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Public Speaking Quotes For Presentations

We have compiled some of our favorite public speaking quotes, quips, fun stories and ideas for you to use in your next presentation.

All the great speakers were bad speakers at first.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

“When I go hear a man speak, I like to hear him speak like he’s fighting a swarm of bees.”

Abraham Lincoln

Speeches measured by the hour die with the hour. (1824)

Thomas Jefferson  (1743-1826)

Quit Boring Your Audience

Three points to speaking:

  1. Tell them what you are going to tell them.
  2. Tell them.
  3. Tell them what you told them.

That is a great format for presenters, however, most speakers: Tell the Audience how the are going to bore them.  Then they bore them.  Then they told them how they bored them!

Hint for speakers: If you don’t strike oil in 20 minutes, quit boring.

As a lady left church one Sunday morning, she gave the preacher a dead fish handshake and said, “That was a warm sermon.” “A warm sermon?” he questioned.
“Yes,” she replied.  “NOT SO HOT.”

There are three kinds of speakers:

  1. The kind who have something to say.
  2. The kind who have to say something.
  3. And the best kind, the kind who have something to say and have to say it.

Use Relevant Stories in Your Presentation

Awareness: Always be aware of the setting of your speech. One preacher concluded a beautiful wedding ceremony with: “You may now all come forward and view the body.” He had forgotten his purpose.

Awareness: A politician addressed the inmates of an insane asylum, he began with his usual introduction, “Why are we all here?” To which one resident responded by punching his neighbor and whispering, “We are all here because we aren’t all here [there]!”

A speaker should know what he is talking about-as illustrated by the following story:

West Texas family returned from the grocery store one Saturday morning with some groceries which they left on the table while they went out.  While they were gone, their pet parrot flew into the kitchen and ate a whole roll of baloney.  Fully gorged, he waddled out the door and climbed onto the handle of the old pump and dozed off. Meanwhile, a thunderstorm blew in and a big clap of nearby thunder frightened the parrot. When he tried to jump off the pump, the handle flew up and knocked him down.  The parrot looked up and said, ”It just goes to show you, you shouldn’t fly off the handle when you’re full of baloney.”

One speaker had this to say about his invitation to speak: “There’s an interesting background to my speaking invitation. They wanted to get the most eloquent speaker available, but he declined; so next they wanted to invite the best educated speaker around, but he wouldn’t come; finally, they decided to invite the best looking speaker in the area, and, you know, when they asked me the third time, I just couldn’t turn them down three times in a row!!!

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