7 Must-Know Rules About Using Quotes


“A fine quotation is a diamond in the hand of a man of wit and a pebble in the hand of a fool.”

– Joseph Roux

A riveting presentation contains many elements.  Of these, three are important – relatable stories, credible data and influential quotes.

Quotations add brevity and finesse to your message. Some quotes are formidable on their own. The author doesn’t matter to the audience. Other phrases get power from their creator.

How do you use them in your presentation?

Maximize emotional impact by inserting quotes into your slides in different ways.

# RUle 1 Give your quote its own slide

A slide with a strong quote never fails to resonate with your audience. It helps them get the gist, big picture or key point. To make the words pop out, use bigger font sizes (40-60).

# RUle 2 Create strong visual effects

You can achieve this by contrasting between text and background. A dark background with text in white or a light background with vibrant coloured text. Format the quotes for an eye-catching experience using overlays and filters.

# Rule 3 Choose short but effective quotes

The shorter the quote, the easier it is to remember.  Use simple but relevant lines that best summarise an idea or point. The rule of thumb is to stick to phrases with 15 words or less.

You can also paraphrase quotes to match your theme or idea.

# Rule 4 use unfamiliar quotes to Stimulate

Popular quotes have been reused to the point that audiences are indifferent to them.

Striking quotes from lesser-known personalities, on the other hand, have the surprise value.  They can challenge your listeners’ perceptions and make them think.

# Rule 5 Add good quotes from experts

Nothing increases the credibility of your claims than a quote from an industry expert or influential figure. Your statements backed by a certified authority with related experience, serves as a reminder and practical guide for your audience.

# Rule 6 Provide context for quotes

Instead of plain text, display your quote in different ways. Add an author image for renowned persons. Include the name of author or book image, if the audience isn’t familiar with the quote.

Online memes are popular for a reason. They have a striking image that helps viewers connect written words to the visual. Steal this idea for your quote slides.

# Rule 7 Put long quotes through the chopping board

Sometimes, a quote fits perfectly with your topic and makes sense. But its length deters you from borrowing it. Shorten it and use ellipsis (…) to indicate the words cut off.  If the quote has multiple phrases, pick a distinct line that suits your purpose.

Do you use quotes in your presentations? Care to share some examples with us?

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