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Famous Speeches
Fill-In Quotations
- A -
No one means all he says, and yet very few say all they mean, for words are slippery and thought is viscous.
Henry Adams

You ain't learnin' nothing when you're talking.
Lyndon B. Johnson's office.

There's an app for that.
iPhone slogan.

Managers who are skilled communicators may also be good at covering up real problems.
Chris Argyris

At last the secret is out, as it always must come in the end,
The delicious story is ripe to tell to the intimate friend;
Over the tea-cups and in the square the tongue has its desire;
Still waters run deep, my dear, there's never smoke without fire.

W. H. Auden

- B -
Nobody speaks the truth when there's something they must have.
Elizabeth Bowen

Listening, not imitation, may be the sincerest form of flattery.
Joyce Brothers

We should keep silent about those in power; to speak well of them almost implies flattery; to speak ill of them while they are alive is dangerous, and when they are dead is cowardly.
Jean de La Bruyère

Whereas logic is the art of demonstrating truth, eloquence is the gift of winning over people's hearts and minds so that you may inspire them and persuade them in whatever way you choose.
Jean de La Bruyère

- C -
Then you should say what you mean, the March Hare went on. I do, Alice hastily replied; at least - at least I mean what I say - that's the same thing, you know. Not the same thing a bit! said the Hatter. Why, you might just as well say that I see what I eat is the same thing as I eat what I see!
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Lewis Carroll

I say what I mean, you hear what I say. That is the end of it.
Barbara Cassani

Wisdom comes with talking less frivolously and listening more seriously. The latter implies a learning attitude; the former assumes an air of omniscience that does not exist.
S. K. Chakraborty

Words are so futile, so feeble.
Charlie Chaplin

Meeting jaw to jaw is better than war.*
*Attribution questionable.
Winston Churchill

To jaw-jaw is always better than to war-war.*
*Attribution questionable.
Winston Churchill

When you have nothing to say, say nothing.
Charles Colton

If you don't say anything you won't be called on to repeat it.
Calvin Coolidge

Avoid fight or flight, talk through differences.
Stephen R. Covey

Just as location, location, location defines value in real estate, in business today it's connectivity that equals competitiveness.
Mary J. Cronin

- D -
If a lady says No, she means Perhaps; if she says Perhaps, she means Yes; if she says Yes, she is no Lady. If a diplomat says Yes, he means Perhaps; if he says Perhaps, he means No; if he says No, he is no Diplomat.
Bertrand Dawson

- E -

- F -
No grand idea was ever born in a conference, but a lot of foolish ideas have died there.
F. Scott Fitzgerald

At office-managerial level ... you do not read more than the first two sentences of any given report. You believe that anything which cannot be put into two sentences is not worth attending to.
Penelope Fitzgerald

Think before you speak is criticism's motto; speak before you think is creation's.
E. M. Forster

Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can't, and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it.
Robert Frost

- G -
Even the frankest and bravest of subordinates do not talk with their boss the same way they talk with colleagues.
Robert Greenleaf

- H -
If no thought your mind does visit, make your speech not too explicit.
Piet Hein

Speak clearly, if you speak at all; carve every word before you let it fall.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

- I -

- J -
If you haven't struck oil in your first three minutes, stop boring!
George Jessel

A speech is a solemn responsibility. The man who makes a bad thirty-minute speech to two hundred people wastes only a half-hour of his own time. But he wastes one hundred hours of the audience's time - more than four days - which should be a hanging offense.
Jenkin Lloyd Jones

Talking and eloquence are not the same: to speak, and to speak well, are two things. A fool may talk, but a wise man speaks.
Ben Jonson

- K -
Men often hate each other because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don't know each other; they don't know each other because they can not communicate; they can not communicate because they are separated.
Martin Luther King Jr.

- L -
The more you talk and listen to a bad character the more you lose your dislike for him.
Henry Lawson

Ships that pass in the night, and speak each other in passing;
Only a signal shown and a distant voice in the darkness;
So on the ocean of life we pass and speak one another,
Only a look and a voice; then darkness again and a silence.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Blessed are they who have nothing to say, and who cannot be persuaded to say it.
James Russell Lowell

- M -
At a dinner party one should eat wisely but not too well, and talk well but not too wisely.
W. Somerset Maugham

Let us commence, if we may.
Colman McCarthy

- N -

- O -

- P -
Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.

And 'tis remarkable, that they talk most who have the least to say.
Mathew Prior

- Q -

- R -
Why can we remember the tiniest detail that has happened to us, and not remember how many times we have told it to the same persons?
François de La Rochefoucauld

By creating conversation, we let our customers spread our message by word of mouth.
Anita Roddick

A writer writes not because he is educated but because he is driven by the need to communicate. Behind the need to communicate is the need to share. Behind the need to share is the need to be understood.
Leo Rosten

Extremists think 'communication' means agreeing with them.
Leo Rosten

Humor is the affectionate communication of insight.
Leo Rosten

- S -
Let us say what we feel, and feel what we say; let speech harmonize with life.

We often say a speaker needs no introduction: what most of them need is a conclusion. In my view, an after-dinner speech - and I've experienced 40,000 of them - needs a good beginning, a good ending, and not much space in between.
Ivor Spencer

Writing, when properly managed (as you may be sure, I think mine is), is but a different name for conversation.
Laurence Sterne

Man does not live by words alone, despite the fact that sometimes he has to eat them.
Adlai Stevenson

The relationship of the toastmaster to the speaker should be the same as that of the fan to the fan dancer. It should call attention to the subject without making any particular effort to cover it.
Adlai Stevenson

There are few wild beasts more to be dreaded than a talking man having nothing to say.
Jonathan Swift

- T -
The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when one asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer.
Henry David Thoreau

Better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt.
Mark Twain

It usually takes me more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech.
Mark Twain

- U -

- V -

- W -
I like hearing myself talk. It is one of my greatest pleasures. I often have long conversations with myself, and I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.
Oscar Wilde

- X -

- Y -

- Z -