Top Ten Most Persuasive Speakers of All Time

Sometimes, you can revolutionize the world with one speech. Think of Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Some people are just so persuasive, so believable, and so powerful with their word-selection and speaking that they can get millions of people hooked with one word. Hitler succeeded because of how persuasive his rants were. With these people, they make you believe they're on your side. You want to believe them. So here are the top ten most powerful speakers of all time.
The Top Ten
1 Adolf Hitler Adolf Hitler (April 20, 1889 - April 30, 1945) was a German politician of Austrian descent who served as the leader of the Nazi Party since 1921, Chancellor of Germany since 1933, and Führer of Nazi Germany since 1934. As dictator of Nazi Germany, he reversed the Treaty of Versailles, initiated World... read more

It's embarrassing to admit, but once when I was learning about Nazi Germany in history class, they showed a scene where he gave a speech, and when he was finished, I actually started clapping for a moment without realizing it. So yes, I can understand why he is number one.

As much as I hate to put him so high on the list, it's true that he is one of the most persuasive speakers of all time. He was able to stir up prejudices and hatred in anyone who listened to his rants, and that was pretty much the only reason he got into such a position of power.

2 John F. Kennedy John Fitzgerald Kennedy (May 29th, 1917 - November 22, 1963) commonly referred to by his initials JFK, was an American politician who served as the 35th President of the United States from January 1961 until his assassination. The Cuban Missile Crisis, The Bay of Pigs Invasion, the Nuclear Test Ban... read more

This man had some of the greatest speeches ever. Such an inspiration.

The most charismatic president we've had, with the possible exception of Abe Lincoln.

3 Martin Luther King Jr Martin Luther King Jr. (born Michael King Jr.; January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) was an African American minister and activist who became the most visible spokesperson and leader in the civil rights movement from 1955 until his assassination in 1968. King is best known for advancing civil rights through... read more

He had a dream that we would overcome the ideas of racial identity and address each other as individuals. He wanted us to view our fellow man not on the basis of race, gender, sexuality, or anything else but the content of their character.

It was his mighty skills of persuasion that led the civil rights movement to success through nonviolence. If only he were alive today, he, along with Kennedy and Lincoln, could really stand to teach these SJWs a lesson.

His "I Had a Dream" speech brought so many people to his cause through a very strong and persuasive message.

4 Winston Churchill Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill was a British statesman who was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955. Churchill was also an officer in the British Army, a historian, and a writer.
5 Abraham Lincoln Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865) was an American lawyer and statesman who served as the 16th president of the United States from 1861 until his assassination in 1865. Lincoln led the nation through the American Civil War and succeeded in preserving the Union, abolishing slavery,... read more

After someone else gave a speech that lasted two hours, he got up and gave a two-minute-long address and sent the audience into roaring applause with his famous Gettysburg Address.

6 Barack Obama Barack Hussein Obama II (born August 4, 1961) is an American politician who served as the 44th president of the United States from 2009 to 2017. He was the first African-American president of the United States... read more

It's true that this man is a very good public speaker. Simply put, he knows how to connect with the American people by tapping into their emotions. Obama made the American people relate to him on a personal level. By doing this, he enabled them not only to listen to what he had to say but also to convince themselves that what he was saying was sensible and agreeable.

7 Pericles

This famous and renowned Ancient Greek speaker's speeches were so unique and so different that he basically redefined the public speech, stirring the spirits of his fellow Athenians.

8 Nelson Mandela Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013) was a South African anti-apartheid activist who served as the first president of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was the country's first black head of state and the first elected in a fully representative democratic election. His government... read more
9 Joseph Goebbels Joseph Goebbels (29 October 1897 – 1 May 1945) was a German Nazi politician and Reich Minister of Propaganda of Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945.

I know how everybody says Hitler was the persuader in the Nazi Party, but as Minister of Propaganda, Goebbels was the speaker and writer of many of its important speeches and movies. His media is even considered dangerous to watch now because it is so charismatic and toxic/persuasive.

10 Demosthenes

This famous speaker from the 300s (BC) spent decades researching previous successful speeches and tactics of powerful speakers, including the renowned Pericles. His most famous speech was a warning against Philip of Macedonia, who was going to conquer Greece (the father of Alexander the Great). These speeches, called the Philippics, were so bitter and scathing yet persuasive that today a severe speech denouncing someone is called a Philippic.

The Contenders
11 Ronald Reagan Ronald Wilson Reagan (1911-2004) was an American politician and actor who was 40th President of the United States from 1981 to 1989 . Prior to his presidency, he was the 33rd Governor of California from 1967 to 1975, following a career as a Hollywood actor and union leader until his death in 2004

"The most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help." - Ronald Reagan

"We can't help everyone, but everyone can help someone." - Ronald Reagan

Most well-spoken, grounded, and persuasive speaker ever.

12 Jesus Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem, Palestine. He was born to Mary, as the bible says "she was found with child of the Holy Ghost" (Matthew 1:18). He was both man and God (John 20:28). According to the bible He is God alone (Deuteronomy 6:4)... read more

Jesus was a master at persuasion. He convinced people to follow him and spread his teachings. He would also talk in parables that made difficult topics easy to understand.

Although he likely didn't speak in front of crowds of thousands, Yeshua was a powerful orator who bestowed unto his disciples messages that still affect us to this day.

I voted for Jesus because he is my savior and his word is widely believed.

13 Theodore Roosevelt Theodore Roosevelt was an American statesman, author, explorer, soldier, naturalist, and reformer who served as the 26th President of the United States from 1901 to 1909. As a leader of the Republican Party during this time, he became a driving force for the Progressive Era in the United States in the... read more
14 Franklin D. Roosevelt Franklin Delano Roosevelt, commonly known as FDR, was an American statesman and political leader who served as the 32nd President of the United States from 1933 to 1945. A Democrat, he won a record four presidential elections and dominated his party for many years as a central figure in world events... read more

Fireside chats, incredible speeches, and much more.

15 Swami Vivekananda Swami Vivekananda (12 January 1863 – 4 July 1902), born Narendranath Datta, was an Indian Hindu monk, a chief disciple of the 19th-century Indian mystic Ramakrishna... read more

In 1893, he gave a persuasive speech at the World's Parliament of Religions in Chicago.

16 Carl Sagan Carl Edward Sagan was an American astronomer, cosmologist, astrophysicist, astrobiologist, author, science popularizer, and science communicator in astronomy and other natural sciences.
17 Kamala Harris Kamala Devi Harris (born October 20th, 1964) is an American politician and attorney who is the 49th and current vice president of the United States. She is the first female vice president, as well as the first African American and first Asian American vice president in American history.
18 Karl Dönitz

He was no exciting shouter like Hitler but a brilliant rhetorician with a fatherly way of speaking. His radio address of May 1, 1945, can be found in the Internet Archive (search terms: Dönitz 1945-05-01).

19 Gautama Buddha Gautama Buddha, also known as Siddhārtha Gautama, Shakyamuni Buddha, or simply the Buddha, after the title of Buddha, was an ascetic and sage, on whose teachings Buddhism was founded.
20 Joseph Stalin Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was a Georgian dictator, and was the leader of the Soviet Union from the mid-1920s until his death in 1953. Holding the post of the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, he was effectively the dictator of the state.
21 Vladimir Lenin Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov (22 April 1870–21 January 1924), better known as Vladimir Lenin, was a Russian revolutionary, politician, and political theorist. He served as the first and founding head of government of Soviet Russia from 1917 to 1924 and of the Soviet Union from 1922 to 1924. Under his administration,... read more

Lenin should be in the top ten. His speech convinced people to join him in the Russian Revolution, which led to the removal of the czar and the rise of communism. He paved the way for people like Hitler, Stalin, and Mao.

22 Mao Zedong Mao Zedong, also transliterated as Mao Tse-tung and commonly referred to as Chairman Mao, was a Chinese communist revolutionary and founding father of the People's Republic of China, which he governed as Chairman of the Communist Party of China from its establishment in 1949, until his death in 1976... read more
23 Muammar Gaddafi
24 Ida B. Wells
25 Jim Jones James Warren Jones (May 13, 1931 – November 18, 1978), better known as Jim Jones, was an American preacher who led the Peoples Temple between 1955 and 1978. In what he termed "revolutionary suicide", a term he took from the novel by the same name by Huey Newton, Jones and the members of his inner... read more

Jim Jones had radiating charisma and targeted people from a lower socioeconomic background, hoping their organization would bring prosperity and justice to the less fortunate under the name of religion. At first, they had good intentions in mind but later leaned into socialism. Unfortunately, drug abuse consumed his personality for the worse, leading him to take the wrong path.

When people are in a disadvantaged background, they are more likely to turn to religion or other faiths in desperation for a better living. Jim Jones was a perfect example of someone who took full advantage of that, leading to the massacre of Jonestown by using fear to control his followers. You have to have a special kind of narcissism and charisma to attract even high-profile political figures and to convince people to live in your own delusions.

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