Many great speakers have been born and recognized throughout the centuries. These great speakers have written and orated great speeches that have been very influential in not only determining our future, but also documenting our past. Many of these influential speeches can be accredited with the different changes in human history that have occurred throughout the ages. Whether these speeches are of religious, political or social context, they are an important part of our history.

In times that seemed to be desperate and desolate, these words of inspiration were the only source of hope people had. They rely on what was said during these speeches and what meaning was lingering behind the speaker’s words. We cannot count how many influential speeches there were in the world, but here are 10 well known speeches that actually changed the world and determined our life for us. This is the first part; part 2 contains 5 other well known speeches in history. 

What Are the Basics of a Good Speech?

A great speech, like any other thing, requires all its components to be perfect in every sense of the word. There are many contributing factors and skills that combine to form the perfect speech. Here are three things that determine the quality and the caliber of a speech:

The Material

You cannot ignore the material that constitutes a speech because it is the foundation of a speech. The more powerful your words are, the more influential your speech is going to be. However, you have to make sure that your words reflect honesty and not pretentious words or made up or twisted facts. Your material is the first thing you have to get right before you can make a speech and it requires a thorough writing process to come up with a good speech, let alone a great one.


Your Style

No matter how amazing your words are, they will be fruitless unless they are delivered in the right kind of style. It requires masterful construction and passionate delivery. The person has to stay true to not only the speech, but also to the cause behind it. More importantly, the person must stay true to himself or herself.


The Impact

Your speech should not fall on deaf ears and to make sure that your speech turns out to be a success, you have to make sure it has an impact and ends up making a difference. When the audience listening to the speech agrees with you, sees your point of view and is convinced of some idea or a fact, then you know that you have truly succeeded.

10 Well Known Speeches That Changed the Course of the World


The Gettysburg Address

The Gettysburg Address was delivered on November 19 1863 by President Lincoln. The most famous line of this speech “all men are created equal” is still quoted in many instances today. He focused on the principles of the Declaration of Independence, which moved everyone listening to the speech. He promised a “new birth of freedom” to the people of America, a purpose which was later achieved and America became known as the land of the free.

Video: Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address from the movie 'Saving Lincoln'


The 'I Have a Dream' Speech

We are all familiar with one of the most well known speeches— the great speech by Martin Luther King Jr. when he was fighting for the rights of black men. He emphasized on how prejudice was baseless and how he dreamt of a world where all men were equal regardless of the color of their skin. This speech was made centuries after slavery was abolished but even then black people faced a very hard time in white dominated territories. This speech was made in the year 1963 on 28th August.


The ‘We Shall Fight on the Beaches’ Speech

This particular speech was given by Winston Churchill on the 4th of June in 1940. This speech was given when he had recently become the Prime Minister of England. This speech was in light of the unbelievable evacuation of England’s troops from Dunkirk where Churchill painted a prominent military setback as something positive because it saved many lives. It was supposed to instill hope and peace in the hearts of the people of England.


The 'Quit India' Speech

In a time when the British had taken over the subcontinent, the people of India were being colonized by outsiders. This was a time when Mahatma Gandhi, an influential figure in Indian politics, took a step against the British invaders and told them to “Quit India”. His sentiments were backed many supportive Indians at the time. This particular speech triggered the civil disobedience movement in India. The speech was made on 8th August 1942.


Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death

Patrick Henry gave the famous ‘Give me Liberty or Give me Death’ speech in the year 1775 at the St. John’s Church in Richmond. He convinced the Virginia House of Burgesses to send the Virginia troops to the revolutionary war through this speech. In the war troops that were sent to the revolutionary war, there were two men that were to become the future Presidents of the United States of America: Thomas Jefferson and George W. Bush.

Video: clip of this speech from a movie:


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