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[Speaking-Out-Loud July 2015] Using second hand words - recycling with quotations
July 08, 2015
Welcome to the July Issue of Speaking-Out-Loud write-out-loud.com's newsletter to help you effectively "talk your walk".
In this Issue
Recycle, re-use, borrow ...
We humans are a perverse group. We have deeply ingrained stigmas over using other people's castoffs like clothes or furniture but we have few qualms about sifting through piles of their second hand words. The best of these we pounce on to use over and over again because adding other people's words or quotations to our speeches can lift them from ordinary to inspiring.
Through a well chosen quotation we borrow from its original owner:
Finding the right quotation to fit your speech is not that difficult if you're willing to spend some time patiently flicking through collections. There are many on the internet, usually usefully divided into topic categories. Similarly you'll find books of them in your local library.
I have handy themed collections on my site for use in varying special occasion speeches.
Using a quote
Once you've found a quotation you'd like to use, consider how it fits your speech.
Does it fit the tone?
Does it add meaning, clarity, authority or wisdom?
Try saying your speech out loud. If the quotation doesn't sound right, either find a way to make it fit or leave it out. Sometimes your words are better than anybody else's second hand ones! If you're unsure get someone to listen and give you feedback.
And a final word of warning, if you do use a quotation please don't fall into the trap of trying to pass it off as your own. Somebody is bound to know it, particularly if you've picked a well known, (to people other than yourself), author, speaker, celebrity, philosopher...
Click the link for an example of how a quotation can be used to make a powerful speech ending.
Check this example 40th birthday speech to see a quote worked to fit its context.
And lastly, here's a retirement speech that also makes use of a quotation.
A round up of pages, either revamped with added information or new on the site.
Grammarly. My new favorite! It seems I was a tad late to this party - a mere 5.3 million people found it before me. If you're not one of them, check it out. It's truly wonderful. You'll find tips and tricks to deal with all those pesky English language details.
Comment, share & connect
If you've got comments, feedback or questions you're most welcome to contact me through my about me page.
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Until next time,
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