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20 Best Inspirational Speeches from the Movies

20 Best Inspirational Speeches from the Movies

When inspiration does not come, I go for a walk, go to the movies, talk to a friend, let go… The muse is bound to return again, especially if I turn my back!

~Judy Collins

People watch movies for a lot of different reasons. Some watch for escapism—to leave their everyday lives and experience the exotic, exciting lands that are in the movies they watch. Some watch movies to be thrilled or even scared, They watch action movies and horror movies to get the blood pumping. I watch movies for another reason—to be inspired. I love inspirational speeches. When I come out of a movie, I want to feel like I can conquer the world, that everything is possible, and that good will win out in the end.

Inspirational Movie Speeches

I have racked up twenty movies that are on my list to watch over and over again, at least for the inspirational speeches in them. Ready to be inspired? In no particular order, here we go:

1. Independence Day (1996) – President Whitmore Speech

The aliens have pretty much conquered Earth. The US President has put together a rag tag fleet to go against them. None of the pilots know if they will return or even be successful. President Whitmore gives them a speech to go for it. In the context of the 4th of July, he speaks of teamwork, freedom, and not giving up.

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2. Gladiator (2000) – As One

Former Roman General Maximus is standing before a blood thirsty crowd with a motley crew of gladiators. He recognizes what has beenlanned for their death and organizes the gladiators together to form an effective fighting unit. His message is stand alone, you die. Stand together and we can win.

3. Braveheart (1995) – William Wallace

Leader of the rebel Scots, William Wallace exhorts his people to fight for their freedom and not live one further day in slavery. This is based on the real speech that William Wallace gave before the Battle of Stirling. Makes you want to go out and buy a kilt.

4. Network (1976) – Mad as Hell

Fired TV broadcaster Howard Beale pleads with people not to believe what they see on TV and not to feel powerless against the political and media forces of the world. For a film that is thirty-seven years old, it still hits a lot of the issues that are relevant today.

5. Peaceful Warrior (2006) – Take Out the Trash

The centuries old teacher Socrates teaches Dan about taking out the trash. “The trash is anything that is keeping you from the only thing that matters… this moment, here and now.”

6. Rocky (1976) – It Ain’t How Hard You Hit

Rocky gives his grown up son a heart to heart on stop blaming others and taking charge of his own life. It is a great speech from a father to a son about taking responsibility.

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7. The Legend of Bagger Vance (2006) – Authentic Swing

Caddy Bagger Vance gives advice on looking inside of yourself and finding what is your true nature. Great inspiration when it gets hectic and crazy.  .

8. The Blind Side (2009) – The Charge of the Light Brigade

Through a recital of the “The Charge of the Light Brigade” a struggling student and football player learns about courage and honor. Great linkage of the historic charge to teamwork and responsibility in the modern age.

9. Secondhand Lions (2003) – Everything a Boy Needs to Know

Great uncle Hub McCann teaches his nephew Walter about what it takes to be a man. He speaks of honor, courage, virtue and power of good.

10.  Forever Strong (2008) – Haka Chant

Not really a speech, the Haka chant before the rugby match will get your blood going. Got a hard contest ahead of you? Watch this and get it done!

11.  Faith Like Potatoes (2006) – White African

While putting on a demonstration of his native country of Scotland, South African farmer Angus is challenged by one of the locals about his national loyalties. Angus talks about how you can love your heritage and still love your new home. He speaks of diversity and acceptance. Great story for those who have moved away from home and feel torn.

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12.  Miracle on Ice (2004) – You Were Born for This

US Hockey Team Coach Herb Brooks put together a team of amateurs to play against the world’s elite hockey player. Prior to the semi final game against the Russians he speaks to the team as they sit in the locker room. “Great moments are born from great opportunity.”

13. We are Marshall (2006) – We Cannot Lose

The coach of a football team delivers a speech honoring the memory of the prior team that had been killed in a plane crash. How do you pick it up when all seems lost? “This is your opportunity to rise from the ashes and grab glory!”

14. Invictus (2009) – This Is Our Country

In overtime, South African Rugby Captain François Pienaar urges his team to fight on for victory. It’s short, sweet, and to the point.

15. Any Given Sunday (1999) – Inch By inch

An aging football coach takes a good look at himself and asks his team do the same. You can accept your present, miserable circumstances or you can fight your way out of it.

16. The Shawshank Redemption (1994) – Get Busy Living

Convict Andy would not allow grim circumstances keep him from hoping and following his dreams. This speech is great to watch when you are feeling sorry for yourself.

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17. Remember the Titans (2000) – Coach Boone speech

Football coach Boone reminds his players of the Battle of Gettysburg and the need to come together as a team.

18. Hoosiers (1986) – I Don’t Care What the Scoreboard Says

Coach Dale talks about the need to be winners. Forget about the distractions, just put out the effort and concentration to win at what you want.

19. Facing the Giants (2006) – Death Crawl

Coach Taylor urges his team to give their best for the game. Don’t ever give up before you started. There is a lot more inside of yourself than you might believe.

20. Don Juan DeMarco (1994) – Four Questions

Finally Don Juan explains that love conquers all. It is the reason for living and dying. Nice!

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Last Updated on January 15, 2019

What Are Interpersonal Skills? Master Them for Better Relationships

What Are Interpersonal Skills? Master Them for Better Relationships

When I wrote my book Extraordinary PR, Ordinary Budget: A Strategy Guide, I was surprised at the various layers of review and editing necessary to get the book to publication. Before I ever submitted the manuscript, I enlisted a former colleague to read and copy edit my work. Then, I submitted my work to an editor at the publisher’s house, and once she approved it, she sent it to her colleagues and then her company’s editorial board.

Upon editorial board approval of my book, my editor sent my work to reviewers in my field, then a developmental editor, then a designer and layout team and, finally, another copy editor. There were a host of personalities with whom I needed to interact along the way.

It turns out that getting a publishing contract was just the beginning – a lot happens between developing a concept, writing the book, finding an agent and publisher, and getting the book on bookshelves or on Audible or Kindle. Through every milestone of the publishing process, my ability to interact with others was crucial. This underscored for me that no matter what or how much a person accomplishes, you never do it alone – everyone needs assistance from others.

While I conceived of the book and wrote the manuscript, there is no way my book could have hit booksellers’ shelves without the dozens of people who were involved in the publishing process. Further, interpersonal skills can propel or stonewall success.

Even as someone who has written hundreds of essays, press releases, pitch notes and other correspondence, writing itself is not a solitary endeavor. Sure, I may write in solitude, but the moment I am finished writing, there are always clients, colleagues, partners, peers and others who review my content.

What is more, even as a published author and contributor for this platform, I try to never submit final copy (content) that has not been copy edited. I send everything to my copy editor, whom I pay out of my own pocket, for her review, edits and approval. Once she has reviewed my work, caught unbeknownst-to-me errors, I am much more confident putting my work out in the world.

How Interpersonal Skills Affect Relationships

It is clearer to me now more than ever before that interpersonal skills are needed in every profession and every trade.

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People don’t elect leaders because the leaders are smart. Individuals are motivated to vote when they have a hero and when they feel they have something to lose. If they seriously dislike the other candidate, they are much more likely vote according to a 2000 Ohio State University study:

“A disliked candidate is seen as a threat, and that will be motivation to go to the polls. But a threat alone isn’t enough – people need to have a hero to vote for, too, in order to inspire them to turn out on Election Day.”

In a work setting, interpersonal skills impact every facet of your development and success. Trainers must collaborate with a design team or the company hiring them to facilitate the training. During the training itself, the facilitators must connect with the audience and establish a rapport that supports vulnerability and openness. If the trainers interact poorly with the trainees, they are unlikely to be invited back. If they are invited back, they may be unlikely to inspire cooperation or growth in their trainees.

Solopreneurs interactions with clients and subcontractors, and those interactions will, in part, support or adversely impact their business. If you enjoy a career as an acclaimed surgeon or respected lawyer, your interactions with patients, clients, health insurance agencies and a team of other practitioners – many of whom are shielded from public view – will improve or decimate your practice.

As a hiring manager, one of the things I consider when interviewing candidates is their interpersonal skills. I assess the interpersonal skills they display in their content and face-to-face presentation. I ask probing questions to learn how they interact with others, manage conflict and contribute to a team atmosphere.

When candidates say things like, “I prefer to work alone” or “I can hit the ground running without assistance,” I bristle. When candidates appear to know everything and everyone, I wonder if they will be receptive to learning or open to feedback. Could these statements be indications that these individuals lack interpersonal skills?

It stands to reason, then, that interpersonal skills are among the most valuable and the bedrock of all talents and skills.

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What are Interpersonal Skills?

Interpersonal skills range from emotional intelligence, empathy, oral and written communication to leadership to collaboration and teamwork.

In sum, interpersonal skills are skills that enable you to interact well with others. They include teachability and receptiveness to feedback, active or mindful listening, self-confidence and conflict resolution.

From a communications standpoint, interpersonal skills are about understanding how colleagues prefer to communicate and then using the appropriate mediums to meet respective needs. It is about understanding how to communicate in a way to get the most out of different people.

For instance, in my career as a public relations practitioner, part of what I am constantly evaluating is which colleagues, clients and members of the media prefer email, text or phone calls. I am assessing how much frill to use with each person depending on what has worked in the past and depending on what I know about the person with whom I am interacting.

Making these decisions and being disciplined enough to follow each person’s known preferences helps me better connect with the various individuals in my orbit. Is this tiring at times? Yes. Is it necessary? Absolutely.

How to Improve Interpersonal Skills

There are tons of resources to teach interpersonal skills. I love books such as Leadership Presence by Belle Linda Halpern and Kathy Lubar, and The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman.

There are also a host of books and articles on emotional intelligence, which is the ability to manage one’s emotions and perceive and adapt to others’ emotions. Emotional intelligence is likewise a critical component of positive interpersonal relations. You can learn more about it in this article: What Is Emotional Intelligence and Why It Is Important

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Active and mindful listening also support improved interpersonal skills. I recommend you take a look at this piece: Active Listening – A Skill That Everyone Should Master

I have further found that humility helps a ton with interpersonal skills. It takes humility to admit you have more to learn and that you can learn from the people around you. In fact, everyone with whom you interact has a lesson to teach you. And employers are increasingly looking for team members who are lifelong learners, meaning they believe there is always room for growth and professional and personal development.

Forbes contributor Kevin H. Johnson noted in a July 2018 article,

“That’s why, when anyone asks what the next ‘hot’ skill will be, I say it’s the same skill that will serve people today, tomorrow, and far into the future—the ability to learn.”

Don’t overlook introspection.

While interpersonal skills may seem simple enough, introspection is critical to learning where and in what ways you need to grow.

Through introspection and observation, I have learned that my interpersonal skills suffer when I am sleep deprived, because then I am short-tempered and irritable. I’ve observed this connection over a significant period in my life. Unsurprisingly, it is also true of others. Fellow LifeHack contributor, health coach and personal trainer Jamie Logie noted:

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When you are chronically sleep deprived, it really does a number on you. A lack of sleep can keep your body in a constant state of stress and over time this can get pretty ugly. Elevated stress hormones can be involved in creating a bunch of pretty nasty conditions including anxiety, headaches and dizziness, weight gain, depression, stroke, hypertension, digestive disorders, immune system dysfunction, irritability.

Additionally, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development reported,

“Sleep deprivation can noticeably affect people’s performance, including their ability to think clearly, react quickly, and form memories. Sleep deprivation also affects mood, leading to irritability; problems with relationships, especially for children and teenagers; and depression. Sleep deprivation can also increase anxiety.”

The point is, even as you are identifying ways to improve interpersonal skills, think about what is getting in the way. While sleep deprivation is a trigger for me, your stumbling block may be different.

The Bottom Line

You cannot fix what you do not know is broken. Even as you work to understand and apply interpersonal skills, spend some time in mindful meditation to get clear on what is holding you back from developing solid relationships.

Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

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