Public Speaking Quotes

This page is full of public speaking quotes. Gems to use when you want to add some impact to a point you're making.

The headings on this page are commonly used themes in speeches. Several public speaking quotes follow each heading so you can make your points with a bit of flair.

Conquering Fear

Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.Bertrand Russell, Unpopular Essays (1950), "Outline of Intellectual Rubbish"British author, mathematician, & philosopher (1872 - 1970)

I've grown certain that the root of all fear is that we've been forced to deny who we are.Frances Moore Lappe, O Magazine, May 2004

I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what.Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, 1960US novelist (1926 - )

Overcoming Adversity

What is defeat? Nothing but education; nothing but the first step to something better.Wendell PhillipsUS abolitionist (1811 - 1884)

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.Helen KellerUS blind & deaf educator (1880 - 1968)

You desire to know the art of living, my friend? It is contained in one phrase: make use of suffering.Henri-Frédéric Amiel

The Power of Love

Love, and do what you will.St Augustine

Love is everything it's cracked up to be…It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for.Erica Jong, O Magazine, February 2004

Love is the big booming beat which covers up the noise of hate.Margaret Cho, weblog, 01-15-04

Love all, trust a few. Do wrong to none.William Shakespeare, "All's Well That Ends Well", Act 1 Scene 1Greatest English dramatist & poet (1564 - 1616)

The Brevity Of Life

The whole life of man is but a point of time; let us enjoy it.PlutarchGreek biographer & moralist (46 AD - 120 AD)

Life is short. Go slowly.Buddhist saying

I don't think of the past. The only thing that matters is the everlasting present.W. Somerset Maugham, The Moon and SixpenceEnglish dramatist & novelist (1874 - 1965)

Helping Others

One must be poor to know the luxury of giving.George EliotEnglish novelist (1819 - 1880)

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.The Dalai LamaTibetan Buddhist religious leader (1935 - )

That best portion of a good man's life, His little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love.William WordsworthEnglish poet (1770 - 1850)

Finding Meaning

Man - a being in search of meaning. Plato

To know, is to know that you know nothing. That is the meaning of true knowledge. Socrates

Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather he must recognize that it is he who is asked. Viktor E. Frankl


To succeed is nothing, it's an accident. but to feel no doubts about oneself is something very different: it is character.Marie Leneru, Oprah Magazine, May 2004

I honestly think it is better to be a failure at something you love than to be a success at something you hate. George Burns

How can they say my life is not a success? Have I not for more than sixty years got enough to eat and escaped being eaten? Logan P. Smith

Formula for success: rise early, work hard, strike oil. J. Paul Getty

Living Life To The Full

Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment. Buddha

Life must be lived as play. Plato

There is no wealth but life. John Ruskin

You could use these public speaking quotes as ideas for an entire speech.

Public speaking quotes can also be used within a speech to help you be more persuasive ... used well they add to your ethos (credibility).

Public speaking quotes like these can even give you more confidence as you approach a topic. Lean on the words of the wise to help overcome your own fears ... people have been doing it for centuries!

Return from Public Speaking Quotes to the Home Page