Quotes for Public Speakers (No. 179) – Bill Bernbach

William (Bill) Bernbach (1911 - 1982) American Advertising Creative Director

William (Bill) Bernbach (1911 – 1982) American Advertising Creative Director and Co-Founder of DBB

The truth isn’t the truth until people believe you, and they can’t believe you if they don’t know what you’re saying, and they can’t know what you’re saying if they don’t listen to you, and they won’t listen to you if you’re not interesting, and you won’t be interesting unless you say things imaginatively, originally, freshly.”

— Bill Bernbach

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About John Zimmer

International speaker, presentation skills expert, lawyer, improv performer
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7 Responses to Quotes for Public Speakers (No. 179) – Bill Bernbach

  1. bernagora says:

    It’s a long logical progression, and each transition can be wrong.
    1. “The truth isn’t the truth until people believe you” – no, it is still the truth, at least one of the truths. I guess an advertising director wants to persuade, but this has no relation to truths. In everyone’s opinions, there are many “who don’t believe the truth”!
    2. “they can’t believe you if they don’t know what you’re saying” – no, that is why we have experts and authorities, who we can believe without listening!
    3. “they can’t know what you’re saying if they don’t listen to you” or read your advertising, articles or handout.
    4. “they won’t listen to you if you’re not interesting” unless they are forced to, which unfortunately is often the case
    5. “and you won’t be interesting unless you say things imaginatively, originally, freshly.”
    The main point of interest is to me the topic. I have listened to many poor presentations and got value from them. The mind of the listener is the most important active factor, not the delivery.
    All generalizations are wrong, including this one. Graham Tritt /TM Berne

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    • John Zimmer says:

      Thanks for the comment and the detailed insights, Graham. I agree that if something is true, it is true regardless who, or how many, believe it. I appreciate your taking issue with some of the things Bernbach said. I like it when a quote stimulates critical thinking and discussion.

      Cheers,

      John

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  2. Pingback: Improve Your Public Speaking With These Ideas | iWebArticle - News Article Directory

  3. Jenny Sayell says:

    Thank you, John.

    Your posts often spark ideas on how to teach my “Powerful Presentation” classes at the Hochschule Rhein-Waal in Kleve, Germany.

    It is a new university of applied sciences. I try to help students present academic subjects more creatively in their classes, and have more fun doing it.

    Better go: students waiting!

    Thanks again and best regards.

    Jenny

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    • John Zimmer says:

      Thanks very much for the comment, Jenny. Glad you enjoy the blog. It sounds like you have an interesting and important job. Good luck with your course.

      John

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  4. Brilliant John 🙂 🙂 🙂 ! Can’t tell you how apt a quote this is for me today !

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