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 War II in Europe with the invasion of Poland in September 1939, and was a central figure of the Holocaust... read more

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 is able to stir up prejudices and hatred in anyone who listens to his rants, and that was pretty much the only reason he got in such a position of power.

Adolphus Hitler, one of the most evil people to ever live, had a dark charisma rivaled only by the likes of a few, that made possible the horrors of the holocaust.

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 Treaty, the establishment of the Peace Corps, developments in the Space Race, the building of the Berlin... 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 nonviolence and civil disobedience, inspired by his Christian beliefs and the nonviolent activism... 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, or gender, sexuality, or anything else but the content of their character. It was his mighty skills of persuasion that lead to 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.

The only place on the Internet where both MLK Jr. and Hitler are the top two on a top 10 list.

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, bolstering the federal government, and modernizing the U.S. economy. He married Mary Todd and they had four boys, only one of whom lived to maturity. In 1858 Lincoln ran against Stephen A. Douglas for Senator. He lost the election, but in debating with Douglas he gained a national reputation that won him the Republican nomination for President in 1860.

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. A member of the Democratic Party, he previously served as a U.S. senator from Illinois from 2005 to 2008 and as an Illinois state senator from 1997 to 2004.

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 was making the American people relate to him on a personal level. By doing this, he's enabling them not only to listen to what he has to say, but to convince themselves that what he is saying is sensible and agreeable.

7 Pericles

This famous and renowned Ancient Greek speaker's speeches were so unique, 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 focused on dismantling the legacy of apartheid by fostering racial reconciliation. Ideologically an African nationalist and socialist, he served as the president of the African National Congress (ANC) party from 1991 to 1997.
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 going to conquer Greece (the father of Alexander the Great). These speeches, which were called the Philippics, were so bitter and scathing yet persuasive that today a severe speech denouncing someone is called a Phillippic.

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).

According To The Christian Bible, Jesus' purpose on Earth was redemption and salvation. While He was on Earth he healed the sick, brought the dead back... read more

How is Biden above Lenin, Goebbels, Khomeini among others? I know they were not good people but Lenin was such a good speaker that it helped sell people on one of the most important events in 20th century. Goebbels presentation of ideology helped fuel the biggest atrocity of the 20th century. Khomeini got people to follow him on his revolution in Iran which since his actions, the Middle East has never been the same. Biden is awkward as a speaker. Have you heard him talk about his hairy legs? Anyways my vote is for Jesus for how persuasive he was and Is to this day.

Jesus was the 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 that bestowed unto his disciples messages that still affect us to this day.

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 early 20th century.
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 during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic depression and total war.

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. more.

In 1893, he hold 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, Russia, and later the Soviet Union, became a one-party socialist state governed by the Communist Party. Ideologically a Marxist, his developments to the ideology are called Leninism.

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

Yes, Hitler too. Here is a quote from Goebbels: "Lenin was the greatest man, second only to Hitler, and that the difference between communism and the Hitler faith was very slight."

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. 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 circle planned and orchestrated a mass murder-suicide in his remote jungle commune at Jonestown, Guyana,... read more

Jim Jones had a radiating charisma and targeted people from a lower-socioeconomic background in hopes that their organization would bring prosperity and justice to the less fortunate under the name of religion. First they had good intentions in mind, but would later lean into socialism. Unfortunately drug abuse consumed his personality for the worst, leading him to take the wrong way. When people are in a disadvantaged background, they would most likely turn their heads into religion or other faith in desperation for a better living. Jim Jones was the perfect example who took full advantage of that which lead 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.

8Load More
PSearch List