Community//

5 Best Commencement Speeches to Inspire, Motivate, and Empower You

These Great Commencement Speeches Will Change How You Look at Life

Getting ready for graduation/ These words are for you. Or maybe you’re 10, 20, 40 years out of school and you need some inspiration, professionally, creatively, or otherwise—these are for you.

Barack Obama

Former President, Barack Obama delivers inspiration.

Quote: “So don’t try to shut folks out, don’t try to shut them down, no matter how much you might disagree with them. There’s been a trend around the country of trying to get colleges to dis-invite speakers with a different point of view, or disrupt a politician’s rally. Don’t do that—no matter how ridiculous or offensive you might find the things that come out of their mouths. Because as my grandmother used to tell me, every time a fool speaks, they are just advertising their own ignorance. Let them talk. If you don’t, you just make them a victim, and then they can avoid accountability.”

Steve Maraboli

Behavioral Scientist and Bestselling Author, Steve Maraboli delivers motivation for graduates, but the advice is for us all.

Quote: ” Seize the opportunity accessible in the NOW! Empower yourself to take hold of the opportunity for change, for decisions, for growth, for simplicity, for love, for forgiveness, for compassion, for happiness… the opportunity to live the life you’ve always wanted to live, to live in alignment with your dreams, to express your greatest self, to be unapologetically YOU… the opportunity to act on all of these things is present right now. “

Ellen DeGeneres

Ellen has always made us laugh, but with this speech, get the tissues.

Quote: “It was so important for me to lose everything because I found what the most important thing is. The most important thing is to be true to yourself.”

Amy Poehler

Comedian, actress, mother, and badass, Amy Poelher, gives a speech that has us all ready for change.

Quote: “Try putting your iPhones down every once in awhile and look at people’s faces.”

Oprah Winfrey

Quote: “It doesn’t matter how far you might rise. At some point you are bound to stumble because if you’re constantly doing what we do, raising the bar. If you’re constantly pushing yourself higher, higher the law of averages not to mention the Myth of Icarus predicts that you will at some point fall. And when you do I want you to know this, remember this: there is no such thing as failure. Failure is just life trying to move us in another direction.”

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WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 12:  Former U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama participate in the unveiling of their official portraits during a ceremony at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery, on February 12, 2018 in Washington, DC. The portraits were commissioned by the Gallery, for Kehinde Wiley to create President Obama's portrait, and Amy Sherald that of Michelle Obama.  (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
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