When was the last time you attended a conference where the speaker didn’t just say: “Oh hi, my name is XYZ and today, I’ll be speaking to you about Topic X”?
Great stories possess riveting narrative arcs that begin strong and end strong. We’ve written at length about some of the best ways to end your presentation, but how does one design a presentation to start without sounding too cliche?
One of the most powerful ways to begin a presentation is to start by sharing a powerful and memorable quote that relates to the message of your talk.
Powerful quotes have so much power on your presentation. Not only does it help reinforce your message, it also helps boost your credibility since it implied the quote is ‘agreeing’ with your statement.
Take this TED talk by Andrew Solomon for example. Notice how he skilfully uses a quote from a book by Emily Dickinson to set the stage for his numerous anecdotes regarding the topic on Depression in his presentation:
Hence, if you’re looking to follow suit and start your next presentation strong with a powerful quote, we’ve got you covered. Here, we compiled a list of 50 quotes that you can use to boost your next presentation.
50 Powerful Quotes To Start Your Presentation:
1) “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” – Mark Twain
2) “Yesterday’s home runs don’t win today’s games.” – Babe Ruth
3) “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” – Albert Einstein
4) “If you’re too comfortable, it’s time to move on. Terrified of what’s next? You’re on the right track.” – Susan Fales Hill
5) “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” – Bill Gates
6) “You can’t look at the competition and say you’re going to do it better. You have to look at the competition and say you’re going to do it differently.” – Steve Jobs
7) “Make every detail perfect and limit the number of details to perfect.” – Jack Dorsey
8) “Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time. The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire. This is your moment. Own it.” – Oprah Winfrey
9) “Your smile is your logo, your personality is your business card, how you leave others feeling after an experience with you becomes your trademark.” – Jay Danzie
10) “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” – Warren Buffett
11) “Some entrepreneurs think how can I make a lot of money? But a better way is to think how can I make people’s lives a lot better? If you get it right, the money will come.” – Richard Branson
12) “When Henry Ford made cheap, reliable cars people said, ‘Nah, what’s wrong with a horse?’ That was a huge bet he made, and it worked.” – Elon Musk
13) “There are two types of people who will tell you that you cannot make a difference in this world: those who are afraid to try and those who are afraid you will succeed.” – Ray Goforth
14) “Keep on going, and the chances are that you will stumble on something, perhaps when you are least expecting it. I never heard of anyone ever stumbling on something sitting down.” – Charles F. Kettering
15) “People rarely buy what they need. They buy what they want.” – Seth Godin
16) “Please think about your legacy, because you’re writing it every day.” – Gary Vaynerchuck
17) “The golden rule for every business man is this: Put yourself in your customer’s place.” – Orison Swett Marden
18) “A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.” – David Brinkley
19) “Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing it is stupid.” – Einstein
20) “The problem with the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat.” – Lilly Tomlin
21) “When you run a part of the relay and pass on the baton, there is no sense of unfinished business in your mind. There is just the sense of having done your part to the best of your ability. That is it. The hope is to pass on the baton to somebody who will run faster and run a better marathon.” – N. R. Narayana Murthy
22) “Whatever you’re thinking, think bigger.” – Tony Hsieh
23) “When you find an idea that you can’t stop thinking about, that’s probably a good one to pursue.” – Josh James
24) “What would you do if you’re not afraid?” – Sheryl Sandberg
25) “Don’t worry about failure, you only have to be right once.” – Drew Houston
26) “When I’m old and dying. I plan to look back on my life and say ‘Wow, an adventure’ not, ‘Wow, I sure felt safe’” – Tom Preston Werner
27) “80% of your sales comes from 20% of your clients.” – Vilfredo Pareto
28) “You just have to pay attention to what people need and what has not been done.” – Russell Simmons
29) “We are really competing against ourselves, we have no control over how other people perform.” – Pete Cashmore
30) “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.” – Wayne Gretzy
31) “Always remember, your focus determines your reality.” – George Lucas
32) “If people like you they’ll listen to you, but if they trust you they’ll do business with you.” – Zig Ziglar
33) “Words may inspire but action creates change.” – Simon Sinek
34) “It isn’t what we say or think that denies us, but what we do.” – Jane Austen
35) “Get action. Do things; be sane; don’t fritter away your time; create, act, take a place wherever you are and be someone; get action.” – Theodore Roosevelt
36) “There is only one boss. The customer.” – Sam Walton
37) “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” – Barack Obama
38) “You have to go wholeheartedly into anything in order to achieve anything worth having.” – Frank Lloyd Wright
39) “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela
40) “Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.” – Bob Marley
41) “There is no great genius without some touch of madness.” – Seneca
42) “If you think you are too small to make an impact try going to bed with a mosquito in the room.” – Ekaterina Walter
43) “If you just work on stuff that you like and you’re passionate about, you don’t have to have a master plan with how things will play out.” – Mark Zuckerberg
44) “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas Edison
45) “Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.” – Abraham Lincoln
46) “Don’t build links. Build relationships.” – Rand Fishkin
47) “100 percent of the shots you don’t take, don’t go in.” – Wayne Gretzky, Hockey Legend
48) “If you’ve got an idea, start today. There’s no better time than now to get going. That doesn’t mean quit your job and jump into your idea 100 percent from day one, but there’s always small progress that can be made to start the movement.” – Kevin Systrom, Founder of Instagram
49) “Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.” – Jack Welch, Former CEO of GE
50) “You must be very patient, very persistent. The world isn’t going to shower gold coins on you just because you have a good idea. You’re going to have to work like crazy to bring that idea to the attention of people. They’re not going to buy it unless they know about it.” – Herb Kelleher, Founder of Southwest Airlines.
There you have it!
Phew! – now you have an additional 50 powerful quotes that you can add in your presentation arsenal. Leave an unforgettable impression on your presentation with these quotes starting today!
Comment down your favourite quote. And let us know if you have any that we didn’t add to the list!