As originally answered on Quora.com
Thanks for your question. Its been quite a while since I have delivered a speech on the topic of success. You have fired up my creative juices and I will put creating a speech on success on my ‘To Do’ list.
There are likely hundreds of ideas that you can use for direction if you research quotes on the subject of success. Just take the message from the quote and expand upon it, add your perspective and some examples.
Here are some examples:
“Success is 20% skills and 80% strategy. You might know how to read, but more importantly, what’s your plan to read?” — Jim Rohn. With a quote like this you can go in several directions. The 20-80 formula is known as the Pareto Principal. You could expand upon on that is evident in almost everything we do. It can be said that “success is 20% inspiration, 80% perspiration.”
The quote focuses on the value of reading. Your speech could be crafted around how being an effective reader leads towards success. You could expand upon the how to read to lead towards more success in life. You can expand upon the concept of skills vs strategy. You don’t have to agree with Mr. Rohn, you can craft a speech around disagreeing or proving him wrong.
You can look at success from different perspectives.
From the ‘over and above’ perspective:
“No one ever attains very eminent success by simply doing what is required of him; it is the amount and excellence of what is over and above the required, that determines the greatness of ultimate distinction.” — Charles Kendall Adams
“You don’t become enormously successful without encountering and overcoming a number of extremely challenging problems.” — Mark Victor Hansen
“The principle of all successful effort is to try to do not what is absolutely the best, but what is easily within our power, and suited for our temperament and condition.” — John Ruskin
From the ‘everyday steps’ perspective:
“To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid, you must also be well-mannered.” – Voltaire
“Some things you have to do every day. Eating seven apples on Saturday night instead of one a day just isn’t going to get the job done.” Jim Rohn
“The success you are enjoying today is the result of the price you have paid in the past.” — Brian Tracy
From the ‘failure to success’ perspective:
“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” — Michael Jordan
“Behind every success is a succession of failures.” — Rick Beneteau
“Use the Trial and Success method; learn how to improve and succeed by falling and learning from your mistakes.” — Brian Tracy
From the ‘never give up’ perspective:
“Believe and act as if it were impossible to fail.” — Charles F. Kettering
“All great success and achievement is preceded and accompanied by hard, hard, work. When in doubt, ‘try harder.’ And if that doesn’t work, try harder still!” — Brian Tracy
“We will either find a way, or make one.” — Hannibal
From the ‘secrets to success’ perspective:
“Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.” — Conrad Hilton, 1887-1979, American Hotelier, Businessman, Founder, Hilton Hotels
“How long should you try? Until.” Jim Rohn
“The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.” — Theodore Roosevelt
There are likely quite a few more perspectives that would easily work. As I mentioned earlier, you can agree or agree with the quote and provide examples to back up your view.
Here are some additional ideas that you could use for a speech on success.
· What is the definition of success?
· How do you know when you have achieved success?
· What comes after success?
· How can you be successful in relation to a certain activity i.e. best practices e.g., public speaking, sky diving.
· How do you encourage someone else to be successful?
· How does one model success?
· What works against being successful?
· What are the everyday habits of successful people?
· You could focus on how one highly visible person became successful.
· You could focus on how one average, everyday person became successful.
· You can focus on how small steps, taken everyday can lead to large successes.
· You can argue that everyone of us is capable of achieving success.
· Success means win-win, not I win, you lose. Many people are adverse to the concept of competition.
Overall, your speech should be persuasive. You need to convince your audience of the value of achieving success. You need to provide examples of how everyday people overcame adversity to become successful. You need to conclude with a call for action. If you do so, and they listen and follow-up with your ideas, you will have been successful.
Thanks again for your question. Now I have a speech to write …
For further discussion on public speaking, speech development, communication skills and Toastmasters, visit the Live For Excellence Book Store for the following publications:
Blow Your Own Horn!: Personal Branding for Business Professionals
Power Networking For Shy People: How to Network Like a Pro
The Power of Persuasion: Mastering the Art of Influence
The Power of Promotion: Online Marketing For Toastmasters Club Growth
The Savvy Emcee: How to be a Dynamic Master of Ceremonies
Working With Words: Adding Life to Your Oral Presentations
Rae A. Stonehouse is an author, speaker, and self-publishing consultant dedicated to helping others embrace constant improvement and overcome challenges. With over 40 years of experience as a Registered Nurse in psychiatry and mental health, Rae brings a wealth of knowledge and passion for self-development to his writing and presentations.
As a 25+ year member of Toastmasters International, Rae has systematically built his communication abilities and self-confidence to share his insights as an author and speaker. His self-help books and personal development presentations aim to have conversational one-on-one connections with readers and audiences.
Rae is known for his wry sense of humor and sage advice delivered in a relatable coaching style. After four decades as a nurse, Rae has rewired rather than retired, actively writing and pursuing public speaking. He strives to share lessons learned to help others achieve personal and professional growth.