

Creating Life Goals

Now that we understand the importance of life goals and the different types, how do we go about creating them? The key is to make sure our goals are SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. This ensures that our goals are realistic and have a clear plan of action. Additionally, it’s important to regularly review and adjust our goals as we grow and change throughout life.

Overcoming Obstacles

Of course, setting life goals is the easy part – achieving them is where the real challenge lies. Along the way, we may face obstacles that hinder our progress or make us doubt ourselves. But remember, challenges are a natural part of life and they only make us stronger. It’s important to stay resilient and have a positive mindset when facing challenges, as they can often lead us to new opportunities and growth.

In conclusion, life goals are an essential part of our journey in this world. They give us direction, motivation, and a sense of fulfillment. So take the time to reflect on your own personal, professional, and social goals and start working towards them today. Remember to stay focused, persistent, and adaptable, as you never know what amazing things you can achieve when you have a clear purpose in life. Thank you.

Beautiful Speech About Life:

Life, what a beautiful concept. It is truly amazing how we are all given this gift of existence, and yet it is something that can often be taken for granted. We get so caught up in the daily hustle and bustle of life that we forget to stop and appreciate the simple fact that we are alive.

But life isn’t just about existing, it’s about living. It’s about embracing every moment, both the good and the bad, and finding joy in the journey. This is something that can be difficult to remember when faced with challenges or hardships, but it is during these times that we truly learn and grow.

Life also teaches us valuable lessons along the way. We experience love, heartbreak, success, failure, happiness, and sadness. Each of these moments shapes us into who we are and teaches us valuable lessons about ourselves and the world around us.

And let’s not forget about the people in our lives. They are what make life truly beautiful. Our friends, family, partners, and even strangers that we meet along the way all play a role in shaping our journey. We learn from them, we laugh with them, and we share unforgettable moments with them.

So let’s take a moment to appreciate this beautiful gift of life. Let’s cherish each day and make the most out of every moment. Let’s learn from our experiences and the people around us, and let’s never forget to spread love and kindness wherever we go.

Life is truly a precious thing, and we should never take it for granted. Let’s make the most out of this journey, and create a life that we can look back on with no regrets. Thank you for listening to my short speech about life. Now go out there and live it to the fullest!

2 Minutes Speech About Life:

Hello Everyone! Today, I want to take a few minutes to talk about something that is essential to all of us – Life. Life is beautiful and fragile at the same time. It is what makes us human beings. We are born, we grow up, we learn, we experience and eventually one day, we leave this world. But in between those two lines lies the journey of life, and it is what we make of it that truly matters.

As someone who has lived for a few decades now, I have come to understand that life is not easy. It throws challenges at us, makes us face hardships, but most importantly, it gives us opportunities. Opportunities to learn, to grow and to become better versions of ourselves. No matter how many times you may fall, the key is to always get back up and keep moving forward.

Life is all about making choices. Sometimes we choose the right path and sometimes we make mistakes. But every decision that we make shapes our life in one way or another. And that’s what makes it so unpredictable and exciting at the same time. We never know what each day will bring us; but it’s up to us to make the most of it.

One thing that I have learned over the years is that life is not just about our own journey, but also about the people we meet along the way. They become a part of our story and play important roles in shaping who we are. It’s essential to cherish these relationships, nurture them, and be grateful for the people that come into our lives.

Another aspect of life that I want to touch upon is personal growth. Life is a continuous process of learning, and it’s up to us to keep growing through every experience. Whether it’s trying new things, stepping out of our comfort zone or pushing ourselves beyond our limits – these are the moments that define us and make our life worth living.

But amidst all the chaos and hustle of life, it’s essential to take a step back and appreciate the little things. The beauty of nature, laughter of loved ones or simply the joy of being alive – these are the moments that fill our hearts with warmth and make this journey worthwhile.

In conclusion, life is an amazing adventure filled with twists and turns, ups and downs, happiness and sadness. It’s up to us how we navigate through it and make the most of every moment. So let’s embrace this gift of life, learn from our experiences, cherish our relationships and keep growing every day. Thank you!

3 Minutes Speech about Life:

Hello Everyone!

Today, I would like to share a few thoughts on life – the one precious gift that we all have received. As cliché as it may sound, life truly is a blessing. It is what makes us who we are and gives us the opportunity to experience this world in all its beauty.

Life is unpredictable, full of ups and downs, twists and turns. But isn’t that what makes it exciting? The uncertainties, the challenges, and the triumphs – everything adds to the richness of our lives. It is like a rollercoaster ride, with its highs and lows, but we must embrace every moment of it.

One thing we often forget in the hustle and bustle of everyday life is to appreciate the present moment. We are always chasing the future or dwelling in the past, forgetting to live in the present. But let me tell you, life is happening right now, at this very moment. So let’s cherish it and make the most of it.

Life also teaches us valuable lessons – some through hardships and others through joyous moments. It is during these times that we discover our strength, resilience, and the power to overcome any obstacle. So let’s not shy away from challenges, but face them with determination.

Moreover, life is all about connections – the people we meet, the relationships we form, and the memories we create. It is these connections that make our lives meaningful and worth living. So let’s cherish our loved ones and spread love and kindness wherever we go.

In the end, life is a precious gift that we must never take for granted. Let’s make the most of it by being grateful, living in the present, and spreading love and positivity. As the famous quote goes, “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away.” So let’s make every moment count and live our lives to the fullest. Thank you.

Speech about Life in the Future:

Welcome everyone,

Today, I want to talk to you about a topic that has been on my mind for a while now – the future. Specifically, I want to discuss what life could look like in the future, and how we can prepare ourselves for it.

As we all know, the world is constantly changing and evolving. With advancements in technology, medicine, and science, our lives have transformed drastically over the years. Just think about it – smartphones, electric cars, virtual reality – these were only a dream just a few decades ago, and now they are an integral part of our daily lives.

So, what does this mean for the future? Well, it means that our world is going to change even more dramatically in the years to come. And with these changes, we can expect our way of living to be significantly different as well.

One of the biggest changes I foresee is the increased use of technology in our everyday lives. Just look at how much we rely on technology now – from online shopping and banking to social media and communication, it has become deeply ingrained in our routines. And I believe this trend will only continue, with technology becoming even more integrated into every aspect of our lives.

But while this may seem like an exciting and convenient future, there are also concerns about how it will affect our privacy and security. With the rise of automation and artificial intelligence, there is a genuine fear that jobs may become obsolete and humans will be replaced by machines.

However, I believe that with every challenge comes an opportunity. While some jobs may indeed become automated, new career paths in technology and science will emerge, creating possibilities we never thought possible. And with the advancements in medicine, we can also expect to live longer and healthier lives.

But amidst all these changes, one thing will remain constant – us humans. Our values, emotions, and relationships will still be a crucial aspect of our lives. While technology may connect us globally, it is important not to forget the importance of face-to-face interactions and building genuine connections with one another.

So, my message to you today is this – embrace the future with an open mind. Instead of fearing the unknown, let’s prepare ourselves for it by staying informed and adapting to new technologies and lifestyles. And most importantly, let’s not forget the essence of what makes us human – our ability to empathize, connect, and create meaningful relationships.

Speech about Life Experiences:

Life. It’s a journey filled with ups and downs, twists and turns, joy and sorrow. Each one of us has our own unique experiences that shape who we are today. And in this speech, I want to share some of my own life experiences with you.

Growing up, I was always a shy and introverted child. I struggled to make friends and often felt like I didn’t fit in. But as I entered my teenage years, I discovered my passion for music and it helped me come out of my shell. I joined a band and for the first time, I felt like I belonged somewhere.

However, life has a way of throwing unexpected curveballs. During college, I lost my father to a sudden illness. It was a devastating experience that taught me the fragility of life and to cherish every moment with loved ones.

But even in the darkest of times, there is always a glimmer of hope. I found solace in writing and it became my outlet for processing my emotions.

After college, I took a leap of faith and moved to a new city for a job opportunity. It was a scary and exhilarating experience, but it taught me to be independent and resilient.

And most recently, I became a parent. This has been the biggest life experience for me as it has challenged me in ways I never thought possible. But it has also brought immeasurable joy and love into my life.

Life is a journey of continuous growth and learning. And through all the highs and lows, I have come to understand that it’s not about the destination, but rather the lessons and experiences we gain along the way. So embrace your own life experiences, for they are what make you uniquely you. Thank you

Speech about Life after Matric:

Good morning everyone, I hope you all are doing well. Today, I have been given the opportunity to share my thoughts on a topic that is very close to every student’s heart – life after matric.

As we all know, matriculation is an important milestone in our academic journey. It marks the end of our high school years and the beginning of a new chapter in our lives. The thought of leaving behind the familiar surroundings of school and embarking on a new journey can be both exciting and daunting at the same time.

For most of us, this is the first time we will be making important decisions that will shape our future. We are bombarded with questions from family, friends, and even ourselves – What career path should I choose? Which university should I apply to? Should I take a gap year?

But, let me tell you something – it’s okay to not have all the answers right now. It’s completely normal to feel overwhelmed and unsure about your future. Sometimes, we need to take a step back and evaluate our options before making any decisions.

However, one thing is for sure – life after matric is full of opportunities. It’s a chance for us to explore our interests, discover new passions and pave our own path towards success.

Some of you may choose to further your studies at a university or college, while others may opt for vocational training or enter the workforce directly. No matter which path you choose, it’s important to remember that there is no right or wrong way to go about it.

One of the biggest misconceptions about life after matric is that success can only be measured by academic achievements. But, let me assure you, success comes in many forms and each person’s journey is unique. Don’t let anyone else’s expectations dictate your future.


In conclusion, life after matric is a time of growth, discovery and endless possibilities. It’s a time to embrace change, learn from our mistakes and make the most out of every opportunity that comes our way. My advice to all of you is to follow your heart, trust in yourself and enjoy this new chapter in your life. Thank you for listening.

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Speech about Life for Students & Children

January 17, 2024 by Sandeep

Speech about Life: Life is beautiful but is full of roller-coaster rides. Life can be challenging, yet we learn to face the world strongly. It’s a divine gift from God, and we must instill a purpose and a path to success. Life is full of surprises and unexpected pitfalls. With inner strength, we should face life with a pinch of a smile. Life provides us with opportunities to succeed and accomplish heights of success in the world.

Short Speech About Life

Below we have provided 2 minutes short speech about life, suitable for class 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 students.

Good morning to all of you present here. Today, I am going to deliver a speech on life. Life is an opportunity to contribute positively to the world. God gifts us all life. Life comes with an end, i.e., death. All people, regardless of being knowledgeable or less knowledgeable, have to face it someday. Someone who is not worried about death but lives life to the fullest is counted as one of the wisest individuals on earth. It is never essential how long we live our life, but it is always vital how well we live our moments, how many lives we touch, and what we achieve in our lifetime.

Understanding life to the fullest brings satisfaction and happiness. On the other hand, those who cannot grasp the meaning of life often find themselves complaining. Life is a process that includes happiness, sorrow, hardships, relationships, and lessons stored for all of us. We are the ones who make a difference to all these. A person who learns to be satisfied is always happy, no matter what he has or has achieved. Someone who embraces struggles and obstacles to become a better person is always successful.

A positive attitude and lively approach always make a difference in life. Life is always full of hope, and we all must make every moment of this life memorable. We all must be thankful to God for this glorious opportunity. It is a treasure for us, making everyone’s journey unique and distinct. We must strive to make everything possible, creating a life worth living.

Thank you for giving me this opportunity to speak on this topic.

Speech on Life

Below, we have provided a motivational speech about life, written in easy and simple words for classes 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10. This life speech is helpful for school students who are preparing for a speech writing competition.

Good morning to one and all present here. I am here to share my thoughts on life. So, what is life? Life is a miracle or a gift given by God. It is a process that has to end someday. Life is all about living yourself. It is unique for every individual; no two people born in this world are the same. Every person carries their personality and character. Life is like a sea of opportunity to create and adore things around you.

Every human life is a blessing, which has the power to build and rebuild things. Life gives us plenty of moments where we express, create, love, help, and experience many more things. It shows us the path of success and brings happiness with time. However, we must remember that life is not always about positive things or happiness. There are sorrows, hardships, and hurdles, but what matters is how we react to such situations.

We all must learn to make this life meaningful by doing whatever is possible. We must carry positive thoughts and attitude. None of us must curse life, as it is an opportunity we got by God’s grace. We must cherish and live every day of our life. We are blessed with many relationships in this world; it is the loving family and caring friends who make our life beautiful. Family, friends, and people around us give us a purpose to live in this world.

The trust, care, and love keep us going for the rest of our lives. They all make our life worth living. Understanding our near and dear ones is vital in our lives. Life is like a trust entrusted to you. It gives you the hope to keep moving. It is like the faith in God, as we all understand that we are answerable to Him for our deeds.

Life is a journey full of ups and downs. It leads us to paths full of happiness, challenges, lessons, hardship, and special moments. We all need to keep in mind that life will not always be easy; it will have a few things to test us or challenge us. We need to accept all those and keep moving on our way. We all must know that it is the only life we got; we must ensure that we do the right things. I would like to conclude my speech with this beautiful quote:

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”


40 famous persuasive speeches you need to hear.

written speeches about life

Written by Kai Xin Koh

famous persuasive speeches highspark cover image

Across eras of calamity and peace in our world’s history, a great many leaders, writers, politicians, theorists, scientists, activists and other revolutionaries have unveiled powerful rousing speeches in their bids for change. In reviewing the plethora of orators across tides of social, political and economic change, we found some truly rousing speeches that brought the world to their feet or to a startling, necessary halt. We’ve chosen 40 of the most impactful speeches we managed to find from agents of change all over the world – a diversity of political campaigns, genders, positionalities and periods of history. You’re sure to find at least a few speeches in this list which will capture you with the sheer power of their words and meaning!

1. I have a dream by MLK

“I have a dream that one day down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification – one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers. I have a dream today. I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together. This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day. This will be the day, this will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning “My country ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my father’s died, land of the Pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring!”

Unsurprisingly, Martin Luther King’s speech comes up top as the most inspiring speech of all time, especially given the harrowing conditions of African Americans in America at the time. In the post-abolition era when slavery was outlawed constitutionally, African Americans experienced an intense period of backlash from white supremacists who supported slavery where various institutional means were sought to subordinate African American people to positions similar to that of the slavery era. This later came to be known as the times of Jim Crow and segregation, which Martin Luther King powerfully voiced his vision for a day when racial discrimination would be a mere figment, where equality would reign.

2. Tilbury Speech by Queen Elizabeth I

“My loving people, We have been persuaded by some that are careful of our safety, to take heed how we commit our selves to armed multitudes, for fear of treachery; but I assure you I do not desire to live to distrust my faithful and loving people. Let tyrants fear. I have always so behaved myself that, under God, I have placed my chiefest strength and safeguard in the loyal hearts and good-will of my subjects; and therefore I am come amongst you, as you see, at this time, not for my recreation and disport, but being resolved, in the midst and heat of the battle, to live and die amongst you all; to lay down for my God, and for my kingdom, and my people, my honour and my blood, even in the dust. I know I have the body of a weak, feeble woman; but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a king of England too, and think foul scorn that Parma or Spain, or any prince of Europe, should dare to invade the borders of my realm; to which rather than any dishonour shall grow by me, I myself will take up arms, I myself will be your general, judge, and rewarder of every one of your virtues in the field. I know already, for your forwardness you have deserved rewards and crowns; and We do assure you on a word of a prince, they shall be duly paid. In the mean time, my lieutenant general shall be in my stead, than whom never prince commanded a more noble or worthy subject; not doubting but by your obedience to my general, by your concord in the camp, and your valour in the field, we shall shortly have a famous victory over these enemies of my God, of my kingdom, and of my people.”

While at war with Spain, Queen Elizabeth I was most renowned for her noble speech rallying the English troops against their comparatively formidable opponent. Using brilliant rhetorical devices like metonymy, meronymy, and other potent metaphors, she voiced her deeply-held commitment as a leader to the battle against the Spanish Armada – convincing the English army to keep holding their ground and upholding the sacrifice of war for the good of their people. Eventually against all odds, she led England to victory despite their underdog status in the conflict with her confident and masterful oratory.

3. Woodrow Wilson, address to Congress (April 2, 1917)

“The world must be made safe for democracy. Its peace must be planted upon the tested foundations of political liberty. We have no selfish ends to serve. We desire no conquest, no dominion. We seek no indemnities for ourselves, no material compensation for the sacrifices we shall freely make. We are but one of the champions of the rights of mankind. We shall be satisfied when those rights have been made as secure as the faith and the freedom of nations can make them. Just because we fight without rancor and without selfish object, seeking nothing for ourselves but what we shall wish to share with all free peoples, we shall, I feel confident, conduct our operations as belligerents without passion and ourselves observe with proud punctilio the principles of right and of fair play we profess to be fighting for. … It will be all the easier for us to conduct ourselves as belligerents in a high spirit of right and fairness because we act without animus, not in enmity toward a people or with the desire to bring any injury or disadvantage upon them, but only in armed opposition to an irresponsible government which has thrown aside all considerations of humanity and of right and is running amuck. We are, let me say again, the sincere friends of the German people, and shall desire nothing so much as the early reestablishment of intimate relations of mutual advantage between us—however hard it may be for them, for the time being, to believe that this is spoken from our hearts. We have borne with their present government through all these bitter months because of that friendship—exercising a patience and forbearance which would otherwise have been impossible. We shall, happily, still have an opportunity to prove that friendship in our daily attitude and actions toward the millions of men and women of German birth and native sympathy who live among us and share our life, and we shall be proud to prove it toward all who are in fact loyal to their neighbors and to the government in the hour of test. They are, most of them, as true and loyal Americans as if they had never known any other fealty or allegiance. They will be prompt to stand with us in rebuking and restraining the few who may be of a different mind and purpose. If there should be disloyalty, it will be dealt with with a firm hand of stern repression; but, if it lifts its head at all, it will lift it only here and there and without countenance except from a lawless and malignant few. It is a distressing and oppressive duty, gentlemen of the Congress, which I have performed in thus addressing you. There are, it may be, many months of fiery trial and sacrifice ahead of us. It is a fearful thing to lead this great peaceful people into war, into the most terrible and disastrous of all wars, civilization itself seeming to be in the balance. But the right is more precious than peace, and we shall fight for the things which we have always carried nearest our hearts—for democracy, for the right of those who submit to authority to have a voice in their own governments, for the rights and liberties of small nations, for a universal dominion of right by such a concert of free peoples as shall bring peace and safety to all nations and make the world itself at last free. To such a task we can dedicate our lives and our fortunes, everything that we are and everything that we have, with the pride of those who know that the day has come when America is privileged to spend her blood and her might for the principles that gave her birth and happiness and the peace which she has treasured. God helping her, she can do no other.”

On April 2, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson of the USA delivered his address to Congress, calling for declaration of war against what was at the time, a belligerent and aggressive Germany in WWI. Despite his isolationism and anti-war position earlier in his tenure as president, he convinced Congress that America had a moral duty to the world to step out of their neutral observer status into an active role of world leadership and stewardship in order to liberate attacked nations from their German aggressors. The idealistic values he preached in his speech left an indelible imprint upon the American spirit and self-conception, forming the moral basis for the country’s people and aspirational visions to this very day.

4. Ain’t I A Woman by Sojourner Truth

“That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain’t I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain’t I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man – when I could get it – and bear the lash as well! And ain’t I a woman? I have borne thirteen children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother’s grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain’t I a woman? … If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back , and get it right side up again! And now they is asking to do it, the men better let them.”

Hailing from a background of slavery and oppression, Sojourner Truth was one of the most revolutionary advocates for women’s human rights in the 1800s. In spite of the New York Anti-Slavery Law of 1827, her slavemaster refused to free her. As such, she fled, became an itinerant preacher and leading figure in the anti-slavery movement. By the 1850s, she became involved in the women’s rights movement as well. At the 1851 Women’s Rights Convention held in Akron, Ohio, she delivered her illuminating, forceful speech against discrimination of women and African Americans in the post-Civil War era, entrenching her status as one of the most revolutionary abolitionists and women’s rights activists across history.

5. The Gettsyburg Address by Abraham Lincoln

“Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.” With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”

President Abraham Lincoln had left the most lasting legacy upon American history for good reason, as one of the presidents with the moral courage to denounce slavery for the national atrocity it was. However, more difficult than standing up for the anti-slavery cause was the task of unifying the country post-abolition despite the looming shadows of a time when white Americans could own and subjugate slaves with impunity over the thousands of Americans who stood for liberation of African Americans from discrimination. He urged Americans to remember their common roots, heritage and the importance of “charity for all”, to ensure a “just and lasting peace” among within the country despite throes of racial division and self-determination.

6. Woman’s Rights to the Suffrage by Susan B Anthony

“For any State to make sex a qualification that must ever result in the disfranchisement of one entire half of the people is to pass a bill of attainder, or an ex post facto law, and is therefore a violation of the supreme law of the land. By it the blessings of liberty are for ever withheld from women and their female posterity. To them this government has no just powers derived from the consent of the governed. To them this government is not a democracy. It is not a republic. It is an odious aristocracy; a hateful oligarchy of sex; the most hateful aristocracy ever established on the face of the globe; an oligarchy of wealth, where the right govern the poor. An oligarchy of learning, where the educated govern the ignorant, or even an oligarchy of race, where the Saxon rules the African, might be endured; but this oligarchy of sex, which makes father, brothers, husband, sons, the oligarchs over the mother and sisters, the wife and daughters of every household–which ordains all men sovereigns, all women subjects, carries dissension, discord and rebellion into every home of the nation. Webster, Worcester and Bouvier all define a citizen to be a person in the United States, entitled to vote and hold office. The only question left to be settled now is: Are women persons? And I hardly believe any of our opponents will have the hardihood to say they are not. Being persons, then, women are citizens; and no State has a right to make any law, or to enforce any old law, that shall abridge their privileges or immunities. Hence, every discrimination against women in the constitutions and laws of the several States is today null and void, precisely as in every one against Negroes.”

Susan B. Anthony was a pivotal leader in the women’s suffrage movement who helped to found the National Woman Suffrage Association with Elizabeth Cady Stanton and fight for the constitutional right for women to vote. She courageously and relentlessly advocated for women’s rights, giving speeches all over the USA to convince people of women’s human rights to choice and the ballot. She is most well known for her act of righteous rebellion in 1872 when she voted in the presidential election illegally, for which she was arrested and tried unsuccessfully. She refused to pay the $100 fine in a bid to reject the demands of the American system she denounced as a ‘hateful oligarchy of sex’, sparking change with her righteous oratory and inspiring many others in the women’s suffrage movement within and beyond America.

7. Vladimir Lenin’s Speech at an International Meeting in Berne, February 8, 1916

“It may sound incredible, especially to Swiss comrades, but it is nevertheless true that in Russia, also, not only bloody tsarism, not only the capitalists, but also a section of the so-called or ex-Socialists say that Russia is fighting a “war of defence,” that Russia is only fighting against German invasion. The whole world knows, however, that for decades tsarism has been oppressing more than a hundred million people belonging to other nationalities in Russia; that for decades Russia has been pursuing a predatory policy towards China, Persia, Armenia and Galicia. Neither Russia, nor Germany, nor any other Great Power has the right to claim that it is waging a “war of defence”; all the Great Powers are waging an imperialist, capitalist war, a predatory war, a war for the oppression of small and foreign nations, a war for the sake of the profits of the capitalists, who are coining golden profits amounting to billions out of the appalling sufferings of the masses, out of the blood of the proletariat. … This again shows you, comrades, that in all countries of the world real preparations are being made to rally the forces of the working class. The horrors of war and the sufferings of the people are incredible. But we must not, and we have no reason whatever, to view the future with despair. The millions of victims who will fall in the war, and as a consequence of the war, will not fall in vain. The millions who are starving, the millions who are sacrificing their lives in the trenches, are not only suffering, they are also gathering strength, are pondering over the real cause of the war, are becoming more determined and are acquiring a clearer revolutionary understanding. Rising discontent of the masses, growing ferment, strikes, demonstrations, protests against the war—all this is taking place in all countries of the world. And this is the guarantee that the European War will be followed by the proletarian revolution against capitalism”

Vladimir Lenin remains to this day one of the most lauded communist revolutionaries in the world who brought the dangers of imperialism and capitalism to light with his rousing speeches condemning capitalist structures of power which inevitably enslave people to lives of misery and class stratification. In his genuine passion for the rights of the working class, he urged fellow comrades to turn the “imperialist war” into a “civil” or class war of the proletariat against the bourgeoisie. He encouraged the development of new revolutionary socialist organisations, solidarity across places in society so people could unite against their capitalist overlords, and criticised nationalism for its divisive effect on the socialist movement. In this speech especially, he lambasts “bloody Tsarism” for its oppression of millions of people of other nationalities in Russia, calling for the working class people to revolt against the Tsarist authority for the proletariat revolution to succeed and liberate them from class oppression.

8. I Have A Dream Speech by Mary Wollstonecraft

“If, I say, for I would not impress by declamation when Reason offers her sober light, if they be really capable of acting like rational creatures, let them not be treated like slaves; or, like the brutes who are dependent on the reason of man, when they associate with him; but cultivate their minds, give them the salutary, sublime curb of principle, and let them attain conscious dignity by feeling themselves only dependent on God. Teach them, in common with man, to submit to necessity, instead of giving, to render them more pleasing, a sex to morals. Further, should experience prove that they cannot attain the same degree of strength of mind, perseverance, and fortitude, let their virtues be the same in kind, though they may vainly struggle for the same degree; and the superiority of man will be equally clear, if not clearer; and truth, as it is a simple principle, which admits of no modification, would be common to both. Nay, the order of society as it is at present regulated would not be inverted, for woman would then only have the rank that reason assigned her, and arts could not be practised to bring the balance even, much less to turn it.”

In her vindication of the rights of women, Mary Wollstonecraft was one of the pioneers of the feminist movement back in 1792 who not only theorised and advocated revolutionarily, but gave speeches that voiced these challenges against a dominantly sexist society intent on classifying women as irrational less-than-human creatures to be enslaved as they were. In this landmark speech, she pronounces her ‘dream’ of a day when women would be treated as the rational, deserving humans they are, who are equal to man in strength and capability. With this speech setting an effective precedent for her call to equalize women before the law, she also went on to champion the provision of equal educational opportunities to women and girls, and persuasively argued against the patriarchal gender norms which prevented women from finding their own lot in life through their being locked into traditional institutions of marriage and motherhood against their will.

9. First Inaugural Speech by Franklin D Roosevelt

“So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is…fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and of vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. And I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days. … More important, a host of unemployed citizens face the grim problem of existence, and an equally great number toil with little return. Only a foolish optimist can deny the dark realities of the moment. Our greatest primary task is to put people to work. This is no unsolvable problem if we face it wisely and courageously. There are many ways in which it can be helped, but it can never be helped merely by talking about it. We must act and act quickly. … I am prepared under my constitutional duty to recommend the measures that a stricken Nation in the midst of a stricken world may require. These measures, or such other measures as the Congress may build out of its experience and wisdom, I shall seek, within my constitutional authority, to bring to speedy adoption. But in the event that the Congress shall fail to take one of these two courses, and in the event that the national emergency is still critical, I shall not evade the clear course of duty that will then confront me. I shall ask the Congress for the one remaining instrument to meet the crisis — broad Executive power to wage a war against the emergency, as great as the power that would be given to me if we were in fact invaded by a foreign foe.”

Roosevelt’s famous inaugural speech was delivered in the midst of a period of immense tension and strain under the Great Depression, where he highlighted the need for ‘quick action’ by Congress to prepare for government expansion in his pursuit of reforms to lift the American people out of devastating poverty. In a landslide victory, he certainly consolidated the hopes and will of the American people through this compelling speech.

10. The Hypocrisy of American Slavery by Frederick Douglass

“What to the American slave is your Fourth of July? I answer, a day that reveals to him more than all other days of the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mock; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are to him mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy – a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation of the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of these United States at this very hour. Go search where you will, roam through all the monarchies and despotisms of the Old World, travel through South America, search out every abuse and when you have found the last, lay your facts by the side of the everyday practices of this nation, and you will say with me that, for revolting barbarity and shameless hypocrisy, America reigns without a rival.”

On 4 July 1852, Frederick Douglass gave this speech in Rochester, New York, highlighting the hypocrisy of celebrating freedom while slavery continues. He exposed the ‘revolting barbarity and shameless hypocrisy’ of slavery which had gone unabolished amidst the comparatively obscene celebration of independence and liberty with his potent speech and passion for the anti-abolition cause. After escaping from slavery, he went on to become a national leader of the abolitionist movement in Massachusetts and New York with his oratory and incisive antislavery writings. To this day, his fierce activism and devotion to exposing virulent racism for what it was has left a lasting legacy upon pro-Black social movements and the overall sociopolitical landscape of America.

11. Still I Rise by Maya Angelou

“You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, You may trod me in the very dirt But still, like dust, I’ll rise. Does my sassiness upset you? Why are you beset with gloom? ’Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells Pumping in my living room. Just like moons and like suns, With the certainty of tides, Just like hopes springing high, Still I’ll rise. Did you want to see me broken? Bowed head and lowered eyes? Shoulders falling down like teardrops, Weakened by my soulful cries? Does my haughtiness offend you? Don’t you take it awful hard ’Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines Diggin’ in my own backyard. You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I’ll rise. Does my sexiness upset you? Does it come as a surprise That I dance like I’ve got diamonds At the meeting of my thighs? Out of the huts of history’s shame I rise Up from a past that’s rooted in pain I rise I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide, Welling and swelling I bear in the tide. Leaving behind nights of terror and fear I rise Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear I rise Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise I rise I rise.”

With her iconic poem Still I Rise , Maya Angelou is well-known for uplifting fellow African American women through her empowering novels and poetry and her work as a civil rights activist. Every bit as lyrical on the page, her recitation of Still I Rise continues to give poetry audiences shivers all over the world, inspiring women of colour everywhere to keep the good faith in striving for equality and peace, while radically believing in and empowering themselves to be agents of change. A dramatic reading of the poem will easily showcase the self-belief, strength and punch that it packs in the last stanza on the power of resisting marginalization.

12. Their Finest Hour by Winston Churchill

“What General Weygand called the Battle of France is over. I expect that the Battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization. Upon it depends our own British life, and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire. The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us. Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this Island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands. But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, “This was their finest hour.””

In the darkest shadows cast by war, few leaders have been able to step up to the mantle and effectively unify millions of citizens for truly sacrificial causes. Winston Churchill was the extraordinary exception – lifting 1940 Britain out of the darkness with his hopeful, convicted rhetoric to galvanise the English amidst bleak, dreary days of war and loss. Through Britain’s standalone position in WWII against the Nazis, he left his legacy by unifying the nation under shared sacrifices of the army and commemorating their courage.

13. A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf

“Life for both sexes – and I looked at them (through a restaurant window while waiting for my lunch to be served), shouldering their way along the pavement – is arduous, difficult, a perpetual struggle. It calls for gigantic courage and strength. More than anything, perhaps, creatures of illusion as we are, it calls for confidence in oneself. Without self-confidence we are babes in the cradle. And how can we generate this imponderable quality, which is yet so invaluable, most quickly? By thinking that other people are inferior to oneself. By feeling that one has some innate superiority – it may be wealth, or rank, a straight nose, or the portrait of a grandfather by Romney – for there is no end to the pathetic devices of the human imagination – over other people. Hence the enormous importance to a patriarch who has to conquer, who has to rule, of feeling that great numbers of people, half the human race indeed, are by nature inferior to himself. It must indeed be one of the great sources of his power….Women have served all these centuries as looking-glasses possessing the magic and delicious power of reflecting the figure of man at twice its natural size. Without that power probably the earth would still be swamp and jungle. The glories of all our wars would be on the remains of mutton bones and bartering flints for sheepskins or whatever simple ornament took our unsophisticated taste. Supermen and Fingers of Destiny would never have existed. The Czar and the Kaiser would never have worn their crowns or lost them. Whatever may be their use in civilised societies, mirrors are essential to all violent and heroic action. That is why Napoleon and Mussolini both insist so emphatically upon the inferiority of women, for if they were not inferior, they would cease to enlarge. That serves to explain in part the necessity that women so often are to men. And it serves to explain how restless they are under her criticism; how impossible it is for her to say to them this book is bad, this picture is feeble, or whatever it may be, without giving far more pain and rousing far more anger than a man would do who gave the same criticism. For if she begins to tell the truth, the figure in the looking-glass shrinks; his fitness in life is diminished. How is he to go on giving judgment, civilising natives, making laws, writing books, dressing up and speechifying at banquets, unless he can see himself at breakfast and at dinner at least twice the size he really is?”

In this transformational speech , Virginia Woolf pronounces her vision that ‘a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction’. She calls out the years in which women have been deprived of their own space for individual development through being chained to traditional arrangements or men’s prescriptions – demanding ‘gigantic courage’ and ‘confidence in oneself’ to brave through the onerous struggle of creating change for women’s rights. With her steadfast, stolid rhetoric and radical theorization, she paved the way for many women’s rights activists and writers to forge their own paths against patriarchal authority.

14. Inaugural Address by John F Kennedy

“In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility–I welcome it. I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation. The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it–and the glow from that fire can truly light the world. And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you–ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man. Finally, whether you are citizens of America or citizens of the world, ask of us here the same high standards of strength and sacrifice which we ask of you. With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God’s work must truly be our own.”

For what is probably the most historically groundbreaking use of parallelism in speech across American history, President JFK placed the weighty task of ‘asking what one can do for their country’ onto the shoulders of each American citizen. Using an air of firmness in his rhetoric by declaring his commitment to his countrymen, he urges each American to do the same for the broader, noble ideal of freedom for all. With his crucial interrogation of a citizen’s moral duty to his nation, President JFK truly made history.

15. Atoms for Peace Speech by Dwight Eisenhower

“To pause there would be to confirm the hopeless finality of a belief that two atomic colossi are doomed malevolently to eye each other indefinitely across a trembling world. To stop there would be to accept helplessly the probability of civilization destroyed, the annihilation of the irreplaceable heritage of mankind handed down to us from generation to generation, and the condemnation of mankind to begin all over again the age-old struggle upward from savagery towards decency, and right, and justice. Surely no sane member of the human race could discover victory in such desolation. Could anyone wish his name to be coupled by history with such human degradation and destruction?Occasional pages of history do record the faces of the “great destroyers”, but the whole book of history reveals mankind’s never-ending quest for peace and mankind’s God-given capacity to build. It is with the book of history, and not with isolated pages, that the United States will ever wish to be identified. My country wants to be constructive,not destructive. It wants agreements, not wars, among nations. It wants itself to live in freedom and in the confidence that the peoples of every other nation enjoy equally the right of choosing their own way of life. So my country’s purpose is to help us to move out of the dark chamber of horrors into the light, to find a way by which the minds of men, the hopes of men, the souls of men everywhere, can move forward towards peace and happiness and well-being.”

On a possibility as frightful and tense as nuclear war, President Eisenhower managed to convey the gravity of the world’s plight in his measured and persuasive speech centred on the greater good of mankind. Using rhetorical devices such as the three-part paratactical syntax which most world leaders are fond of for ingraining their words in the minds of their audience, he centers the discourse of the atomic bomb on those affected by such a world-changing decision in ‘the minds, hopes and souls of men everywhere’ – effectively putting the vivid image of millions of people’s fates at stake in the minds of his audience. Being able to make a topic as heavy and fraught with moral conflict as this as eloquent as he did, Eisenhower definitely ranks among some of the most skilled orators to date.

16. The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action by Audre Lorde

“I was going to die, if not sooner then later, whether or not I had ever spoken myself. My silences had not protected me. Your silence will not protect you. But for every real word spoken, for every attempt I had ever made to speak those truths for which I am still seeking, I had made contact with other women while we examined the words to fit a world in which we all believed, bridging our differences. What are the words you do not have yet? What do you need to say? What are the tyrannies you swallow day by day and attempt to make your own, until you will sicken and die of them, still in silence? Perhaps for some of you here today, I am the face of one of your fears. Because I am a woman, because I am black, because I am myself, a black woman warrior poet doing my work, come to ask you, are you doing yours?”

Revolutionary writer, feminist and civil rights activist Audre Lorde first delivered this phenomenal speech at Lesbian and Literature panel of the Modern Language Association’s December 28, 1977 meeting, which went on to feature permanently in her writings for its sheer wisdom and truth. Her powerful writing and speech about living on the margins of society has enlightened millions of people discriminated across various intersections, confronting them with the reality that they must speak – since their ‘silence will not protect’ them from further marginalization. Through her illuminating words and oratory, she has reminded marginalized persons of the importance of their selfhood and the radical capacity for change they have in a world blighted by prejudice and division.

17. 1965 Cambridge Union Hall Speech by James Baldwin

“What is dangerous here is the turning away from – the turning away from – anything any white American says. The reason for the political hesitation, in spite of the Johnson landslide is that one has been betrayed by American politicians for so long. And I am a grown man and perhaps I can be reasoned with. I certainly hope I can be. But I don’t know, and neither does Martin Luther King, none of us know how to deal with those other people whom the white world has so long ignored, who don’t believe anything the white world says and don’t entirely believe anything I or Martin is saying. And one can’t blame them. You watch what has happened to them in less than twenty years.”

Baldwin’s invitation to the Cambridge Union Hall is best remembered for foregrounding the unflinching differences in white and African Americans’ ‘system of reality’ in everyday life. Raising uncomfortable truths about the insidious nature of racism post-civil war, he provides several nuggets of thought-provoking wisdom on the state of relations between the oppressed and their oppressors, and what is necessary to mediate such relations and destroy the exploitative thread of racist hatred. With great frankness, he admits to not having all the answers but provides hard-hitting wisdom on engagement to guide activists through confounding times nonetheless.

18. I Am Prepared to Die by Nelson Mandela

“Above all, My Lord, we want equal political rights, because without them our disabilities will be permanent. I know this sounds revolutionary to the whites in this country, because the majority of voters will be Africans. This makes the white man fear democracy. But this fear cannot be allowed to stand in the way of the only solution which will guarantee racial harmony and freedom for all. It is not true that the enfranchisement of all will result in racial domination. Political division, based on colour, is entirely artificial and, when it disappears, so will the domination of one colour group by another. The ANC has spent half a century fighting against racialism. When it triumphs as it certainly must, it will not change that policy. This then is what the ANC is fighting. Our struggle is a truly national one. It is a struggle of the African people, inspired by our own suffering and our own experience. It is a struggle for the right to live. During my lifetime I have dedicated my life to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons will live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal for which I hope to live for and to see realised. But, My Lord, if it needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

Apartheid is still considered one of these most devastating events of world history, and it would not have ended without the crucial effort and words of Nelson Mandela during his courageous political leadership. In this heartbreaking speech , he voices his utter devotion to the fight against institutionalised racism in African society – an ideal for which he was ‘prepared to die for’. Mandela continues to remind us today of his moral conviction in leading, wherein the world would likely to be a better place if all politicians had the same resolve and genuine commitment to human rights and the abolition of oppression as he did.

19. Critique on British Imperialism by General Aung San

“Do they form their observations by seeing the attendances at not very many cinemas and theatres of Rangoon? Do they judge this question of money circulation by paying a stray visit to a local bazaar? Do they know that cinemas and theatres are not true indicators, at least in Burma, of the people’s conditions? Do they know that there are many in this country who cannot think of going to these places by having to struggle for their bare existence from day to day? Do they know that those who nowadays patronise or frequent cinemas and theatres which exist only in Rangoon and a few big towns, belong generally to middle and upper classes and the very few of the many poor who can attend at all are doing so as a desperate form of relaxation just to make them forget their unsupportable existences for the while whatever may be the tomorrow that awaits them?”

Under British colonial rule, one of the most legendary nationalist leaders emerged from the ranks of the thousands of Burmese to boldly lead them towards independence, out of the exploitation and control under the British. General Aung San’s speech criticising British social, political and economic control of Burma continues to be scathing, articulate, and relevant – especially given his necessary goal of uniting the Burmese natives against their common oppressor. He successfully galvanised his people against the British, taking endless risks through nationalist speeches and demonstrations which gradually bore fruit in Burma’s independence.

20. Nobel Lecture by Mother Teresa

“I believe that we are not real social workers. We may be doing social work in the eyes of the people, but we are really contemplatives in the heart of the world. For we are touching the Body Of Christ 24 hours. We have 24 hours in this presence, and so you and I. You too try to bring that presence of God in your family, for the family that prays together stays together. And I think that we in our family don’t need bombs and guns, to destroy to bring peace–just get together, love one another, bring that peace, that joy, that strength of presence of each other in the home. And we will be able to overcome all the evil that is in the world. There is so much suffering, so much hatred, so much misery, and we with our prayer, with our sacrifice are beginning at home. Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do, but how much love we put in the action that we do. It is to God Almighty–how much we do it does not matter, because He is infinite, but how much love we put in that action. How much we do to Him in the person that we are serving.”

In contemporary culture, most people understand Mother Teresa to be the epitome of compassion and kindness. However, if one were to look closer at her speeches from the past, one would discover not merely her altruistic contributions, but her keen heart for social justice and the downtrodden. She wisely and gracefully remarks that ‘love begins at home’ from the individual actions of each person within their private lives, which accumulate into a life of goodness and charity. For this, her speeches served not just consolatory value or momentary relevance, as they still inform the present on how we can live lives worth living.

21. June 9 Speech to Martial Law Units by Deng Xiaoping

“This army still maintains the traditions of our old Red Army. What they crossed this time was in the true sense of the expression a political barrier, a threshold of life and death. This was not easy. This shows that the People’s Army is truly a great wall of iron and steel of the party and state. This shows that no matter how heavy our losses, the army, under the leadership of the party, will always remain the defender of the country, the defender of socialism, and the defender of the public interest. They are a most lovable people. At the same time, we should never forget how cruel our enemies are. We should have not one bit of forgiveness for them. The fact that this incident broke out as it did is very worthy of our pondering. It prompts us cool-headedly to consider the past and the future. Perhaps this bad thing will enable us to go ahead with reform and the open policy at a steadier and better — even a faster — pace, more speedily correct our mistakes, and better develop our strong points.”

Mere days before the 4 June 1989 Tiananmen Square uprising, Chinese Communist Party leader Deng Xiaoping sat with six party elders (senior officials) and the three remaining members of the Politburo Standing Committee, the paramount decision-making body in China’s government. The meeting was organised to discuss the best course of action for restoring social and political order to China, given the sweeping economic reforms that had taken place in the past decade that inevitably resulted in some social resistance from the populace. Deng then gave this astute and well-regarded speech, outlining the political complexities in shutting down student protests given the context of reforms encouraging economic liberalization already taking place, as aligned with the students’ desires. It may not be the most rousing or inflammatory of speeches, but it was certainly persuasive in voicing the importance of taking a strong stand for the economic reforms Deng was implementing to benefit Chinese citizens in the long run. Today, China is an economic superpower, far from its war-torn developing country status before Deng’s leadership – thanks to his foresight in ensuring political stability would allow China to enjoy the fruits of the massive changes they adapted to.

22. Freedom or Death by Emmeline Pankhurst

“You won your freedom in America when you had the revolution, by bloodshed, by sacrificing human life. You won the civil war by the sacrifice of human life when you decided to emancipate the negro. You have left it to women in your land, the men of all civilised countries have left it to women, to work out their own salvation. That is the way in which we women of England are doing. Human life for us is sacred, but we say if any life is to be sacrificed it shall be ours; we won’t do it ourselves, but we will put the enemy in the position where they will have to choose between giving us freedom or giving us death. Now whether you approve of us or whether you do not, you must see that we have brought the question of women’s suffrage into a position where it is of first rate importance, where it can be ignored no longer. Even the most hardened politician will hesitate to take upon himself directly the responsibility of sacrificing the lives of women of undoubted honour, of undoubted earnestness of purpose. That is the political situation as I lay it before you today.”

In 1913 after Suffragette Emily Davison stepped in front of King George V’s horse at the Epsom Derby and suffered fatal injuries, Emmeline Pankhurst delivered her speech to Connecticut as a call to action for people to support the suffragette movement. Her fortitude in delivering such a sobering speech on the state of women’s rights is worth remembering for its invaluable impact and contributions to the rights we enjoy in today’s world.

23. Quit India by Mahatma Gandhi

“We shall either free India or die in the attempt; we shall not live to see the perpetuation of our slavery. Every true Congressman or woman will join the struggle with an inflexible determination not to remain alive to see the country in bondage and slavery. Let that be your pledge. Keep jails out of your consideration. If the Government keep me free, I will not put on the Government the strain of maintaining a large number of prisoners at a time, when it is in trouble. Let every man and woman live every moment of his or her life hereafter in the consciousness that he or she eats or lives for achieving freedom and will die, if need be, to attain that goal. Take a pledge, with God and your own conscience as witness, that you will no longer rest till freedom is achieved and will be prepared to lay down your lives in the attempt to achieve it. He who loses his life will gain it; he who will seek to save it shall lose it. Freedom is not for the coward or the faint-hearted.”

Naturally, the revolutionary activist Gandhi had to appear in this list for his impassioned anti-colonial speeches which rallied Indians towards independence. Famous for leading non-violent demonstrations, his speeches were a key element in gathering Indians of all backgrounds together for the common cause of eliminating their colonial masters. His speeches were resolute, eloquent, and courageous, inspiring the hope and admiration of many not just within India, but around the world.

24. 1974 National Book Award Speech by Adrienne Rich, Alice Walker, Audre Lorde

“The statement I am going to read was prepared by three of the women nominated for the National Book Award for poetry, with the agreement that it would be read by whichever of us, if any, was chosen.We, Audre Lorde, Adrienne Rich, and Alice Walker, together accept this award in the name of all the women whose voices have gone and still go unheard in a patriarchal world, and in the name of those who, like us, have been tolerated as token women in this culture, often at great cost and in great pain. We believe that we can enrich ourselves more in supporting and giving to each other than by competing against each other; and that poetry—if it is poetry—exists in a realm beyond ranking and comparison. We symbolically join together here in refusing the terms of patriarchal competition and declaring that we will share this prize among us, to be used as best we can for women. We appreciate the good faith of the judges for this award, but none of us could accept this money for herself, nor could she let go unquestioned the terms on which poets are given or denied honor and livelihood in this world, especially when they are women. We dedicate this occasion to the struggle for self-determination of all women, of every color, identification, or derived class: the poet, the housewife, the lesbian, the mathematician, the mother, the dishwasher, the pregnant teen-ager, the teacher, the grandmother, the prostitute, the philosopher, the waitress, the women who will understand what we are doing here and those who will not understand yet; the silent women whose voices have been denied us, the articulate women who have given us strength to do our work.”

Adrienne Rich, Audre Lorde, and Alice Walker wrote this joint speech to be delivered by Adrienne Rich at the 1974 National Book Awards, based on their suspicions that the first few African American lesbian women to be nominated for the awards would be snubbed in favour of a white woman nominee. Their suspicions were confirmed, and Adrienne Rich delivered this socially significant speech in solidarity with her fellow nominees, upholding the voices of the ‘silent women whose voices have been denied’.

25. Speech to 20th Congress of the CPSU by Nikita Khruschev

“Considering the question of the cult of an individual, we must first of all show everyone what harm this caused to the interests of our Party. Vladimir Ilyich Lenin had always stressed the Party’s role and significance in the direction of the socialist government of workers and peasants; he saw in this the chief precondition for a successful building of socialism in our country. Pointing to the great responsibility of the Bolshevik Party, as ruling Party of the Soviet state, Lenin called for the most meticulous observance of all norms of Party life; he called for the realization of the principles of collegiality in the direction of the Party and the state. Collegiality of leadership flows from the very nature of our Party, a Party built on the principles of democratic centralism. “This means,” said Lenin, “that all Party matters are accomplished by all Party members – directly or through representatives – who, without any exceptions, are subject to the same rules; in addition, all administrative members, all directing collegia, all holders of Party positions are elective, they must account for their activities and are recallable.””

This speech is possibly the most famed Russian speech for its status as a ‘secret’ speech delivered only to the CPSU at the time, which was eventually revealed to the public. Given the unchallenged political legacy and cult of personality which Stalin left in the Soviet Union, Nikita Khruschev’s speech condemning the authoritarian means Stalin had resorted to to consolidate power as un-socialist was an important mark in Russian history.

26. The Struggle for Human Rights by Eleanor Roosevelt

“It is my belief, and I am sure it is also yours, that the struggle for democracy and freedom is a critical struggle, for their preservation is essential to the great objective of the United Nations to maintain international peace and security. Among free men the end cannot justify the means. We know the patterns of totalitarianism — the single political party, the control of schools, press, radio, the arts, the sciences, and the church to support autocratic authority; these are the age-old patterns against which men have struggled for three thousand years. These are the signs of reaction, retreat, and retrogression. The United Nations must hold fast to the heritage of freedom won by the struggle of its people; it must help us to pass it on to generations to come. The development of the ideal of freedom and its translation into the everyday life of the people in great areas of the earth is the product of the efforts of many peoples. It is the fruit of a long tradition of vigorous thinking and courageous action. No one race and on one people can claim to have done all the work to achieve greater dignity for human beings and great freedom to develop human personality. In each generation and in each country there must be a continuation of the struggle and new steps forward must be taken since this is preeminently a field in which to stand still is to retreat.”

Eleanor Roosevelt has been among the most well-loved First Ladies for good reason – her eloquence and gravitas in delivering every speech convinced everyone of her suitability for the oval office. In this determined and articulate speech , she outlines the fundamental values that form the bedrock of democracy, urging the rest of the world to uphold human rights regardless of national ideology and interests.

27. The Ballot or The Bullet by Malcolm X

“And in this manner, the organizations will increase in number and in quantity and in quality, and by August, it is then our intention to have a black nationalist convention which will consist of delegates from all over the country who are interested in the political, economic and social philosophy of black nationalism. After these delegates convene, we will hold a seminar; we will hold discussions; we will listen to everyone. We want to hear new ideas and new solutions and new answers. And at that time, if we see fit then to form a black nationalist party, we’ll form a black nationalist party. If it’s necessary to form a black nationalist army, we’ll form a black nationalist army. It’ll be the ballot or the bullet. It’ll be liberty or it’ll be death.”

Inarguably, the revolutionary impact Malcolm X’s fearless oratory had was substantial in his time as a radical anti-racist civil rights activist. His speeches’ emancipatory potential put forth his ‘theory of rhetorical action’ where he urges Black Americans to employ both the ballot and the bullet, strategically without being dependent on the other should the conditions of oppression change. A crucial leader in the fight for civil rights, he opened the eyes of thousands of Black Americans, politicising and convincing them of the necessity of fighting for their democratic rights against white supremacists.

28. Living the Revolution by Gloria Steinem

“The challenge to all of us, and to you men and women who are graduating today, is to live a revolution, not to die for one. There has been too much killing, and the weapons are now far too terrible. This revolution has to change consciousness, to upset the injustice of our current hierarchy by refusing to honor it, and to live a life that enforces a new social justice. Because the truth is none of us can be liberated if other groups are not.”

In an unexpected commencement speech delivered at Vassar College in 1970, Gloria Steinem boldly makes a call to action on behalf of marginalized groups in need of liberation to newly graduated students. She proclaimed it the year of Women’s Liberation and forcefully highlighted the need for a social revolution to ‘upset the injustice of the current hierarchy’ in favour of human rights – echoing the hard-hitting motto on social justice, ‘until all of us are free, none of us are free’.

29. The Last Words of Harvey Milk by Harvey Milk

“I cannot prevent some people from feeling angry and frustrated and mad in response to my death, but I hope they will take the frustration and madness and instead of demonstrating or anything of that type, I would hope that they would take the power and I would hope that five, ten, one hundred, a thousand would rise. I would like to see every gay lawyer, every gay architect come out, stand up and let the world know. That would do more to end prejudice overnight than anybody could imagine. I urge them to do that, urge them to come out. Only that way will we start to achieve our rights. … All I ask is for the movement to continue, and if a bullet should enter my brain, let that bullet destroy every closet door…”

As the first openly gay elected official in the history of California, Harvey Milk’s entire political candidature was in itself a radical statement against the homophobic status quo at the time. Given the dangerous times he was in as an openly gay man, he anticipated that he would be assassinated eventually in his political career. As such, these are some of his last words which show the utter devotion he had to campaigning against homophobia while representing the American people, voicing his heartbreaking wish for the bullet that would eventually kill him to ‘destroy every closet door’.

30. Black Power Address at UC Berkeley by Stokely Carmichael

“Now we are now engaged in a psychological struggle in this country, and that is whether or not black people will have the right to use the words they want to use without white people giving their sanction to it; and that we maintain, whether they like it or not, we gonna use the word “Black Power” — and let them address themselves to that; but that we are not going to wait for white people to sanction Black Power. We’re tired waiting; every time black people move in this country, they’re forced to defend their position before they move. It’s time that the people who are supposed to be defending their position do that. That’s white people. They ought to start defending themselves as to why they have oppressed and exploited us.”

A forceful and impressive orator, Stokely Carmichael was among those at the forefront of the civil rights movement, who was a vigorous socialist organizer as well. He led the Black Power movement wherein he gave this urgent, influential speech that propelled Black Americans forward in their fight for constitutional rights in the 1960s.

31. Speech on Vietnam by Lyndon Johnson

“The true peace-keepers are those men who stand out there on the DMZ at this very hour, taking the worst that the enemy can give. The true peace-keepers are the soldiers who are breaking the terrorist’s grip around the villages of Vietnam—the civilians who are bringing medical care and food and education to people who have already suffered a generation of war. And so I report to you that we are going to continue to press forward. Two things we must do. Two things we shall do. First, we must not mislead the enemy. Let him not think that debate and dissent will produce wavering and withdrawal. For I can assure you they won’t. Let him not think that protests will produce surrender. Because they won’t. Let him not think that he will wait us out. For he won’t. Second, we will provide all that our brave men require to do the job that must be done. And that job is going to be done. These gallant men have our prayers-have our thanks—have our heart-felt praise—and our deepest gratitude. Let the world know that the keepers of peace will endure through every trial—and that with the full backing of their countrymen, they are going to prevail.”

During some of the most harrowing periods of human history, the Vietnam War, American soldiers were getting soundly defeated by the Vietnamese in guerrilla warfare. President Lyndon Johnson then issued this dignified, consolatory speech to encourage patriotism and support for the soldiers putting their lives on the line for the nation.

32. A Whisper of AIDS by Mary Fisher

“We may take refuge in our stereotypes, but we cannot hide there long, because HIV asks only one thing of those it attacks. Are you human? And this is the right question. Are you human? Because people with HIV have not entered some alien state of being. They are human. They have not earned cruelty, and they do not deserve meanness. They don’t benefit from being isolated or treated as outcasts. Each of them is exactly what God made: a person; not evil, deserving of our judgment; not victims, longing for our pity ­­ people, ready for  support and worthy of compassion. We must be consistent if we are to be believed. We cannot love justice and ignore prejudice, love our children and fear to teach them. Whatever our role as parent or policymaker, we must act as eloquently as we speak ­­ else we have no integrity. My call to the nation is a plea for awareness. If you believe you are safe, you are in danger. Because I was not hemophiliac, I was not at risk. Because I was not gay, I was not at risk. Because I did not inject drugs, I was not at risk. The lesson history teaches is this: If you believe you are safe, you are at risk. If you do not see this killer stalking your children, look again. There is no family or community, no race or religion, no place left in America that is safe. Until we genuinely embrace this message, we are a nation at risk.”

Back when AIDS research was still undeveloped, the stigma of contracting HIV was even more immense than it is today. A celebrated artist, author and speaker, Mary Fisher became an outspoken activist for those with HIV/AIDS, persuading people to extend compassion to the population with HIV instead of stigmatizing them – as injustice has a way of coming around to people eventually. Her bold act of speaking out for the community regardless of the way they contracted the disease, their sexual orientation or social group, was an influential move in advancing the human rights of those with HIV and spreading awareness on the discrimination they face.

33. Freedom from Fear by Aung San Suu Kyi

“The quintessential revolution is that of the spirit, born of an intellectual conviction of the need for change in those mental attitudes and values which shape the course of a nation’s development. A revolution which aims merely at changing official policies and institutions with a view to an improvement in material conditions has little chance of genuine success. Without a revolution of the spirit, the forces which produced the iniquities of the old order would continue to be operative, posing a constant threat to the process of reform and regeneration. It is not enough merely to call for freedom, democracy and human rights. There has to be a united determination to persevere in the struggle, to make sacrifices in the name of enduring truths, to resist the corrupting influences of desire, ill will, ignorance and fear. Saints, it has been said, are the sinners who go on trying. So free men are the oppressed who go on trying and who in the process make themselves fit to bear the responsibilities and to uphold the disciplines which will maintain a free society. Among the basic freedoms to which men aspire that their lives might be full and uncramped, freedom from fear stands out as both a means and an end. A people who would build a nation in which strong, democratic institutions are firmly established as a guarantee against state-induced power must first learn to liberate their own minds from apathy and fear.”

Famous for her resoluteness and fortitude in campaigning for democracy in Burma despite being put under house arrest by the military government, Aung San Suu Kyi’s speeches have been widely touted as inspirational. In this renowned speech of hers, she delivers a potent message to Burmese to ‘liberate their minds from apathy and fear’ in the struggle for freedom and human rights in the country. To this day, she continues to tirelessly champion the welfare and freedom of Burmese in a state still overcome by vestiges of authoritarian rule.

34. This Is Water by David Foster Wallace

“Our own present culture has harnessed these forces in ways that have yielded extraordinary wealth and comfort and personal freedom. The freedom all to be lords of our tiny skull-sized kingdoms, alone at the centre of all creation. This kind of freedom has much to recommend it. But of course there are all different kinds of freedom, and the kind that is most precious you will not hear much talk about much in the great outside world of wanting and achieving…. The really important kind of freedom involves attention and awareness and discipline, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them over and over in myriad petty, unsexy ways every day. That is real freedom. That is being educated, and understanding how to think. The alternative is unconsciousness, the default setting, the rat race, the constant gnawing sense of having had, and lost, some infinite thing.”

Esteemed writer David Foster Wallace gave a remarkably casual yet wise commencement speech at Kenyon College in 2005 on the importance of learning to think beyond attaining a formal education. He encouraged hundreds of students to develop freedom of thought, a heart of sacrificial care for those in need of justice, and a consciousness that would serve them in discerning the right choices to make within a status quo that is easy to fall in line with. His captivating speech on what it meant to truly be ‘educated’ tugged at the hearts of many young and critical minds striving to achieve their dreams and change the world.

35. Questioning the Universe by Stephen Hawking

“This brings me to the last of the big questions: the future of the human race. If we are the only intelligent beings in the galaxy, we should make sure we survive and continue. But we are entering an increasingly dangerous period of our history. Our population and our use of the finite resources of planet Earth are growing exponentially, along with our technical ability to change the environment for good or ill. But our genetic code still carries the selfish and aggressive instincts that were of survival advantage in the past. It will be difficult enough to avoid disaster in the next hundred years, let alone the next thousand or million. Our only chance of long-term survival is not to remain inward-looking on planet Earth, but to spread out into space. The answers to these big questions show that we have made remarkable progress in the last hundred years. But if we want to continue beyond the next hundred years, our future is in space. That is why I am in favor of manned — or should I say, personned — space flight.”

Extraordinary theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author Stephen Hawking was a considerable influence upon modern physics and scientific research at large, inspiring people regardless of physical ability to aspire towards expanding knowledge in the world. In his speech on Questioning the Universe, he speaks of the emerging currents and issues in the scientific world like that of outer space, raising and answering big questions that have stumped great thinkers for years.

36. 2008 Democratic National Convention Speech by Michelle Obama

“I stand here today at the crosscurrents of that history — knowing that my piece of the American dream is a blessing hard won by those who came before me. All of them driven by the same conviction that drove my dad to get up an hour early each day to painstakingly dress himself for work. The same conviction that drives the men and women I’ve met all across this country: People who work the day shift, kiss their kids goodnight, and head out for the night shift — without disappointment, without regret — that goodnight kiss a reminder of everything they’re working for. The military families who say grace each night with an empty seat at the table. The servicemen and women who love this country so much, they leave those they love most to defend it. The young people across America serving our communities — teaching children, cleaning up neighborhoods, caring for the least among us each and every day. People like Hillary Clinton, who put those 18 million cracks in the glass ceiling, so that our daughters — and sons — can dream a little bigger and aim a little higher. People like Joe Biden, who’s never forgotten where he came from and never stopped fighting for folks who work long hours and face long odds and need someone on their side again. All of us driven by a simple belief that the world as it is just won’t do — that we have an obligation to fight for the world as it should be. That is the thread that connects our hearts. That is the thread that runs through my journey and Barack’s journey and so many other improbable journeys that have brought us here tonight, where the current of history meets this new tide of hope. That is why I love this country.”

Ever the favourite modern First Lady of America, Michelle Obama has delivered an abundance of iconic speeches in her political capacity, never forgetting to foreground the indomitable human spirit embodied in American citizens’ everyday lives and efforts towards a better world. The Obamas might just have been the most articulate couple of rhetoricians of their time, making waves as the first African American president and First Lady while introducing important policies in their period of governance.

37. The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama

“I’m not talking about blind optimism here — the almost willful ignorance that thinks unemployment will go away if we just don’t think about it, or the health care crisis will solve itself if we just ignore it. That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about something more substantial. It’s the hope of slaves sitting around a fire singing freedom songs; the hope of immigrants setting out for distant shores; the hope of a young naval lieutenant bravely patrolling the Mekong Delta; the hope of a millworker’s son who dares to defy the odds; the hope of a skinny kid with a funny name who believes that America has a place for him, too. Hope — Hope in the face of difficulty. Hope in the face of uncertainty. The audacity of hope! In the end, that is God’s greatest gift to us, the bedrock of this nation. A belief in things not seen. A belief that there are better days ahead.”

Now published into a book, Barack Obama’s heart-capturing personal story of transformational hope was first delivered as a speech on the merits of patriotic optimism and determination put to the mission of concrete change. He has come to be known as one of the most favoured and inspiring presidents in American history, and arguably the most skilled orators ever.

38. “Be Your Own Story” by Toni Morrison

“But I’m not going to talk anymore about the future because I’m hesitant to describe or predict because I’m not even certain that it exists. That is to say, I’m not certain that somehow, perhaps, a burgeoning ménage a trois of political interests, corporate interests and military interests will not prevail and literally annihilate an inhabitable, humane future. Because I don’t think we can any longer rely on separation of powers, free speech, religious tolerance or unchallengeable civil liberties as a matter of course. That is, not while finite humans in the flux of time make decisions of infinite damage. Not while finite humans make infinite claims of virtue and unassailable power that are beyond their competence, if not their reach. So, no happy talk about the future. … Because the past is already in debt to the mismanaged present. And besides, contrary to what you may have heard or learned, the past is not done and it is not over, it’s still in process, which is another way of saying that when it’s critiqued, analyzed, it yields new information about itself. The past is already changing as it is being reexamined, as it is being listened to for deeper resonances. Actually it can be more liberating than any imagined future if you are willing to identify its evasions, its distortions, its lies, and are willing to unleash its secrets.”

Venerated author and professor Toni Morrison delivered an impressively articulate speech at Wellesley College in 2004 to new graduates, bucking the trend by discussing the importance of the past in informing current and future ways of living. With her brilliance and eloquence, she blew the crowd away and renewed in them the capacity for reflection upon using the past as a talisman to guide oneself along the journey of life.

39. Nobel Speech by Malala Yousafzai

“Dear brothers and sisters, the so-called world of adults may understand it, but we children don’t. Why is it that countries which we call “strong” are so powerful in creating wars but so weak in bringing peace? Why is it that giving guns is so easy but giving books is so hard? Why is it that making tanks is so easy, but building schools is so difficult? As we are living in the modern age, the 21st century and we all believe that nothing is impossible. We can reach the moon and maybe soon will land on Mars. Then, in this, the 21st century, we must be determined that our dream of quality education for all will also come true. So let us bring equality, justice and peace for all. Not just the politicians and the world leaders, we all need to contribute. Me. You. It is our duty. So we must work … and not wait. I call upon my fellow children to stand up around the world. Dear sisters and brothers, let us become the first generation to decide to be the last. The empty classrooms, the lost childhoods, wasted potential-let these things end with us.”

At a mere 16 years of age, Malala Yousafzai gave a speech on the severity of the state of human rights across the world, and wowed the world with her passion for justice at her tender age. She displayed tenacity and fearlessness speaking about her survival of an assassination attempt for her activism for gender equality in the field of education. A model of courage to us all, her speech remains an essential one in the fight for human rights in the 21st century.

40. Final Commencement Speech by Michelle Obama

“If you are a person of faith, know that religious diversity is a great American tradition, too. In fact, that’s why people first came to this country — to worship freely. And whether you are Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Sikh — these religions are teaching our young people about justice, and compassion, and honesty. So I want our young people to continue to learn and practice those values with pride. You see, our glorious diversity — our diversities of faiths and colors and creeds — that is not a threat to who we are, it makes us who we are. So the young people here and the young people out there: Do not ever let anyone make you feel like you don’t matter, or like you don’t have a place in our American story — because you do. And you have a right to be exactly who you are. But I also want to be very clear: This right isn’t just handed to you. No, this right has to be earned every single day. You cannot take your freedoms for granted. Just like generations who have come before you, you have to do your part to preserve and protect those freedoms. … It is our fundamental belief in the power of hope that has allowed us to rise above the voices of doubt and division, of anger and fear that we have faced in our own lives and in the life of this country. Our hope that if we work hard enough and believe in ourselves, then we can be whatever we dream, regardless of the limitations that others may place on us. The hope that when people see us for who we truly are, maybe, just maybe they, too, will be inspired to rise to their best possible selves.”

Finally, we have yet another speech by Michelle Obama given in her final remarks as First Lady – a tear-inducing event for many Americans and even people around the world. In this emotional end to her political tenure, she gives an empowering, hopeful, expressive speech to young Americans, exhorting them to take hold of its future in all their diversity and work hard at being their best possible selves.

Amidst the bleak era of our current time with Trump as president of the USA, not only Michelle Obama, but all 40 of these amazing speeches can serve as sources of inspiration and hope to everyone – regardless of their identity or ambitions. After hearing these speeches, which one’s your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!

Article Written By: Kai Xin Koh

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Jay-Z Takes the Grammys to Task in Awards Speech

Jay-Z pointed out the recording academy’s snubs of Black artists, including Beyoncé, while accepting the Dr. Dre Global Impact Award. “We want you to get it right — at least get it close to right,” he said.

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Jay-Z holds a Grammy in his hands while smiling behind a microphone.

By Christopher Kuo

  • Feb. 4, 2024

During a speech at the Grammys on Sunday, Jay-Z criticized the awards show for what he described as its snubs and inconsistencies in giving out honors to Black artists, pointing out that his wife, Beyoncé, has the most Grammys but has never won for album of the year.

“Even by your own metrics it doesn’t work,” he said.

He added, “We want you to get it right — at least get it close to right.”

Jay-Z also referred to Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff’s boycott of the 1989 Grammys because the rap category was not televised at the time. He noted that he had boycotted the show when DMX released two No. 1 albums but was not nominated.

“Some of you may get robbed,” he said, adding, “Some of you don’t belong in the category.”

He also conceded that the process of awarding Grammys is subjective. “It’s music and it’s opinion based,” he said.

Jay-Z made the remarks during his acceptance speech for the Dr. Dre Global Impact Award, which recognizes personal and professional achievements in the music industry.

Through his record label, Roc Nation, Jay-Z has advocated social justice causes, particularly for racial equality in the United States. In 2022, he convened an inaugural summit for social justice leaders to meet in New York to raise awareness about racial justice and policy.

He has also served as an executive producer on two docuseries about the killings of Black Americans: “Time: The Kalief Browder Story” and “Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story.” When George Floyd was killed by the Minneapolis police in 2020, Jay-Z, through Roc Nation, took out full-page ads in major newspapers that quoted a passage from the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1965 speech in Selma, Ala.

Christopher Kuo is a culture reporter for The Times and a member of the 2023-24 Times Fellowship class . More about Christopher Kuo

Highlights From the 66th Grammy Awards

This year’s awards ceremony notched 16.9 million viewers, making it the most-watched edition since 2020..

Taylor Swift’s Big Night: The artist   won her fourth Grammy for album of the year , more than any other artist in the 66-year history of the prize. During her win for best pop vocal album, Swift announced that she would release a new album , “The Tortured Poets Department,” on April 19.

Tracy Chapman Returns: In a major coup for the Grammys , the influential artist who walked away from the spotlight made a grand return , duetting with the country star Luke Combs. Where has she been all this time ?

Joni Mitchell’s First Time: At her first Grammys performance , Mitchell, who largely vanished from the public eye after having an aneurysm nine years ago, performed “Both Sides Now.”

Billy Joel Is Back:  The singer-songwriter debuted “Turn the Lights Back On,”  his first new song in nearly 20 years, at the Grammys.

Sinead O’Connor’s Spirit: In an emotional ode, Annie Lennox performed “Nothing Compares 2 U,” the Irish singer-songwriter’s cover of Prince’s original. At the end of the tribute to the outspoken artist , Lennox proclaimed: “Artists for cease-fire.”

Jay-Z’s Speech:  While accepting the Dr. Dre Global Impact Award, Jay-Z criticized the Grammys  for what he described as its snubs and inconsistencies in giving out honors to Black artists.

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Super Bowl 2024 Recap: The Kansas City Chiefs' Big Win, Taylor Swift's Celebrations and All the Highlights

The Kansas City Chiefs beat the San Francisco 49ers and Usher wowed with a hit-filled halftime show

Super Bowl 2024 is complete — and the Kansas City Chiefs reigned supreme, beating the San Francisco 49ers 25-22.

PEOPLE covered all the action live, from the intense game Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, to the star-filled commercials, to Usher 's hit-filled halftime show and every Taylor Swift sighting in between.

Read here for a full recap of the pre-show highlights, the big game moments and all the behind-the-scene insights you can only get from PEOPLE.

Never miss a story — sign up for  PEOPLE's free daily newsletter  to stay up to date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce Kiss as They Celebrate Kansas City's Super Bowl Win

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"Come here, girl," Travis Kelce said when he approached his girlfriend, Taylor Swift.

"Oh my god, oh my god!" she declared as she gave him a big kiss to celebrate his Super Bowl win.

The pair embraced for an extended time, and Swift could also be heard telling Kelce, "It was unbelievable. It was the craziest thing I've ever experienced."

Tim Nwachukwu/Getty

The two continued their embrace, kissing twice more and whispering to one another before turning to walk arm-in-arm. Both were emotional as tears streamed down Kelce's cheeks.

Before exiting the field, Kelce threw his hat into a crowd of fans.

Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce Celebrate with the Vince Lombardi Trophy


Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid as well as players Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce were elated as they received the Vince Lombardi trophy.

"Brittany's a great wife with two great kids," Mahomes said, flanked by his wife and their two children, Bronze and Sterling. "I couldn't ask for anything else."

"Chiefs kingdom!!!" shouted Kelce. "How 'bout a little 'Viva Las Vegas'?!"

Shortly after that, Kelce was reunited with his girlfriend, Taylor Swift, who was waiting patiently with his mother, Donna Kelce.

Taylor Swift Celebrates Kansas City Chiefs' Win: Watch

Kansas City Chiefs fans around the world cheered and jumped for joy as the team scored their Super Bowl-winning touchdown. And, of course, Taylor Swift and her friend were among them.

In video of her suite, the star's jaw hit the floor as she jumped up and down along with her friends, including Ice Spice, Blake Lively and Keleigh Teller.

Swifties around the world were cheering too, including Hilary Clinton. "Congratulations to Taylor's boyfriend—and the entire Kansas City Chiefs community!" she wrote on X (formerly known as Twitter).

Kansas City Chiefs Win Super Bowl 2024!

Steph Chambers/Getty

The Kansas City Chiefs are Super Bowl champions once again, having beaten the San Francisco 49ers in overtime.

The game, which concluded at 25 to 22, began with a scoreless first quarter and eventually saw both teams exchanging field goals back and forth. Wide receiver Mecole Hardman Jr. scored the winning touchdown, thrown by Patrick Mahomes.

This was the seventh-longest game in the history of the NFL.

The Chiefs won the Super Bowl in 2023 against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Should You Watch 'Tracker,' Justin Hartley's Post-Super Bowl Series?

Michael Courtney/CBS

We may be in overtime, but it's also the perfect time to decide if you're going to watch the show CBS is premiering once the game is over: Tracker , a new drama series starring This Is Us alum Justin Hartley as "rewardist" (read: guy who is brilliant at finding missing people — and makes a living earning the rewards offered for their return) Colter Shaw.

According to PEOPLE's critic, Tom Gliatto, "Hartley keeps his performance nicely centered — like a bubble in a spirit level — between a tone of light authority and the occasional furrow-browed hint of inner trouble. In the second episode, which involves a cult and a gun-toting blonde who could have slinked in from Raymond Chandler, Hartley leans a little toward that darker side, and it gives the show some added kick."

Gliatto adds: "It'll be fun watching Shaw solve his weekly cases and earn his moral and financial payoff — but the bigger, sustaining draw will be watching him track the impact of his past on his present."

Read the full review here .

Super Bowl 2024 Goes into Overtime for the Second Time Ever

The Super Bowl is going into overtime — which has only happened one other time.

Following the 49ers' goal, the Kansas City Chiefs answered with one of their own to tie the game at the tail end of regulation.

Each team will now get have an opportunity to possess the ball and each will get three time-outs. If the score is tied after each team's first possession, the next to score will win the game.

According to the CBS callers, this means it's, "in essence, a new game" — down to the coin toss, which was won by the 49ers.

49ers Score Another Field Goal — and Take the Lead

Jake Moody kicked another field goal, earning the San Francisco 49ers another three points. It also brought the team into the lead at 19 to 16 with less than two minutes to go.

Taylor Swift, like many Kansas City Chiefs fans, is biting her nails.

Martha Stewart Meets Fellow Sports Illustrated Model Brittany Mahomes

Martha Stewart/Instagram

Martha Stewart  had a meet-cute with fellow  Sports Illustrated  swimsuit model  Brittany Mahomes  at the 2024 Super Bowl!

Stewart, 82, shared photos with the 28-year-old wife of Kansas City Chiefs quarterback  Patrick Mahomes  on Instagram.

"One Sports Illustrated Swimsuit to another," Stewart wrote in the caption of her photos, referencing Brittany's debut in the coveted swimsuit issue this week.

Brittany's full spread has not yet been revealed, as it will be featured in the 60th-anniversary issue, to be published in May.

49ers Score Again — But Point After Touchdown Is Blocked

The San Francisco 49ers' quarterback Brock Purdy threw a touchdown, caught by wide receiver Jauan Jennings, bringing the 49ers back into the lead.

However, the Kansas City Chiefs managed to block the extra point after touchdown, keeping San Francisco's lead to only three points.

Moments into the fourth quarter, San Francisco leads 16 to 13.

A Time-Out to Celebrate Beyoncé

This Super Bowl isn't just about football, Usher and Taylor Swift. It's also about Beyoncé .

Queen Bey was first spotted in the stands with Jay-Z and daughters Blue Ivy and Remi Carter early in the game. But her third-quarter Verizon commercial — in which she teased new music — has everyone buzzing.

Moments later, the "Break My Soul" singer announced that "act ii" of her 2022 Renaissance album will drop on March 29.

In an Instagram clip that showed Bey driving through the desert, she gave fans a glimpse into her new — country! — sound.

And 15 minutes later, she revealed that two new tracks, "Texas Hold 'Em" and "16 Carriages" are "out now."

Touchdown Kansas City! Chiefs Now Lead 13-10

After the Kansas City Chiefs recovered their own punt, the team managed to convert — and score.

Wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling caught a touchdown thrown by quarterback Patrick Mahomes, giving the Chiefs their first lead in this Super Bowl.

Shortly after the scoreboard shifted to 13-10, Taylor Swift was seen jumping up and down and exchanging high-fives with Keleigh Teller in celebration in her suite.

Christopher Polk/Billboard via Getty; CBS

Kansas City Chiefs' Harrison Butker Kicks Record-Breaking Field Goal

Records were made to be broken, especially at the Super Bowl.

Just one quarter after San Francisco 49ers player Jake Moody kicked the longest field goal in Super Bowl history at 55 yards, Harrison Butker kicked a long one of his own, busting that record with a 57-yard field goal.

The impressive moment brings the score to 10 to 6, with the 49ers in the lead midway through the third quarter.

Usher and His Girlfriend Obtained a Marriage License Ahead of His Super Bowl Performance

Usher's trip to Las Vegas was always going to be memorable with his incredible Super Bowl halftime performance, but that's not the only exciting thing he's been up to lately.

PEOPLE confirms the singer obtained a marriage license with longtime girlfriend,  Jennifer "Jenn" Goicoechea , before his performance. In court records acquired by PEOPLE, the Grammy winner, 45, and the music executive received a marriage license in Clark County, Nevada on Thursday, Feb. 8.

Court records show their marriage certificate has not yet been filed.

"Listen, when you find someone that you know is a great partner, of course it is an honor and a pleasure to be able to share life with someone who wants to share it with you and loves you, who you are," he told PEOPLE last week.

Usher's Hit-Filled Halftime Show Includes Alicia Keys, HER, Lil Jon and Ludacris

The halftime show was infused with a circus-like celebration of Las Vegas performers, packed with dancers, feather-covered performers, acrobatics — and some of Usher's closest pals.

The hit-filled medley began with "Caught Up." Later, for "Love in This Club," he paid homage to the Rat Pack era with two dancers in pinstripes and honored the 20th anniversary of the release of his album Confessions .

Alicia Keys joined on the piano and sang a few lines of "If I Ain't Got You," before Usher joined her for a few lines of "My Boo."

During "You Got It Bad," the singer ripped off his top and HER jammed on the electric guitar. "Bad Girl" brought out dancers in roller skates — and Usher threw some on himself a few moments later. got into the action and Lil Jon had a lil "Turn Down for What" moment before Usher, now without those roller skates, jumped into "Yeah!" Of course, Ludacris joined for his mid-song rap as well.

Ahead of the big game, Usher told Vogue he's all about "the fan experience" and "trying to figure out how to give them something that’s going to make them feel something," labeling himself a "dreamer."

To make those dreams come true, an "absolute army of people" took the field to set up the elaborate stage as soon as the last play of the second quarter was completed.

49ers Lead 10-3 at the End of the First Half

The action continued in the second quarter, with the San Francisco 49ers following their record-breaking field goal with a touchdown by Christian McCaffery.

And, as the clock wound down on the quarter, the Kansas City Chiefs answered with a field goal by Harrison Butker, bringing the score to 10-3, with the 49ers in the lead.

Up next: Usher's highly anticipated halftime show — and then the Kansas City Chiefs will start the second half with the football.

Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Tom Brady Embarrass Jennifer Lopez in Hysterical Dunkin Ad

Ben Affleck  enlisted pal  Matt Damon and football legend  Tom Brady to form the DunKings, the ultimate New England boy band, in Dunkin's Super Bowl commercial.

In the hilarious ad, the trio come together to celebrate Boston’s favorite coffee brand — and crash  Jennifer Lopez ’s recording session in the process.

At the start of the video, Lopez is in a recording studio with rapper Fat Joe, drinking from a sparkly Dunkin' cup. The scene cuts to  Jack Harlow  telling Affleck in a car, “I don’t think you should do this.” Referencing  last year’s Dunkin’ Super Bowl Commercial  — which saw Lopez ordering from Affleck at the drive-thru — Affleck tells Harlow, “Last year, she came to my work. Now, I got to show her what I can do.”

Read more about the spot here .

Travis Scott Waves, Taylor Swift Chugs Her Drink on the Jumbotron

The Jumbotron at Allegiant Stadium has been one of the starriest shows not on television, as it has been showing many of the celebrities in the crowd.

In one moment during the second quarter, Travis Scott was seen waving to fans, and when the camera then panned to Taylor Swift and her suite , she and stylist and designer Ashley Avignone downed their drinks and slammed them down onto the ledge.

Hailey and Justin Bieber, Paul McCartney, Fat Joe and Leonardo DiCaprio are among some of the other stars spotted in the crowd.

Bradley Cooper Stars in Super Bowl Commercial with His Mom

Bradley Cooper may be busy promoting his award-nominated movie Maestro , but he still had time for mom, Gloria Cooper — and a Super Bowl commercial for T-Mobile.

The actor and his mom appeared in the spot, which aired during the second quarter and also featured  Laura Dern ,  Common ,  Jennifer Hudson ,  Zach Braff ,  Donald Faison , as well as  Suits  costars  Gabriel Macht  and  Patrick J. Adams .

Cooper told PEOPLE that his appearance is all thanks to his longtime close friends and collaborators, Brian Klugman and Andrew Panay. Not only that, "my mom is such a character," Cooper said.

Read more about it here .

49ers Score History-Making Field Goal

Tim Nwachukwu/Getty 

The beginning of the second quarter began with a bang for the San Francisco 49ers, as Jake Moody kicked a 55-yard field goal, bringing the score to 3-0.

That field goal marked the longest field goal in Super Bowl history. The record before was 54 yards.

Moody, 24, joined the 49ers in the third round of the 2023 NFL draft.

The First Quarter Concludes with a 0-0 Score

For both the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs, the first quarter of the 2024 Super Bowl was a test of defense. And both passed. 

While no points were scored, both teams held the line and proved why they made it to the big show.

It marked the first scoreless first quarter at the Super Bowl in five years, and the 10th ever.

See Who's in Taylor Swift's Box at the Super Bowl

Taylor Swift brought plenty of pals to join her and the Kelce family's cheer squad for the Super Bowl.

Wearing an  all-black outfit  and a red jacket draped over her shoulders,  Swift was seen arriving  with her parents, Andrea and Scott, and some of her closest friends,  including Blake Lively  who previously attended a game with Swift in October 2023. 

Ice Spice, who was featured on a remix of Swift's track "Karma," also joined the crew. And she brought along her music producer RIOTUSA.

Also there? Swift’s longtime friend, stylist and designer Ashley Avignone.

Swift’s younger brother was also in attendance at the game; he was spotted arriving at the stadium in a Kansas City Chiefs letterman jacket. And Lana Del Ray joined her during the second quarter.

For more, click here .

Baby, Let the Super Bowl Game Begin!

Michael Reaves/Getty

Kickoff time is here!

The San Francisco 49ers lost the coin toss, and the Kansas City Chiefs opted to defer.

The 49ers received the kickoff and began the game with possession of the ball. They opened with a handoff.

Reba McEntire Blows the Roof Off Allegiant Stadium with 'The Star-Spangled Banner'

Good luck to the actual players in the Super Bowl because the pre-game performers have already blown the fans at Allegiant Stadium away.

Reba McEntire wowed with her rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner". 

For the 68-year-old country superstar, singing "The Star-Spangled Banner" at the sporting event marks a full-circle moment. "2024 marks 50 years since I was discovered singing the National Anthem at the National Finals Rodeo," she said in a statement when her performance was announced, "and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate that anniversary."

Actor Daniel Durant was the sign language interpreter for the performance.

Post Malone Sings Elegant, Pared-Down 'America the Beautiful'

Post Malone brought the Super Bowl crowd at Allegiant Stadium to their feet with his pared-down performance of "America the Beautiful," played simply and elegantly with just an acoustic guitar.

Anjel Piñero was the sign language interpreter.

Ahead of the big game, the rapper and singer, 28, admitted to  Apple Music ’s Nadeska Alexis that the opportunity to perform at the Super Bowl was "nerve-wracking."

"I'm very nervous," he said, "but excited, I'm excited. It's just fun and super epic to be able to go out there and sing a song so many beautiful artists have sang before on this stage."

"I'm just gonna do my best, just do my best, and give it what I got," added the "Better Now" singer. "My dad told me, 'You'll never make everybody happy. So just be yourself and do your best at everything you do.' Do it your way and do it with love."

Andra Day Belts 'Lift Every Voice and Sing'

Golden Globe winner Andra Day kicked off a series of big pre-kickoff performances with a rousing rendition of "Lift Every Voice and Sing."

Following the announcement that she would be performing at the big game, Day, 39, took to social media to express her excitement. "Peace & Blessings!!! Performing the Anthem at the SuperBowl yall! Grateful! Thank You God," she wrote.

JAY-Z Brings Daughters Blue Ivy and Rumi

Ezra Shaw/Getty

An hour before kick-off, the stars were still turning up on the field. Jay-Z arrived with daughters Blue Ivy, 12, and Rumi Carter, 6.

The crew didn't seem to be taking sides, as they all wore team-less jackets.

Football appears to be a special thing for the rapper and his eldest daughter: The pair also attended the Super Bowl together in 2023.

The First Big Super Bowl Movie Trailer Shows Ryan Gosling Crying to Taylor Swift

It's not quite game time, but the commercial game has officially elevated with the drop of the new trailer for The Fall Guy , starring Emily Blunt and Ryan Gosling.

In a quieter moment of the action-packed clip, Gosling, who is described by Hannah Waddingham as "like sexy bacon," sits in a car singing along to Taylor Swift's "All Too Well." Blunt knocks on the window and asks what he's doing.

"Have you been crying to Taylor Swift?" she asks.

"Doesn't everyone?" he responds.

The Fall Guy hits theaters May 3.

Paul Rudd Brings Son Jack to the Big Game

Jamie Squire/Getty Images

For former PEOPLE's Sexiest Man Alive Paul Rudd, gametime is family time.

The actor and Kansas City Chiefs fan brought his son, Jack Rudd, 17, to the Super Bowl in Las Vegas. It's not the first time: The duo attended the Super Bowl together to cheer on the Chiefs in 2020 and again in 2023.

The father and son were all smiles as they posed for photos in their Chiefs jerseys: Paul in a "58," for linebacker and defensive end Derrick Vincent Thomas, and Jack in "22," the number worn by Trent McDuffie.

49ers Wives Claire Kittle and Kristin Juszczyk Share Their Super Bowl Style

Claire Kittle

Claire Kittle, the wife of San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle, is bringing her own special shine to her Super Bowl outfit. In fact, she matches the Vince Lombardi trophy!

Dressed head-to-toe in a matching silver set and halter top from  LAPOINTE , she completed the look with silver boots from  Steve Madden and a pair of striking all-silver earrings from  Happy Jewelers , featuring her husband's jersey number "85."

Kristin Juszczyk, the wife of San Francisco 49ers full-back  Kyle Juszczyk who rose to fame in her own right by designing puffer coats for Taylor Swift and Brittany Mahomes, did not disappoint with her Super Bowl look.

The outfit features a letterman jacket stitched together with Kyle's jerseys from all his years in football.

The designer also created jackets for the big game spotted on Gayle King, Gwen Stefani and Kelly Clarkson.

Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton Debut 'Purple Irises'

Valentine's Day came early at the Super Bowl when Gwen Stefani  and  Blake Shelton   rocked the NFL preshow with a performance of their new duet, "Purple Irises."

The romantic track includes Shelton singing, "It's not 2014 but you still look good in those jeans," to his wife of two and a half years.

The dreamy pair also sang to each other, "I never knew a love like this, now we're picking purple irises."

Stefani and Shelton  married in 2021  after first connecting as coaches on  The Voice  in 2015 .  

Olivia Culpo Arrives to Cheer on Fiancé Christian McCaffrey

Olivia Culpo has turned up at Allegiant Stadium, where she'll be cheering for the San Francisco 49ers and her fiancé, running back Christian McCaffrey.

The former Miss USA and Miss Universe rocked an all-black look with a long coat emblazoned with her man's name and his jersey number, 23.

olivia culpo/Instagram

Culpo, 31, admitted she had "a lot of nerves" and "a lot of excitement" for the big game. "It’s the accumulation of so much hard work and energy," she told PEOPLE at the Formula 1 team x Visa Cash App RB party. He’s such a great person, he’s such a hard worker, there’s nobody in the world that deserves it more than him."

Taylor Swift Has Entered the Building

After much speculation — and so much math — Taylor Swift has arrived at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas after playing four consecutive Eras Tour concerts in Tokyo earlier this week, concluding on Feb. 10.

Wearing a black corset top to match boyfriend Travis Kelce's black sparkly suit, the superstar arrived flanked by pals Ice Spice and Blake Lively and her mother, Andrea.

The questions about whether or not Swift would be able to cheer on her boyfriend, the tight end for the Kansas City Chiefs, reached a fever pitch leading up to Super Bowl weekend, with the Embassy of Japan in Washington, D.C., even putting out a statement assuring Swifties and NFL fans that the 14-time Grammy winner could “comfortably” arrive in Sin City on a 12-hour flight with the 17-hour time difference from Tokyo to Las Vegas.

Travis Kelce Sparkles Ahead of the Big Game

Travis Kelce is ending his season of unforgettable pre-game fashion statements with a shiny, Elvis Presley-esque exclamation point.

The tight end for the Kansas City Chiefs arrived at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas wearing a shimmering sequined black suit with a matching black tee, shoes and sunglasses.

"You might see me in a Sinatra, in an Elvis Presley [outfit],” Travis teased on a recent episode of  The Pat McAfee Show  of his look. “I might have to bring out all the bells and whistles for this one.”

Travis isn't the only Kelce family member bringing the lewks to the big game. His brother Jason, the starting center for the Philadelphia Eagles, arrived decked out in Kansas City colors: red and gold oversized gingham overalls with a big KC logo and a red "Big Yeti" t-shirt.

Jason's wife, Kylie Kelce, is wearing a red shirt — but not a Kansas City one. The diehard Eagles fan is celebrating the University of Cincinnati Bearcats, where both Kelce brothers played and went to school.

Meanwhile, Travis and Jason's mom Donna Kelce is rocking a varsity-style jacket with "Super Bowl LVIII" and "Mama Kelce" sewn into the back. 

Before the Super Bowl, It's the Starry Pre-Super Bowl Parties!

The big game might be the main event in Las Vegas this weekend, but it isn't the only event. The celebrations for Super Bowl 2024 began earlier this week and the star-studded parties lasted well into Saturday night.

From  Maluma  and Post Malone performing and  Prince Harry  making a surprise stop at the  NFL Honors  to  Usher  talking up his halftime show and  Drew Barrymore  bringing her whole talk show to Sin City, the celebrities have been out in droves.

Before the kick-off, click here to check out all the stars living it up in Las Vegas.

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  1. Speech on Life

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