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Best speeches quotes

Talk low, talk slow, and don't say too much.

John Wayne, actor

First learn the meaning of what you say, and then speak.

Epictetus, philosopher

He who knows little knows enough if he knows how to hold is tongue.

Italian Proverbs,

The trouble with me is that I like to talk too much.

William Howard Taft, president

Tell the audience what you're going to say, say it; then tell them what you've said.

Dale Carnegie, writer

To speak and to speak well, are two things. A fool may talk, but a wise man speaks.

Ben Jonson, poet

People who know little are usually great talkers, while men who know much say little.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, philosopher

There are two kinds of people who don't say much, those who are quiet and those who talk a lot.


Talking without thinking is like shooting without taking aim.


They talk most who have the least to say.

Matthew Prior, poet

Lots of people act well, but few people talk well. This shows that talking is the more difficult of the two.

Oscar Wilde, dramatist

The less people think the more they talk.


A smart person knows what to say, a wise person knows whether or not to say it.


Say not always what you know, but always know what you say.

Claudius, leader

Speak little and to the purpose.


Speaking comes by nature, silence by understanding.


All the great speakers were bad speakers at first.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, poet

Two great talkers will not travel far together.


What you are doing rings so loudly in my ears that I can't hear what you're saying.


Little said is soon amended. There is always time to add a word, never to withdraw one.

Baltasar Gracian, philosopher

Only the prepared speaker deserves to be confident.

Dale Carnegie, writer

Say what you have to say and first time you come to a sentence with a grammatical ending; sit down.

Winston Churchill, politician

You can speak well if your tongue can deliver the message of your heart.

John Ford, dramatist

Be ever on your guard what you say of anybody and to whom.

Horace, poet

Do you wish people to think well of you? Don't speak well of yourself.

Blaise Pascal, philosopher

Don't talk unless you can improve the silence


A closed mouth catches no flies.


It's not so much knowing when to speak, when to pause.

Jack Benny, comedian

Speakers who talk about what life has taught them never fail to keep the attention of their listeners.

Dale Carnegie, writer

A man does not know what he is saying until he knows what he is not saying.

G. K. Chesterton, writer

Orators are most vehement when their cause is weak.

Marcus Tullius Cicero, statesman

What is uttered is finished and done with.

Thomas Mann, writer

Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable and to give an appearance of solidarity to pure wind.

George Orwell, author

A good speaker makes a good liar.


I didn't say the things I said.

Yogi Berra, athlete

Talk is cheap, except when Congress does it.

Cullen Hightower,

Before you speak ask yourself if what you are going to say is true, is kind, is necessary, is helpful. If the answer is no, maybe what you are about to say should be left unsaid.

Bernard Meltzer, lawyer

When I think over what I have said, I envy dumb people.

Marcus Annaeus Seneca Seneca The Elder, rhetorician

He who does not say too much has too much to say.


Rhetoric paints with a broad brush.

George Carlin, comedian

Haven't you learned yet that I put something more than whisky into my speeches.

Winston Churchill, politician

I do not speak of what I cannot praise.

Johann von Goethe, writer

I never let my subject get in the way of what I want to talk about.

Mark Victor Hansen, businessman

We talk little when we do not talk about ourselves.

William Hazlitt, critic

Every time you have to speak, you are auditioning for leadership.

James C. Humes,

Most of the time in married life is taken up by talk.

Friedrich Nietzsche, philosopher

Be sincere, be brief; be seated.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, president

Is sloppiness in speech caused by ignorance or apathy? I don't know and I don't care.

William Safire, author

When ever the speech is corrupted so is the mind.

Marcus Annaeus Seneca Seneca The Elder, rhetorician

Too many of us speak twice before we think


To climb a tree to catch a fish is talking much and doing nothing.

Chinese Proverbs,

We speak that what we know and testify to that which we have seen.


I have reached the conclusion, a bit late perhaps, that speeches should be short.

Fidel Castro, statesman

We should speak as the populace but think as the learned.

Sir Edward Coke,

The more you are talked about the less powerful you are.

Benjamin Disraeli, statesman

Better never begin than never make an end.

George Herbert, poet

Most speakers speak ten minutes too long.

James C. Humes,

Look wise say nothing and grunt, speech was given to conceal thought.

William Osler, scientist

Be interesting, be enthusiastic... and don't talk to much.

Norman Vincent Peale, clergyman

Some people approach every problem with an open mouth.

Adlai Stevenson, politician

If you have nothing to say, say nothing.

Mark Twain, author

When at a loss how to go on, cough.


Grasp the subject, the words will follow.

Cato The Elder, historian

He that speaks much, is much mistaken.

Benjamin Franklin, politician

The trouble with talking too fast is you may say something you haven't thought of yet.

Ann Landers, journalist

Most people have to talk so they won't hear.

May Sarton, poet

There is nothing in the world like a persuasive speech to fuddle the mental apparatus.

Mark Twain, author

The words of tongue should have three gate keepers.

Arabic Proverbs,

Speak when you are spoken to.


I don't care how much a person talks, if they only say it in a few words.

Josh Billings, comedian

The first evil those who are prone to talk suffer, is that they hear nothing.

Plutarch, philosopher

If it requires great tact to speak to the purpose, it requires no less to know when to be silent.

Francois de la Rochefoucauld, writer

Our public men are speaking every day on something, but they ain't saying anything.

Will Rogers, actor

He suffered from a rush of words to the head.

Herbert Samuel, statesman

If an eloquent speaker speak not the truth, is there a more horrid kind of object in creation?

Thomas Carlyle, philosopher

One good anecdote is worth a volume of biography.

William Ellery Channing, writer

The business of obscuring language is a mask behind which stands the much bigger business of plunder.

Frantz Fanon, psychologist

Many have been the wise speeches of fools, though not so many as the foolish speeches of wise men.

Thomas Fuller, clergyman

Persuasive speech, and more persuasive sighs, Silence that spoke and eloquence of eyes.

Homer, poet

The people only understand what they can feel; the only orators that can affect them are those who move them.

Alphonse De Lamartine, poet

Speak properly, and in as few words as you can, but always plainly; for the end of speech is not ostentation, but to be understood.

William Penn, leader

I'm no expert standing at a podium giving speeches. I share heartbeats. Compassion.

Elizabeth Berkley, actress

He who comes from afar may lie without fear of contradiction as he is sure to be listened to with the utmost attention.


Speak and the man shall be shown.


A speech should not just be a sharing of information, but a sharing of yourself.

Ralph Archbold,

What we say is important... for in most cases the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

Jim Beggs,

He mouths a sentence as curs mouth a bone.

Charles Churchill, poet

Opening amenities are often opening inanities.

Winston Churchill, politician

Great is our admiration of the orator who speaks with fluency and discretion.

Marcus Tullius Cicero, statesman

Condense some daily experience into a glowing symbol and an audience is electrified.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, poet

Half wits talk much, but say little.

Benjamin Franklin, politician

Once you get people laughing, they're listening and you can tell them almost anything.

Herbert Gardner,

It is delivery that makes the orators success.

Johann von Goethe, writer


Mary McCarthy, author

The best way to conquer stage fright is to know what you're talking about.

Micheal Mescon,

Find out what's keeping them up nights and offer hope. Your theme must be an answer to their fears.

Gerald C. Meyers,

Passions are the only orators to always convinces us.

Francois de la Rochefoucauld, writer

It is terrible to speak well and be wrong.

Sophocles, poet

Men govern nothing with more difficulty than their tongues, and can moderate their desires more than their words.

Baruch (Benedict de) Spinoza,

I would rather be guilty of talking over a person's head than behind his back.

Adlai Stevenson, politician

An orator who is disposed to evil subverts the law.


The secret of successful speakers? Passion and compassion with a purpose.

Lily Walters,

Unconsciousness is one of the most important conditions of good style in speaking and writing.

R. S. White,

A good speaker is a good listener who hears what lesser speakers fail to.

Somers White,

Talk to a woman as if you loved her, and to a man as if he bored you.

Oscar Wilde, dramatist

When you make as many speeches and you talk as much as I do and you get away from the text, it's always a possibility to get a few words tangled here and there.

Dan Quayle, vice president

The very best impromptu speeches are the ones written well in advance.

Ruth Gordon, actress

It is unacceptable that disabled veterans in Illinois rank at the bottom of the list when it comes to disability pay. We owe our disabled veterans more than speeches, parades and monuments.

Dick Durbin, politician

Democracy is not about making speeches. It is about making committees work.

Alan Bullock, historian

If you can't write your message in a sentence, you can't say it in an hour.

Dianna Booher,

Most people have ears, but few have judgment; tickle those ears, and depend upon it, you will catch those judgments, such as they are.

Lord Chesterfield, statesman

Women prefer to talk in twos, while men prefer to talk in threes.

G. K. Chesterton, writer

If you have an important point to make, don't try to be subtle or clever. Use the pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time; a tremendous whack.

Winston Churchill, politician

A good orator is pointed and impassioned.

Marcus Tullius Cicero, statesman

There is no power like that of true oratory. Caesar controlled men by exciting their fears; Cicero, by captivating their affections and swaying their passions. The influence of the one perished with its author; that of the other continues to this day.

Henry Clay, statesman

He rose without a friend and sat down without an enemy.

Henry Gratton,

I don't like jokes in speeches. I do like wit and humor. A joke is to humor what pornography is to erotic language in a good novel.

James C. Humes,

Churchill wrote his own speeches. When a leader does that, he becomes emotionally invested with his utterances... If Churchill had had a speech writer in 1940, Britain would be speaking German today.

James C. Humes,

Adlai Stevenson has a genius for saying the right thing, at the right time, to the wrong people.

Joe E. Lewis, comedian

With all his tumid boasts, he's like the sword-fish, who only wears his weapon in his mouth.

John Madden, entertainer

Before a man speaks, it is always safe to assume that he is a fool. After he speaks it is seldom necessary to assume.

H. L. Mencken, writer

I know you will guess all I leave unsaid.

Comte De Mirabeau,

What orators lack in depth, they make up to you in length.

Montesquieu, philosopher

Once I have heard the story or joke used twice by other speakers or entertainer, I avoid it.

Tom Ogden,

Every speaker has a mouth; An arrangement rather neat. Sometimes it's filled with wisdom. Sometimes it's filled with feet.

Robert Orben, entertainer

There is danger when a man throws his tongue into high gear before he gets his brain a-going.

C. C. Phelps,

Oratory is the art of making deep noises form the chest sound like important massages from the brain.

H. L. Phillips,

Before the tongue can speak, it must have lost the power to wound.

Peace Pilgrim, activist

One way of looking at speech is to say it is a constant stratagem to cover nakedness.

Harold Pinter, dramatist

It is a thing of no great difficulty to raise objections against another man's oration--nay, it is a very easy matter; but to produce a better in its place is a work extremely troublesome.

Plutarch, philosopher

I sometimes marvel at the extraordinary docility with which Americans submit to speeches.

Adlai Stevenson, politician

The relationship of the toastmaster to the speaker should be the same as that of the fan to the fan dancer. It should call attention to the subject without making any particular effort to cover it.

Adlai Stevenson, politician

All the other candidates are making speeches about how much they have done for their country, which is ridiculous. I haven't done anything yet, and I think it's just common sense to send me to Washington and make me do my share.

Gore Vidal, novelist

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, novelist

Never rise to speak till you have something to say; and when you have said it, cease.


I bear solemn witness to the fact that NATO heads of state and of government meet only to go through the tedious motions of reading speeches, drafted by others, with the principal objective of not rocking the boat.

Pierre Trudeau, statesman

We must get the American public to look past the glitter, beyond the showmanship, to the reality, the hard substance of things. And we'll do it not so much with speeches that will bring people to their feet as with speeches that bring people to their senses.

Mario Cuomo, politician

As a vessel is known by the sound, whether it be cracked or not; so men are proved, by their speeches, whether they be wise or foolish.

Demosthenes, statesman

When I read great literature, great drama, speeches, or sermons, I feel that the human mind has not achieved anything greater than the ability to share feelings and thoughts through language.

James Earl Jones, actor

Each party steals so many articles of faith from the other, and the candidates spend so much time making each other's speeches, that by the time election day is past there is nothing much to do save turn the sitting rascals out and let a new gang in.

H. L. Mencken, writer

I don't want to spend the rest of my life giving speeches.

Colin Powell, statesman

I know they are all environmentalists. I heard a lot of my speeches recycled.

Jesse Jackson, activist

Using rhetorical questions in speeches is a great way to keep the audience involved. Don't you think those kinds of questions would keep your attention?

Bo Bennett, entrepreneur

To win the cause we all believe in, the spread of true democracy all over the world, we need to win by example, not just with speeches but by example; not just with military might but by gaining the respect of the world.

Barbara Boxer, politician

When you make speeches you elicit expectations against which you will be held accountable.

Bill Bradley, politician

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

Frances Rodman,

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.

Garry Trudeau, cartoonist

Between speeches and awards, you can find something to do every other week. It's hard to write. Your focus gets splintered. Once you put one thing in your calendar, that month is gone.

August Wilson, playwright

I have said consistently both in my papers and in my speeches - which you heard in the primary campaign - that I will continue to phase out the Capital Stock and Franchise tax.

Ed Rendell, politician

Several speeches were made by the chiefs during the council, all expressive in the highest degree of their friendly disposition towards our government, and their conduct in every particular manifested the sincerity of their declarations.

William Henry Ashley, businessman

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Who has the best quotes? Top quotes from American, British, French, German and Spanish authors. 16 Ben Jonson quotes, 8 Frantz Fanon quotes, sayings and images.

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