Standing out and giving speeches to anyone doesn’t make you a motivational speaker. You might have everything in your hand, i.e., the power of words, vocabulary, content, etc. but if you can’t choose the right Motivational Speech Topics then you are not able to move people by your words, you fail as a motivational speaker in the first place.
Motivational speaking is a skill only dedicated people can develop better than others. From the ancient times, speeches have played an important part in gaining the power of mass and with right words in the right order with right tone; you can move thousands or even millions of people to your side.
What motivates people?
There are a lot of factors that play important roles in gaining the power of mass. They are:
- Topic: the motivational speech topics would determine which social issue you are addressing
- Core Content: it states what are you going to present related to the topic
- Style of speech: it is the way you choose to represent your words.
A careful measurement is required to address any topic in public and to ensure people are following you. So, in today’s article, we shall know about 30 great motivational speeches of all time and discuss the impact they created with their speech.
The Third Philippic by Demosthenes
Demosthenes was an ace statesman and speaker who gave its first motivational speech as an answer to the invasion of Phillip the II of Macedon. This motivational speech was recorded in 300-350 B.C. in Athens, Greece. Demosthenes adored his city-province of Athens and was ready to motivate his fellow Athenians to fight against the invasions of Phillip the II of Macedon. The first Philippic rang with the voice of encouragement and people were highly motivated to protect their resource and their city against the foreign invasion. You can read the full speech here and get some great ideas for motivational speech topics.
Speech of Alexander the Great before the battle against King Porus
When Alexander the great marched forward with his army to conquer India and expand his empire, his army was worn out due to previous wars. They were highly demoralized and were sure that they were going to lose the war against king Porus. But the night before the war, Alexander the Great gave a speech which not only increased their morals but also leads to their victory. This speech was given near Hydaspes River (now known as Jhelum) in 326B.C. and has been recorded as one of the most powerful and motivational speech of all time which caused Alexander’s men to fight the battle and win despite odd chances.
Funeral Oration Speech by Pericles
Pericles often referred as the “first citizen of Athens” came forward with a motivational speech in 431 BC at the end of the famous Peloponnesian War. His speech began with praises for the citizens of Athens, praises for their ancestors and the greatness of the Athens as a city. This speech motivated the people to rebuild Athens as a better city. His speech inspired many orators like Abraham Lincoln who came forward with a similar speech named as “Gettysburg Address.”
“The Decision to Go to the Moon” speech by John F. Kennedy
This speech was delivered by the president John F. Kennedy on September 12th, 1962. It was the speech solely intended to persuade Americans to endorse the Apollo program. It was delivered at the rice stadium addressing the rice university. The Soviets have gone a step further by already launching their first man on moon and America was still behind soviet in that respect. The space technology has advanced quite a lot since 1961, but this motivational speech topics is still used widely even today.
“The Gettysburg Address” by Abraham Lincoln
On November 19, 1863, Abraham Lincoln raised his voice in encouragement for people of Gettysburg. It was quite a short speech which lasted for three minutes but was greatly inspired by the Funeral Oration speech by Pericles. The Gettysburg Address is a remarkable rhetoric piece in American history. It came after The Battle of Gettysburg causing great damage to life. Lincoln’s speech gave new hope to people and hence considered as one of the greatest motivational speeches in the world.
“I Have a Dream” by Martin Luther King Jr.
Nothing can be more inspiring than the “I have a dream” speech delivered by Martin Luther King Jr. on August 28, 1963. It is one of my personal favorite among all the motivational speeches. The charisma of the speech was amplified as Martin Luther presented the speech that came as the ray of hope within all the miseries of Afro-American citizens. He delivered the idea of the change that would soon reflect the mindset of Americans.
“The Sermon on the Mount” by Jesus Christ
One of the most influential speeches of all time is the Sermon on the Mount by Jesus Christ. Later the speeches were converted into books, and many children read it for inspiring and a heart-changing speech delivered by the Jesus Christ. This speech was delivered in Jerusalem in 33A.D.
“Pearl Harbor Address to the Nation” by Franklin Delano Roosevelt,
This speech was directed addressing the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. This incident shocked the United States which enraged the whole nation. F.D. Roosevelt gave this motivational speech to reassure people that ultimate victory would be of theirs. This speech topic can be counted as one of the best motivational speech topics.
“Blood, Sweat, and Tears” by Winston Churchill
This was Winston Churchill’s first speech to the House of Commons as the UK’s new Prime Minister. His welcome speech filled the minds of people with the reassurance that their state is in safe hands. During 1940, the policies of Hitler were spreading rapidly all across Europe, and the speech encouraged people to fight the fright. This was one of the remarkable motivational speech topics.
“Duty, Honor, Country” by General Douglas MacArthur
General Douglas MacArthur, delivered this speech while receiving his Sylvanus Thayer Award on May 12th, 1962 in New York. His speech was littered with the bravery of men who gave their lives for our safety. He spoke of courage and faith and won millions of hearts.
“What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” by Frederick Douglass
This speech went ahead getting universal attention as Frederick Douglass; a former slave gave this motivational speech. Slavery and racism were a widely spoken motivational speech topics during the 19th century and even today, it is a widely used motivational speech topics.
“Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!” by Patrick Henry
This speech not only engaged the listeners but also compelled them to understand the motivation of the speech. This was delivered on March 23, 1775, at St. John’s Church in Richmond Virginia. This speech was solely dedicated to enlightening Virginia’s relation with Great Britain. This speech went down well among listeners when the war for independence was at large.
“2nd Inaugural Address” by Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln delivered this speech when civil war due to slavery was a huge issue. He kept his speech short and meaningful and just like the Gettysburg address; his speech won millions of hearts in no time. The civil war is still a meaningful motivational speech topics that can be addressed even today.
“Strength and Decency” by Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt gave this speech for various causes like encouraging women to have more children and men to become more courageous and patriot towards their country. He believed the strength of every individual could strengthen the country as a whole. Thus, this particular speech was a great motivation for people.
“Remarks at the Brandenburg Gate” by Ronald Reagan
This speech was delivered by Ronald Reagan in the year 1987, when he was determined to unite the divided country, Germany. After the World War II, Germany was under cold war for quite a long time until Ronald Reagan came up and motivated every citizen to “tear down the wall” and get united as one country.
“Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech” by William Faulkner
William Faulkner was a Nobel Prize winner in the year 949 and the nominee in 1950 for the literature. During his acceptance of Nobel Prize, he gave a speech that motivated people including other literary figures and poets to continue their great work of producing masterpieces without worrying about the soviet’s Atomic bomb test fear. This speech was delivered in Stockholm, Sweden and till date, this topic continues to be the best motivational speech topics for any orator.
“Their Finest Hour” by Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill came forward with his final motivational speech for the citizens of France to stay strong during the hours of darkness. This speech was delivered in 1940 in the House of Commons, London. During that year, Germany has started invading France and Paris has already fallen. This speech came as an encouragement for people of France.
“Quit India” by Mahatma Gandhi
The year 1942 was marked as the year of great happenings. The rage for freedom among Indian was already high when Mahatma Gandhi came forward with its inspiring speech for Britishers to quite India as well as for Indians to stay strong and stay united until Britishers grant India their freedom. Mahatma Gandhi came forward with a completely non-violent strategy to free India without bloodshed.
“Resignation Speech” by George Washington
This speech was delivered by George Washington on December 23, 1784, in Annapolis, Maryland, while resigning from the position of commander-in-chief. He was given a chance to choose the power all over again, but judging by the circumstances he chose to resign and let someone more capable of handling the post. He ended his term with the speech stating that sometimes you need to choose and do what is right rather than being needy for power. This speech moved a large audience and was a great motivation for all the leaders around the world.
“The Apology” by Socrates
Who doesn’t know Socrates? He was perhaps one of the greatest and most feared teachers in the western world. Socrates delivered this speech in 399 B.C. in Athens when Athenians feared that Socrates was manipulating young men and creating doubts in their minds regarding god and beliefs. and he was put on trial for those crimes, and his speech acted as a defense for his crime.
“The Appeal of 18 June” by Charles de Gaulle
This speech was delivered by Charles de Gaulle, leader of Free French forces on BBC radio in 1940. When Germany was invading France, this motivational speech came as rain during the drought conditions for French people. The speech rang with encouragement for people of France to stay strong in this time of distress and never give up to the enemy. He stated that France needs to fight until the end.
“First Inaugural Address” by Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt gave this speech during the start of his four-year presidency. In the year 1933, the United States was in a Great Depression. And the citizen felt that the former president was doing nothing to improve the state of the country. This is where F.D. Roosevelt made his motivational speech reduce the depression. This kind of motivational speech should be given more often.
“Abolition Speech” by William Wilberforce
This speech was given by William Wilberforce on May 12th, 1789 in the House of Commons. This speech was given in support of the bill slave trade act which was passed in the year 1807. This motivational speech was the start of a continuous process to abolish the trading of slaves. He was a great believer in equality, and this speech won much hearts. Abolition of slavery can be a great motivational speech topic when the world is getting more and more enslaved by greed and inhumanity.
“Inauguration Address” by John F. Kennedy
Election of John F. Kennedy came as a great relief when he was elected as the 35th president of United States in the year 1961. He gave his inaugural speech which hinted towards a new generation and change for the greater good which was widely reassuring. The war has left many scars on the United States and the speech by John F. Kennedy came as a relief for the citizens.