Quotes for Public Speakers (No. 119)

Pablo Neruda (1904-1973) Chilean Poet, Diplomat and Nobel Laureate

“All paths lead to the same goal: to convey to others what we are. And we must pass through solitude and difficulty, isolation and silence in order to reach forth to the enchanted place where we can dance our clumsy dance and sing our sorrowful song—but in this dance or in this song there are fulfilled the most ancient rites of our conscience in the awareness of being human and of believing in a common destiny.”

—  Pablo Neruda


About John Zimmer

International speaker, presentation skills expert, lawyer, improv performer
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2 Responses to Quotes for Public Speakers (No. 119)

  1. Olivia Coker says:

    Dear John,

    Beautiful, thank you for posting this. This is another way of saying that the ultimate human goal, and by extension speaker’s goal, is to be yourself. No other offering is as meaningful. And it returns us to the humanitarian TED speech you analyzed a while ago. Why was he such a powerful speaker? He was himself, without adornment, without defenses, essentially without apology. Working from the outside — evaluation, analysis of movement, voice, etc. — is effective to a degree, but the hardest work is removing all impediments to conveying the core of the person speaking, and the depth and impact of the message depend on that.

    Thanks again for your ongoing contribution to our oratorical odysseys!

    Olivia Coker

    • John Zimmer says:

      Olivia, thank you for the thoughtful and elegant comment. I appreciate your taking the time to elaborate on what I believe is a fundamental point when it comes to public speaking (and other things as well).

      With appreciation,


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