As a public speaker you very quickly become familiar with Quotes. They come in all shapes and sizes and are a very valuable asset when writing speeches.
We use them very easily but what exactly is a quote? The definition of a quote is: to repeat or copy the words of (another), usually with acknowledgment of the source, to cite or refer to for illustration or proof or to repeat a brief passage or excerpt from.

Well – that is clear – we use quotes to illustrate our ideas, to highlight our points or as a great opening or closing statement. It is surprising, however, how easy quotes can be misused.

They are often used out of context –with the misguided belief that just so long as I put a quote in here it will make the speech shine. Unfortunately not, the quote must be appropriate to the context of the speech to be effective.

When using a quote cite, where possible, where the quote came from, who said it. It is not necessary to say, for example: “I had a dream” Martin Luther King, I Had a Dream Speech 1963. In fact as you can see that would be rather clumsy and interfere with the flow of the speech. A better way would be to say “remember Martin Luther King’s I had a dream…”

Some quotes are so common in our language that they need no citing for example “All that glitters is not gold”, “A rolling stone gathers no moss”.

The internet is a wonderful supplier of quotes. You can google quotes and find lots of sites which you can book mark for future reference. Alternatively you can search for quotes on specific topics e.g. quotes on families, friendship, marriage and the list is endless.

Take every opportunity to note down quotes that grab your attention. Keep a notebook handy for those you come across in conversation, or find in papers, books, or on restaurant walls.

Quotes – a valuable resource – use them wisely to enhance your speeches. Whether as an attention grabbing opening, to conclude your speech with a call to action or to highlight your ideas – have fun – explore and see how you can make your speeches shine.

Trish @ Trischel

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