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Quotations about Speeches


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Why doesn't the fellow who says, "I'm no speechmaker," let it go at that instead of giving a demonstration?  ~Kin Hubbard


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


Never be grandiloquent when you want to drive home a searching truth.  Don't whip with a switch that has the leaves on, if you want it to tingle.  ~Henry Ward Beecher


But I... never could make a good impromptu speech without several hours to prepare it.  ~Mark Twain, 1879 speech (Thanks, Garson O'Toole of quoteinvestigator.com!)


Be sincere; be brief; be seated.  ~Franklin D. Roosevelt, on speechmaking


When a sermon at length comes to an end, people rise and praise God, and they feel the same way after many other speeches.  ~John Andrew Holmes


Nothing is as easy to make as a promise this winter to do something next summer; this is how commencement speakers are caught.  ~Sydney J. Harris


A speech is poetry: cadence, rhythm, imagery, sweep!  A speech reminds us that words, like children, have the power to make dance the dullest beanbag of a heart.  ~Peggy Noonan


The nature of oratory is such that there has always been a tendency among politicians and clergymen to oversimplify complex matters.  From a pulpit or a platform even the most conscientious of speakers finds it very difficult to tell the whole truth.  ~Aldous Huxley


Always be shorter than anybody dared to hope.  ~Lord Reading, on speechmaking


I sometimes marvel at the extraordinary docility with which Americans submit to speeches.  ~Adlai E. Stevenson


Oratory is the power to talk people out of their sober and natural opinions.  ~Joseph Chatfield


The eloquent man is he who is no beautiful speaker, but who is inwardly and desperately drunk with a certain belief.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, Journals, 1845


Few speeches which have produced an electrical effect on an audience can bear the colourless photography of a printed record.  ~Archibald Philip Primrose


His speeches left the impression of an army of pompous phrases moving over the landscape in search of an idea.  ~Author Unknown


Political speeches are like steer horns.  A point here, a point there, and a lot of bull in between.  ~Alfred E. Neuman


Public speaking is the art of diluting a two-minute idea with a two-hour vocabulary.  ~Evan Esar


Liberty don't work as good in practice as it does in speeches.  ~Will Rogers


Most people tire of a lecture in ten minutes; clever people can do it in five. Sensible people never go to lectures at all. But the people who do go to a lecture and who get tired of it, presently hold it as a sort of grudge against the lecturer personally. In reality his sufferings are worse than theirs. ~Stephen Leacock, My Discovery of England, 1922


I never lecture, not because I am shy or a bad speaker, but simply because I detest the sort of people who go to lectures and don't want to meet them. ~H.L. Mencken


His speeches to an hour-glass
Do some resemblance show
Because the longer time they run
The shallower they grow.
~Author Unknown


The problem with speeches isn't so much not knowing when to stop, as knowing when not to begin.  ~Frances Rodman


A speech is like a woman's skirt: it needs to be long enough to cover the subject matter but short enough to hold the audience's attention.~Author Unknown


Commencement oratory must eschew anything that smacks of partisan politics, political preference, sex, religion or unduly firm opinion.  Nonetheless, there must be a speech: Speeches in our culture are the vacuum that fills a vacuum.  ~John Kenneth Galbraith


Today's public figures can no longer write their own speeches or books, and there is some evidence that they can't read them either.  ~Gore Vidal


Commencement speeches were invented largely in the belief that outgoing college students should never be released into the world until they have been properly sedated.  ~G.B. Trudeau


The best way to sound like you know what you're talking about is to know what you're talking about.  ~Author Unknown



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Last modified 2013 Dec 11 Wed 07:25 PST


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