Oprah Winfrey Harvard Commencement speech | Harvard Commencement 2013 | Summary and Q&A

4.0M views
May 30, 2013
by
Harvard University
YouTube video player
Oprah Winfrey Harvard Commencement speech | Harvard Commencement 2013

Install to Summarize YouTube Videos and Get Transcripts

Summary

In this video, Oprah Winfrey delivers an inspiring speech to the Harvard class of 2013, sharing her personal journey and offering advice on finding purpose and making a difference in the world. She encourages the graduates to embrace failure, develop empathy, and use their unique talents to fulfill their highest potential.

Questions & Answers

Q: What is Oprah Winfrey's connection to Harvard?

Oprah Winfrey was invited to speak at the Harvard commencement ceremony in 2013 and was also awarded an honorary Doctorate from Harvard University.

Q: What message does Oprah hope to convey through her speech?

Oprah hopes to inspire and provide some guidance to anyone who has ever felt inferior, disadvantaged, or discouraged by life. She wants to be a source of inspiration and encourages the graduates to use their experiences, mistakes, and setbacks as opportunities for growth and to develop an internal moral and emotional GPS to navigate their journey.

Q: How did Oprah's television career begin?

Oprah's television career began unexpectedly when she participated in the Miss fire-prevention contest at the age of 16. Although she didn't win the contest, she expressed her desire to become a journalist during the question and answer period. This ultimately led to her pursuing a career in television.

Q: How successful was Oprah's television show?

Oprah hosted her own television show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, for 25 years, during which it became the number one talk show in its timeslot for 21 years.

Q: What significant decision did Oprah make in her career?

A few years ago, Oprah decided to end The Oprah Winfrey Show and launch her own network, OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network). However, her new venture faced significant challenges and was initially considered a flop by many media outlets.

Q: How did Oprah overcome the challenges she faced?

Despite the initial difficulties and negative media coverage, Oprah turned the network around through her determination and perseverance. She considers her experience a valuable lesson and a turning point in her professional life.

Q: What is the key to dealing with failure and setbacks according to Oprah?

Oprah emphasizes that failure is not an end but merely life's way of trying to guide us in a different direction. She advises the graduates to allow themselves to feel bad for a while but to learn from every mistake and use it as an opportunity to become more of who they truly are. The key is to develop an internal moral and emotional GPS that can guide them in making the next right move.

Q: What does Oprah believe is the purpose of a resume?

According to Oprah, a resume should not only reflect what a person wants to accomplish or the titles and positions they have held but also the story of who they want to be and their purpose. She encourages the graduates to build a resume that tells a meaningful story and focuses on making a difference rather than just achieving success.

Q: What is Oprah's true calling and how did she discover it?

Oprah discovered her true calling in 1994 when she interviewed a nine-year-old girl who had raised money to help others in need. This inspired her to start the Angel Network and use her platform to make a positive impact on people's lives. She realized that her purpose was to use television to illuminate the transcendent power of our better angels and show that what unites us is more important than what separates us.

Q: How does Oprah believe people should come together?

Oprah believes that real progress requires authenticity, honesty, and empathy. Rather than demonizing or vilifying those who disagree with us, she encourages face-to-face conversations and the ability to see each other's perspectives. She also highlights the importance of personal connections and recognizing the humanity in others.

Takeaways

Oprah's speech at Harvard University serves as a powerful reminder that failure is not the end but a redirection in life. She encourages the graduates to use their experiences, mistakes, and setbacks as opportunities for growth and to develop an internal moral and emotional GPS. Oprah emphasizes the importance of finding one's true calling and using it to make a difference in the world. Additionally, she highlights the significance of empathy, authenticity, and face-to-face conversations in bridging divides and creating positive change. Graduates are urged to embrace their unique talents and fulfill their highest potential to achieve success and happiness while making a meaningful impact.

Share This Summary 📚

Summarize YouTube Videos and Get Video Transcripts with 1-Click

Download browser extensions on:

Explore More Summaries from Harvard University 📚

Summarize YouTube Videos and Get Video Transcripts with 1-Click

Download browser extensions on: