The 24 Best Motivational Speeches You Need to Hear Right Now

Motivational Speech

Motivational speeches have the power to inspire, uplift, and change our lives. Whether you’re feeling stuck, going through a tough time, or just need some extra motivation, there’s a speech out there that will resonate with you and give you the strength to keep going.

Best Motivational Speeches

These are the 24 best motivational speeches of all time, delivered by the most inspiring leaders, actors, and authors from around the world.

The Best Motivational Speeches of All Time

1. J.K. Rowling: “The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination” (2008)

J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series, delivered a powerful speech to the Harvard graduating class of 2008. She shares her personal struggles with failure and reminds us of the importance of imagination and perseverance.

2. David Foster Wallace: "This Is Water" (2005)

David Foster Wallace, an acclaimed American author, gave a commencement speech that went viral. He speaks about the power of perspective and encourages graduates to choose how they think about the world.

3. Simon Sinek: Live2Lead 2016

Simon Sinek, a motivational speaker and author, delivered an inspiring speech about leadership and the importance of creating a workplace environment that fosters trust and growth.

4. Fearless Motivation: "It's Not Easy, But It's Worth It" (2018)

Fearless Motivation is a popular YouTube channel that delivers powerful speeches about overcoming obstacles and achieving success. In this speech, they remind us that anything is possible if we're willing to work for it.

5. Jim Carrey: Commencement Speech at Maharishi University of Management (2014)

Jim Carrey, one of the most beloved actors of our time, gave a heartfelt and humorous commencement speech that encourages graduates to pursue their dreams and not settle for a conventional life.

6. Brené Brown: "The Power of Vulnerability" (2013)

Brené Brown, a renowned researcher and author, gave an empowering speech about the power of vulnerability and how it leads to a more authentic and fulfilling life.

7. Steve Jobs: "How to Live Before You Die" (2005)

Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple, delivered a groundbreaking speech that encourages us to live each day to the fullest and pursue our passions.

8. Ellen DeGeneres: Tulane University Commencement Speech (2009)

Ellen DeGeneres, the beloved TV host and comedian, gave a hilarious and heartfelt speech that reminds graduates to always stay true to themselves and follow their own path.

9. Sheryl Sandberg: Harvard Business School Class Day Speech (2012)

Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook, gave a powerful speech about women in the workplace and the importance of leaning in and taking risks.

10. Dan Pink: "The Puzzle of Motivation" (2009)

Dan Pink, an author and thought leader, gave a thought-provoking speech about what truly motivates us to succeed and how to unlock our full potential.

11. Denzel Washington: "Fall Forward" (2011)

Denzel Washington, the award-winning actor, delivered an inspiring speech about facing adversity and using failure as a launching pad to success.

12. Elizabeth Gilbert: "Your Elusive Creative Genius" (2009)

Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat, Pray, Love, gave a powerful speech about creativity and how to cultivate a creative mindset.

13. Charlie Day: Merrimack College Commencement Speech (2014)

Charlie Day, the actor and comedian, gave an inspiring speech about taking risks and pursuing your dreams no matter how unconventional they may be.

14. Orlando Scampington: "The Pillars of C.L.A.M." (2015)

Orlando Scampington, a fictional character from the popular web series Welcome to Night Vale, gave a hilarious and thought-provoking speech about the importance of community and belonging.

15. Vera Jones: “But the Blind Can Lead the Blind…” (2016)

Vera Jones, a motivational speaker who is also blind, delivered a powerful speech about overcoming adversity and embracing our differences.

16. Jim Valvano: ESPY Speech (1993)

Jim Valvano, a former basketball coach, gave an emotional speech about the power of hope and perseverance in the face of adversity.

17. Kal Penn: DePauw University Commencement Speech (2014)

Kal Penn, the actor and former White House staff member, gave a powerful speech about the importance of being true to yourself and making a difference in the world.

Famous Short Speeches With Inspirational Takeaways

These speeches may be short, but they pack a powerful punch. Here are five famous short speeches with inspirational takeaways.

18. Charles Dutton: Speech from Rudy (1993)

Charles Dutton, an American actor, delivers a powerful speech in the movie Rudy that reminds us that anything is possible if we refuse to give up on our dreams.

19. William Wallace: Speech From the Battle of Stirling Bridge (1297)

William Wallace, the Scottish knight who fought for Scottish independence, gives an inspirational speech in this historical moment that encourages his fellow Scots to fight for their freedom no matter what the cost.

20. Al Pacino: "Inch by Inch" (1999)

Al Pacino delivers a famous speech in the movie Any Given Sunday that reminds us that success is achieved by taking small steps forward every day.

21. Sylvester Stallone: Speech from Rocky Balboa (2006)

Sylvester Stallone, the actor who played Rocky, delivers an emotional speech in the movie Rocky Balboa that reminds us that it's not about how hard you hit, but how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.

22. Frank Oz/Yoda: Speech from The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Frank Oz, the voice actor for Yoda in the Star Wars movies, delivers a memorable speech that encourages Luke Skywalker to trust his instincts and believe in the power of the force.

23. Will Smith: Speech from The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)

Will Smith delivers a touching speech in the movie The Pursuit of Happyness that reminds us that we have the power to change our lives and create our own definition of success.

24. Kurt Russell: “This is Your Time” (2004)

Kurt Russell delivers a powerful speech at the closing ceremony of the 2002 Winter Olympics that encourages us to seize the moment and make the most of our time on earth.

Each of these speeches has a unique message and takeaway, but they all share a common thread: the power of belief in ourselves and our ability to achieve anything we set our minds to.