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Quotation Opener


Techniques Public speaking > Parts of the Presentation > Quotation Opener

Description | Example | Discussion | See also



Start your presentation with a quotation. Then link from this quotation into an introduction of the key subject which you are going to cover. 

The originator of the quote may be somebody alive or dead, fictional or real. The important aspect is that this person should be known and respected by your audience, otherwise the quote can fall flat. This can be mitigated by telling them (or asking them) about the credibility of the author.

Quotes from customers or other stakeholders can be particularly powerful in particular contexts.


Einstein said 'A thing should be as simple as possible -- but no simpler'. The subject I am going to cover is not simple, but I hope I can remove some of the academic complexity and throw some light into some of its darker corners.

"Your products are rubbish and you service is appalling." Who said this? It was a customer who sent me a very angry letter, which I read first thing this morning. You can imagine how disappointed I was. I also feel ashamed of how I could have let such a thing happen. This is something I never want to experience again and I want to work with each and every one of you to make our company great once again!


Using a quotation is effectively borrowing from the reputation of the originator of the quote. The quote you choose also says something about you. If you quote customers, scientists, literary authors, academics, holy texts, politicians or cartoon characters, your audience will draw certain associated conclusions about your character. 

Quotations are also useful within the body of the presentation, although there are so many good quotes out there and which are so easily available, it is easy to over-do this.

In particular if you are using quotes in slides, limit these. It is easier to drop a quote into speech. On a contrary note, it is also possible to have a set of slides that is all quotes. This would have to be done very carefully, using the quotes as springboards to

See also


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