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
It usually takes me more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech. ~Mark Twain
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
Liberty don’t work as good in practice as it does in speeches. ~Will Rogers
His speeches to an hour-glass
Do some resemblance show
Because the longer time they run
The 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

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