The 10 Most Inspiring and Famous Speeches Transcribed From Video

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October 13, 2020

There is nothing like watching great speeches to find inspiration.

From scenes of political affirmation and universal ideas to moments of deep emotions, videos have especially captured the greatest lessons of the modern world.

The written transcripts of these speeches immerse yourself in them, without losing a crumb of the poetry and intensity of the moment.

Here, Checksub brings you the most remarkable extracts of the most famous speeches, converted with our video transcription solution to capture the power of words even better.

Enjoy the read 😉 -moreover, if you want to keep a written copy of your favorite speech, we also explain the process.

Famous Speeches: Historic and Remarkable Ones

We start our top with speeches that will give you a moving digest of history. Get ready to read and hear an eloquence that will never be equaled.

Winston Churchill: “We shall fight on the beaches”

Certainly one of the most famous speeches in modern history. After the miraculous success of Operation Dynamo and at the dawn of a merciless war, Churchill addressed the British people to make them understand the tough challenges ahead. These words resonate with great determination and firmness, showing with the repetition “We shall fight” that the British will fight on all fronts without ever backing down.

Here is an extract of the transcript :

We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills. We shall never surrender!

And if which I do not for a moment believe, this island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God’s good time, the New World with all its power and might steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old!

Martin Luther King:” I have a dream”

Even more unmissable, the speech of Martin Luther King, one of the most illustrious symbols of the civil rights movement in the United States, captivates by its lyrical power. Giving black Americans his future vision of an America finally freed from racist prejudice, he brings the immense hope of a reconciled humanity. His ”I have a dream” is intended as a universal affirmation of harmony among the American people.

Here is the essential transcript of his speech:

I have a dream that one day down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification – one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

John F. Kennedy: “We choose to go to the Moon”

While the Soviets were taking the lead in the “space race”, the young and brilliant American President John F. Kennedy decided to give the American people an ambitious and clear objective: to put astronauts on the Moon. In his speech, he underlined with rare precision and prescience the imperative need for this project. What is incredible is the visionary force of his words, which led the United States to the feat that we know.

Here is an extract of the transcript:

There is no strife, no prejudice, no national conflict in outer space as yet. Its hazards are hostile to us all. Its conquest deserves the best of all mankind, and its opportunity for peaceful cooperation many never come again. But why, some say, the moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas?

We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.

It is for these reasons that I regard the decision last year to shift our efforts in space from low to high gear as among the most important decisions that will be made during my incumbency in the office of the Presidency.

Nelson Mandela: “I am prepared to die”

Accused by the South African government of insurrection and sabotage, Nelson Mandela, the figure of the liberation of the blacks in South Africa, delivers at his trial a poignant speech of realism. Strongly defending himself from the political actions of his organization, he denounces the social situation of black people and affirms a deep desire for freedom. The speech ends with Mandela’s determination “I am prepared to die”, challenging the audience to condemn him to death. It is this rhetorical audacity that undoubtedly saved him from this fate.

Here is the transcript of the end of the speech :

But this fear cannot be allowed to stand in the way of the only solution which will guarantee racial harmony and freedom for all. It is not true that the enfranchisement of all will result in racial domination. Political division, based on color, is entirely artificial and, when it disappears, so will the domination of one color group by another. The ANC has spent half a century fighting against racialism. When it triumphs, as it certainly must, it will not change that policy.

This then is what the ANC is fighting. Our struggle is a truly national one. It is a struggle of the African people, inspired by our own suffering and our own experience. It is a struggle for the right to live. [someone coughs]

During my lifetime, I have dedicated my life to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons will live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal for which I hope to live for and to see realized. But, My Lord, if it needs to be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.

Charles de Gaulle: “The call for Resistance”.

While France was surrounded and invaded by Germany, General de Gaulle managed to flee to Great Britain. Inspired by a strong sense of duty, General de Gaulle organized the resistance of the French people outside and within its borders. The brevity of his speech contrasts with its determination and appealing force. A large part of the French was to draw inspiration from it to fight and harm German soldiers. Its lyricism will also seduce you.

Here is a written extract of the speech :

This war is not limited to the unfortunate territory of our country. This war is not finished by the battle of France. This war is a world-wide war. All the faults, all the delays, all the suffering, do not prevent there to be, in the world, all the necessary means to one day crush our enemies. Vanquished today by mechanical force, we will be able to overcome in the future by a superior mechanical force.

The destiny of the world is here. I, General de Gaulle, currently in London, invite the officers and the French soldiers who are located in British territory or who would come there, with their weapons or without their weapons, I invite the engineers and the special workers of armament industries who are located in British territory or who would come there, to put themselves in contact with me.

Whatever happens, the flame of the French resistance not must not be extinguished and will not be extinguished. Tomorrow, as today, I will speak on Radio London.

Great Speech: Fascinating and Motivating Ones

Let us now move on to speeches of a different kind, just as remarkable. Here, you will face words that call to the depths of human emotions and the mysteries of our world. Hold on tight!

Stephen Hawking: “Questioning the Universe*

Afflicted with Charcot’s disease and unable to speak, the great physicist Stephen Hawking dedicated his life to his research on the origins of the universe. Returning to his lifelong work, he delivers in his TED Talk a fascinating discourse on the essential truths related to the presence of life on our planet. With his robotic yet profound voice, his words give a metaphysical thrill that is hard to forget.

Here is the transcribed speech :

There is nothing bigger or older than the universe. The questions I would like to talk about are: one, where did we come from? How did the universe come into being? Are we alone in the universe? Is there alien life out there? What is the future of the human race?

Up until the 1920s, everyone thought the universe was essentially static and unchanging in time. Then it was discovered that the universe was expanding. Distant galaxies were moving away from us. This meant they must have been closer together in the past. If we extrapolate back, we find we must have all been on top of each other about 15 billion years ago. This was the Big Bang, the beginning of the universe. But was there anything before the Big Bang? If not, what created the universe? Why did the universe emerge from the Big Bang the way it did?

We used to think that the theory of the universe could be divided into two parts. First, there were the laws like Maxwell’s equations and general relativity that determined the evolution of the universe, given its state over all of the space at one time. And second, there was no question of the initial state of the universe. We have made good progress on the first part, and now have the knowledge of the laws of evolution in all but the most extreme conditions. But until recently, we have had little idea about the initial conditions for the universe.

Lou Gherig: “Farewell to Baseball”.

Suffering from the same illness, the undisputed baseball champion Lou Gherig of the New York Yankees, delivered his farewell speech to the stadium and his fans. Far from stooping in the face of illness, he expresses enormous gratitude for the circumstances and people who helped him in his long and victorious journey. Gherig conveys unforgettable words of wisdom about perseverance and lucidity.

Here is an extract of the written transcript :

Sure, I’m lucky. Who wouldn’t consider it an honor to have known Jacob Ruppert – also the builder of baseball’s greatest empire, Ed Barrow – to have spent the next nine years with that wonderful little fellow Miller Huggins – then to have spent the next nine years with that outstanding leader, that smart student of psychology – the best manager in baseball today, Joe McCarthy!

Sure, I’m lucky. When the New York Giants, a team you would give your right arm to beat, and vice versa, sends you a gift, that’s something! When everybody down to the groundskeepers and those boys in white coats remember you with trophies, that’s something.

When you have a wonderful mother-in-law who takes sides with you in squabbles against her own daughter, that’s something. When you have a father and mother who work all their lives so that you can have an education and build your body, it’s a blessing! When you have a wife who has been a tower of strength and shown more courage than you dreamed existed, that’s the finest I know.

So I close in saying that I might have had a tough break – but I have an awful lot to live for!

Steve Jobs: “Stanford Commencement Address”

Everyone knows the talent of the founder of Apple and Pixar, a symbol of modern entrepreneurship. Here he gives new Stanford graduates the synthetic and inspiring story of his life, and the essential lessons they can learn to find meaning in their lives. With simple and punchy words, he invites his audience to find what they would love to do in their lives with all their hearts. Discover the power of dreams by listening to his words full of inspiration.

Here is a written extract of the speech :

When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960s, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras.

It was sort of like Google in paperback form,35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, overflowing with neat tools, and great notions. Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age.

On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it was the words: “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.”It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.”

Simon Sinek “How Great Leaders Inspire Action”

In another genre, the great communications expert Simon Sinek shows the common ground of leaders who have made history. With an extraordinary sense of words, he shows the extreme coherence and purpose of great personalities and companies. His sermons will inspire your quest for meaning in business and the search for a culture that suits you. Let yourself be tempted by his words.

Here is a written extract of the speech :

As it turns out, all the great inspiring leaders and organizations in the world, whether it’s Apple or Martin Luther King or the Wright brothers, they all think, act, and communicate the exact same way. And it’s the complete opposite of everyone else. All I did was codify it, and it’s probably the world’s simplest idea. I call it the golden circle.

Why? How? What? This little idea explains why some organizations and some leaders are able to inspire where others aren’t. Let me define the terms really quickly. Every single person, every single organization on the planet knows what they do, 100 percent. Some know how they do it, whether you call it your differentiated value proposition or your proprietary process or your USP.

But very, very few people or organizations know why they do what they do. And by “why” I don’t mean “to make a profit.”That’s a result. It’s always a result. By “why,” I mean: What’s your purpose? What’s your cause? What’s your belief? Why does your organization exist? Why do you get out of bed in the morning? And why should anyone care?

J.K. Rowling: “Harvard Begins”.


A true fairy tale, the life lessons J.K. Rowling teaches in his speech to young graduates are memorable. With great humor, she recounts the journeys that led her to her success. She conveys the crucial values of imagination and perseverance, giving us faith in the magic of life. Enjoy her enchanting speech!

Here is a written extract of the speech :

You might think that I chose my second theme -the importance of imagination- because of the part it played in rebuilding my life. But that is not wholly so, though I personally will defend the value of bedtime stories to my last gasp. I have learned to value imagination in a much broader sense. Imagination is not only the uniquely human capacity to envision that which is not and therefore to found all invention and innovation in its arguably most transformative and revelatory capacity. It is the power that enables us to empathize with humans whose experiences we have never shared.

How to transcribe a Video Speech with Checksub?

You also want to get precise and beautiful written transcripts of your favorite speeches? You’re in luck!

At Checksub, we have been working for 4 years on the simplest and most efficient video transcriptions tool.

We provide you with the best technologies available on the market:

  • The best voice recognition and automatic translation APIs to analyze your video (more than a hundred languages being accurately translated)
  • A powerful and very easy to use online subtitling editor

The process is fairly straightforward:

  • Upload your video if you have it in your database.
  • Indicate the original language and the languages you may want to obtain (there are 128 languages in all).
  • Check the result
  • Export the written transcript file and do whatever you want with it.

If you want to keep to yourself precious and inspiring speeches, give it a try ! 😎

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