Impactful Public Speaking Quotes to Inspire You!

Feb 8, 2023 | Public Speaking

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Public speaking is a daunting task for many of us. But it’s often a task we cannot avoid. Whether it be giving a presentation at work or doing the best man speech at your friend’s wedding, it’s hard to know where to start. That’s where public speaking quotes are inspiring.

Don’t battle on alone. Learn from the masters – the wisdom of some of history’s greatest public orators is an excellent kicking off point when preparing your own speech. From sage advice to words of wisdom, these little aphorisms and knowledge nuggets can soothe your nerves and spark your creativity.

Spanning Winston Churchill to Mark Twain, our list of public speaking quotes contains some of the deepest thinkers in world history. So, if you’ve got a public speaking event to prepare for, don’t fear. Here are some of the best public speaking quotes ever uttered.

Impactful public speaking quotes


“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 S. Churchill

(British Prime Minister during World War II)


“A wise man speaks because he has something to say; a fool speaks because he has to say something.”

(Classical Greek philosopher)


“Be sincere; be brief; be seated.”

-Franklin D. Roosevelt

(32nd American President during World War II)


“The way you overcome shyness is to become so wrapped up in something that you forget to be afraid.”

-Lady Bird Johnson

(American socialite and first lady of President Lyndon B. Johnson)


“If I went back to college again, I’d concentrate on two areas: learning to write and to speak before an audience. Nothing in life is more important than the ability to communicate effectively.”

-Gerald R. Ford

(38th American President)



“The most precious things in speech are the pauses.”

-Sir Ralph Richardson

(English actor)


“Well-timed silence hath more eloquence than speech.”

-Martin Fraquhar Tupper

(English writer and poet)


“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

(American poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist)


“Be still when you have nothing to say; when genuine passion moves you, say what you’ve got to say, and say it hot.”

-D.H. Lawrence

(English writer and poet)


“We don’t always have an accurate view of our own potential. I think most people who are frightened of public speaking and can’t imagine they might feel different as a result of training. Don’t assume you know how much potential you have. Sometimes the only way to know what you can do is to test yourself.”

-Scott Adams

(Creator of the Dilbert comic strip)


“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

(American writer and lecturer)


“Speech is power: speech is to persuade, to convert, to compel.”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

(American, essayist, poet, and philosopher)



“Picture yourself in a living room having a chat with your friends. You would be relaxed and comfortable talking to them; the same applies when public speaking.”

-Richard Branson

(Founder of the Virgin Group)


“If you’re not comfortable with public speaking – and nobody starts out comfortable; you have to learn how to be comfortable – practice. I cannot overstate the importance of practicing. Get some close friends or family members to help evaluate you, or somebody at work that you trust.”

-Hillary Clinton

(American politician and lawyer)


“You are not being judged; the value of what you are bringing to the audience is being judged.”

-Seth Godin

(American author and entrepreneur)


“Simple and to the point is always the best way to get your point across.”

-Guy Kawasaki

(American marketing specialist, author, and venture capitalist)


“The first time you say something, it’s heard; the second time, it’s recognized; the third time, it’s learned.” – John Maxwell

(American author, speaker, and pastor)


“It’s what you practice in private that you will be rewarded for in public.”

-Tony Robbins

(American author, coach speaker, and philanthropist)



“The first 30 seconds and the last 30 seconds have the most impact in a presentation.”

-Patricia Fripp

(Keynote speaker and executive speech coach)


“Speak like you talk, not like you write.”

-Craig Valentine

(1999 World Champion of Public Speaking)


“If you don’t want to preach, put stories in your speech.”

-Andy Harrington 

(Professional public speaker and coach)


“When you’re rehearing, just focus on giving the speech, and then look at the video. You really cannot give a speech and be critiquing it at the same time.”

-TJ Walker

(Professional public speaker and coach)


“Humans are completely incapable of reading and comprehending text on a screen and listening to a speaker at the same time. Therefore, lots of text (almost any text!), and long, complete sentences are bad, Bad, BAD.”

-Garr Reynolds

(Internationally-acclaimed communications consultant and author)


“90% of how well the talk will go is determined before the speaker steps on the platform.”

 -Somers White

(Keynote speaker and former Arizona State Senator)


There is a pearl of wisdom waiting to be understood in each of these public speaking quotes. Learning from these masters of speaking and writing, you can hone your skill and bolster your public speaking abilities. Is there a public speaking quote we missed that you love? Or do you have any words of advice you’ve learned when practicing public speaking? Tell us about it.

Need Public Speaking Inspiration?

If you need help with public speaking, don’t hesitate to contact our team for a free consultation. With over 20 years of experience, we’re ready to transform you into a public speaking pro. No more nerves. No more anxiety. Just steady confidence that comes from being trained by the best.

Contact Speech and Voice Enterprises today and learn about our online 2-Day Public Speaking Seminarsaccent reductionvoice improvement training, and more online public speaking courses today!

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