Russel Conwell: Tributes to Top Motivational Speakers
One of the greatest names that will invariably be brought up whenever the subject of the top 20 motivational speakers of all time is brought up is the name of Russel Herman Conwell. Besides being an excellent motivational speaker, Conwell has variously been described from time to time as an orator, writer, philanthropist and lawyer. In addition, he was a Baptist minister of American origin and is perhaps best remembered by most people for being the first president and the founder of Temple University, located in Philadelphia in Pennsylvania State as well as for his world renowned inspirational lecture titled the Acre of Diamonds.
Russel Conwell was born on 15th February 1843 in Massachusetts to a family of farmers. Not much information is available bout his early life except for the fact that he attended Wilbraham Wesleyan Academy. From this institution he later proceeded to Yale University to continue with his studies. While at Yale, he enlisted in the Union Army before graduating in order to fight in the American Civil War. He served in the Union Army as a captain in a volunteer regiment although he was later dishonorably discharged from the army for deserting his post. Conwell claimed that he later got reinstated into the army by a general but these allegations were never fully confirmed. He studied law after the civil war at the Albany Law School and upon graduation worked in different places as a journalist, attorney and later as a lecturer in Minneapolis and in Boston. While serving as a lecturer, Conwell was able to publish a total of over ten books, which included a number of campaign biographies. In the latter stages of his working career, Conwell served as a pastor in Lexington, Massachusetts after being ordained a Baptist minister in 1882.
Over the time when Conwell was a lecturer both in Boston and Minneapolis, he wrote and published more than ten books. However, it is the book Acre of Diamonds, first published by Y. Huber Company in 1890 in Philadelphia, that is the most renowned of all his published works. The book was inspired by a speech that Conwell delivered more than six thousand times in different parts of the world.
The main idea behind this inspiring book is that anyone can get rich if they try hard enough without necessarily having to compromise their integrity. The idea is built around the story of a man who, in his search for diamonds, sold off his property to go and seek the same. However, the person who purchased the land found a rich diamond mine located within the same property. With this story, Conwell tried to motivate people to make the most use of the resources that they had within their grasp in their strife for success.
Over the more than 6,000 motivational lectures that Conwell delivered in his lifetime, he adopted a unique style of using practical examples to illustrate his points. The story in Acres of Diamonds is one of the main illustrations that he used many times over. While he may not have been particularly influential in his own time as a powerful motivational speaker. Many modern day speakers borrow from the story in his famous book as well as his style of using practical examples when delivering their own speeches.