Knute Rockne's "Win One for the Gipper" and Martin Luther King, Jr's "I Have a Dream" speeches are iconic examples of motivational speeches. Speeches by Winston Churchill, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Jr. and other world leaders have motivated millions in their time and more ever since.
Great motivational speeches transcend the moment; they are not tied to any specific time or place. Knute Rockne's "Win One for the Gipper" speech, delivered during halftime of a Notre Dame game in 1928, is a perfect example. It applies today as it did then and to many different audiences outside of football — all motivated to go out and win one in whatever endeavor.
World leaders, captains of business, sports legends and actors, as well as fictional characters, have delivered classic motivational speeches. Examples from the 21st century include Steve Jobs' commencement speech and Charlie Kaufman's BAFTA screenwriting lecture. Their words resonate far beyond the audience that heard them and apply to all who hear the messages.