Category: Content

A client recently sent over a deck of slides for a big presentation on leadership. The first slide was a quote from Jack Welch, the former GE Chairman.

“My main job was developing talent. I was a gardener providing water and other nourishment to our top 750 people. Of course, I had to pull out some weeds, too.”

What a great quote!

But what value do you add to the audience by putting it on the slide? We think none at all. That’s why we advise our clients never to put quotes on slides.

Remember that the speaker is the most important visual; far more important than any slide. You’re there as a leader to influence your audience with your ideas and your intensity.

When you put a quotation on a slide, you undermine your presentation by diverting attention from you to the slide.

And you certainly don’t undermine the impact of the quotation by delivering it without the slide. Indeed, we think it’s far more impactful to look at the audience and state the quote from memory, or if necessary from a cheat sheet.

Imagine this:

You stand before your audience with a blank screen. Here’s how you start.

“We’re here today to discuss leadership training. And when we’re talking about this issue, I’m reminded of a quote from Jack Welch. He said, ‘My main job was developing talent. I was a gardener providing water and other nourishment to our top 750 people. Of course, I had to pull out some weeds, too.’” 

Now that’s the way to grab your audience’s attention! Having your audience look at a slide while you read it to them won’t have near the impact.

By the way, if you’re looking for quotations to use in presentations try www.wikiquote.org.

Speechworks is a communication and selling skills coaching firm. We teach professionals how to craft and deliver complex messages in a simple, persuasive manner. Since 1986, through workshops and one-on-one instruction, we have helped countless individuals become better presenters and communicators. You can reach us at 404.266.0888, speech@speechworks.net or on the web at www.speechworks.net

Recent Posts

Oct2018

Do you “Dare to Be that Good?” Presenting Well Takes Courage.

By Joey Asher Category: Nerves During one of our recent workshops, a woman banker had just delivered a wonderfully engaging presentation about a program she was passionate about. During the presentation, she smiled. She moved [...]

Oct2018

Instead of Trying to be Funny, Try to Keep it Light

By Joey Asher Category: Content “Can you teach me how to be funny?” That’s a question I get a lot. And the answer is “No”. But I can teach you to keep it light. And [...]

Sep2018

It Takes Personal Courage to Give A Great Speech

By Joey Asher Category: Nerves I had an English professor in college who said, “If you write a really great story, you’re screwed.” He meant that the best storytellers have the courage to open up [...]