Famous Short Speeches For Your Inspiration

Famous Short Speeches For Your Inspiration

Whenever I feel tired, frustrated or cornered, I read a couple of famous short speeches for inspiration. I treat these speeches as a panacea for a bad mood, and I will gladly share this pleasant and effective “pill” with you.


Most of us know J.K. Rowling as the author of the Harry Potter series. However, she is also a great motivational speaker.


One of my favorite speeches made by Rowling contains such words:

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

Whenever you feel that failures rain down as if out of the horn of plenty, remember that one of the world’s most famous fantasy sagas was written by the desperate unemployed, in the train somewhere between London and Manchester.



Oprah Winfrey is known for her stunning television career. So, many of her speeches are great, but the one I love most is:

You must have some kind of vision for your life. Even if you don’t know the plan, you have to have a direction in which you choose to go. I never was the kind of woman who liked to get in the car and just go for a ride…I want to know: Where are we going? Do we have a destination? Is there a plan or are we just riding? What I’ve learned is that’s a great metaphor for life. You want to be in the driver’s seat of your own life, if you’re not, then life will drive you.

I think Oprah’s words make the greatest motivational speech for students. Of course, our life is not a walk under the moon. But we’ll have more strength and determination to overcome life adversity, if knowing where we are heading to.

In case you do not agree with Oprah Winfrey, keep in mind that her vision for life is very similar to that of the next talented public speaker.


Everyone knows Hillary Clinton. Some know her as the wife of Bill Clinton, the 42nd President of the United States, and some supported her in the role of the American Democratic Party’s presidential nominee.


I sometimes regret that Hillary Clinton was not elected president, since she has an undeniable talent for inspiring public speeches.

Life is not easy for anyone. Sometimes you don’t see the challenges on the outside, but every single one of us has both those and everything that goes on inside as well. Give it all. Dare to be all you can be.

Personally I trust Hillary’s words and her firm belief in the American Dream.



Another person whom we can adore is Steve Jobs. The admiration is not for Jobs’ high-tech developments, but for his unique life philosophy. This philosophy is revealed in one of Jobs’ most famous short speeches:

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

Jobs’ words make an impeccable short speech that teaches students to boldly follow their dreams. In fact, dreamers have always been the main driving force of human civilization.


Similar to Jobs, Sheryl Sandberg is a famous dreamer. American technology executive and activist, Sandberg is an author of many wonderful quotes. One of the most famous short speeches is:

If you are offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat. Just get on.

These are amazing words that reveal the simple truth of life. Whenever you come across an opportunity, grab it. It is always better to regret about something done than something undone.


If the previously cited speeches left you wondering what life success is, then I suggest familiarizing with the vision of Ellen DeGeneres, American actress, writer, producer, and LGBT activist.


DeGeneres believes that success is about living in harmony with own beliefs and values. Here’s an excerpt from DeGeneres’s popular speech:

For many of you, success is being able to hold down 20 shots of tequila. For me, the most important thing in your life is to live your life with integrity and not to give into peer pressure to try to be something that you’re not, to live your life as an honest and compassionate person, to contribute in some way.

Some of us will certainly argue with Ellen DeGeneres by pointing out that it is difficult to live own life with integrity when society exerts constant pressure on you and your values. Since it is pointless to change society, maybe it is better to adapt to it?

My personal answer is no. And I am happy that it is coincides with the next speaker’s opinion.


Mahatma Gandi

Although not all students know who Mahatma Gandhi is, most of them have heard his inspiring words:

Be the change that you wish to see in the world.

An Indian activist and the leader of the Indian independence movement, Gandhi demonstrates us the significance of each individual. Be kind to people if you want to live in a better society. Be honest if you don’t want to fall victim to deception. Give something to the world to receive something in return.


J.K Simmons

Treat yourself carefully, because your body and mind are your most valuable assets. Awareness of one’s own importance is what J.K. Simmons, American actor and Academy Award winner, teaches us:

Take care of yourself: Eat your vegetables. Get some exercise. Floss. Use your turn signal. I know that has nothing to do with taking care of yourself. It’s just a pet peeve of mine. I needed to get that off my chest. Be on time. Please have the decency to not make people wait for you.

I think that one of Simmons’s talents is to explain complex things in simple words. To live a fulfilling and happy life, one is to treat others in a way he wants to be treated himself. Be kind to people, and the world will be kind to you.


For me, Regina Brett is one of the best inspirational speakers ever. A Pulitzer Prize finalist, Regina shares her inspiration in best-selling books: God Is Always Hiring, Be the Miracle, and God Never Blinks.


You can familiarize with Regina’s story and life-affirming philosophy on the author’s website. Meanwhile, I want to quote one of my favorite lessons written by Brett:

My life used to be like that game of freeze tag we played as kids. Once tagged, you had to freeze in the position you were in. Whenever something happened, I’d freeze like a statue, too afraid of moving the wrong way, of making the wrong decision. The problem is, if you stand still too long, that’s your decision.

Hopefully, you enjoyed these short speeches. Use them as a source of inspiration. But do not forget that your life is unique, and you can become an inspirer for someone.

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