Speech of the Week: Oprah’s 2013 Harvard Commencement

 

Back in 2008 Oprah spoke at the 2008 Stanford Commencement. This past spring she spoke at another Ivy League; Harvard. Like all of her speeches, it was inspiring and motivational. You don’t have to be a college graduate to connect with what she was saying. 

A lot of great speeches have a personal connection to get the audience invested and to let them know that you can relate. Oprah shared experiences from her childhood to her struggles with her tv network OWN. She then was able to intertwine the two with her main talking points.

  1. At some point you’re bound to stumble/fall
    • “Failure is just life trying to move us in a different direction.”
    • Give yourself time to mourn, but learn from every mistake
    • Then you have to figure out the next move
  2. Build a resumé that tells a story of who you want to be
    • Tell about your purpose in life
    • What is your true calling and purpose?
    • Your purpose is not always clear in the beginning
  3. This generation will and should impact change
    • Give back
    • When you learn; teach. When you get; give. 
    • Remember that the common denominator among all of us is that we just want to be validated and understood
      • We ask, “Was that ok?”
  4. There’s a light inside of us
    • Be yourself and not anyone else
  5. Challenges and setbacks will happen
    • Remember that your number one goal is to: “fulfill the highest, most truthful expression of yourself as a human being”
    • Lift others up
    • Listen and be guided by your inner GPS and know that everything will be alright

Oprah recently said that she has been traveling doing more speeches and I personally believe that speaking to others through that medium should be a part of her next chapter.

What did you think of the speech?

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