Back to Professional Development Blog

3 Speeches to Inspire Your Own Public Speaking

We’ve curated three speeches that demonstrate some of the basic principles of effective public speaking.

3/17/2020 | Communication | 4 minute read

Picture of Harvard Professional Development
Written By:
Harvard Professional Development

Delivering a speech can cause even the most confident among us to break a sweat. But there are many strategies you can use to deliver a speech with poise, confidence, and conviction.

Instructor Marjorie North introduces many techniques for effective public speaking, and here we’ve curated three inspiring speeches that demonstrate some of these basic principles. By watching these videos, you can see how each principle has been applied and practice the techniques yourself.

1. Pay Attention to Your Nonverbal Skills.

Watch how powerfully Donovan Livingston's enthusiasm, energy, and purpose affects this Harvard Graduate School of Education student speech.

Donovan Livingston's Harvard Graduate School of Education graduation speech

2. Organize and Structure Your Message.

Listen to how an admiral takes the task of making your bed from a mundane chore to something you’ll feel empowered to do through a pristinely structured message.

This admiral's inspiring speech will convince you to make your bed every morning, via Business Insider

3. Connect with Your Audience.

Observe how JK Rowling cleverly connects to her audience in the opening of her 2008 Harvard Commencement speech. She reveals her fear about delivering the speech, then manages to turn the situation into a moment of connection as she and her audience laugh together.

JK Rowling delivers the 2008 Harvard Commencement speech

Stay Up to Date with Harvard Professional Development

Subscribe to our blog and we'll alert you when we have a new post about one of our business topics from leadership to innovation.

You May Also Like

 
How to Recognize & Improve Your Default Public Speaking Settings Communication

How to Recognize & Improve Your Default Public Speaking Settings

Every time you deliver a speech, you are, in fact, leading. Whether you are a student, an executive, a politician, or a profe...

12/04/2013 | 6 minute read

Make Your Speech All about the Audience Communication

Make Your Speech All about the Audience

The key to delivering a successful speech is showing your audience members that you care about them. You don't want listeners...

11/30/2015 | 8 minute read

10 Tips for Improving Your Public Speaking Skills Communication

10 Tips for Improving Your Public Speaking Skills

Snakes? Fine. Flying? No problem. Public speaking? Yikes! Just thinking about public speaking—routinely described as one of t...

3/17/2020 | 5 minute read