As a leader, speeches are a great tool to motivate and inspire a group of people to greater things. They give a destination or vision to strive to achieve. Having worked in the National Football League, I have witnessed many great speeches, ones that energized the locker room. Occasionally in sports, a good speech could be a game changer.
On a larger scale, there are speeches that have been given that achieve historical significance. The truth of the words spoken strikes such a chord they lead to cultural change. The most inspiring speech I have ever heard, without question, was when I was a young man. On August 28, 1963, I watched Dr. Martin Luther King on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. deliver his now-famous “I Have A Dream…” speech. This was my reaction to it and why I consider it to be the greatest speech I ever heard.
I was eight years old and I didn’t understand a lot of the concepts he was talking about. However, I did understand what he meant when he discussed doing things the right way, honoring God, all men created equal and deserving an equal opportunity to flourish. Those were the things that our country was about, but more than that, it is what God was all about. I think we’ve done a good job in moving towards being a country that realizes Dr. King’s dream. I still reflect back on that speech and even get shivers when I see clips of it.
Sound off: What was the greatest speech you’ve ever heard?