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Public Speaking Course: 

Quotations

In your public speaking course, you will learn how the use of quotations during your presentation can be a good way to get your audience's attention. Another good thing about using quotations is that if the saying bombs, you didn't write it and you can still use it to make your point.

You can also use the power of the person's name who did write it. If the quotation is funny, people will be more likely to laugh or at least chuckle if a well known person said it. These are some of the benefits that you will learn from your public speaking course.

If you are not sure who stated a particular quotation, you can still use it in your presentation. Unless I am absolutely certain who said something, I always give myself an out. I will say 'I BELIEVE' it was ____________ who said. Saying this keeps me out of trouble for attributing the quotation to the wrong person. If I have no idea who said it then I say something like, 'My great, great grandpappy used to say . . .;, or 'My old aunt Maude used to say . . . ;. However, if you know for sure who said something and their name carries weight, go ahead and use it for it gives power to the point you are trying to make. When you are trying to be funny, don't feel bad about twisting the quotations to meet your situation. Mark Twain will never say a word about it. Neither will anyone else if you introduce your quotation by saying, 'Someone once said,' or 'My great, great, grandpappy used to say.' Then change the quotation around any way that suits you.

There are literally thousands and thousands of different quotations that you can find to use in your presentation. Any bookstore will have quotation books or you can look on the internet for quotation web sites. Here are some of my favorite quotations:

"It takes less time to do a thing right than to explain why you did it wrong." -- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
"When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on." -- Franklin Delano Roosevelt
"In the first place God made idiots; this was for practice. Then he made school boards." -- Mark Twain
(Take out school boards and substitute anything that fits your purpose).
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened." -- Winston Churchill
"I am a friend of the workingman, and I would rather be his friend than be one." -- Clarence Darrow
"I never made a mistake in my life; at least, never one that I couldn't explain away afterward." -- Rudyard Kipling
"Get your facts first and then you can distort them as much as you please." -- Mark Twain
"Many of us spend half our time wishing for things we could have if we didn't spend half our time wishing." -- Alexander Woollcott
"He is more apt to contribute heat than light to a discussion." -- Woodrow Wilson
"Everything comes to him who hustles while he waits." -- Thomas Edison
"When you have got an elephant by the hind legs and he is trying to run away, it's best to let him run." -- Abe Lincoln

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