All Those Big Speeches

Sunday, June 17, 2012 – All Those Big Speeches

As a vessel is known by the sound, whether it be cracked or not; so men are proved, by their speeches, whether they be wise or foolish. ~ Demosthenes

Commencement speeches were invented largely in the belief that outgoing college students should never be released into the world until they have been properly sedated. ~ Garry Trudeau

Democracy is not about making speeches. It is about making committees work. ~ Alan Bullock

Each party steals so many articles of faith from the other, and the candidates spend so much time making each other’s speeches, that by the time election day is past there is nothing much to do save turn the sitting rascals out and let a new gang in. ~ H. L. Mencken

Liberty doesn’t work as well in practice as it does in speeches. ~ Will Rogers

The problem with speeches isn’t so much not knowing when to stop as knowing when not to begin. ~ Frances Rodman

Today’s public figures can no longer write their own speeches or books, and there is some evidence that they can’t read them either. ~ Gore Vidal

There are two things that are more difficult than making an after-dinner speech: climbing a wall which is leaning toward you and kissing a girl who is leaning away from you. ~ Winston Churchill

Men use thought only as authority for their injustice, and employ speech only to conceal their thoughts. ~ Voltaire

In our time political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible. ~ George Orwell

Nothing is so unbelievable that oratory cannot make it acceptable. ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero

He can take a batch of words and scramble them together and leaven them properly with a hunk of oratory and knock the White House door-knob right out of a candidate’s hand. ~ Will Rogers

Did you ever think that making a speech on economics is a lot like pissing down your leg? It seems hot to you, but it never does to anyone else. ~ Lyndon B. Johnson

Any man who makes a speech more than six times a year is bound to repeat himself, not because he has little to say, but because he wants applause and the old stuff gets it. ~ William Feather

There is a certain age at which a child looks at you in all earnestness and delivers a long, pleased speech in all the true inflections of spoken English, but with not one recognizable syllable. ~ Annie Dillard

I will be brief. Not nearly so brief as Salvador Dali, who gave the world’s shortest speech. He said I will be so brief I have already finished, and he sat down. ~ Gene Fowler

Anyone wishing to communicate with Americans should do so by e-mail, which has been specially invented for the purpose, involving neither physical proximity nor speech. ~ Auberon Waugh

Why doesn’t the fellow who says, “I’m no speechmaker,” let it go at that instead of giving a demonstration? ~ Kin Hubbard

Be sincere; be brief; be seated. ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt

Always be shorter than anybody dared to hope. ~ Lord Reading

It’s quite simple. Say what you have to say and when you come to a sentence with a grammatical ending, sit down. ~ Winston Churchill

Talk low, talk slow, and don’t talk too much. ~ John Wayne

When a sermon at length comes to an end, people rise and praise God, and they feel the same way after many other speeches. ~ John Andrew Holmes

Oratory is the power to talk people out of their sober and natural opinions. ~ Joseph Chatfield

The nature of oratory is such that there has always been a tendency among politicians and clergymen to oversimplify complex matters. From a pulpit or a platform even the most conscientious of speakers finds it very difficult to tell the whole truth. ~ Aldous Huxley

Words ought to be a little wild for they are the assaults of thought on the unthinking. ~ John Maynard Keynes

Make sure you have finished speaking before your audience has finished listening. ~ Dorothy Sarnoff

The human brain starts working the moment you are born and never stops until you stand up to speak in public. ~ George Jessel

There is nothing in the world like a persuasive speech to fuddle the mental apparatus and upset the convictions and debauch the emotions of an audience not practiced in the tricks and delusions of oratory. ~ Mark Twain

I sometimes marvel at the extraordinary docility with which Americans submit to speeches. ~ Adlai E. Stevenson


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