Quotes for Public Speakers (No. 164) – John Kennedy

John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) 35th President of the United States

John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) 35th President of the United States

“The only reason to give a speech is to change the world.”

— John F. Kennedy

About John Zimmer

International speaker, presentation skills expert, lawyer, improv performer
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8 Responses to Quotes for Public Speakers (No. 164) – John Kennedy

  1. Peitho says:

    The great Dale Carnegie…ever relevant. John, thank you for this wonderful quote. He is right! And he lived by it, didn’t he?

  2. mikeschultz says:

    Reblogged this on Brinker Toastmasters and commented:
    A high standard, but…

  3. Nick Morgan says:

    John — can you tell me where/when JFK said this? I’ve often seen this attributed to JFK, but never seen a real citation. When I used it to start my book, I searched widely for a source, but couldn’t find a real JFK listing. I’d be grateful to know it.

    • John Zimmer says:

      Nick, thanks for the comment. Whenever I see something you’ve written (be it this comment or otherwise), I sit up and take notice. When I see a quote that I think would be a good fit for the blog, I search it on several sites to be (reasonably) that it is accurate. In this case, I looked at sites such as Ethos3, Wisdom Quotes and others. But I cannot give you a definitive reference.

      In fact, a similar issue arose in another quote that I posted not all that long ago. You can see it here. It has often been attributed to Winston Churchill but it is not certain that Churchill ever said it. I might have to make the same adjustment on this one. But first, I will keep my eye out for a source for Kennedy and will let you know if I am successful.

      Thanks again for the interest and support.


      PS – Was giving a presentation with Olivia Schofield in Antwerp, Belgium a week ago and she showed your wonderful “Lead with the Heart” video clip. It was well received by the audience and we both made sure to encourage people to check out your work.

    • Nick, John – I know Nancy Duarte also attributes this quote to JFK, on page 194 of Resonate. So you could try asking her if she managed to track down a source.

      Coincidentally, recently I cited this quote too, in a post about the ultimate purpose of every talk being to persuade the audience to act:

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