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Quotations about Speeches

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!)
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
His speeches to an hour-glassDo some resemblance showBecause the longer time they runThe 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
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