From Barak Obama to John F. Kennedy, the world has been inspired and empowered by great leaders who have delivered powerful keynote speeches about freedom, success, and sacrifice. These world-renowned orators have developed the ability to authentically connect with their audience and tap into the minds and hearts of these people.
“Keynote speeches have played a vital role in our world history” says Dan Smith of Keynote Speaker. “When you take into account all of the leaders who have rallied citizens all over the world to express their ideas, you will see that all of them had to learn to get up in front of an audience and speak to them in a way that inspired them to take action.”
In recent years, the keynote commencement speech given at many colleges and Universities have been the launching ground for many students who have entered the world to do great things. People like Steve Jobs and Oprah Winfrey have been famous for these keynote speeches.
Here are 10 quotes from some of the leading keynote speakers and their keynote addresses:
1. “Sometimes you find out what you are supposed to be doing by doing the things you are not supposed to do.” – Oprah Winfrey
2. “When you stand up with courage, what you can achieve may surprise even you. And that’s what I want to share with you here today: Never doubt that you can make a space big enough for yourself in this world.” – Cynthia Nixon
3. “Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” – Steve Jobs
4. “The trick is to listen to your instinct, grab the opportunity when it presents itself and then give it your all. You will stumble and fall, you will experience both disaster and triumph, sometimes in the same day, but it’s really important to remember that like a hangover, neither triumphs nor disasters last forever. They both pass and a new day arrives. Just try to make that new day count.” –Helen Mirren,
5. ”The definition of success changes. Success is to live your life with integrity and not give in to peer pressure to be something you’re not. Follow your passion, stay true to yourself, never follow someone else’s path; unless you’re in the woods and you’re lost and you see a path, then by all means, you should follow that.” – Ellen DeGeneress
6. “You have to take risks. I am going to ask you to take risks whenever you can. Put yourself on the line. Don’t be afraid to look foolish. Make mistakes, take chances. It’s one of the best things you can do.” – Michael Keaton
7. “Americans on talent shows always talk about their dreams. I never really had one of these big dreams. And so I advocate passionate dedication to the pursuit of short-term goals. Be micro-ambitious. Put your head down and work with pride on whatever is in front of you… you never know where you might end up. Just be aware that the next worthy pursuit will probably appear in your periphery. Which is why you should be careful of long-term dreams. If you focus too far in front of you, you won’t see the shiny thing out the corner of your eye.” – Tim Minchin
8. “It is unimaginably hard to do this, to stay conscious and alive in the adult world day in and day out. Which means yet another grand cliché turns out to be true: your education really IS the job of a lifetime. And it commences: now.” – David Foster Wallace
9. “My last piece of advice—this is simple, but perhaps most important: Persevere. Persevere. Nothing worthwhile is easy. No one of achievement has avoided failure—sometimes catastrophic failures. But they keep at it. They learn from mistakes. They don’t quit.” – Barak Obama
10. “You don’t ever have to do anything sensational for people to love you. When I say it’s you I like, I’m talking about that part of you that knows that life is far more than anything you can ever see, or hear, or touch. That deep part of you, that allows you to stand for those things, without which humankind cannot survive. Love that conquers hate. Peace that rises triumphant over war. And justice that proves more powerful than greed.” – Mr. Rogers