Words are something that can move a nation, break a heart or even make someone’s day. Speeches have been used from the beginning to motivate crowds and nations worldwide to achieve individual and collective interests. For example, Martin Luther King’s famous speech “I have a dream” played a big role in moving people into the civil rights movement.
Here are the most famous 1-2 minute speeches of all time:
1. “Without commitment, you’ll never start…” – Denzel Washington
This was a famous two-minute acceptance speech by Denzel Washington in 2017. Denzel Washington acted in several inspirational movies. Washington won an NAACP Image Award for ‘Outstanding Actor in a motion picture’. His speech really inspires one to keep going and never give up.
Here is the full speech:
Without commitment, you’ll never start, but more importantly, without consistency, you’ll never finish. It’s not easy. If it were easy there’d be no Kerry Washington. If it were easy there’d be no Taraji Henson, (corrects himself) P Henson, it it were easy there’d be no Octavia Spencer. But Not only that, if it were easy there’d be no Viola Davis. If it were easy there’d be no Mykelti Williamson, no Stephen McKinley Henderson, no Russell Hornsby, if it were easy there’d be no Denzel Washington.
So, keep working, keep striving, never give up, fall down seven times, get up eight.
Ease is a greater threat to progress than hardship. (x2)
So keep moving, keep growing, keep learning.
See you at work.
2. “Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.” – William Shakespeare
From ‘As You Like It’, Shakespeare wrote one of the greatest speeches of all time. Read the speech below:
All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.
At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.
And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper’d pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.
3.”The world needs more of you.” – Alexa Rose Carlin
This is one of the shortest yet most inspiring speeches you will find on the internet by Alexa Rose Carlin. She talks about how the world needs more of “you“. It is short yet sends a strong message. You can check the 1-minute on YouTube. Here is the transcript of the speech:
If you want something you’ve never had before
you must do something you’ve never done before
it’s taking you years of tragedy of
losing myself inside only to realize
what I must have always known that you
can be anything you dream, dream, dream,
until your dreams come true act on your
passion and when your shot comes, take it
look fear in the face and embrace it the
time is now the moment is now believe in
yourself like I believe this to be true
the world needs more of you.
4. “If you are happy on this journey you will have won already.” – Jim Carrey
While Jim Carrey makes everyone laugh with his comical roles, he also knows how to move them with his powerful words. Here is a transcript of a short speech by him:
Happiness does not come from the processions that you can accumulate or the status you can make for yourself. Many people have the richness of this, but are not fulfilled. But to be fulfilled comes from the enjoyment of life and what you do with the time you have. Don’t strive for something because you feel it will make you happy, instead find the enjoyment of something and see where it takes you.
If you are happy on this journey you will have won already.
Emotion comes and goes. Sometimes we will feel down, it is a part of life. But know that it will always fade and be forgotten. The ideas we have shape us into new and unique personalities. We are all different and should embrace who we are. Don’t let anyone tell you that you should be different.
Depression can come from you trying to be someone that you are not. You may be trying to fit into another crowd just to be liked, or that you need to show others a different version of who you are. Never do this. Be yourself, do the things that make you happy and those who understand will be there for you.
So, what do all these famous 1 & 2-minute speeches of all time teach us? Well apart from the content that the speakers referred to, what we also learned here is that you can reach out to people even with fewer words and lesser time.
Speeches you must read: Famous 5 Minute Speeches.