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Grab Your Audience with a Great Quote

By January 23, 2017June 23rd, 2019No Comments
screen capture from the 1947 movie, "Man to Man," which was a video produced to teach people better sales techniques

A quote is a great way to start your presentation as everyone loves them. A powerful quote is a great way to grab your audience’s attention right away.

Elmer Wheeler said, “Your first 10 words are more important than your next 10,000. In fact, if your first 10 words aren’t the right words, you won’t have a chance to use the next 10,000.”


Wheeler is one of the godfathers of sales. Perhaps you know him from the famous phrase, “Don’t sell the steak, sell the sizzle?” He coined the phrase in the 1940’s.

Starting your presentation or training well is one of the most important parts to a positive audience experience. The beginning sets the tone. The beginning puts your audience into a frame of mind. And the beginning sets up the expectations for what’s to come.


Whether you realize it or not, the quotes you use are a reflection of who you are and how you think. As such, only use quotes that have had a profound impact on your thinking.

To add even more impact, when you share the quote with your audience, share a little back story about how you discovered the quote and how it has impacted your life. Your audience will “feel” the authenticity in your words and story and better appreciate your message.


One last and important point. Ensure you thoroughly research the author of the quote and ensure he/she did in fact, say what you want to source.

I have often seen interpretations of a quote leading to the re-phrasing of the quote and attribution to the wrong person.

And if you think someone won’t point out the error in the middle of your presentation or training, think again. I’ve seen it become an argument. And the argument then derailed the entire audience experience–all over who was the correct author of a quote.

Sites to find your great quote

Photography Source:  Screen capture from the 1947 movie, “Man to Man,”

Ira Koretsky

Ira Koretsky has built The Chief Storyteller® into one of the most recognized names in communication, especially business storytelling. He has delivered over 500 keynote presentations and workshops in nearly a dozen countries, in more than one hundred cities, across 30 plus industries. His specialties are simplifying the complex and communicating when the stakes are high. He is also an adjunct professor in public speaking and storytelling at the University of Maryland's Business School. With over 25 years of experience, he is a sought-after storytelling coach, global speaker, trainer, consultant, communication coach, and public speaking coach.