101 Quotes to inspire speakers


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101 Quotes for Inspiring Public Speaker

Inspiration sometimes runs dry, and for presenters feeling uninspired can lead to a poor performance.

Where do you go when you need a bit of extra lift?  Sometimes the well thought out words of history’s very best orators can be just the ticket. 

From drafting speeches, to calming your nerves right before you step into the spotlight, we’ve collected the top inspiring 101 quotes from thought leaders around the world.

Check nuggets of wisdom from Dale Carnegie, Mark Twain, Tony Robbins and Winston Churchill (we’ve even thrown in some William Butler Yeats and Seth Godin for good measure.) 


Continue reading more quotes below or download the eBook from SlideShare

101 Quotes to inspire speakers

  1. “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
    John Quincy Adams (Tweet this)

  2. “There are certain things in which mediocrity is not to be endured, such as poetry, music, painting, public speaking.”
    - Jean de la Bruyere (Tweet this)

  3. “If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.”
    Henry Ford (Tweet this)

  4. “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”
    William Arthur Ward (Tweet this)

  5. “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
    Maya Angelou (Tweet this)

  6. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.”
     Margaret Mead (Tweet this)

  7. “You can speak well if your tongue can deliver the message of your heart.”
    John Ford  (Tweet this)

  8. “Be still when you have nothing to say; when genuine passion moves you, say what you’ve got to say, and say it hot.”
    D. H. Lawrence  (Tweet this)

  9. “Let thy speech be better than silence, or be silent.”
    Dionysius Of Halicarnassus  (Tweet this)

  10. “What we say is important… for in most cases the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”
    – Jim Beggs  (Tweet this)

  11. “If you can’t write your message in a sentence, you can’t say it in an hour.”
    Dianna Booher  (Tweet this)

  12. “There are always three speeches, for every one you actually gave. The one you practiced, the one you gave, and the one you wish you gave.”
    – Dale Carnegie (Tweet this)

  13. “It usually takes me more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech.”
    – Mark Twain (Tweet this)

  14. “A good orator is pointed and impassioned.”
    – Marcus T. Cicero  (Tweet this)

  15. “Oratory is the power to talk people out of their sober and natural opinions.”
    – Joseph Chatfield  (Tweet this)

  16. “He who wants to persuade should put his trust not in the right argument, but in the right word. The power of sound has always been greater than the power of sense.”
    – Joseph Conrad (Tweet this)

  17. “There are three things to aim at in public speaking: first, to get into your subject, then to get your subject into yourself, and lastly, to get your subject into the heart of your audience.”
    – Alexander Gregg (Tweet this)

  18. “The success of your presentation will be judged not by the knowledge you send but by what the listener receives.”
    – Lilly Walters  (Tweet this)

  19. “Best way to conquer stage fright is to know what you’re talking about.”
    Michael H. Mescon  (Tweet this)

  20. “There are only two types of speakers in the world. 1. The nervous and 2. Liars.”
    – Mark Twain  (Tweet this)

  21. “Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.”
    – Alexander Graham Bell  (Tweet this)

  22. “90% of how well the talk will go is determined before the speaker steps on the platform.” – Somers White (Tweet this)

  23. “It takes one hour of preparation for each minute of presentation time.”
    – Wayne Burgraff  (Tweet this)

  24. “The most precious things in speech are the... pauses.”
    – Sir Ralph Richardson (Tweet this)

  25. “Well-timed silence hath more eloquence than speech.”
    Martin Fraquhar Tupper (Tweet this)

  26. “The problem with speeches isn’t so much not knowing when to stop, as knowing when not to begin.”
    – Frances Rodman (Tweet this)

  27. “Words have incredible power. They can make people’s hearts soar, or they can make people’s hearts sore.
    – Dr. Mardy Grothe (Tweet this)

  28. “The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.”
    Mark Twain (Tweet this)

  29. “If you can’t communicate and talk to other people and get across your ideas, you’re giving up your potential.”
    Warren Buffet (Tweet this)

  30. “If I went back to college again, I’d concentrate on two areas: learning to write and to speak before an audience. Nothing in life is more important than the ability to communicate effectively.”
    Gerald R. Ford (Tweet this)

  31. “Always give a speech that you would like to hear.”
    Andrii Sedniev (Tweet this)

  32. “If you don’t know what you want to achieve in your presentation your audience never will.”
    Harvey Diamond (Tweet this)

  33. “Find out what’s keeping them up nights and offer hope. Your theme must be an answer to their fears.”
    – Gerald C Myers (Tweet this)

  34. “In presentations or speeches less really is more.”
    Stephen Keague (Tweet this)

  35. “Speeches measured by the hour die with the hour”         
    Thomas Jefferson (Tweet this)

  36. “It’s much easier to be convincing if you care about your topic. Figure out what’s important to you about your message and speak from the heart”
    – Nicholas Boothman (Tweet this)

  37. “Only the prepared speaker deserves to be confident.”
    – Dale Carnegie (Tweet this)

  38. “Speakers who talk about what life has taught them never fail to keep the attention of their listeners.”
    – Dale Carnegie (Tweet this)

  39. “It is not failure itself that holds you back; it is the fear of failure that paralyzes you.”
    -Brian Tracy (Tweet this)

  40. “All you need is something to say, and a burning desire to say it… it doesn’t matter where your hands are.”
    – Lou Holtz (Tweet this)

  41. “If you don’t use stories audience members may enjoy your speech, but there is no chance they’ll remember it.”
    – Andrii Sedniev (Tweet this)

  42. “There is no such thing as presentation talent, it is called presentation skills”
    -David JP Phillips (Tweet this)

  43. “The audience only pays attention as long as you know where you are going.”
    - Philip Crosby (Tweet this)

  44. “Ask yourself, ‘If I had only sixty seconds on the stage, what would I absolutely have to say to get my message across.”
    - Jeff Dewar (Tweet this)

  45. “It’s all right to have butterflies in your stomach. Just get them to fly in formation.”
    – Rob Gilbert (Tweet this)

  46. “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak, and to sit down and listen.”  
    – Winston Churchill (Tweet this)

  47. “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”
    – Benjamin Franklin (Tweet this)

  48. “Designing a presentation without an audience in mind is like writing a love letter and addressing it: To Whom It May Concern.”
    – Ken Haemer (Tweet this)

  49. “The goal of effective communication should be for listeners to say ‘Me too!’ versus ‘So what?'”
    – Jim Rohn (Tweet this)

  50. “The royal road to a man’s heart is to talk to him about the things he treasures most.”
    – Dale Carnegie (Tweet this)

  51. “To communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world, and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.”
    – Tony Robbins (Tweet this)

  52. “To sway an audience, you must watch them as you speak.”
    – C. Kent Wright (Tweet this)

  53. “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”
    – Albert Einstein (Tweet this)

  54. “If you can’t state your position in eight words, you don’t have a position.
    – Seth Godin (Tweet this)

  55. “The way something is presented will define the way you react to it.”
    – Neville Brody (Tweet this)

  56. “Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people.”
    William Butler Yeats (Tweet this)

  57. “A presentation is a chance to share, not an oral exam.”
    M.F. Fensholt (Tweet this)      

  58. “Speech is power. Speech is to persuade, to convert, to compel. It is to bring another out of his bad sense into your good sense.”
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (Tweet this)

  59. “Words do two major things: they provide food for the mind and create light for understanding and awareness.”
    Jim Rohn (Tweet this)

  60. “Every speaker has a mouth, an arrangement rather neat. Sometimes it’s filled with wisdom, sometimes it’s filled with feet.”
    Robert Orben (Tweet this)

  61. “Humor is a rubber sword – it allows you to make a point without drawing blood.”
    Mary Hirsch (Tweet this)

  62. “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they’ll kill you.”
    Oscar Wilde (Tweet this)

  63. “Once you get people laughing, they’re listening and you can tell them almost anything.”
    Herbert Gardner (Tweet this)

  64. “The world is waiting for your words.”
    Arvee Robinson (Tweet this)

  65. “Effective communication is 20% what you know and 80% how you feel about what you know.”
    Jim Rohn (Tweet this)

  66. “A designer knows he or she has achieved perfection, not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”
    Antoine de Saint-Exupery (Tweet this)

  67. “If God is in the details, then the Devil is in PowerPoint.”
    @AngryPaulRand (Tweet this)

  68. “The more strikingly visual your presentation is, the more people will remember it. And more importantly, they will remember you.”
    Paul Arden (Tweet this)

  69. “All the great speakers were bad speakers at first.”
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (Tweet this)

  70. “Communication works for those who work at it.”
    – John Powell (Tweet this)

  71. “If you wing it when speaking, you’ll get wing it results.”
    – Arvee Robinson (Tweet this)

  72. “Your smile is a messenger of your goodwill.”
    – Dale Carnegie (Tweet this)

  73. “If it takes a lot of words to say what you have in mind, give it more thought.”
    – Dennis Roth (Tweet this)

  74. “Make sure you have stopped speaking before your audience has stopped listening.”
    Dorothy Sarnoff (Tweet this)

  75. “Many attempts to communicate are nullified by saying too much. ”
    -Robert Greenleaf (Tweet this)

  76. “If you have an important point to make, don't try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time - a tremendous whack.”
    -Winston S. Churchill (Tweet this)

  77. “The most valuable of all talents is never using two words when one will do.”
    -Thomas Jefferson (Tweet this)

  78. “Failure to prepare is preparing to fail.”
    -John Wooden (Tweet this)

  79. “Silence is the ultimate weapon of power.”
    -Charles de Gaulle (Tweet this)

  80. “Creative thinking is merely intelligent plagiarism.”
    - Aristotle (Tweet this)

  81. "Always be yourself and have faith in yourself. Do not go out and look for a successful personality and try to duplicate it."
    -Bruce Lee (Tweet this)

  82. “Successful leaders see the opportunities in every difficulty rather than the difficulty in every opportunity.”
    - Reed Markham (Tweet this)

  83. “Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes.”
    - Zig Ziglar (Tweet this)

  84. “A talk is a voyage with purpose and it must be charted. The man who starts out going nowhere, generally gets there.”
    - Dale Carnegie (Tweet this)

  85. “I have not failed. I’ve simply discovered 10,000 ways that don’t work.”
    - Thomas Edison (Tweet this)

  86. “Buried deep within each of us is a spark of greatness, a spark than can be fanned into flames of passion and achievement. That spark is not outside of you it is born deep within you.”
    -James A. Ray (Tweet this)

  87. “The energy level of the audience is the same as the speaker’s. For better...or for worse.”
    -Andras Baneth (Tweet this)

  88. "One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation."
    -Arthur Ashe (Tweet this)

  89. “Our language is the reflection of ourselves. A language is an exact reflection of the character and growth of its speakers.”
    -Cesar Chavez (Tweet this)

  90. “I do not speak of what I cannot praise.”
    - Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe  (Tweet this)

  91. “If you're not comfortable with public speaking - and nobody starts out comfortable; you have to learn how to be comfortable - practice. I cannot overstate the importance of practicing. Get some close friends or family members to help evaluate you, or somebody at work that you trust.”
    -Hillary Clinton (Tweet this)

  92. “Speak clearly, if you speak at all; carve every word before you let it fall.”
    -Oliver Wendell Holmes (Tweet this)

  93. “You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.' You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”
    - Eleanor Roosevelt (Tweet this)

  94. As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.”
    - Bill Gates (Tweet this)

  95. "Good transitions can make a speech more important to the audience because they feel they are being taken to a positive conclusion without having to travel a bumpy road."
    - Joe Griffith (Tweet this)

  96. "When speaking in public, your message - no matter how important - will not be effective or memorable if you don't have a clear structure."
    - Patricia Fripp (Tweet this)

  97. “The way you overcome shyness is to become so wrapped up in something that you forget to be afraid.”
    -Lady Bird Johnson (Tweet this)

  98. “The best way to conquer stage fright is to know what you are talking about.”
    -Michael H. Mescon (Tweet this)

  99. “Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today.”
    - Robert McKee (Tweet this)

  100. “If something comes from your heart, it will reach the heart of your audience.”
    — فوزیه کوفی (Fawzia Koofi)‎ (Tweet this)

  101. "Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy."
    -Dale Carnegie (Tweet this)


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