What makes a good speech quote?  And should you use quotes in your speech or is that done to death? You’ve probably noticed that people who know how to deliver effective presentation will oftentimes use famous quotes to get their message across.  Why?

Well for one, as Sophocles said:  “A short saying often contains much wisdom.”  So let’s look closely!

Why use quotes in your speech?

There are a few good reasons to use good speech quotes:

  1. You increase your credibility by association.  When you use quotes from someone famous or well liked by your audience, you will by association rise in their esteem.  
  2. It fills the “I know” factor.  Audience members like to be proven right, rather than wrong.  In fact all people like to be right.  When we see a quote that is familiar to us, or from someone we know we think “I know that” and it makes us feel good inside.  When you’re audience recognize a quote it adds to rapport because people now have another point of similarity and alignment with you.
  3. Speech quotes improve recall.  Oftentimes if you teach a point, it may be remembered; but people are much more likely to remember a quote than a basic teaching point. After all as Cesare Pavese  said “We do not remember days; we remember moments.” The same can be said of seminars.  We do not remember points, we remember stories and quotes!

What are good resources for speech quotes?

I usually type the word I want a quote about into google like this “quote: TOPIC” and get great results.   Oftentimes search results will send me to:
www.wisdomquotes.com – easy to browse by topic
www.quotesdaddy.com – good search function and looks pretty!

So use lots of quotes.  But remember Horace:
Whatever advice you give, be brief.

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