Declamation Pieces


More Declamation Pieces


Harold Ickes’s “What is an American” (May 1941)
Mary Fisher’s “A Whisper of AIDS” (Houston Texas, August 19, 1992)
Courtney Love’s “On Piracy and Music” (Digital Hollywood Online Entertainment Conference--New York City: May 16th, 2000)
Margaret Sanger’s “The Morality of Birth Control” (New York: 18th, November 1921)
Margaret Chase Smith’s “Declaration of Conscious” (1st June, 1950)
Carrie Chapman Catt’s “The Crisis” (Atlantic City, New Jersey: 1916)
Pearl Buck’s “Nobel Lecture - The Chinese Novel” (Stockholm, Sweden: 12th December, 1938)
Albert Schweitzer’s “The Problem of Peace” (Oslo, Norway: 4th November, 1954)
Aung San Suu Kyi’s “Freedom from Fear” (1990)
Edward R. Murrow's "Wires and Lights in a Box" (RDTNA Convention in Chicago: 15th October, 1958)
Robert Menzies’ “The Forgotten People” (22nd May, 1942)
William Wilberforce’s “Abolition Speech” (House of Commons, London: 12th May, 1789)
Theodore Roosevelt’s “The Man with the Muck-Rake” (Washington, D.C.: 14th April, 1906)
John F. Kennedy’s “The Decision to Go to the Moon” (Houston, TX: 25th May, 1961)
Nelson Mandela’s “I am Prepared to Die” (Court Statement from his 1964 trial)
Richard Nixon’s “Vietnamization (The War in Vietnam)” (Address to the Nation: 3rd November, 1969)
Frederick Douglass’s “The Hypocrisy of American Slavery” (Rochester, NY: 4th July, 1852)
Mark Twain’s “Theoretical Morals” (The New Vagabond’s Club of London: 8th July, 1899)
Thurgood Marshall’s “Remarks on the Bicentennial of the Constitution” (Annual Seminar of the San Francisco Patent and Trademark Law Association, Maui, HI: 8th May, 1987)
Diahann Carroll’s “Keeping Up the Good Fight, Winning the Crusade Against Cancer” (World Summit Against Cancer in Paris, France: 9th February, 2001)
American Rhetoric (Top 100 Speeches)
35 Greatest Speeches in History
Famous Speeches
Famous Speeches by Presidents, Prime Ministers and Martin Luther King, Jr.
Steve Jobs (Stanford University on June 12th, 2005)
Jon Stewart (at his Alma Mater William & Mary University on May 20th, 2004)
Stephen Colbert (Knox College on June 5th, 2006)
Conan O’Brian (at Alma Mater Harvard University in 2000)
Maryl Streep (Barnard College in 2010)
Jodie Foster (University of Pennsylvania in 2006)
Kurt Vonnegut (Rice University in 1998)
Alan Alda (Connecticut College in 1980)
Bradley Whitford (The University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2004)
Russell Baker (Connecticut College in 1995)
Elie Wiesel (DePaul University in 1997)
William Allen White (Northwestern University in 1936)
George C. Marshall (Harvard University in 1947)
The Top Ten All-Time Best Graduation Speeches
Ronald Reagan’s Eulogy for NASA’s Challenger Astronauts
Margaret Thatcher’s Eulogy for Ronald Reagan
Winston Churchill’s Eulogy of King George VI
Edward Kennedy’s Eulogy of John F. Kennedy, Jr.
Eric Idle’s Eulogy (Posthumous Induction into the Hollywood Hall of Fame) of George Harrison
Maya Angelou’s Eulogy of Coretta Scott King
Abraham Lincoln’s Eulogy of Henry Clay
Winston Churchill’s Eulogy of Franklin Delano Roosevelt
A Selection of Celebrity Eulogies
Billy Sunday’s “Booze” Sermon (Boston, Massachusetts)
Margaret Thatcher’s “Sermon on the Mound” (To the General Assembly on May 21st, 1988)
Amy Poehler at Harvard College Class Day (May 25, 2011)
Sheryl Sandberg's Commencement Speech at Barnard College, 2011
Penn's 2011 Commencement Address by Denzel Washington
Tom Hank's Address at Yale University, 2011
John Legend's Commencement Speech at Kean University, 2011
Arianna Huffington's Commencement Speech at Sarah Lawrence College, 2011
President Obama's Commencement Speech at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, 2011
First Lady Michelle Obama's Commencement Speech at Spelman College, 2011
Stephen Colbert's Commencement Speech at Northwestern University, 2011
Conan O'Brien's Commencement Speech at Dartmouth College, 2011
Will Ferrel's Class Day Speech at Harvard University (2003) Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
Seth MacFarlane's Class Day Speech at Harvard University Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4
Randy Pausch's "Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams" (The Last Lecture)
J. K. Rowling's "The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination" (Commencement at Harvard, 2008)
Benjamin Zander's "Classical Music With Shining Eyes"
Clifford Stoll "18 Minutes With an Agile Mind"
Severn Cullis-Suzuki "U.N. Earth Summit," 1992
A.J. Jacobs "My Year of Living Biblically"
Jefferson Smith "Priceless Politics - The Secret to Making Democracy Work"
Andreas Eenfeldt "The Food Revolution"
Geoff Burch "Selling a Tank to Genghis Kahn"
Dan Savage "The Price of Admission"
Robert Sapolsky "The Uniqueness of Humans"
Sir Ken Robinson "Do Schools Kill Creativity?"
Jim Rohn "How to Have Your Best Year Ever"
Ben Dunlap "The Story of a Passionate Life"
Elizabeth Gilbert "A Different Way to Think About Creative Genius"
Tony Robbins "Why We do What We do, And How We Can do it Better"
Daniel Pink "On the Surprising Science of Motivation"
Helen Fisher "The Brain in Love"
Michael Shermer "Why People Believe Strange Things"
Steven Levitt "Why do Crack Dealers Still Love with Their Moms?"
Fatima Bhutto "Nation on the Verge of Nervous Breakdown"
Eve Ensler "Security and Insecurity"
Laura Trice "The Power of Saying Thank You"
David Perry "Will Videogames Become Better Than Life?"
Philip Zimbardo "Why Ordinary People do Evil...Or do Good"
John Hodgman "A Brief Digression on Matters of Lost Time"
Barry Schwartz "The Paradox of Choice"
Alanna Shaikh "How I'm Preparing to Get Alzheimer's"

Mike Johnston "What's Possible and What's Next"

President Barack Obama "A More Perfect Union"

Robert F. Kennedy "A Tiny Ripple of Hope"

Pico Iyer "Where is Home?"

Lesley Hazleton "The Doubt Essential to Faith"

Juan Enriquez "Will Our Kids be a Different Species?"

Bryan Stevenson "We Need to Talk About an Injustice"

Lisa Bu "How Books Can Open Your Mind"

Judy MacDonald Johnston "Prepare for a Good End of Life"

Maria Bezaitis "The Surprising Need for Strangeness"

2000-2001
At the Old Ballgame
What's Wrong With Black English? by Rachel L. Jone
Still Here
Living With The Lookby Robert Hughes
A Better Looking Dog
A Reel Doctor's Advice to Some Real Doctors from The Art of Public Speaking by Stephen E. Lucas

2001-2002
Or Forever Hold Your Peace
Vassar College Commencement Address
The Problem of the Megaschool by Anna Quindlen
Just Like Grandma Used to Make
Soldiering On
The Obligation to Educate Our Children

2002-2003
Babar's Children
Teaching the Virtues by William J. Bennett
A Case of Severe Bias by Patricia Raybon

2003-2004
The Time is Now
Mother Tongue
A Nation At Risk
The Boy Scouts are Wrong

2004-2005
Winning the Cultural War by Charlton Heston
The Voice of Your Heart
Letter to a Daughter at Thirteen by Barbara Kingsolver
Girls Will Be Girls
Rules To Live By:..From Someone Who's Been There And Done That by Callie Khouri
University of Michigan Commencement Address

2005-2006
Livin and Lovin
Kidsong
The Young Have To Be There by Abbie Hoffman

2006-2007
Even The Crumbled Ones
"Baby Run On!" (by Glenda Hatchett) from A Hand to Guide Me by Washington, Daniel Paisner
Say Yes!
Children of the Storm by Elizabeth Peters

2007-2008
Journeys
From Disabilities to Abilities: The Miracle of Possibilities by Marlee Matlin
Lesson for a Complicated Time by Katie Couric
It's Better Than Good
Class Day Speaker for the Aughty Aughts
Being Raised by a Single Parent

2008-2009
Ready To Live
Odditude by John R. Powers
The Power of Four by Tom Hanks
A Matter of Perspective
Address at the NAACP on the 50th Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education by Bill Cosby
The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination by J. K. Rowling

2009-2010
Being a Mr. G by J.A. Gamache
Matter of Perspective For all to See
To The Katrina Class of 2009 by Ellen DeGeneres
Greatest Days of Your Life...(so far) by Mark Scharenbroich
On the Move by Bono

2010-2011
Race (perhaps the "Race" speech by President Obama)
A Call to Men by Tony Porter
Bill Buckner Would Approve by Laura Roehl

2011-2012
A More Beautiful Later
Don't Give Up, Don't Ever Give Up by Jimmy Valvano
If I Should Have a Daughter by Sarah Kay
The Power of Vulnerability by Brené Brown
America is Not Broke by Michael Moore

2012-2013
Bag of Legs
Fall Forward by Denzel Washington
Speak Softly ... and Carry a Good Book
Nurturing Creativity by Elizabeth Gilbert
Why We Tell Stories by Phil Kaye

2013-2014
After Boston: Run the Recovery By Mike Cassidy
Step Out on Nothing by Byron Pitts
Every Kid Needs a Champion by Rita Pierson
I Got 99 Problems...Palsy is Just One by Maysoon Zayid
I Got Sick Then I Got Better by Jenny Allen
Doctors Make Mistakes. Can We Talk About That? by Brian Goldman
The Last Laugh

2014-2015 (Sectional Winning Pieces)
Screenwriters on Screenwriting: Charlie Kaufman by Charlie Kaufman
On Being Wrong by Kathryn Schulz
We should all be feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
I Hate Breast Cancer "Awareness" Month by S. E. Smith
Letter from a Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King, Jr.
The Internet's Reputation Shredder by Monica Lewinsky
Color blind or color brave? by Mellody Hobson
Why a good book is a secret door by Mac Barnett
Be You by Shonda Rhimes
The Happy Secret to Better Work by Shawn Achor
Meet The Mom Who Started the Ice Bucket Challenge by Nancy Frates
The Future of Blackness
I'm Not Your Inspiration, Thank You Very Much by Stella Young

2015-2016 (Sectional Winning Pieces)
The Heartbreaking Text that Inspired a Crisis Help Line by Nancy Lublin
Raising Penelope my Transgender Son by Jodie Patterson
Children Once, Not Forever (possibly this piece)
Why the Best Hire Might Not Have the Perfect Resume by Regina Hartley
Fight Through the Pick by Hasan Minhaj
If I Should Have a Daughter... by Sarah Kay
The Danger of Silence by Clint Smith
Everything You Think You Know About Addiction is Wrong by Johann Hari
Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier by Neil deGrasse Tyson
The Price of Shame by Monica Lewinsky
What Happened When I Confronted My Cruellest Troll by Lindy West
A Mother's White Privilege by Elizabeth Broadbent (Manic Pixie Dream Mama)