Spice Up Your Presentation with Quotations

Add one or a few quotations to your presentation to make it more entertaining and insightful. Your quotation might spur your listeners to think or laugh. Sprinkle lightly like pepper. Use a quotation that emphasizes or clarifies your message.

Here are three sources you can search for quotations:


Quote a Famous Person

This is the most common method. Be sure to quote from a person who is well known and well liked by your audience. That ensures that the quotation lends more weight to your message.

Name the person who said it. Don’t pretend to be the source of that phrase and don’t make your audience guess. An appropriate quotation helps you tap into the credibility of the person who first spoke that piece of wisdom. Select the right quotation from Albert Einstein and it sounds as if he agrees with you.

Avoid repeating the overused quotes. It looks bad when speakers are using the same quotations. If most people have heard the quotation several times you appear unoriginal in your thinking.

Instead, search for a quotation that is not so well known.

“I went to the gym on the days that I felt like it and I went to the gym on the days that I didn’t feel like it.” Muhammad Ali


Quote a Client, Colleague or Industry Expert

Another source of valuable quotations could be your clients – especially if you are talking to your staff or company colleagues. You could use praise or complaints.

The company or association founder could be a source of colorful insights. But don’t just look to the leader for words of wisdom. With a little research you might uncover hidden gems from the janitor or the guy on the loading dock.

“We hurry to ship it out and it comes back on the next truck. Why not get it right the first time?” Truck Driver


The Twist

A third variation is to take a common phrase or quotation and twist it. This technique can add an engaging element of surprise and humor to what might have been a dull presentation

“He who laughs – lasts.”

Children will offer you useful twists as they rephrase the words they hear and describe the world as they see it.

"And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us some email." 4 year old girl


How to Deliver the Quotation with Drama

Pause just before you deliver the line and just after. While you are stating the quotation, shift your stance so you look slightly different and alter your voice a bit. Then resume your previous stance and voice to demonstrate that you are back to your own words. You don’t need to deliver a perfect impersonation of the person. Just make the little shifts. Those tiny changes will help the audience perceive you as the character you are quoting. It adds drama to your presentation and makes your message more memorable.

What if you can’t remember who said it or you’re not sure if you’ve got the words right? Then preface the line with, “As my grandmother used to say…” No one will get annoyed with your grandmother for altering the line.


The right quotation and appropriate source can inject spice into your presentation. It will help make your message more engaging, insightful and memorable.

“All we have to fear - is being boring.”


© George Torok helps business professionals deliver million dollar presentations. Find more free tips at http://www.SpeechCoachforExecutives.com Learn about upcoming seminars and audio classes at http://www.Presentation-Skills-Seminars.com To arrange for personal presentation coaching call 905-335-1997


Spice Up Your Presentation with Quotations

Quotations and Insights from George Torok

more Presentation Skills Articles



Executive Speech Coach, Business presentation tips from George Torok, the Speech Coach for Executives.
Share/Save/Bookmark
Post a Comment