Quotes to Start Your Presentation

55 Powerful and Inspiring Quotes to Start Your Presentation

Have you ever stopped to think about the best strategies to start a presentation and gain the audience’s attention or interlocutor? Did you know that using motivational phrases to create a presentation is a great alternative?

It doesn’t matter if you’re a student and you’re presenting a paper, or if you’re a renowned speaker. Knowing how to speak well in public implies several factors, and at any moment of your speech is a crucial moment to ensure that the presentation is successful.

According to businessman and filmmaker Peter Davies,

“Motivation is like food for the brain; you can’t have enough at a meal. Motivation needs continuous and regular recharges to nurture deep and transform a human being into a winner.”

Among the techniques you can and should use, the citation should undoubtedly be among the main in your list.

A relevant quote, which is aligned with the theme of its presentation, tied to the purpose and objective, creates a strong connection with the audience, often arousing interest and attention.

An unforgettable introduction is the first step in starting a presentation or speech. Often, we are focused only on the content presented, completely forgetting that, for the public to pay attention, it is necessary to arrest them from the beginning.

5 Best Techniques to start a Presentation or Speech

  1. Quote someone else

Opening your presentation with a relevant quote can help set the whole tone for the rest of your speech. However, when making the quote, you need to remember two essential things: a) Quote the source of the sentence and b) “Tie it” to the central theme of the presentation.

However, an important point to consider when speaking in public: Citations will depend on the style of the audience, and the moment the presenter lives. Do not push too hard or adopt a tone of voice or language that does not suit the public.

  1. Don’t be afraid to use humor.

A touch of humor is a great way to break the ice with the audience, relieve tension and connect with everyone. As the example given above quote, the key to success is making the joke related to the topic being discussed.

If this tip is not your style, you can address the other information in this article.

  1. Storytell

During the presentation, telling a story is another very clever way to start a speech.  After all, stories compellingly connect people.

But, as in the case of jokes, your story needs to bridge or contain a message that can link the introduction to the presentation

‘s content.

An excellent way to use storytelling is by using an “imaginary” scenario, but that is your life story; this will leave the participants interested and can identify better with you.

  1. Be bold and use a striking phrase.

This technique consists of giving a brief thought-provoking statement, which will set the tone of the presentation theme, especially if this is said with a strong voice, which draws attention and leaves the group ready to hear what’s next.

Therefore, when you start the speech, you can speak a bold and striking phrase and use the silence technique later, increasing the effect of the phrase.

In this sense, an example of an excellent way to catch the public’s attention is to say the sentence and pause, up to 10 seconds. 

This plan will make the audience anxious and attentive.

  1. Cite notable statistics

Using surprising statistics will show the public an immediate value in their knowledge, leaving them more interested throughout their presentation. 

It also helps stimulate the audience’s thoughts; this technique works very well when the facts reported are not common knowledge but are nevertheless relevant and stimulating.

Please make sure to be brief in the opening statement, so your opening won’t get too many easy-to-forget details.

55 Powerful and Inspiring Quotes to Start Your Presentation

1. “Success is most often achieved by those who don’t know that failure is inevitable.”

Coco Chanel

We are often afraid to start a project no matter how much we have ideas that are outside the box, and when compared to other people, we thought that this would not be successful. 

This phrase from Coco Chanel helps us understand that to be successful, and we need to subject ourselves to error sometimes.

2.  “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

We have here a phrase from one of the strong women of history known as the defender of human rights unless we identify ourselves with what people think of us; none has power over what we are and want to be.

3. “Failure is another steppingstone to greatness.”

Oprah Winfrey

With the illustrious phrase of another inspiring woman Oprah Winfrey, it became clear how error always has a positive side; getting it right is not always what we need from error comes the improvement of an idea that can continuously be improved.

4. “The whole secret of a successful life is to find out what is one’s destiny to do, and then do it.”

Henry Ford

If we discover what makes us happy, we can always succeed because happiness is the path of inspiration that leads us to unimaginable ways.

5. “A belief is only a thought you keep thinking.”

Abraham Hicks

Beliefs are socialized since we were born, depending on the socio-cultural context and the people around us. Anything is possible if you think so.

6. If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.

Maya Angelou

Often we can criticize something or behavior when we think we can do better; Angelou encourages us to get up and do it. If we still can’t change, maybe we have to change our attitude towards the situation that bothers us.

7. If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.

Napoleon Hill

Sometimes we think that success comes from great attitudes, and from thinking so much about an idea that surpasses all the others, we stand by and do nothing. Napoleon Hill encourages us to start step-by-step and what matters here is how we make it small or big.

8. Innovation, as I understand it, is both about doing different things as well as doing things differently.”

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw

Sometimes we need to get out of our comfort zone, and for that, we need not only to experience things we’ve never done before, but the way can also lead us to new paths.

9. “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking.”

Steve Jobs

When we choose the course we want to take in college, we often choose a course that our parents choose, and that doesn’t make us happy, which we shouldn’t do because we are supposed to live for ourselves and our happiness.

10. “Always remember that you are unique. Just like everyone else.”

Margaret Mead

Every human being is unique in its way, and our particular way of being cannot be compared to any other. Hence we need not be afraid when we do something new, even if someone else has already done it.

11. “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.”

Robert Louis Stevenson

This means that sometimes we will have bad days and things will be difficult, but this does not mean that we will not have good days, so we must always be kind and cheerful.

12. “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

It’s much easier to follow the path that many people have taken may seem safer. Yet, here Emerson suggests that choosing a direction is knowledge, adventure, or whatever it is we decided to learn new things and share with other people that would be the trail.

13. “People do not decide to become extraordinary. They decide to accomplish extraordinary things.”

Edmund Hillary

People aren’t born brilliant. They make decisions and make choices that push outside the box and are exceptional.

14. “Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Don’t bother to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.”

William Faulkner

Faulkner encourages us to be our competence, neither that of descendants or ascenders nor anyone but ourselves. Hold your hand and go hard.

15. “Designing a presentation without an audience in mind is like writing a love letter and addressing it ‘to whom it may concern.”

Ken Haemer

You have got to prepare yourself for whichever situations or people you’re going to come across in different environments and conditions so that you don’t do things that don’t make sense.

16. Some people feel the rain. Others get wet.”

Bob Marley

We can interpret this Bob Marley phrase as when faced with a chaotic situation, some people will despair, and others will calm down, focus, and look at the problem as an opportunity. Who the hell are you?

17. “When I’m old and dying. I plan to look back on my life and say ‘Wow, an adventure’ not, ‘Wow, I sure felt safe.’”

Tom Preston Werner

Werner means to live your life without fears and live your life intensely because you never know how it will be tomorrow.

18. Get action. Do things; be sane; don’t fritter away your time; create, act, take place wherever you are and be someone; get action.”

Theodore Roosevelt

Roosevelt encourages us to get better lives by doing something, turning into reality our dreams by consistently taking action.

19. “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”

Barack Obama

It’s for no one but ourselves that we need to improve or reinvent ourselves.

20. You have to go wholeheartedly into anything to achieve anything worth having.”

Frank Lloyd Wright

Wright tells us that following our heart is the best way to reach out to more incredible things in life; anything we put, our real feelings and natural energy will glow.

21. “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

Nelson Mandela

With this simple phrase, Mandela brings us a crucial message to live an extraordinary life; when we start by somewhere and are not there yet, it seems unreachable but never is if we don’t give up trying.

22. “There are only two days of the year when you can do nothing: one is called yesterday and the other tomorrow”

Dalai Lama

Don’t leave for tomorrow what you can do today; live each day as if it were your last.

23. “In the end, everything works out, and if it didn’t work, it’s because it hasn’t come to an end”

Fernando Sabino

What Sabino means is you have to be patient because someday, our time to shine will come.

24. “The pessimist sees difficulty at every opportunity. The optimist sees opportunity at every difficulty”

Winston Churchill

When we sync our minds to positive thinking, anything we face is reachable, and we get things done because everything turns into an opportunity to learn and grow.

26. “You have to be a protagonist. You can’t just listen to the band play, and you have to be part of the band”

Sonia Hess

In life, we face many situations that we work and live with people, but we don’t need to be ordinary because we are not; we have to show and give our best in anything we do.

27. Our failures are sometimes more fruitful than our successes”

Henry Ford

With mistakes, we learn, we improve, and one day we reach perfection.

28. “Change your mind and change your world”

Norman Vincent Peale

If we have an open mind, we will find that our way of thinking is not always the right one, and when we change our review, we will be able to put it into practice in our lives.

29. “One day you must stop dreaming, take the plans out of the drawer and somehow start”

Amyr Klink

Klink encourages us to materialize any ideas or dreams we may have and not spend days only daydreaming about them.

30. “The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change, simply by changing his attitude”

Oprah Winfrey

Sometimes the attitude we face in certain realities is the ones that prevent us from enjoying more extraordinary things in life. So you may want to think about some philosophy or way of thinking that you could use a change.

31. “Keep in mind that your desire to achieve success is more important than anything”

Abraham Lincoln

What Lincoln means is that we must work hard to achieve our goals and put them as priorities in life if we want to achieve them.

32. “Be content to act. Leave the speech to others”

Baltasar Gracián

This means to live your life no matter what other people think; if you are happy with it, be gentle with yourself.

33. “To achieve success, you need to accept all the challenges that lie ahead of you. You can’t just accept the ones you prefer”

Mike Gafka

Gafka means that Challenges turn us better if we submit to the lesson they have to teach us.

34. “A successful warrior is an average man, but with a sharp focus like a laser beam”

Bruce Lee

Lee means that even though a warrior is seen with prestige, he is a regular man. Still, the difference between them and what he is, is how he put attention to what he wants, and we can compare that analogy with daily situations such us when we see some people more successful than others.

35. “Logic can lead from point A to point B. Imagination can lead anywhere”

Albert Einstein

Things go far beyond what they seem to be, don’t focus on the obvious, and also see subtexts.

36. “The task is not so much to see what no one has seen, but to think what no one has thought about what everyone sees.”

Arthur Schopenhauer

Schopenhauer gives us a lesson about creativity; most of the time, we look for new ideas that no one ever thought about; however, imagination can recreate helpfully something that already exists.

37. “It is much better to set out in search of great conquests, even exposing oneself to failure, than to align oneself with the poor in spirit, who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a grey gloom, where they know neither victory nor defeat.”

Theodore Roosevelt

Living adventurously and risky is much more satisfying and rewarding than having a monotonous and safe life.

38. “What we predict rarely occurs; what we least expect usually happens.”

Benjamin Disraeli

This means always to expect the unexpected.

39. “Unless we change our way of thinking, we will not be able to solve the problems caused by the way we get used to seeing the world.”

Albert Einstein

Einstein encourages us to see situations more dynamically because we socialized in a certain way with ease; our thoughts can become a cycle of ignorance.

40. “Persistence is the least path to success.”

Charles Chaplin

Chaplin means that we insist and don’t give up on what we want to do. Indeed, we are going to make it no matter how much time it takes.

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41. “To discover consists in looking at what everyone is seeing and thinking something different.”

Roger von Oech

This means that we have to think like no one ever thought or even imagined to discover something.

42. “Sometimes we feel that what we do is only a drop of water in the sea. But the sea would be smaller if it lacked a drop”.

Mother Teresa de Calcuta

We all make a difference in this world; every soul counts, and every opinion counts either. Please don’t give up on sharing what you got because it is critical.

43. “The more our knowledge increases, the more evident is our ignorance.”

John F. Kennedy

The more things you learn, the more things you need to learn because no one can know anything about anything.

44. When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the plane takes off against the wind, not in his favor.”

Henry Ford

Remember that Henry Ford suggested the car model we use today back in his time, and nobody but him believed it was possible, he had nobody but himself to hold hands. Don’t give up.

45. “No matter how slow you go, as long as you don’t stop.”


Do things in your time and never give up.

46. “An entrepreneur sees opportunities where others see only problems.”

Michael Gerber

Someone who sees a chance to grow in any situation is a winner, and he has nothing to lose because, in any position of life, we can get something that could be what we didn’t expect.

47. Choose a job you like, and you won’t have to work a single day of your life.”


If you choose a job that you love, you don’t feel like you’re working; you’re doing a leisure activity.

48. “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you do, you will succeed.”

Albert Schweitzer

As Nga, a rapper, says, there is no way to happiness because happiness is when we vibrate good feelings, especially do things we love, life becomes more accessible.

49. “Don’t play games you don’t understand, even if you see many other people making money with them.”

Tony Hsieh

Don’t do things through other people’s influence to make your life easier.

50. “Nothing great has ever been achieved without enthusiasm.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

When we do things without good energy, they can easily be ruined.

51. “The thoughts we choose to have are the tools we use to paint the picture of our lives.”

Louise Hay

Your way of thinking will determine the course of our lives, which means always be open to new forms of thinking so you can live in a more inclusive World.

52. “Success is born of wanting, determination, and persistence in reaching a goal. Even not reaching the target, who seeks and overcomes obstacles, at least will do admirable things.”

José de Alencar

What Alencar means is that when we want something, even if we don’t get what we were thinking at first, we always get something.

53. “To act, that is the true intelligence. I will be whatever I want. But I have to want whatever it is. Success lies in being successful, not in being able to succeed. Palace conditions have any wide land, but where will the palace be if they don’t do it there?”

Fernando Pessoa

Pessoa says that when we want something, conditions don’t determine if we thrive or not, but our vibration towards it and that will makes us anything we desire.

54. “You can get anything you want in life if you help other people get what they want.” 

Zig Ziglar

If you are kind to other people, they will give back in the future.

55. I like the impossible because there is less competition.”

Walt Disney

Walt means that the unthinkable doesn’t exist; most people can’t perseverance, so he does because few people can.


How you open your presentation determines how interested the public will be in what will be said afterward. So, when thinking about how to start a speech or presentation, evaluate if your introduction is completely bland; this will be the initial message that the audience will get from the speaker and the display itself.

Reference and Further Reading

Ace The Presentation. Amadebai, E. 11 Best Body Language Tips for Engaging Presentations.

Ace The Presentation. Amadebai, E. 120 Persuasive Speech Topics.

Ace The Presentation. Amadebai, E. 8 Awesome Persuasive Speech Techniques.

Ezine Articles. Toney, B (2011). Key Elements of a Persuasive Speech.

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