Reference

Great Speeches

Steve Jobs
In this 2001 presentation, Apple CEO Steve Jobs launches a brand new product called the iPod. Notice his use of clean and simple visual aids as well as the varied gestures he uses to support his words. Everything supports his message and focuses our attention on the product itself.

Steve Jobs
In this 2008 address to a MacWorld audience, Jobs again uses strong visuals and gestures to support his overall message as well as effective signposting at the start of the speech. We know exactly what he is there to talk about.

Maya Angelou
The famed poet delivers once of her most famous poems in front of a live audience, using vocal dynamics and pacing in a stellar performance.

Alec Baldwin
In this classic scene from the 1992 movie “Glengarry Glen Ross,” actor Alec Baldwin uses eye contact, spatiality and vocal dynamics to command a room of salesmen. This is portraying a confident presence at its finest. Notice the deft use of the chalkboard as a visual aid too.
Warning: This video contains profanity.

Barack Obama
In this 2008 Victory speech during the Iowa primary, Obama overcomes a noticeably strained voice to deliver a rousing address to supporters. Notice his deliberate and effective use of pace and vocal variety and the repetition of his key points.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNZaq-YKCnE

Barack Obama
First impressions last! In this 2004 address to the Democratic National Committee in Boston, a little-known state senator from Illinois explodes onto the national scene with 18 minutes of soaring rhetoric.

KC Baker
Speaker KC Baker discusses the two things every woman needs to know to become a powerful speaker.

Robert F. Kennedy
Shortly after taking to the stage at an event in Indianapolis in 1968, Robert Kennedy learns that Martin Luther King, Jr. has been shot and killed. Displaying amazing poise and eloquence, Kennedy informs and calms the live audience in this stunning example of impromptu speaking.

Christiane Amanpour
Journalist Christiane Amanpour delivers a stirring address to the 2010 graduating class at Harvard University. In her speech, she relates the experiences of her personal journey and career transition to the journeys that each graduate will be embarking upon as they begin to pursue their careers.

Queen Elizabeth
The first televised Christmas Broadcast or ‘Queen’s Speech’, filmed at Sandringham House in Norfolk. Watch her beautiful, final moment when she realizes she has successfully gotten through this live, first-ever speech.

Barbara Corcoran
Entrepreneur, author, and Shark Tank investor Barbara Corcoran on the importance of building diverse teams.

George Carlin
In this classic routine from Comic Relief (1986), Carlin utilizes gestures and vocal variety to effectively communicate the importance of “stuff” in our lives.
Warning: This video contains profanity.

Lou Gehrig
After being diagnosed with a terminal illness, Gehrig shows extraordinary grace as he summons the courage to step to the microphone and deliver a short, stirring speech to a stadium of fans in 1939, declaring himself the “luckiest man alive.”
https://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/lougehrigfarewelltobaseball.htm

Michelle Obama
Michelle Obama delivers a powerful speech about the power of possibility and a hopeful future.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tYto5PrSOI

Michelle Obama
Speaking to the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Obama uses personal anecdotes and effective
storytelling to engage her audience and make the case for her husband’s presidential bid.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=790hG6qBPx03

Will Ferrell
Using humor and a unique and unexpected entrance, Ferrrell captures his audience’s attention and delivers a humorous yet inspiring commencement address to the graduating students at Harvard in 2003.

Rocío Lorenzo
In a talk that will help you build a better, more robust company, Lorenzo dives into the data and explains how your company can start producing fresher, more creative ideas by treating diversity as a competitive advantage.

Muhammad Ali
One of the most charismatic athletes in history, Ali displays his trademark humor and personality in his recitation of a poem called “I Am the Greatest.”

Shonda Rhimes
Shonda Rhimes discusses the power of being fearless and saying ‘yes’.

Lizzie Velasquez
Once labeled, “The Worlds Ugliest Woman,” Lizzie Velasquez asks the question how do you define yourself? Lizzie turns things around and creates her own definition of what she defines as beauty and happiness.

John F. Kennedy
With a confident, deliberate speaking pattern, Kennedy uses this 1961 presidential address to convince a nation to put aside selfish ways and devote themselves to the betterment of all. “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”
https://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/BqXIEM9F4024ntFl7SVAjA.aspx

John F. Kennedy
Falling behind the Soviets in the race to space, Kennedy used this 1962 address as an opportunity to challenge Americans to dream bigger and aspire to greatness by supporting his plan to put a man on the moon within a decade’s time.

June Sarpong
TV personality June Sarpong talks about her experiences as a youth and how it shaped her as a leader later in life.

Kenneth Branagh
In this rousing speech from the 1989 film version of Shakespeare’s “Henry V”, Branagh shows how a strong intention to motivate and inspire can move a group of men to take action.

Caitlyn Roux
Speaker Caitlyn Roux discusses the power of intention and living your life intentionally.

Barbara Jordan
In this groundbreaking 1976 address, Jordan seizes the moment, projecting a confident presence while challenging her audience to confront the myriad of problems facing the country and fulfill their national purpose.

Randy Pausch
Delivering an emotional 2008 commencement address at Carnegie Mellon University, Pausch utilizes powerful
illustrations from his own experiences to inspire graduates to discover their true passions in life.

Ronald Reagan
Less sunny and optimistic than most speeches we remember from Reagan, this address shows Reagan’s somber and serious side as he stumps for Barry Goldwater in 1964.

Olivia Lai
Olivia Lai explores the negative consequences of stereotypes and expectations and what we can do to alleviate pressures on Asian-American students.

Hillary Clinton
After a long and difficult political campaign in 2008, Clinton delivers a gracious and eloquent concession speech in her home state of New York. Notice the subtle and effective use of humor with her opening line. That opening set the tone for the entire speech.

Winston Churchill
Speaking to the House of Common in 1940, Churchill found himself in the difficult position of having to describe a great military disaster while warning of the numerous hardships to come. He also had to rally a nation at war and gain their support in this speech that is sometimes titled “We Shall Fight Them on the Beaches.”

Ola Orekunrin
Ola Orekunrin discusses the challenges women experience as a leader and how to confront and overcome them.

Nelson Mandela
In 1994, after being imprisoned for 27 year in South Africa, Mandela uses his release to deliver a deliberate and inspiring speech to a nation divided, challenging them to move forward together. Short but compelling, lacking any trace of anger, which is remarkable in and of itself.

Lyndon Johnson
In this landmark 1965 speech, Johnson speaks eloquently about justice and equality as it relates to voting rights. Notice the effective use of a biblical quote toward the end of the address.

Salma Hayek
Salma Hayek delivers a powerful message to Hollywood about being female and aging in the movie industry.

Mario Cuomo
In this 1984 address (often titled “A Tale of Two Cities”), Cuomo delivers a passionate speech about the inequalities between various groups in America. Notice how Cuomo takes Reagan’s signature phrase “A shining city on a hill” and attempts to turn it against him. Words have power and both men knew that.

Jesse Jackson
Bringing the trademark fire and passion, Jackson uses vocal variety, pace and gestures to effectively communicate the urgency of his message during his 1984 presidential run in a speech often titled “David and Goliath.”

Jesse Jackson
Known for his passion and intensity, Jackson has some fun with his image, reading from the book “Green Eggs and Ham” in 1991. Notice how he keeps a straight face the entire time, never so much as cracking a smile. That, along with his impeccable pace and timing, are what make this so effective and funny.

Daniella Carter
Daniella Carter is an advocate for LGBT youth who motivates youth to achieve their goals and develop tools to overcome their adversities.

Ted Kennedy
In this 1980 address (often titled “The Dream Endures”), Kennedy uses powerful personal examples and anecdotes to rally the crowd to take action to secure the American Dream for future generations.

Canwen Xu
In this hilarious and insightful talk, eighteen-year-old Canwen Xu shares her Asian-American story of breaking
stereotypes, reaffirming stereotypes, and driving competently on her way to buy rice.

Barry Goldwater
A simple, measured pace and clear message delivered during his presidential run.

George W. Bush
Speaking amidst the rubble at Ground Zero shortly after 9/11, Bush uses an impromptu moment to show empathy toward a battered and heartbroken nation.

Gregory Peck
In this audio recording from the classic 1962 film “To Kill a Mockingbird”, Peck uses pace and vocal variety to drive home his final argument in this famous courtroom scene. The speech helped Peck win an Academy Award for Best Actor.

Janet Stovall
In this candid talk, inclusion advocate Janet Stovall shares a three-part action plan for creating workplaces where people feel safe and expected to be their unassimilated, authentic selves.

Martin Luther King
In one of the most famous speeches of all time, King delivers his 1963 “I Have a Dream” address in front of the Lincoln Memorial. Listen to his voice, how it rises and falls, soaring like music. Not only are the words themselves powerful, but the delivery if astonishing. Notice how he repeats certain phrases over and over, driving his points home so we remember them long after the speech has finished.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_YBplucfuk

Martin Luther King
In this prophetic 1968 speech (often titled “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop”) King delivers a defiant yet compassionate message of hope and perseverance. Sadly, he was assassinated only one day later.
https://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/mlkivebeentothemountaintop.htm

Gene Hackman
In this classic scene from the 1986 movie “Hoosiers”, Hackman uses his voice and gestures effectively to inspire his team to work together to win the big game.

Toni Carter
Toni Carter shares her experiences in coming to understand that diversity works best when it includes everyone, regardless of how well represented their particular demographic may be.

Ellen Degeneres
In her 2006 stand-up routine, Degeneres uses effective gestures, vocal variety and expressive body language to entertain the crowd with hilarious stories about seemingly mundane experiences.

Al Pacino
In this scene from the 1999 film “Any Given Sunday”, Pacino delivers a speech to his team designed to motivate them to win. Using real-life examples to underscore his points, he utilizes vocal variety and pace to build to a rousing finish.
Warning: This video contains profanity.

Amal Kassir
Watching the news, it seems like ethnic divides are ever-deepening. But how can we solve these complicated problems when each side lives in fear of the other? The answer is simple, argues Syrian-American poet Amal Kassir.

Bill Clinton
Addressing the Democratic National Convention in 2008, Clinton displays his natural talent and abilities as a speaker. Using pace and vocal variety, as well as personal anecdotes, he engages the crowd and calls them to action.

Bill Clinton
At the 2012 DNC Convention Clinton delivers a barn-burner of a speech with a simple but passionate message and endorsement of Barack Obama.

Jack Nicholson
Spitting venom, Nicholson delivers this iconic speech in the 1992 film “A Few Good Men.” Notice his use of stillness. He barely moves, never gesturing once. He doesn’t need to. His facial expressions and voice communicate everything.
Warning: This video contains profanity.

Wang Jia
The romantic relationship imbalance between West and East has always puzzled him. In this speech, Wang Jia will use his personal experience and research to decode some of the mysteries.

Amma Asante
BAFTA award winning writer-director Amma Asante discusses the challenges of working in Hollywood where only 0.4% of directors are black females and the pressure she felt to live up to a definition bestowed upon her; one that did not match own self-definition.

Nicholas James Vujicic
Nicholas James Vujicic, an Australian motivational speaker born with Tetra-amelia syndrome, talks about how he came to terms with his disability and, at the age of seventeen, started his own non-profit organization.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jhcxOhIMAQ

Ann Richards
In this 1988 address to the Democratic National Convention, Richards puts her personal stamp on the speech utilizing her biting humor, unwavering confidence and Texas twang—even including the use of Spanish words and phrases. It is clear she is relishing the moment and her audience responds in kind.

Sparsh Shah
Sparsh Shah wants to show people how they can transcend every difficulty that comes their way in life and how they can start a chain reaction to be a guide for other people who want to turn their life around as well.

Dr. Ben Carson
An example of using humor and storytelling effectively during a speech as Dr. Carson addresses the National Prayer Breakfast

Rachel Maddow
Maddow delivers the commencement speech for 2010 Smith College graduates using stories from history to engage her audience of future leaders.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AgQ_WQdTYb0

Mary Robinson
Mary Robinson, the first female president of Ireland, speaks passionately and articulately about human rights in a 2009 interview for International Women’s Day
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1a8LVpdqgl4

Jerry Seinfeld
Comedian Jerry Seinfeld delivers a hilarious monologue about air travel with his signature timing and style.

Tony Robbins
Tony Robbins uses his dynamic vocal and physical presence to discuss the “invisible forces” that make us do what we do.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cpc-t-Uwv1I

Margaret Thatcher
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher uses humor with a riff on the classic Monty Python sketch to skewer her political opponents.

Sam Berns
Sam Berns was diagnosed with Progeria, a rare, rapid aging disease, at the age of 2. In this speech, Sam tells how he overcame obstacles to become the percussion section leader in his high school marching band and achieve the rank of Eagle Scout.

Guy Kawasaki
The best-selling author brings his signature style and engaging personality to a speech on starting a new business for this presentation in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Carly Fiorina
Former HP CEO, Carly Fiorina, discusses fear and risk in business in a speech at Stanford University in 2007

Mahatma Gandhi
Mahatma Gandhi delivers a precise and measured speech in London at Kingsley Hall 1931, where he discusses laws and faith.

Sarah McBride
LGBT rights activist Sarah McBride makes history as first transgender convention speaker

Jim Gaffigan
Comedian Jim Gaffigan takes a common food product and turns it into an entire comedy routine in this 2006 comedy special.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt
President Roosevelt delivers a confident and direct speech declaring war after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941.

Meg Whitman
Meg Whitman, the CEO of HP, delivers a speech at the Tech Museum in San Jose in 2009, discussing how her business background has molded her into the leader she has become today
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZA0vpdUaGA.

Tony Blair
In a speech at a Labour Party conference in 2006, Prime Minister Tony Blair delivers a humble and heartfelt message as he prepares to leave office.

Alexis Kanda-Olmstead
Alexis Kanda-Olmstead explains why women may be reluctant to take on leadership roles and what we – women and men – can do to disrupt the powerful internal forces that undermine women’s leadership.

Colin Powell
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell speaks to an international audience at a global forum in Korea about technology, using humor and personal experiences.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-der8JFuag

Oprah Winfrey
Oprah uses a powerful story from her childhood to teach a lesson of determination and perseverance for female leaders.

Oprah Winfrey
Talk show host Oprah Winfrey delivers a motivational speech during a 2005 NAACP Hall of Fame induction speech.