8 Best Commencement Speeches For Inspiring Graduates
May 7, 2014

Looking for the best commencement speech that will inspire you during your graduation then here are 8 best commencement speeches from some of the greatest personalities.


 1. J K Rowling Commencement speech – The benefits of Failure.

J K Rowling is one of the most influential personalities in the World. She is the author of the Harry Potter book series and she is named by Forbes as the first person to become a billionaire just by writing books. But before the billionaire status and the success with Harry Potter book series J K Rowling spent many years in poverty, failing at many stages of life.


J K Rowling gave this commencement speech at Harvard University to the graduating class of 2008 and in this commencement speech she explains how failing can have its benefits

Inspiring Quotation from J K Rowling’s commencement speech


We do not need magic to transform our World, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already we have the power to imagine better


You might never fail on the scale I did but some failure in life is inevitable, it is impossible to live without failing at something unless you live so cautiously you might as well not live at all in which case you fail by default



2. Neil Gaiman Commencement speech – Make Good Art.

Neil Gaiman is a British born Novelist, graphic novelist and a screenwriter. Neil Gaiman gave this inspiring commencement speech at University of Arts to the graduating class of 2012. So if you want to live a freelancer’s life after graduating from college then this is a must watch commencement speech for you.

Inspiring Quotation from Neil Gaiman commencement speech


People who know what they are doing know the rules and they know what is possible and what is impossible, You do not and you should not. The rules on what is possible and what is impossible in arts were made by people who have not tested the bounds of the possible by going beyond them and you can. If you don’t know it’s impossible it’s easier to do and because nobody has done it before they haven’t made up rules to stop anyone doing that particular thing again


Be wise because the world needs more wisdom and if you cannot be wise pretend to be someone who is wise and then behave just like they would



3.  Arnold Schwarzenegger Commencement speech – Life’s 6 rules

Arnold Schwarzenegger gave an inspiring commencement speech at University of Southern California to the graduating class of 2009. In this commencement speech Arnold Shwarzenneger explains the six rules that made him successful. So watch this commencement speech to know what his six rules are


Inspiring Quotation from Arnold Schwarzenneger  commencement speech


Muhammad Ali one of my great hero’s had a great line in the 70’s when he was asked, How many sit ups do you do? He said I don’t count my sit ups, I only start counting when it starts hurting, when I feel pain thats when I start counting because that’s when it really counts, thats what makes you a champion, that’s how it is about everything. No Pain No Gain.


I love it when someone says no one has done this before because then when I do it that means that I’m the first one that has done it, so never pay attention to people who say it can’t be done




4. Dr Sanjay Gupta Commencement speech – 10 life lessons

Sanjay Gupta is an American Neurosurgeon and an assistant professor of neurosurgery at Emory University School of medicine.  Dr Sanjay Gupta gave this motivating commencement speech at University of Michigan to the graduating Class of 2012.

Inspiring Quotation from Dr Sanjay Gupta Commencement speech


“I’m not talking about playing games with your life. I am talking about imagining things you never thought possible…. you know deep down you have the opportunity to do the IMPOSSIBLE”


“Don’t worry so much about the future. Many of you don’t know for sure at 22 what you really want to do with your life and I’m still not a 100% sure at 42. Don’t let money dictate your decisions and remember what it was that made you happy before everyone else started trying to define it for you. You know what makes your heart swell, you know what makes your breath catch in your throat, you know what makes your chest tighten with anticipation, go get that graduates. YOU DESERVE THAT”



5. Marissa Mayer commencement speech – Power comes from sharing

Marissa Mayer is the current CEO of Yahoo from 2012. Before Yahoo she worked at Google for13 years. Marissa mayer gave this commencement speech at Illinois Institute of Technology to the graduating class of 2009.

Inspiring Quotation from Marissa Mayer Commencement speech

Power comes from sharing information. Tell everyone everything. The more valuable the better. Sharing lead to Connections, Connections lead to Collaborations and Collaborations lead to Creativity and Innovation. Creativity and Innovation are what change the World

Doing something you aren’t ready to isn’t comfortable. For me, and I assume for many of you it gives you that uneasy, upset feeling in your stomach. That sense that this time you may have gotten too close to the edge. But in pushing through that discomfort you will learn a lot more about yourself. You will learn to do something you didn’t think you could do or you will learn where your limits are. Either of it is VALUABLE”



6.  Rahul Dravid Commencement speech – The Chinese Bamboo tree

Rahul Dravid is one of the greatest cricketing batsmen in the World. Hailing from India he is popularly called the “Wall” for his strong defensive batting style. Rahul Dravid had given this Commencement speech at BITS Pillani College (India) to the Graduating class of 2013.

Inspirational Quotation from Rahul Dravid Commencement speech


I’m often asked for advice on how to be successful, honestly there are million ways to be successful and I’m nobody to tell you which one is right for you, each one of us has to find our own path”


“Question I got wherever I went was when are you going to play for the country. Now this is not something that I had any control over but the question began to dominate my life and my being, even when it wasn’t ask it was the elephant in the room. I ended up playing 5 years of domestic cricket before getting my national break. It was frustrating .I remember putting a sticker on my Kinetic Honda which read, Gods delays are not gods denials.”

7.  Jim Carey commencement speech – Take a chance on doing what you love

Jim Carey is perhaps one of the greatest comedian actors the world has ever seen. But before the big breaks, before all the glamour there was series of hardships this great actor had to face. Jim Carey’s Commencement speech at the Maharishi University of Management to the graduating class of 2014 is filled with his unique with unique and the most inspiring words of wisdom.

Inspirational Quotation from Jim Carrey Commencement speech

You can spend your whole life imagining ghost, worrying about the pathway to the future, but all there will ever be is what’s happening here and the decisions we make in this moment which are based on wither love or fear.So many of us choose our path after fear disguised as practicality, what we really want seems impossibly out of reach, ridiculous to expect so we never dared to ask the Universe for it . I’m saying I’m the truth that you can ask the universe for it.


I learned many great lessons from  my father, not the least which was that which you could fail at what you don’t want so you might as well take a chance on  doing what you love”

8. Steve Jobs Commencement Speech, Stay Hungry Stay Foolish

Steve Jobs needs no introduction. He was an artist, innovator, entrepreneur, the master behind Apples tremendous succes. When Steve Jobs died at the age of 55 Apple was one of the most valuable company in the World according to reports.  And this final commencement speech given at Stanford University to the graduating class of 2005 is termed by many as one of the best commencement speeches of all time(I have personally watched this speech more than 100 from the time I first watched it in 2012).

Inspiring Quotations from Steve Jobs commencement speech

Sometimes life can hit in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking and don’t settle. As with all matters of the Heart, you will know when you find it, ……. , So keep looking, don’t settle


Your time is limited so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by Dogma which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others opinions drown out your own inner voice and most important have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is SECONDARY”

These top 8 best commencement speeches that you just watched are from the best people in the World and they have all played a bigger part in changing the World. But here’s a Big question

“Do you want to change the World”

And if your answer is yes then follow the advices given by some of the game changers. Watch the 8 best commencement speeches one day at a time if you want if you want because who know after a week you would be a totally different person ready to face the challenges of the World.


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