Quotes for Events - Giving a Speech

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Quotes for giving a speech.

. . . since brevity is the soul of wit, And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes, I will be brief.

The loud applause your speech received Was not at all deserved. It was not the speech you gave we liked, But the dinner that you served.
A rhetorician of times past said that his trade was to make little things appear and be thought great. That's a shoemaker who can make big shoes for a small foot. They would have had him whipped in Sparta for professing a deceitful and lying art. . . . Those who mask and make up women do less harm, for it is a matter of small loss not to see them in their natural state; whereas the other men make a profession of deceiving not our eyes but our judgment, and of adulterating and corrupting the essence of things.
Very good orators, when they are out, they will spit.
That is not good language which all understand not.
To make oneself understood is good enough language for me; all your fine sayings don't do me no good.
The best foundation of eloquence, is the being master of the subject upon which a man is to speak. That is a root that will furnish sap to a discourse, so that it shall not go dry.
It is not enough to speak the language he speaks in, in its utmost purity, and according to the rules of grammar; but he must speak it elegantly; that is, he must choose the best and most expressive words, and put them in the best order. He should likewise adorn what he says by proper metaphors, similes and other figures of rhetoric; and he should enliven it, if he can, by quick and sprightly turns of wit.
. . . true Expression, like th' unchanging Sun, Clears, and improves whate'er it shines upon, It gilds all Objects, but it alters none. Expression is the Dress of Thought, and still Appears more decent as more suitable; A vile Conceit in pompous Words exprest, Is like a Clown in regal Purple drest; For diff 'rent Styles with diff'rent Subjects sort, As several Garbs with Country, Town, and Court.
The average intellect of five hundred persons, taken as they come, is not very high. It may be sound and safe, so far as it goes, but it is not very rapid or profound. A lecture ought to be something which all can understand, about something which interests everybody.
A liberal use of wine makes after-dinner speaking much easier. Men will then laugh heartily at the oldest kind of a chestnut.
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.
My heart goes out to anyone who is making his first appearance before an audience of human beings.
Once I was elected to membership in a certain business organization. I went to its dinners where there was much speech-making. At first I regretted that I could not hear those often long orations. Then, one year, they printed them after the dinner and I read them. I haven't felt a mite of sorrow since.
I suppose that for every half-hour speech that I make before a convention or over the radio, I put in ten hours preparing it.
To read as if you were talking you must first write as if you were talking. What you have on the paper in front of you must be talk stuff, not book stuff.
You can scrap, in writing a talk, most of what you've been told all your life was literary good form. You have to; if you want your talk to ring the bell and walk in and sit down by the hearth.
On the platform, as anyone used to public speaking knows, it is almost impossible not to take your tone from the audience. It is always obvious within a few minutes what they will respond to and what they will not, and in practice you are almost compelled to speak for the benefit of what you estimate as the stupidest person present, and also to ingratiate yourself by means of the ballyhoo known as "personality." If you don't do so, the result is always an atmosphere of frigid embarrassment.
The man who writes only for the eye generally writes badly; the man who writes to be heard will write with some eloquence, some regard for the music of words, and will reach nearer to his reader's heart and mind.
I wonder whose after-dinner speeches, in history, have been most dreaded? Socrates went on and on but at least he kept his young fellow diners wide awake by catching them out with trick questions. . . . Of course you don't have to go back almost two thousand years to find people who bang on; they are right with us today.

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