Throughout history, there have been speeches that have resonated so deeply that we still talk about them today. These speeches, delivered by remarkable individuals, have inspired change, sparked movements, and left an undeniable mark on society.
At the Gordon Poole Agency, we often find ourselves inspired by some of history’s greatest speakers, and we want to take you through a journey of some of the most inspiring and iconic speeches that have stood the test of time.
If any of the greatest speakers below inspire you, we’ve included some of our top speakers, from motivational to after-dinner speakers from all walks of life, for your next event. While we can’t promise a speech that will be handed down through history, we can guarantee our speakers will help create inspirational moments for those in your audience who hear them!
Martin Luther King Jr – “I Have a Dream”
Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech is undoubtedly one of the most iconic speeches in history, delivered by one of the most influential civil rights activists of all time. Often quoted and remembered, the speech was given during the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. King’s call for racial equality and justice touched the hearts of millions. His dream of a future where people are no longer judged by their race continues to inspire activists worldwide.
Whilst the conversation around civil rights has shifted over the last 60 years, diversity remains an important topic of discussion. We are fortunate enough to list many talented diversity speakers amongst our speakers, including Olympian and diversity advocate Donna Fraser OBE, blind traveller and inclusion speaker Amar Latif OBE and Baroness Floella Benjamin DBE, the first female Trinidadian to be elevated to the House of Lords.
Queen Elizabeth I’s “Speech to the Troops at Tilbury” is well-known by history buffs, but even those with little Tudor knowledge will have heard Her Majesty’s iconic words: “I know I have the body of a weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a king of England too”. Taking place in 1588 as the Spanish Armada approached, her speech rallied her troops and stands as a testament to her remarkable leadership during a pivotal moment in English history, continuing to inspire military leaders to this day.
Following in her footsteps, we are proud to represent a number of speakers with vast military experience, including former British Military Commander Tim Collins OBE and SAS: Who Dares Wins Chief Instructor and decorated SAS leader Billy Billingham MBE.
Lou Gehrig – “Farewell to Baseball”
Lou Gehrig’s farewell speech at Yankee Stadium in 1939, often referred to as “The Luckiest Man on the Face of the Earth,” is remembered as a poignant moment in sports history. Gehrig had recently been diagnosed with ALS, a fatal illness that cut his career short. Addressing fans around the world, his speech touched the hearts of many, as Gehrif displayed extraordinary courage and grace in the face of adversity.
Whilst Lou Gehrig’s story is an extraordinary one, browsing our website will reveal plenty of sports stars with inspirational stories of their own. From legendary Olympians such as Roger Black MBE and Sally Gunnell OBE to sports stars such as Nigel Owens MBE, or Sir Clive Woodard, you’re sure to find the perfect choice for your event.
Demosthenes – “The Third Philippic”
Demosthenes may be the oldest name on our list, but his speeches are no less relevant and inspiring today. An Ancient Greek orator and statesman, Demosthenes’ public speaking skills were of such high renown that he is still held up as an example of persuasive techniques to this day. In the 4th century BCE, Demosthenes delivered a series of speeches known as the Philippics, warning of the rising power of Philip II of Macedon. The Third Philippic, in particular, is remembered as one of the greatest speeches ever given.
Whilst Demosthenes inspired the people of Athens, our speakers at Gordon Poole Agency are here to inspire your audience to success. Choose from a range of top motivational speakers, including Adrian Webster, explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes, and Baroness Karren Brady. However, if you’re interested in learning more about the time Demosthenes lived in, our history speakers may have something to say!
Barack Obama – “Victory Speech”
Most of us will remember Barack Obama’s election campaign and how his victory signalled a very different type of presidency than was ever seen before. During his campaign, Obama was able to cultivate a personal relationship with many around the world who watched him on television or showed up to see him in person due to his charisma and strong message of equality. In his victory speech, Obama continued to relate to the American people personally, thanking his supporters without shying away from the monumental task at hand.
Inspired by Obama, we’d like to share some of our top political speakers. From award-winning broadcaster Andrew Neil to the Labour Party’s former head of communications, Alastair Campbell, you can explore a wide range of politicians and political expert speakers via our website.
Greta Thunberg – Speech At The U.N. Climate Action Summit
The youngest inclusion on the list, Greta Thunberg, made headlines at just sixteen years old with her passionate climate change speeches, particularly her 2019 Speech At The U.N. Climate Action Summit. Delivered to world leaders and calling for urgent action to combat climate change, Thunberg’s determination and resolve stuck out as a memorable moment, despite her youth, and she has gone on to continue to fight for further action to protect the planet.
Whilst Thunberg is undoubtedly leading the charge against climate change, we represent other leading names in the environmentalism movement, including broadcaster Tom Heap, former Sustainability Director of the Eden Project Chris Hines MBE and explorer and marine biologist Monty Halls.
Finding a Speaker For Your Next Event
The greatest speeches in history and the speakers who delivered them have left an enduring legacy of inspiration, change, and hope. Whether addressing civil rights, military defence, sportsmanship, democracy, women’s rights, or climate action, these speeches serve as timeless reminders of the power of words to shape the world.
For more information on the speakers on our books, get in touch with the Gordon Poole Agency team.