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Jul 22 2011

Five Commencement Speeches You Have To See

Published by at 7:20 am under Entertainment,Video

In a world of quick tweets, zero attention span, and people being millionaires for acting like schmucks on television,  not only is it rare that you see something work paying attention to but it’s even more rare to listen to something that you’ll actually learn from.

Last month Conan O’Brien delivered one of the best commencement speeches I’ve ever seen and I can honestly say I’ve seen it 5 times.   And it got me thinking.  Any other great speeches out there?  Yup.

Here are five you’ll love (hope you have enough time to see them all)…..

Conan O’Brien’s 2011 Speech To Dartmouth

It starts off funny, remains funny, but the last 8 minutes are absolutely incredible.   “Through true disappointment you can gain clarity, and with clarity comes conviction and true originality.”

Ellen Degeneres at Tulane in 2009

I had to add this because I went to Tulane but honestly this is a fantastic speech.

Steve Jobs at Stanford in 2005

“No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to Heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because death is very likely the single best invention of life. It is life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.”

John F Kennedy – American University – 1963

Here’s Part 1

Here’s part 2

“Let us examine our attitude toward peace itself. Too many of us think it is impossible. Too many think it unreal. But that is a dangerous, defeatist belief. It leads to the conclusion that war is inevitable, that mankind is doomed, that we are gripped by forces we cannot control.”

Stephen Colbert – Knox College – 2006

Here’s part 2 and part 3

“I have two last pieces of advice. First, being pre-approved for a credit card does not mean you have to apply for it. And lastly, the best career advice I can give you is to get your own TV show. It pays well, the hours are good, and you are famous. And eventually some very nice people will give you a doctorate in fine arts for doing jack squat.”

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