Dumb is putting aside hours for preparation:
Smart is learning how to prepare very quickly.
Dumb is making sure your presentation dots every i and crosses every t:
Smart is making sure your audience understands and remembers the message.
Dumb is learning how to cope with nerves:
Smart is learning how to exploit them.
Dumb is toiling over a script:
Smart is not needing one.
Dumb is being conscious of how you are looking:
Smart is being conscious of how your audience is responding.
Dumb is thinking you can overnight become a stand-up comedian
Smart is learning how otherwise to employ humour
Dumb is handling the stress:
Smart is relishing your relationship with your audience.
Dumb is hoping they'll hear you:
Smart is developing your voice.
Dumb is practising the skill till you can get it right:
Smart is practising it till you can't get it wrong.
Dumb is suppressing your interest:
Smart is finding out more.
These links are designed to answer the agonised cry, "I don't know any quotes, anecdotes or humour!" They are listed broadly in order of descending value as I see it, and frankly most people could live very happily with only the first three.
The other links are there for those with a greater sense of adventure — and time to indulge it — and the last is for the most serious students of the art.
Of course, if you have enough time to spare, you can explore further by following links on from these to other sites. If you find anything exciting on such expeditions, please notify me.
Ask not what your country can do for you...
Wise men speak because they have something to say...
The chiasmus is such a memorable, and therefore powerful figure of speech that it is ideal for a 'face' - as Jack Kennedy found. You think it is beyond your ability to create? Well, Dr Mardy Grothe is an obsessive student of brilliant wordplay and clever, elegant phrasing and has this excellent site from which you may find help and will certainly find ideas. He has published several books of quotations, and every Sunday sends out a free newsletter by email. I subscribe to it, and I heartily recommend it: it is a continuing source of excellent quotes.
ALSO MARDY'S SITE NOW HAS PROBABLY THE WORLD'S GREATEST COLLECTION OF METAPHORICAL QUOTATIONS. JUST CLICK ON DMDMQ ON THE RIGHT OF THE BAR AT THE TOP OF HIS WINDOW
A huge and lavish site devoted to quotes. I am something of a quotoholic; yet it's enough to make even my appetite tire. Do I follow them on Twitter? Yes, but then I'm very sad.
Calls itself "The Best Collection of Quotes on the Internet"
Quotations galore. An excellent collection!
A trainee pointed me at this.
Do you realise that the divorce rate in Maine correlates closely with the per capita consumption of cheese?
If you are looking for a rather zany but useless fact, or - more seriously - you want to warn against seeking causality where there is none, here's a fun source of material.
The best defense against logic is ignorance.
That's just one example. There are hundreds, or thousands, more.
Calls itself ‘the internet’s premier quotations resource’ – and I’m not inclined to argue. Although excellently categorised, it also boasts a search facility. Of late it has taken to selling merchandise with quotes printed thereon, which is slightly tiresome, but they have to live too!
The thoughts of Chairman Carter! As well as this being a brilliant source of clever and inpirational pithy quotes for business people, it is also where you can buy Bud Carter's book, aptly titled "Pithy Quotes".
Example: "Production minus sales equals scrap."
Very highly recommended.
A huge source of quotations
Does exactly what it says on the tin
'Upmarket' is a difficult word to use, but frankly that is what we have here. We find quotes that have long shelf-lives, not because they are funny or quirky but because they are wise.
It has a drawback: it is itself a links page - and many of its links are out of date and blind alleys.
Topics or messages 'out of the air'!
When you've been asked merely "to say a few words" without any suggestion of what they should be about, you may well find ideas or inspiration from this site. What I love about it is that it is so unfashionably learned.
Most of the contents are rather serious self-help things. There are some valuable ideas to be found, particularly for motivational speeches.
Here you will find transcripts of some of the most famous speeches in history, but please bear in mind what Lord Roseberry said in his 'Life of Pitt', “Few speeches which have produced an electrical effect on an audience can bear the colourless photography of a printed record.”
NB: I actively seek feedback on this list, so please send me your observations (or suggestions for additions!). Note that it is constantly being updated, so it's worth checking back here from time to time.