The Best Public Speaking Quotes Ever (Part Six)

Once per year, I post ten of my favorite quotes to the blog. Today’s the day!

Most of the quotes in this edition have to do with public speaking—although a few are about communication in general, and one is about public relations.

I did my best to authenticate each of these quotes. I was able to trace most of them back to an original source, although a few of them are merely “attributed” to that person.

If you missed the previous five installments, you can catch up here, here, here, here, and here.


Quotation Marks

1. “If I am to speak for ten minutes, I need a week for preparation; if fifteen minutes, three days; if half an hour, two days; if an hour, I am ready now.

U.S. President Woodrow Wilson

2. “The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.

Attributed to Dorothy Parker, American poet

3. “A bad beginning makes a bad ending.

Euripides, Greek playwright

4. “Make sure you have finished speaking before your audience has finished listening.

Dorothy Sarnoff, American opera singer


Opera singer Dorothy Sarnoff

Opera singer Dorothy Sarnoff


5. “He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I ever met.

U.S. President Abraham Lincoln

6. “The Golden Rule of public relations is ‘Do unto others as you would have the six o’clock news do unto you.’

Michael Iapoce, author and comedian

7. “When something can be read without effort, great effort has gone into its writing.

Enrique Jardiel Poncela, Spanish playwright and novelist


Spanish playwright Enrique Jardiel Poncela

Spanish playwright Enrique Jardiel Poncela


8. “The biggest mistake is believing there is one right way to listen, to talk, to have a conversation.

Deborah Tannen, linguistics professor

9. “The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.

Hans Hoffman, German-born American painter.

10. I love a finished speaker, I really, truly do. I don’t mean one who’s polished. I just mean one who’s through.

Richard Armour, American poet

Do you have a favorite public speaking or communication quote? Please leave it in the comments section below!