Quotes in Presentations: To Google or Not to Google?

Do you use quotes in your presentations? An interesting article by Florian Mueck made me aware of the fact that I don’t – and that I should.

Main message (of the article): Use of quotes in your speech is a great tool to boost your credibility.

Method: Google for quotes on topics you want to give a speech about, pick the ones you like – and use them.

I loved the idea. A few months ago, I’ve read Thinkertoys, a book on creativity / problem solving techniques. Every chapter began with a quote from Sun Tzu’s Art of War. And each of those quotes was a great invitation to the following chapter.

Still, in my opinion, the method that Florian introduced carries some risk.

The googled quotes may be:

If the presentation you want to enhance with wise words is not due tomorrow, you can consider the following alternative:

Take a look at a few books on the topic you’ll be covering. If you’ll search for sentences worth quoting there, bet you’ll find more than just a few!

Advantages:

  • You won’t just be trying to appear smart (you will be!)
  • You’ll be better able to tie the quote into the flow of your presentation (because you’ll know the context in which it was used)
  • You’ll be adding value by sharing a quote that is meaningful to you as a person

Apparent weakness:

It takes more time! (But not as much as you would think if you read fast)

Therefore:

If you want a quick fix – let Google find the quotes.

If you’re not in a rush – let’s experiment a little:

Use Google to find the best book on the topic of your interest. Buy it. Read it. Bookmark it. Highlight the best parts. Write notes. List all the phrases you find catchy.

You have just started creating a quote library.

Unique one. Your own.

Use these quotes for your next presentation.

Let’s see if you spot any difference.

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