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Quotations on Public Speaking

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Great speakers listen to the audience with their eyes.

~ Unknown

Public speaking is an audience participation event; if it weren't, it would be private speaking.

~ Unknown

A good speech is like a pencil; it has to have a point.

~ Unknown

Exhaust either the topic nor the audience.

~ Unknown

No good speech ever came to a bad end.

~ Unknown

Caution: Do not open mouth until brain is in gear.

~ Unknown

Accustomed as I am to public speaking, I know the futility of it.

~ Franklin P. Adams

My method is to take the utmost trouble to find the right thing to say, and then to say it with the utmost levity.

~ George Bernard Shaw

I served with General Washington in die Legislature of Virginia...and...with Doctor Franklin in Congress. I never heard neither of them speak ten minutes at a time, nor to any but the main point.

~ Thomas Jefferson

Every man is eloquent once in his life.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

I have never seen an ass who talked like a human being, but I have met many human beings who talked like asses.

~ Heinrich Heine

"Where shall I begin, please your majesty?" she asked.
"Begin at the beginning," the king said, very gravely, "and go on till you come to the end. Then stop."

~ Lewis Carroll

- Alice in Wonderland

Only constant repitition will finally succeed in imprinting an idea on the memory of the crowd.

~ Adolf Hitler

I am rather like a mosquito in a nudist camp: I know what I ought to do, but I don't know where to begin.

~ Stephen Bayne

Beware of the conversationalist who adds "In other words."

~ Robert Morley

The easiest way to stay awake during an after-dinner speech is to deliver it.

~ Herman Herst, Jr.

A speech is a solemn responsibility. The man who makes a bad thirty-minute speech to two hundred people waste only a half hour of his own time.But he wastes one hundred hours of the audience's time - more than four days - which should be a hanging offense.

~ Jenkin Lloyd Jones

He missed an invaluable oppurtunity to hold his tongue.

~ Andrew Lang

If you have to make an unpopular speech, give it all the sincerity you can muster; that's the only way to sweeten it.

~ Cardinal de Retz

Once you get 'em laughing and their mouths open, you can stuff something in.

~ Frances Harvey Green

An orator can hardly get beyond commonplaces: if he does he gets beyond his hearers.

~ William Hazlitt

Churchill wrote his own speeches. When a leader does that, he becomes emotionally invested with his utterances...If Churchill had had a speech write in 1940, Britain would be speaking German today.

~ James C. Humes

A man never becomes an orator if he has anything to say.

~ Finley Peter Dunne

What orators lack in depth they make up for in length.

~ Baron de Montesquieu

You have been giving your full attention to a turkey stuffed with sage; it is now time to consider a sage stuffed with turkey.

~ William M. Evarts

- addressing a group on Thanksgiving day

I have always considered applause at the beginning of a lecture a manifestation of faith. If it comes in the middle, it is a sign of hope. And if it comes at the end, it is always charity.

~ Abraham R. Besdin

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