6 quotations to inspire public speakers


Sometimes public speakers need inspiration—rather than additional instruction—to deliver a powerful presentation.

If you need a quick burst of inspiration, great quotations are high-octane fuel for your inner fire. Quotations pack a lot of meaning into compact statements that are simple to comprehend.

They also help when you need to give yourself a pep talk to improve your presence and increase your influence as a presenter.

To inspire you, here are six quotations that can help you become a stronger public speaker:

No. 1: Pretend that every single person you meet has a sign around his or her neck that says, ‘Make me feel important.’ Not only will you succeed in sales, you will succeed in life. —Mary Kay Ash

The takeaway: To be a stronger public speaker, focus on your audience and relate to their interests, needs and desires. Personalize your presentation for your audience, and they will be more likely to share your enthusiasm for the message.

No. 2: I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. ―Maya Angelou

The takeaway: To make your audience feel something during your presentation, don’t drone on about facts and statistics. Sharing meaningful personal stories is the easiest, most effective way to make your presentation resonate with your audience long after the talk is over.

No. 3: It is this simplicity that makes the uneducated more effective than the educated when addressing popular audiences—makes them, as the poets tell us, “charm the crowd’s ears more finely.” Educated men lay down broad general principles; uneducated men argue from common knowledge and draw obvious conclusions. ―Aristotle

The takeaway: Be conversational in your presentation. Replace jargon with common, easy-to-comprehend synonyms. Consult a thesaurus if you need help translating your complex concepts into simpler terms. Even if your audience can follow your fancy phrasing, they will still appreciate the ease of listening to everyday language.

[RELATED: Simplify your communications and expand your reach. Join us at Microsoft’s headquarters for our 7th annual communicators conference.]

No. 4: No audience ever complained about a presentation or speech being too short. ―Stephen Keague

The takeaway: Respect your audience’s time, and edit your presentation to remove extraneous language. Say only what you must to make your point. The longer you talk, the more likely you are to lose your audience’s interest-and their respect.

No. 5: I have always said that everyone is in sales. Maybe you don’t hold the title of salesperson, but if the business you are in requires you to deal with people, you, my friend, are in sales. ―Zig Ziglar

The takeaway: Even if your presentation is inspirational or educational and has nothing to do with sales, you still ought to approach your presentation as if it were a sales pitch. Use the tools of persuasion to motivate your audience to hear your message and buy into the importance of your ideas. You might not be asking your audience to give you money, but you do want them to give you their time, which to some is even more valuable.

No. 6: 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 Churchill

The takeaway: Craft a clear message. Repeat your central idea in multiple ways throughout your talk. Give a variety of examples and supporting facts to build a strong, easily understood case. If your audience ends up confused about your main point, your presentation was, well, pointless.

Leslie Belknap is the marketing director of Ethos3, where a version of this article first appeared.


12 quotations to guide your online strategy

Social media doesn’t need to be hard if you stay as authentic online as you are off, and concentrate on building a relationship with your fans and

People like to be with those they know, like, and trust. With that in mind, I thought I would share a few quotations from thought leaders around the world
and suggest how we can apply them to our online strategy.

They are not all well known for their digital acumen, but certainly are well known for either their business knowledge or thought-provoking ability. Enjoy.

1. “It’s not the strongest that survive, nor the most intelligent but those most responsive to change.” — Charles Darwin

Make sure you keep up with the times and adapt as you go, or you may find your brand is becoming extinct.

2. “You are what you share.” — Charles Leadbeater

People can see what you share publicly; are you proud?

3. “The question isn’t, ‘What do we want to know about people?’ It’s, ‘What do people want to tell about themselves?'” — Mark Zuckerberg

Are you happy to share your innermost secrets or just top-line stuff?

4. “Just be nice, take genuine interest in the people you meet, and keep in touch with people you like. This will create a group of people who are
invested in helping you because they know you and appreciate you.” — Guy Kawasaki

Self explanatory: Be genuine.

5. “Social media demands a lot of us on top of our already demanding lives. So let’s disconnect as we need to and renew our interest and
ourselves.” — Simon Mainwaring

Don’t be afraid to unplug and regenerate.

6. “Facebook Fan Pages are email newsletters with smaller pictures.” — Jay Baer

Think of your Facebook page as a rolling newsletter.

7. “Every company is its own TV station, magazine, and newspaper.” — Jay Baer

We all have the option to publish; are you doing so?

8. “‘Build it, and they will come’ only works in the movies. Social media is a ‘build it, nurture it, engage them, and they may come and stay.'” — Seth

Give them a reason to hang around.

9. “How can you squander even one more day not taking advantage of the greatest shifts of our generation? How dare you settle for less when the world
has made it so easy for you to be remarkable?” — Seth Godin

You have the platforms; now use them like no one else.

10.”You are your Rolodex: Breadth counts. Collect freaks.” — Tom Peters

You never know who is connected to who that you meet that could be beneficial to you.

11. “If you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell six friends. If you make customers unhappy on the Internet, they can
each tell 6,000 friends.”-Jeff Bezos

The internet gives it scale, so be aware of your brand’s actions and decisions at all levels.

12. “It’s not the small that get eaten; it’s the slow that get beaten.” — Linda Coles (me)

Get on and start now; your competitors may be already ahead.

So which relationship building or social media quotations have you heard that resonated with you and should be added to this list?

Linda Coles, author of
“Learn marketing with social media in 7 days”
(Wiley), is a speaker and trainer on building relationships. She lives in New Zealand. You can get a
free sample
of a chapter of her book by registering for her newsletter. A version of this article first appeared on


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