How To Source Quotes That Will Enhance Your Presentation Message

Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.

– John F. Kennedy

Quote these words once… everyone in the room pays attention as they remember the story behind it. Repeat them often, they lose meaning and become just another phrase.

You love a good quote? So does your audience.

Share-worthy quotes have inspired presenters to create a theme around them.

The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.  

– Bruce Lee


Good quotes enrich your presentations, when you use them in context.

A quote by well-known personalities or popular characters from pop culture can give your presentation the kick start it needs.

Great ones make you memorable.


Quotes are all around you. They are like the silent wind that whispers words you’ve been seeking. You can turn any phrase that is meaningful and succinct to emphasise or enliven your presentation message.

If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.
― Mark Twain


Historical quotes are still used today because they are powerful. They have meaning behind them, which makes them timeless. Books can be a great place to start compiling a list of quotes you’d want to use. Some of these include Readers Digest, Mankind’s Greatest Quotes, Barlett’s Famous Book of Quotes, or The Wise and Witty Quotebook.

However, if, like most people, you are time-poor, a simple Google (bing or opera) search for “quotes by famous personality” will get you on the right track. If you include a theme in the search it will help curate the list.

I’d rather not rule the earth. I just want to marry the girl next door and live in the suburbs.

— Dynamo

  • Quotes by lesser souls

Give a less famous personality chance at fame and glory by using their quotes. This isn’t simply about being altruistic. A not-so-familiar quote gives your message a refreshing and original touch, than a quote that has been flogged to death. It is more powerful when you can bring something to your audience that strikes a chord with them AND that they have not heard before.

Pay attention to what you read. You’ll find gems in newspapers, magazine, op-eds, interviews, TEDs, blogs, movies, books, comics, and even podcasts and Youtube videos.

 Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.
― Oscar Wilde

  • Obscure Quotes

There is a quote hidden inside all of us waiting to be heard. Tap into this unlikely source of advice, point of view, sarcasm, or wit. While you have to dig through layers of drivel, your family, neighbours, co-workers, bosses, teachers, customers, clients, and your hairdresser or trainer may pass on a genuine gem or two.

Get started on your quoting journey

Online directories are a good place to start. You’ll find new and rather interesting quotes –

Quote aggregators


Have a quote you’d like to share with us?