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 the way their listeners see the challenges facing them in the future.
Just 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 felt generally unmotivated. What brought you out of that feeling? Sometimes all it takes is a good night’s sleep or seeing the fruits of your labor to fire you up. Still other times, you might listen to someone say something that resonates with you – that alters the way 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 hit the right listener at just the right time and in just the right way. Who knows, maybe this article is doing a bit of that for you right now … (I can dream, can’t I?)
To help you stay motivated, no matter what your job throws at you, we decided to compile 24 of the best motivational speeches from business, sports, entertainment, and more. If you want to get fired up for a project, watch these videos.
Trust me, I was wiping my eyes after I saw them. And while the messages vary from speech to speech, they will put you in the optimal frame of mind for tackling and crushing your next big challenge.
BEST MOTIVATIONAL SPEACHES 1. J.K. Rowling: “The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination” (2008)
2. David Foster Wallace: “This Is Water” (2005)
3. Simon Sinek: Live2Lead 2016
4. Fearless Motivation: “It’s Not Easy, But It’s Worth It” (2018)
5. Jim Carrey: Commencement Speech at Maharishi University of Management (2014)
6. Brené Brown: “The Power of Vulnerability” (2013)
7. Steve Jobs: “How to Live Before You Die” (2005)
8. Ellen DeGeneres: Tulane University Commencement Speech (2009)
9. Sheryl Sandberg: Harvard Business School Class Day Speech (2012)
10. Dan Pink: “The Puzzle of Motivation” (2009)
11. Denzel Washington: “Fall Forward” (2011)
12. Elizabeth Gilbert: “Your Elusive Creative Genius” (2009)
13. Charlie Day: Merrimack College Commencement Speech (2014)
14. Orlando Scampington: “The Pillars of C.L.A.M.” (2015)
15. Vera Jones: “But the Blind Can Lead the Blind…” (2016)
16. Jim Valvano: ESPY Speech (1993)
17. Kal Penn: DePauw University Commencement Speech (2014)
18. Charles Dutton: Speech from Rudy (1993)
19. William Wallace: Speech From the Battle of Stirling Bridge (1297)
20. Al Pacino: “Inch by Inch” (1999)
21. Sylvester Stallone: Speech from Rocky Balboa (2006)
22. Frank Oz/Yoda: Speech from The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
23. Will Smith: Speech from The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)
24. Kurt Russell: “This is Your Time” (2004)