Tonight, I have sat down to write a speech. I’m wrestling between grandiose and humble, exceptional and understated, elegant or intellectual. After a few revisions, I found myself needing some inspiration—good ol’ YouTube.
There are so many great speeches out there, and since I’ve been watching some of them, I figured I’d drop my top 5 onto my blog. These are by no means the top 5 speeches of all time, just the top 5 tonight. Here we go.
The Great Dictator Speech - Charlie Chaplin
This speech has always been a favourite of mine. Unfortunately, it’s as relevant today as it was in the 40′s when this movie came out. How sad is it that humanity identified these problems so long ago, but yet, it’s 2016 and we’re still engaging in the same debates?
We Choose to Go - JFK
JFK had (for lack of a better term) swagger, like none other in his time. It’s why the JFK/Obama comparisons are often heard around the globe. The man could get anyone excited about anything. Without this speech, I don’t know that the US would have gone to the moon so quickly. He sold the idea through words that stuck with people. He broke through. JFK made the moon ours. This speech is about determination in the face of naysayers; an important lesson for us all.
Nobel Peace Prize Speech - William Faulkner
“When will I be blown up?” It’s a question that shook a room full of people and reporters. William Faulkner believed it it words that save man. I can only hope.
The 4th of July - Lou Gehrig
I have often wondered what would come of my spirit if I were struck down by a disease that took away my identity. I hope I handle it like a gentleman, humbly, and with hope till the end. I hope I handle it like Lou Gehrig.
2004 DNC Speech - Barack Obama
This speech may seem odd on a list with Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator. Perhaps you’re asking why not Gandhi, or perhaps Mother Teresa? Well, because I believe this speech was so pivotal to the next two decades and beyond of politics, that it can’t be ignored. This is a modern speech, with honesty and transparency. It speaks to race relations as they are today. It is also the speech that got Obama into the White House, as much as some don’t want to admit that to be true.