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.

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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.

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.”

Muhammad Ali
Projecting a confident presence at a 1974 press conference, Ali uses humor and vocal variety to engage and entertain the crowd. Even his opponent couldn’t help but smile as Ali bragged about how he “handcuffed lightning” in preparation for the upcoming bout.

Charlie Chaplin
Known primarily for his extraordinary gifts as a silent film star, Chaplin proves he is equally adept as an actor without the physical, using only his voice to communicate in this powerful scene from “The Great Dictator” (1940).

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.”

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.

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.

Ronald Reagan
In this 1980 speech to the Republican National Committee in Detroit, Ronald Reagan shows how his conversational style and personal passion earned him the nickname, “The Great Communicator”.

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.

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.”

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Shirley Chisholm
In this 1972 speech (often titled “Courage of our Convictions”), Chisholm displays the passion and confidence as an orator that helped her become the first African-American woman ever elected to Congress.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

Mary Robinson
Mary Robinson, the first female president of Ireland, speaks passionately and articulately about human rights in a 2009 interview forInternational Women’s Day

Mark Kelly
Space shuttle commander Mark Kelly inspires an audience with his story of personal tragedy and the power of the human spirit.

Tony Robbins
Tony Robbins uses his dynamic vocal and physical presence todiscuss the "invisible forces" that make us do what we do.

Malcolm X
In this stirring and provocative 1962 speech, civil rights pioneer Malcolm X delivers an uplifting and motivational message to an African-American audience.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.