5 Inspirational Commencement Speeches

Steve Jobs, 2005 Standford


One of the greatest innovators of the our time, Steve Jobs, delivers a powerful speech based on just three important events in his life. He recalls how he dropped out of college at the age of 17 after only six months. Despite making a seemingly bad decision, Jobs believes this was one the best decisions he has ever made. He goes on to recall how dropping out led to one of the greatest inventions in history of computing, the Macintosh. He reminds us to always trust and believe in our hearts and our decisions.

J.K. Rowling, 2008 Harvard

It is impossible to LIVE without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not live at all. In which case, you fail be default.

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, who may be the most successful author of the modern era, gives a unforgettable speech at the 2008 Harvard commencement. She shares her wisdom about the benefits of failure and the crucial importance of imagination. She describes how the power of imagination will lead to a better world.

Oprah Winfrey, 2012 Spelman College

Doing the right thing will ALWAYS bring the right thing to you.

Oprah Winfrey, one of the most successful entrepreneur in the world, delivers a humble and inspirational commencement speech. She talks bout respecting the ones who came before us, the ones who paved the road and planted the seeds, the ones who made it possible for us to be where we are today.  Winfrey emphasizes the importance of always doing the right thing no mater what others may think. She also discuses the value of serving others and knowing who you are.

Jim Carrey, 2014 Maharishi University of Management

My soul is not contain in the LIMITS of my body, my body is contained within the LIMITLESSNESS of my soul.

Best known for his over-the-top comedic acts, Jim Carrey mixes comedy and spirituality to deliver a inspirational and motivational speech. He speaks of the two things that control our lives, fear and love. Carrey encourages us to embrace our spiritual side and let go of our egos and therefor, letting go of our fears.

Larry Ellison, 2014 University of Southern California

When people tells you, you are CRAZY, you may be on to building the most INNOVATIVE product ever.

Billionaire businessman and founder of Oracle, Larry Ellsion, gives a thoughtful and honest speech about his journey to build the world first relational database. Despite many doubters and numerous struggles, Ellsion succeeded in creating one of the most successful  technology companies in the world. He reminds us to always have passion.