Top 10 Most Powerful Orators in History

Top 10 Most Powerful Orators in History


They captured public’s attention with the power of their words. – Wording is sloppy here Welcome to watchmojo.com,
and today we’re counting down our pics from the top 10
most powerful speakers in history – 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! For the list we’ll be ranking the most influential
historical personalities who used their oratory talents for major social change
during their lives, for better or worse (German) It isn’t always wild gesticulations
and booming voices that grab the crowd’s attention. Case in point, Mahatma Gandhi a leader for Indian independence who is known for his soft spoken demeanour and policies of non-confrontational
civil disobedience, or ahimsa – To gain independence,
we must prove worthy of it One of Gandhi’s most famous speeches,
‘Quit India’ saw the leader call upon Indians to utilize passive resistance
against Britsh occupation of the country and decline to participate
in World War II. This practice involved boycotts
on British products including government schooling, while Gandhi himself went on fasts
and hunger strikes, which often left him severely weakened – That’s right, I have so much tolerance
for the other scoundrels of the world. Nevertheless, Gandhi caused
significant social change by backin up his compelling speeches
with action making him an enduring figure
in historical public speaking – All that has happened is that
I’ve grown a little sinner Ancient Rome. A legendary empire held itself
as the pinnacle of government and culture and, in turn, influenced
the Western civilisation. The text from this era that survived give an idea of the compelling arguments used by preeminent figures of the day. One of these was ordered
Marcus Tulius Cicero – We are all of us imperfect in our way He was taught both in Latin and Greek, meaning he learned
from yet another important culture, which had great speakers like the first citizen of Athens himself,
Pericles. It was that grasp on language
that allowed Cicero to translate much of Greece’s rhetoric
into Latin – It always comes to this Cicero was also involved
in government and law where he utilised rhetoric to convince all who listened
of his arguments, including the generations of politicians
lawyers and public figures, who study his work today. – The works of Cicero, powerfully relevant
2077 years later – The history and the destiny
of our countries have been and always will be inextricably intertwined. Early in her career Thatcher was quoted to saying: “I don’t think there will be
a woman Prime Minister in my lifetime”. But, she was obviously proven wrong. Taking office in May 1979, Thatcher was quicly nicknamed
The Iron Lady. – They’re welcomed to call me what they like if they believe, but we should ignore the build-up of Russian military strengths. Thatcher was the first woman to be
British Prime Minister, and also held the position the longest out of anyone in the 20th century. Thatcher’s longevity as P.M. is in part thanks to her controversial
and unyielding style of speech and leadership. – When evil has to be overcome, then Britain will take up arms
[MP’s: Yea] Indeed, public opinion
of Thatcher’s policy on deregulation, labour
and privatisation of businesses was so strong, that her influence continues
to be felt today, both in Britain and around the world. – Where there is discord,
may we bring home. Where there is error, may we bring truth. – I know it’s hard to understand, but, sometimes painful things
like this happen. It’s all part of the process
of exploration and discovery. The 40th President of the United States may have first found fame as an actor. – I won’t take charity But his legacy
as America’s commander-in-chief earned him the nickname
The Great Communicator. This monicker was merited in part
thanks to Reagan’s ability to connect with an audience
during speeches. – Mr. Gorbachov, tear down this wall.
(Audience cheer) This was largely due to the perception that the former president came across as sincere, simple and honest, using terms people could understand, but also being succint and quotable. The country may not have always agreed
with Reagan’s policies, but they almost always paid attention whenever he took the podium for a speech. – Bur if history teaches anything, it teaches that simple-minded appeasement or a wishful thinking
about our adversaries is folly. – Poverty is not natural, it is man-made, and it can be overcome and erradicated by the actions of human beings. Nelson Mandela gave a speech in 1964 while on trial in Apartheid South Africa that remains one of the most important
and iconic addresses of the 20th Century. (Mandela) I am the first accused. I am a convicted prisoner, serving five years. Speaking for three hours this activist used the power
of the spoken word to resonate with his supporters and to challenge those who had put him
on trial. Mandela stressed
that he was willing to die for his ideals
of a democratic South Africa. And it was this passionate belief
behind his words that made Mandela hero to many
around the world. – The walk to freedom and equality
seems a lot, still a long one ahead. The sum of criticise Mandela’s switch to armed protest
with the spear of the nation after first spousing
peaceful non-violent solutions, the leader’s legacy remains
firmly entrenched within the culture of South Africa. – If I cannot have changed when circumstances demanded, how can I expect others too? Roosevelt’s public speaking style is perfectly encapsulated
by the fireside chats, a series of radio broadcasts
that he used to discuss directly
with the American people such issues as unemployment, finance, and the costs of fighting a war overseas. These chats led the United States through both the Great Depression
and Worl War II during his tenure as president. – Hostilities exist. It was the perceived intimacy
of these chats that likely led to Roosevelt’s popularity
among his supporters, as they served as a comforting presence during times of troubling, uncertainty
and danger. – The only thing we have to fear is
fear itself. His presence and assurance
were especially needed followin the attack on Pearl Harbor
in 1941. In under 8 minutes he gave what is known
as The Infamy Speech, convincing almost everyone that it was time to proclaim war. (German) The rise of Adolf Hitler
and the Nazi Movement continues to be a chilling reminder of how a powerful and zealous
oratory presence can be in persuading a population. Indeed, Hitler made over 5.000 speeches
in his lifetime and it was instrumental in one of the most deplorable periods
in history through an almost supernatural ability to tap into the fears and prejudices of an entire nation. (German) Charisma and presence
were just the two ingredients needed to spark the powder keg that became World War II Germany. – I’m forming
the revisional Reich governments. I will be in charge of the police, General Ludendorff
will be in charge of the arms. However, it was also Hitler’s ability to find the right thing to say
at the right times that managed to strike at the hearts
of German citizens. (German) – I have a dream, that one day
(Woman: yeah!) this nation will rise up and leave out the true meaning
of its creed. King’s talent’s and knowledge
in public speaking made him more than just an icon of the Civil Rights Movement that included other powerful speakers
like Malcom X. – But I don’t believe in forcing
my desire for brotherhood upon those who aren’t willing
to accept it. Dr. King’s iconic status as an order
is due not only to the passion of the words he chose, also the manner
with which they were delivered. Like the true preacher he was, King always appeared confident
at the podium and spoke with the relax and cadence that seemed to put audiences at ease. – Because no lie can live forever.
(Audience: Yes, Sir) How long? Not long!
(Audience: Not long!) Add to this the fact that King increased that impression of genuineness by rarely referencing
his prepared materials during famous moments like his
‘I Have a Dream’ speech, and you have a recipe for one of history’s finest public speakers. – Cause I have a dream,
(Crowd: clap) that my four little children
(Man: Yes, sir!) will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today!
(Crowd: clap) – Let all our neighbours know that we shall join with them to oppose aggression and subversion anywhere in the Americas. American presidents are often placed
to front and centre as some of history’s
greatest public speakers. JFK may not have served
as his nation’s president for long, but in his almost three years in office he managed to make a lasting impact
on the country, a significance that still resonates today. – We preach freedom around the world,
and we mean it, and we cherish our freedom here at home. This was not only due to Kennedy’s
youthful demeanour and natural body language, but also his ability to use the tone
and volume of his voice in a constructive way
to strengthen his message. JFK utilized all of these skills
to make famous speeches like his 1961 Inaugural Adress. – The energy, the fatih, the devotion. And his Moon Speech at Rice University
a year later, both of which became milestones of his short but memorable presidency. – And therefore as we set sail
we asked God blessing on the most hazardous, and dangerous,
and greatest adventure on which man has ever embarked. Thank you. Before we name
our most impactful public speaker, here are some honourable mentions. – Abolishing slavery
by constitutional provision settles the fate for all coming time. – Rather than go out
and do something positive, there are people as in every group,
who look at those who ever accomplished something
and sit and criticise. -(French) Voyez vous ce que je dis. Il est pas facile que ça
d’ajuster les politiques. Public speaking can leave some people
absolutely petrified and this fear can afflict
even the most talented orators, like former British Prime Minister
Winston Churchill – Is it possible they do not realise that we shall never seize
to persevere against them until they have been taught a lesson which they and the world
will never forget? He conquered this fear
through dedicated practice and became PM
in the thick of World War II. HIs first speech in the position positively inspired British Parliament. Then, before the Battle of Britain Churchill roused troops for their fight
against Nazi Germany, alligning himsef with them
and motivating them. – War with Germany will come, and we will need a king who we can all stand behind united. Churchill carefully chose
every word for speeches, meticuously editing
and making sure to maximise their impact on his audience. He was obviously successful,
and as a result Churchill solidified his position as one of history’s masters orators. – That in the days to come the British and the American people will for their own safety and for the good of all walk together in majesty, in justice and in peace. Do you agree with our list? Which speaker do you think
is at the most influence over an audience? – (Obama) The American people
did not choose this fight. It came to our shores. For more powerful Top 10s
published every day, be sure to suscribe to watchmojo.com – They’re welcomed to call me what they like if they believe, but we should ignore the build-up of Russian military strengths.

100 Comments on "Top 10 Most Powerful Orators in History"


  1. Hitler not #1?? What a joke WatchMojo always politically correct and American bias…of course over 90 of their viewers are American.

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  2. Hitler should have been #1 and imo among the current leaders who possess oratory, (though im fully against his ideology) at its peak is Tayyip Erdogan. Go ahead and watch some of his campaigns you don’t need to understand Turkish but hear the tone.

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  3. Churchill's greatest quote "I may be drunk ma'am, but you're ugly, and in the morning, I'll be sober."

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  4. I'm surprised Kennedy is placed above Roosevelt. JFK used clever and familiar tools in his speeches, such as the rule of three. But for sheer power, tone and oratory, I really think FDR is so much better. FDR doesn't constantly refer to his notes and, as such, has a more direct and lasting communication with his audience; his voice has more gravitas, and speeches such as 'fear nothing but fear itself' and the declaration of war on Japan must rank as among the most enduring of time. That said, Churchill was the great and consistent genius.

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  5. I would say that Mrs Thatcher was at her best in the commons, where her quick mind was unparalleled by any other member. She was best without her speech writers.

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  6. I would say that Mrs Thatcher was at her best in the commons, where her quick mind was unparalleled by any other member. She was best without her speech writers.

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  7. To be a good(amazing) narrator, you must believe in the words you say. Most people in this list did.

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  8. you are telling me that throughout history 3 of the best public speakers were americans,the country with the least civilized history?watchmojo please learn your history

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  9. no one can ever beat HITLER! He never carried a piece of paper to read out his speech, It was actually a speech not an 8th standard News Reading!

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  10. I agree Churchill was one of history's greatest orators and deserves the number one rank. Yet, I believe Hiter deserved a top 3 position, dispite his evil nature. He probably made #4 to avoid angering people, and for good reason. He was one of the most wicked men in all history

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  11. Gandhi was not orator at all though u can call great revolutionary who acknowledged non violence war for first time in human history.

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  12. Martin Luther king jr’s style of speaking just comes off as so theatric and dishonest. If you look at the content of what he says, it’s not very impressive. I think his assassination is what make him famous more than anything.

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  13. Ferdinand Marcos is also one of the best orator. He defended himself to bail out of prison

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  14. It is pure political bias that Adolf Hitler is not number one on this list, also where is Father Coughlin and Oswald Mosley? What a shitty list lol.

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  15. This is a trash list ! For the people on this list Hitler should be #1. But I think if you are talking about the best speakers/orators of all times, Marcus Garvey is at the very top!!!

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  16. Winston was a great orator yes,but he was NOT by any means number 1 I would say Lincoln was 30x the orator

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  17. The problem is that all the people mentioned except two lived during the era of recorded sound and video: caesar, cicero,. And most are English speaking. Christ , Buddaha , Washington, and many others can't be included, because their writing don"tsurvive.

    Many modern politicians don't write their own speeches either.

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  18. "the better Angels of our nature'
    "with charity for all and malice toward none"
    "the last full measure of devotion"
    Written for, and spoken by, the greatest orator in American history (MLK is number 2). But honorable mention while Margaret Thatcher makes the top ten???!! Read the Gettysburg address and try this again. (And narrow your focus – top ten in all of history – don't think so.)
    And I won't even get into the problem so many here mention such as the western centric chauvinsim, the English speaking bias, or that Hitler is number one, unfortunately.

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  19. u are meaning to say martin fucking Luther and John f Kennedy were better at speeches than hitler?

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  20. Mandella doesn't belong on the list you only put him on the list to be politically correct. Harvey milk in no were near an honorable mention another politically correct addition to the list.
    Sorry even though Hitler was evil he was the better then Kennedy, MLK, or Churchill of the orators
    You declare war not proclaim.

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  21. 1920 to 1950 (the decades of turmoil) :
    3. Churchill
    2. Mao Tze Tung
    1. Hitler

    1951 to 1970 (the ideals and birth of nations)
    3. Ho Chi Minh
    2. Martin Luther King Jr
    1. JFK

    1980 to 2000 (Global Industrialization)

    3. Yushiro Takasone
    2. Margaret Tatcher
    1. Ronald Reagen

    2001 to 2019 (Instability and Insecurity)

    3. George Bush Jr.
    2. Xi Jinping
    1. Barack Obama

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  22. If only people knew why wars occur in the first place. Why truly decent prospective Presidents like Martin Luther King, and actual Presidents like JFK, Lincoln, etc, are assassinated. Why good people with good ideas, are cast aside. Who's really in control? Hmmm?

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  23. Maybe bung tomo is not a famous person outside of indonesia but his speech is so powerfull that it literally burnt my blood to fight against any colonialism

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  24. Do you seriously believe Margaret thatcher is better than Comrade Fidel… What a bummer…

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  25. I admired Ghandy, however, I do not like the semi-naked way he used to show up in public speeches. Sounds weird to me.

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  26. Are you guys fuckint stupid Hitler is the best God damn orator his public speaking skills are unmatched of course hes an evil person but you have to be an idiot to claim he wasn't the best speaker he started a world war with words he killed millions with words and shaped the world with words he stopped the great depression with words and I don't even speak German I have watched his speeches and holy fuck I feel inspired I'm shocked at how good he is and so is any one who listens it's easy to see how the desperate starving weak minds of Germany were manipulated

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  27. I would have guessed Abraham Lincoln would certainly have made the honorable mentions. Most people do not realize that Lincoln was as educated as the average 8th grader is today. Yet during the Lincoln Douglas debates, his oratory and simplest of concepts may have propelled him to the white house, although he lost the senate election to Douglas. During the dark days of the Civil War, he was as to the point, that often his speeches would only last on a few minutes. An example is the Gettysburg Address, the senator from Pennsylvania talked first, for over two hours in the heat and humidity, prior to President Lincoln. Nobody may or may not remember that awful long winded speech. But Lincolns 12 minute speech is remembered through the ages and studied and memorized by every school child who studies his legacy in school.

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  28. Just started the video but if hitler isn’t number one this is broken, hitler only through his voice moved a country behind him, not titles, no influence from other diplomats, just through his voice did he achieve his success!

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  29. Okay now that I watched this I need to say by far this was the worst top 10 list I’ve ever seen by watch mojo, it’s almost like you didn’t look at most the of the speakers of the world!

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  30. Hitler number 4 is a joke, you idiots making this list mistake, political feeling vs actual public speaking ability!

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  31. Some choice of greats but not Stalin? Not Lenin? Russia is 1/4 of the world Soviet Union was 1/3 or more in the world why is west so aggressive against greatest Russia? AT LEAST USA is clever. USA should more listen, perhaps to great and very most clever Russians and but who knows only God knows. I from Budapest say only one pls don't destroy each other both are very great.

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  32. 1 Martin Luther King Jr
    2 John f Kennedy
    3 Abraham Lincoln
    4 Barack Obama
    5 Mahatma Gandhi
    6 Ronald Reagan
    7 Franklin D Roosevelt

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  33. The fact that Sir Oswald Mosley does not even appear in the list at all is laughable…

    Easily one of the greatest orators of all time, something his political rivals from back in the day would never even dream of denying.

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  34. Hitler was certainly able to work his evil by means of his oratory, which caused the greatest conflagration known to man, thus it could be said that he was probably the most influential of public speakers. It brings to mind the importance of sorting fact from fake when listening to such persons, or CNN!

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  35. A lesser-known fact about Winston Churchill is that he also was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. A true quote-machine he was.

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  36. I don't care a shit how these guys spoke but the results is what I care. And some [Hitler] were a nightmare.

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  37. First of all hitler is a way above everyone in the list
    Second of all it is mostly mentioned english speakers while there are many other talented orators in other languages like for example : Fidel castro of Cuba,boumedien of algeria, de gaule of france… Etc

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  38. That put Hitler in 4th he was the best Showman and Martin jr he did right his speechs a Jewish guy did I forgot his name

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  39. Hitler is #1 listening to his speeches gives me chills and I dont even understand what he's saying as I dont speak german lol

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  40. "The country might not have always agreed with his policies" President Reagan's '84 campaign want a question of if he'd get reelected, but if Mondale could win a state

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  41. Mandela went to prison as a terrorist and came out as a peaceful man, a great example of how prison can correct unexcepted behavior.

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  42. Hitler should be 1st. I simply admire him (as an orator of course). He convinced an entire nation to believe in his crazy ideals

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  43. How can you not have hitler number 1? He literally blitzes the others and makes them look like amateurs. I feel like you doing it for political reasons, if your gonna do that then don’t bother documenting history.

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  44. Absurd that Lincoln get honorable mention. The Gettysburg Address… the Second Inaugural, A House Divided.

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  45. Gandhi was never an orator. He used symbols instead of public speeches like not earing clothes, non-violence protests and sleeping with naked women.

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