Need interesting speeches given by leaders
September 16, 2008 8:28 AM   Subscribe

Any suggestions on famous "leadership" speeches ala Patton's Speech or similar?

I need to deliver a speech for a leadership class...3-5 minutes, although I can cut a longer speech. Basically the speech needs to be a leader, uh, leading. The speech can be real, for example, FDR, Churchill or fictional such as a Shakespearean character or film character.

There are a bunch of obvious ones, but I am looking for something a little more unique. I am sure he has heard "Friends Romans Countrymen" the death...
posted by UMDirector to Education (14 answers total)

Tim Collins
posted by Leon at 8:54 AM on September 16, 2008

Henry V's Saint Crispin's Day speech from Henry V (Act 4 Scene 3) by William Shakespeare
posted by bryghtrose at 9:08 AM on September 16, 2008

This is a pretty good reference - there's lists of great speeches on film, in politics, etc also on the same site. FDR's first Inaugural Address, JFK's, the Pearl Harbor speech from JFK, Barbara Jordan's '76 DNC Keynote... Even Lou Gehrig's 'Farewell to Baseball', which some would consider a great leader's last address.
posted by pupdog at 9:16 AM on September 16, 2008

st crispin's day speech on youtube - the only video on the site with comments more than 4 words long.
posted by soma lkzx at 9:33 AM on September 16, 2008

It's football specific, but I always liked Al Pacino's locker room speech in Any Given Sunday.

A bit cliche, but another one is Mel Gibson's in Braveheart.

Also, a good real world speech is Winston Churchill's "We Shall Fight..." speech.
posted by nineRED at 10:28 AM on September 16, 2008

Is there a full copy of Tim Collins' speech. The link is only an excerpt. A good one, but incomplete.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 10:29 AM on September 16, 2008

Elizabeth I vs the Spanish Armada.

I'm guessing not a lot of guys recite this one, but it is the goods.
posted by IndigoJones at 11:46 AM on September 16, 2008

You should take a look at William Safire's Lend Me Your Ears (google, amazon) which is a collection of great speeches from throughout history.
posted by shothotbot at 1:46 PM on September 16, 2008

I can't believe no one has mentioned Winston Churchill's speech at his old school, Eaton, during WWII. Perhaps you are already aware of it, but check it out at

It's often known as the "Never give in" speech.
posted by Mephisto at 7:34 PM on September 16, 2008

Bah..., it was at Harrow, not Eaton. Silly brain...
posted by Mephisto at 7:36 PM on September 16, 2008

To answer to JohnnyGunn's question about the full version of Tim Collins' speech, you can find it here -- as part of a BBC report entitled 'UK troops told: Be just and strong' -- It was taken down in shorthand by the journalist Sarah Oliver, who gives her account here: It features in the eighth episode of the BBC's 'Ten Days to War' (, in which Ken Brahagh played Tim Collins. Hope this helps
posted by davemack at 7:47 PM on September 16, 2008

Thank you Davemack.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 8:39 PM on September 16, 2008

Harrow, not Eaton

Eton, not Eaton
posted by IndigoJones at 5:10 PM on September 21, 2008

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