Archive for the ‘speeches’ Category

Randy Pausch’s last lecture – Achieving your childhood dreams

December 17, 2009 Leave a comment

This is the best lecture I have ever heard. If you like anything on this site at all, I’m sure you will enjoy this.

You may not be ready to receive the wisdom he gives here, but remember him, and come back to it when you are ready. It will change your life.

Randy Pausch was a professor at Carnegie Mellon University. He was diagnosed with cancer that was spreading throughout his body. Instead of retreating and quietly dying, he decided to use the last days of his life to inspire others to achieve their childhood dreams. Here he is giving the “last lecture” about his life and as a message to his children when they grow up.

Categories: Education, speeches, Videos

10 motivational movie speeches that will make you move mountains

November 12, 2009 4 comments

When you feel like the world is against you

Team America world police – Dicks, pussies, and assholes

When the whole world is against Team America, Gary Johnston uses the wisdom of this great analogy to makes his point to the world.

All kidding aside, this post is about speeches and the incredible effect they have on people.

Great words come from great minds, and our world has been shaped by those great minds. Great minds like Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr, JFK, Nelson Mandela have all used the power of the speech to bring change into the world. They used the power of their words to create changes in people’s thoughts. They make people believe in a cause, they make people believe in progress, but most importantly, they make people believe in their own abilities to create change.

What is it about their words that hold so much power? Anyone can repeat the same words but no one can get the same reactions. What makes those great speakers so different from us? That is exactly what we are looking to find out.

Today’s question: Can great actors speak powerful words and achieve similar results?

Here we have collected a few of the most memorable motivational, and inspirational speeches from recent movie history. The movies range from sports movies like Rudy, to gangster movies like The Untouchables. Each speech was given at a critical juncture in the movie where an important, potentially life changing decision has to be made. Let us look at how the speaker creates the change in their target, and what we can learn from it.

When you feel like quitting

Rudy – Janitor speech

Rudy has worked so hard but his goal of playing football with the Notre Dame fighting Irish seems almost unattainable. He is about to quit the team when the janitor gives him this speech.

The janitor uses his own life experience, and most importantly his own feelings of regret to make Rudy rethink his decision. The fear of regret is one of the greatest fears we can have, and knowing that you could be giving up right before the goal line is enough to keep us going.

When you feel like giving up the fight

The lord of the rings – Sam’s speech

Sam and Frodo are deep in Mordor with an impossible mission. They have little food and are surrounded by enemies. Frodo is getting weaker by the day but Sam manages to pick him up with this speech.

Sam uses comparison to give themselves perspective of the situation. He talks about stories they used to hear and how the main attribute of the heroes was that they did not turn back even when they had the chance. They held on to their beliefs and continued to the end. This is Frodo and Sam’s chance for greatness and that pushes them onwards.

When someone says you can’t do it

The pursuit of happiness – Go get it speech

Chris Gardner (Will Smith) is a struggling salesman trying to make it as a stock broker. Here he talks to his son about pursuing your dreams.

Chris Gardner realizes the hypocrisy in telling his son to not pursue basketball because he himself is chasing an unrealistic dream. He knows that he must set a good example for his son and to not give up on his dream. Knowing that his son is learning from him probably helps to push him towards his eventual success.

When all your work seems to be for naught

Karate Kid – Wax on, wax off

Daniel san has been working hard waxing cars and painting fences, but has learned no karate at all. He’s had enough and complains to Mr. Miyagi about it. Mr. Miyagi shows him the wisdom of waxing.

This is more a demonstration than a speech. But through a simple exercise of application, Mr. Miyagi shows Daniel san the true purpose of his exercises. Sometimes true wisdom isn’t understood until the student is ready to receive it.

When life knocks  you down

Rocky Balboa – That’s how winning is done

Rocky talks to his son about the hard lessons he has learned in life, and to encourage his son to become great.

Similar to the Pursuit of Happiness speech, Rocky uses his own life as lessons to his son. He is brutally honest with his son and tells him like it is. Our friends may love what we do and who we are, but it is family that will tell you the honest truth. He tells his son that anything great involves great struggle, and unless you’re willing to pay the price, you won’t get the rewards.

When you’ve lost your confidence

Swingers – You’re so money

Mike has lost all confidence with women since being dumped. Trent gives him the famous “You’re so money” speech and gives him some perspective on the dating game.

Instead of listening to Mike bitch and moan, Trent comes in with his frame of mind and forces it on Mike. He exudes confidence that that confidence rubs off onto Mike and makes him believe in himself again. This approach uses a stronger frame of mind to drive out the negative thoughts of the target.

When you think your goal is out of reach

Untouchables – The Chicago way

Eliot Ness (Costner) wants to get Capone (De niro) but isn’t willing to play dirty. Malone (Connery) tells Ness that to get Capone he has to do it the Chicago way.

Ness wants something but is restrained by his sense of law and order. This is a case of someone wanting answers when he is not prepared to do what the answer entails. Malone explains it to him that Ness needs to change his restraints or risk losing his goal.

When you need some self belief

Cool Runnings – Pride and power

The Jamaican bobsled team is the laughing stock of the world at the Winter Olympics. Junior is feeling down on himself when Yul brings him into the bathroom so he can take a good look in the mirror.

Similar to the Swingers speech, this one also injects a shot of confidence into the target. Self affirmations have been a useful tool for many successful people to raise their self belief and confidence when needed. Stare into the mirror, and repeat positive statements of confidence loudly and forcefully will usually do the trick.

When you feel like waiting for tomorrow

Dead Poet’s Society – Carpe Diem

John Keating (Williams) is an English professor who tries to motivate his intelligent but lazy students to take advantage of the time given to them before it’s gone.

Professor Keating’s challenge is to motivate rich kids to make use of their advantages before it is too late. He uses the idea of death and the limited amount of time allotted to all of us as his tool. He also aptly chooses former alumni of the school for a comparison between the current students and former students, making the message more powerful.

When doing the right thing seems too hard

Scent of a woman – The right thing

When faced with the decision of ratting out his friends or face expulsion, Charlie makes the difficult decision of biting the bullet. After the decision is handed down, Lt. Col Frank speaks up about the importance of doing the right thing when it’s the most difficult.

Al Pacino is one of the greatest actors of all time and shows his skills in this speech. He is not afraid to say anything under any circumstance. He sees the vengeful action of the Dean and uses it to ridicule the traditions of the college. This is an extremely risky move since he could provoke negative reactions from everyone. But his forceful and emotional delivery carries the crowd and the committee is forced to reverse its decision.

Movies not only offer great entertainment, they’re also packed with life lessons and tales of success which we can look to when we need that bit of encouragement to keep going. Even though they may be scripted, the motivational and inspirational speeches in movies are well written and well delivered. There is much to learn from them.

We hope you have found what you needed here and use this resources whenever you’re in need of a push, or a laugh.

Please comment!

The best 10 of Michael Jordan’s lessons for young athletes

October 27, 2009 10 comments

Michael Jordan. Basketball player. Leader. Role model. World champion. Hero.

Many titles have been given to him. Many titles he has earned. But what he is now more than anything else is a business man. His Air Jordan line of basketball shoes are among the most coveted possessions for young basketball players. Typical of how he was during his playing career, he will always be outstanding, even as a businessman.


The best aspect of his Air Jordan brand are the messages delivered through its advertising and marketing. He has managed to pull together big time sports stars such as Ray Allen, Carmelo Anthony, Rip Hamilton, Derek Jeter, and Chris Paul to support his brand. However, these sports stars are not just promoting the clothing or the shoes, they are promoting the philosophy behind the clothing, which is the philosophy behind Michael Jordan.

10 amazing Michael Jordan career stats

Each of the commercials has a distinct message, narrated by Jordan himself. He uses nuggets of wisdom learned during his career as positive and motivating messages for the current generation of athletes. We no longer become like Mike simply by buying a pair of shoes, now we must look beyond the superficial, and dig deep within ourselves to discover the inner strength that drove Michael Jordan to the top of the basketball world.

These clips are much more than commercials, they together create a set of ideas we all should live by. Therefore I have compiled them into a list for easy referencing. Please leave any comments or feedback in the comments box, would love to hear back from other MJ fans. And subscribe to this blog to get the latest MJ posts!

Full list of Air Jordans

What if?

What if there was no fame and fortune? What if all the fans and media were gone? What if all Michael Jordan ever became was a regular basketball player. Would he still do what he did? There’s no doubt.

When young children are asked why they want to become sports stars, often they will mention money and fame. What they don’t understand about someone like Michael Jordan is that he was always focused on one thing, becoming a better basketball player. The fame and fortune only followed his successes on the court.

Tell me

Tell me I can’t do it. I want you to. Because then I can prove you wrong.

Despite all the loving fans, the people Michael Jordan listened to the most were his biggest critics. When they said he couldn’t play defense, he won the defensive player of the year. When they said he couldn’t win a championship, he won three in a row. Again and again he shut his critics by proving to them he could do what he wanted to do by putting his heart into it. That is a valuable lesson for any kid to learn.


Heart is what truly drives you to get to where  you want to go. It’s what gets you through the tough days, and it’s what will bring you to the top.

They say it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog. And that is true, especially in sports. Michael has proven time and time again that heart can triumph over physical limitations. He played with the flu, he played when hurt, he even played after his father’s murder. But all those difficulties never changed his passion for competition and his heart for the game.

Let your game speak

Everyone has critics. You can either argue with them, or let your game speak louder than you ever can.

Instead of letting critics tear you down, use them as a force to motivate you to go further.


Maybe he made things seem too easy. Maybe his accomplishments are too great to ever surpass. Maybe there will never be anyone better. Or maybe you are just making excuses.

Look me in the eye

Don’t be scared of what you will become, be scared of what you won’t become. Know who you are inside, and don’t let anyone stop you from being who you truly are.


No one gets to the top the easy way. Everyone has to put in the hours and the hard work. Fairy tales only happen in movies.

Break to build

To get to the next level, you have to push your body to the limit. Push until you can’t push no more, and then you will get there.

What is love?

What does it mean to truly love the game? It means not being to live without it, and appreciating every moment of it, even the difficult ones.


He has failed at every point in his life. Yet those failures never stopped him from trying again and again. It is through his failures that he has succeeded beyond imagination.

Bonus clips

Michael Jordan top ten videos

Frozen moment

This is a beautifully made commercial. Captures the beauty of those truly special moments in sports.

Michael Jordan has taught the world many things. He has taught the world how basketball should be played. He has taught the world how to be a great athlete and a good role model. But most importantly, he has taught us how to become better than we are.

More than mere entertainment, sports and the athletes who play them, offer us great lessons on life, if we choose to receive them.

How Michael Jordan became Michael Jordan

The best motivational pre game speech videos

October 17, 2009 8 comments

What makes a great coach?


Michael, the basket is that way!

Some say it is the deep understanding for the fundamentals of the game. Others say it is the ability to instill discipline and determination in their players. And still more think that it is a force of personality that can rally the troops and lead them on to victory. The only thing we know is, that there is no clear cut answer to being a great coach.

Every coach has his/her own individual style, and each coach arrives at his/her style through a long period of study and experimentation. One coach can’t simply copy another coach’s style and expect it to work. Pat Riley can’t become Phil Jackson without a deep understanding of Buddhist philosophy, and very few people can coach like Bobby Knight and still succeed.

What we can do, in our process of becoming a good coach, is to learn from the great ones, and experiment with their techniques. Some will work, but most will fail, and it is in our failures that we will eventually discover our own style of coaching.

Today we will look at one important aspect of coaching, the motivational pre game speech.

I believe the importance of the motivational pre game speech is over dramatized by sports movies. Just compare the videos on this list with the pre game speeches from movies list to see the differences.

However, the motivational pre game speech does serve an important purpose. Players and coaches alike are nervous before most games, and it is important to calm those nerves and instill a sense of confidence before stepping out onto the court or field. Here are a few techniques used by some well known coaches to inspire and motivate their players.

Bill Self speech – Kansas (NCAA)

The nothing to lose, so much to gain approach. And the “forever” factor.

It’s always good to go into a match being the one with nothing to lose and everything to gain. Whether that’s true or not does not matter, it is the state of mind that counts. Bill Self does that by building up the players’ confidence by going over their major accomplishments of the year and the fact that their place in history is already secure. He then talks about how his players will always remember this night, and driving up their internal motivation. The key point to notice here is that he makes no mention of the opponents.

Billy Donovan speech – Florida Gators

“Live in the moment” technique, with high energy.

Same as Bill Self, Billy makes no mention of the opponents at all. It is all about  how to be the best team we can be. He also focuses on the “forever” aspect of this game. Instead of saying things will be hard, he uses words like adversity and challenge, which is a positive way of framing difficulties. The high energy denotes a sense of confidence, which he hopes will pass onto his players.

Coach Warren speech- Abilene eagles (HS)

The indirect language technique. And the build up.

He doesn’t ask his players for anything, but tells them that in order to win, they will need heart, courage, and commitment. He also says he doesn’t need to challenge the players to play hard because he knows they will. He gets the message across without making any demands. The energy level of the speech is low for the first 90 seconds, but picks up very quickly in the last 30, and ends with a bang.

John Hufnagel speech – Calgary Stampeders (CFL)

Turning disadvantages into advantages

This team and coach are obviously confident playing an opponent they have beaten, but it is still important to address the positives. He ends his speech by turning the difficulties facing his team into challenges for his team to overcome.

Derrick Moore speech – Georgia Tech

It is your time, your moment.

He delivers a very passionate speech. Dramatized for effect but effective nonetheless. He uses a chant to harmonize the team’s energy and to build up their willingness to fight. To be successful in sports a player needs to be able to use his/her emotions to motivate themselves on the playing field. Often times a person with whom the players have a close emotional bond with, for example a chaplin, is a great choice for a pregame speech. They know which buttons to push to tap into the emotional energy that could make the difference between a win and a loss.

Michael “Pinball” Clemons speech – Argos (CFL)

His personal technique

This will be very difficult for any coach to copy. It seems rehearsed and it’s a bit of showmanship, probably for the cameras as well as for the players. But what’s good about it is that the players know what things to focus on, and those are what the chants are about. Repeat what you want the players to remember over and over again. One of the best ways to get focus is to use a chant that the players can recite to themselves on the field.

Coach Flowers speech – Leland (HS)

The pre written speech. The chant build up.

Not sure if the the speech is taken from somewhere or if he wrote it. He benefits from great energy and a strong voice. The background music is a bit cheesy but can work with the right age group of players. He uses a great line “I am a champion” for the chant, and builds it up very well at the end for a great finish.

What we can learn:

Most of the coaches above use many of the same techniques in their pre game speeches.

1. Stress previous accomplishments to build up confidence

2. Stress what the team needs to do, don’t mention the opponents.

3. The “forever” factor, this game is important and will be remembered.

4. Appeal to a higher purpose. Nationalism/school spirit/fans

The other factors are more of personal choice. You might want to include a chant in the speech to build momentum. You might want to raise the energy level gradually towards a big finish. You could even have background music. These things should be tested and experimented with to see what works with your personal style.

Remember, it is through our failures that we succeed.

Need some motivation, check out these messages from Michael Jordan.