Quotes for Public Speakers (No. 76) – Booker T. Washington

Booker T. Washington (1856-1915) American Orator and Political Leader

“I believe that one always does himself and his audience an injustice when he speaks merely for the sake of speaking. I do not believe that one should speak unless, deep down in his heart, he feels convinced that he has a message to deliver. When one feels, from the bottom of his feet to the top of his head, that he has something to say that is going to help some individual or some cause, then let him say it; and in delivering his message I do not believe that many of the artificial rules of elocution can, under such circumstances, help him very much. Although there are certain things, such as pauses, breathing, and pitch of voice, that are very important, none of these can take the place of soul in an address. When I have an address to deliver, I like to forget all about the rules for the proper use of the English language, and all about rhetoric and that sort of thing, and I like to make the audience forget all about these things, too.”

— Booker T. Washington

Advertisements

About John Zimmer

International speaker, presentation skills expert, lawyer, improv performer
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Quotes for Public Speakers (No. 76) – Booker T. Washington

  1. Pingback: Speak, But Not Merely for the Sake of Speaking. | Fodder4Thought

  2. Pingback: Tweets that mention Quotes for Public Speakers (No. 76) | Manner of Speaking -- Topsy.com

  3. florian says:

    Simply powerful, simply true. A speech with soul can lack rhetorical devices, a technocratic speech without soul is useless. I didn’t know that one, John. Great stuff! Thanks.

    Like

Join the conversation. We'd like to have your opinion.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s