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15 Inspiring Public Speaking Quotes (Famous, Funny, & Fear-Reducing)

One
thing we’ve learned in this series
about public speaking
 is
that it’s normal to have a fear
of public speaking
. Hopefully,
you’ve also learned that it’s possible to improve your public speaking skills
through mastering
the right techniques
 and through
practice
.

If
you’re one of those who’s struggling to become a better speaker, though, it can
be easy to become discouraged. You may feel that you’re the only one who’s got
to work on their speaking skills or the only one who suffers from a fear of
public speaking. You may feel unmotivated about your upcoming speech and you
may be tempted to quit.

The
truth, though, is that you’re not alone. There are many others who have learned
to improve their public speaking skill. When you struggle with something,
sometimes it helps to know that you’re not alone. In this article, I share
public speaking quotes from such famous people as Jerry Seinfield and others.
My hope is that when you read some of these inspirational quotes about public
speaking you’ll be encouraged.

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Read
on for some motivational quotes for public speaking.

Top
Quotes About Public Speaking

Here
are some of the best quotes about public speaking that I’ve found. In this list
you’ll find funny quotes on public speaking, fear of public speaking quotes,
and famous quotes on public speaking. To make it easier to follow, I’ve divided
the list into sections—starting
with the fear of public speaking quotes.

Fear
of Public Speaking Quotes

Fear
of public speaking is one of the most common phobias that people face. Some
studies estimate that as many as 75% of us have
this common fear. If
you struggle with fear of public speaking (sometimes known as stage fright),
hopefully you’ll find these quotes about public speaking from those who’ve
faced a fear of public speaking to be helpful.

1. Emma Roberts

Emma
Roberts is a popular actress who has appeared in numerous movies and
televisions shows. Roberts has appeared on Teen
Vogue
‘s best dressed list and even served as a brand ambassador for the
Neutrogena skin care line.

With
those accomplishments you wouldn’t expect Roberts to have stage fright, but in
February of 2010 Roberts was quoted in the Los
Angeles Times
 as
saying,

“…doing
a music video is so embarrassing. I don’t think I’ll be doing [another] album
unless I write it for someone else. I have stage fright. I can’t ever do
theater because I would pee my pants … It’s way too nerve-racking. There’s a
comfort in being able to mess up when you’re on a movie set.”

2. Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi
Mahatma Gandhi, Photo from Wikipedia 

One
of the greatest influencers and leaders of the 20th century, Gandhi led the Indian
independent movement from British rule. Gandhi’s efforts ultimately led to an
independent India and inspired thousands around the world.

Yet,
Gandhi struggled with shyness. In Gandhi’s autobiography, there’s
an entire chapter on shyness. The chapter includes this motivational quote, which
can be applied for public speaking,

“My
shyness has been in reality my shield and buckler. It has allowed me to grow.
It has helped me in my discernment of truth.”

3. Prince Harry

Even
being a royal doesn’t make you immune from fear of public speaking. Princy
Harry, the younger son of Charles and Diana (Prince and Princess of Wales), has
admitted to struggling with fear or public speaking. Multiple news outlets,
such as The Times, have documented Harry’s stage fright, which was part of the 2014 World
Aids Day #FeelNoShame campaign.
Here’s the fear of public speaking quote from the Prince, 


My secret is — believe it or not — I get incredibly nervous before public
speaking, no matter how big the crowd or the audience and, um, despite the fact
that I laugh and joke all the time I get incredibly nervous, if not anxious,
actually, before going into rooms full of people when I’m wearing a suit… And
now that I’ve confessed that, I’ll probably be even more worried that people
are looking at me.”

4. Annie Lennox

Lennox
is perhaps most famous as the lead singer of the British music group, the
Eurythmics. As a singer, Lennox received numerous awards, including the
Billboard Century Award. In addition to being a talented musician, Lennox has
raised money for HIV/AIDS awareness–resulting in an appointment from Queen
Elizabeth II as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire. Lennox writes
about fear of public speaking on AnnieLennox.com in
2008,

“I’m
going to put it all down to my first piano teacher, who told me I’d be the
laughing stock of Aberdeen, because I hadn’t practiced…there’s something of a
resonance still swilling around my psyche somewhere…let’s just leave it at
that…!! But I’m trying folks….and I seem to have overcome a life long fear of
public speaking, which I ( and others) might live to regret.”

Funny Quotes on Public Speaking

It’s
often been said that the
ability to laugh at oneself is a good thing.
Now,
a 2011 study on laughter seems to support that premise. The researchers found
that participants who laughed at themselves were more cheerful and had a better
mood. If you can recognize yourself in some of these funny quotes on public
speaking, it may cheer you up.

5. Jerry Seinfield

Seinfield
‘s a comedian and television personality who starred in a popular TV comedy series.
Seinfield has also been a guest a number of other television shows. When it
comes to public
speaking quotes, Seinfield
 reportedly
said this (from the New York Post),

“According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public
speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right? This
means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the
casket than doing the eulogy.”

6. Dale Carnegie

A
writer and lecturer, Carnegie is best known for the popular advice book, How to Win Friends and Influence People.
Perhaps one of the most famous self-help authors of 20th century, Carnegie went
on to found a series of professional development
courses
 that
are still used today. Regarding public speaking, Carnegie reportedly said,

“There
are always three speeches, for every one you actually gave. The one you
practiced, the one you gave, and the one you wish you gave.” (Source: BrainyQuotes)

7. George Jessel

 A famed British jurist of the 1900s, Sir George
Jessel is most known for commercial law and equity. This historic judge was a
part of numerous cases. Although accustomed to speaking in a court of law,
Jessel reportedly had this to say about public speaking,

“The
human brain starts working the moment you are born and never stops…
until you stand up to speak in public.” (Source: BrainyQuote)

8. Dorothy
Sarnoff

Dorothy Sarnoff
Dorothy Sarnoff, Photo from Wikipedia.

Sarnoff started out as an
opera singer and star on Broadway. Later, Sarnoff founded a company called
Speech Cosmetics–a company dedicated to improving its client’s public speaking
skills. The following funny public speaking quote has been credited to
Sarnoff,

“Make
sure that you have finished speaking before your audience has finished
listening! ” (Source: GoodReads)

9. Adam Duritz

Another
popular musician, Duritz is a vocalist for the rock band Counting Crows. Duritz
is also an accomplished writer, co-writing a song for the Shrek 2 movie. Plus, Duritz owns several record labels. Here’s a
funny public speaking quote that’s attributed to Duritz, 

“People
ask me if I have stage fright. I say, ‘… no, I’m completely comfortable
there. I have rest-of-the-day fright.'” (Source: AZ Quotes)

Famous Quotes on Public Speaking

In this section, I’ve shared some motivational and inspirational quotes about public speaking from well-known historical and contemporary leaders.

10. Lady
Bird Johnson

Johnson
was the First Lady of the United States from 1963 to 1969. In addition, Johnson
advocated for The Highway Beautification Act that limits the use of outdoor
advertising along highways and promotes scenic roadside development. Johnson was also a business owner. Early in
life, Johnson bought the KTBC radio station in Austin, TX. The following
motivational public speaking quote is attributed to Johnson,

“The
way you overcome shyness is to become so wrapped up in something that you
forget to be afraid.”  (Source:
Quotes.net)

11. Ralph Waldo Emerson

This
poet and philosopher influenced American thought in the 19th century and
beyond. Emerson is mostly known for essays and other writings today, but what
many don’t know is that Emerson was a popular lecturer in the mid to late 1800s.
This inspiring quote expresses Emerson’s view that speech is important,

“Speech
is power: speech is to persuade, to convert, to compel.” (Source: The Later Lectures of Ralph Waldo Emerson:
1843 – 1871
)

12.
Seth Godin

Godin
is known for blogging and for entrepreneurial ventures. Godin also wrote
several best-selling books such as Purple Cow and Tribes. Godin also gives frequent public
speeches. This motivational quote on public speaking comes from Seth
Godin’s Blog
,

“You
are not being judged, the value of what you are bringing to the audience is
being judged.”  

13. Richard
Branson

The
founder of the Virgin Group (which includes the Virgin Records music label and
other companies), Branson has been an entrepreneur since the 1970s. In fact, in
1999 Buckingham Palace knighted Branson for “services to entrepreneurship.” This Branson motivational quote about
public speaking is from Inc.,

“Picture
yourself in a living room having a chat with your friends. You would be relaxed
and comfortable talking to them, the same applies when public speaking.”

14. Franklin D.
Roosevelt
 

Franklin D Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt, Photo from Wikipedia via the National Archives and Records Administration

Roosevelt
was a U.S. president for thirteen years, with a presidency spanning both the
Great Depression and World War II. Roosevelt is known for the New Deal
legislation, which implemented public work projects and other financial reform.
Roosevelt is also known for leadership during World War II. The following
public speaking quote is credited to Roosevelt,

“Be
sincere; be brief; be seated.” (Source: GoodReads)

15. Hillary Clinton

Hillary
Clinton is perhaps most famous for being a former First Lady of the United
States or for advocating healthcare reform. However, Clinton was also Secretary
of State from 2009 to 2013. Clinton ran for presidential office in 2008 and
2016. About public speaking, Clinton reportedly said, 

“If
you’re not comfortable with public speaking – and nobody starts out
comfortable; you have to learn how to be comfortable – practice. I cannot
overstate the importance of practicing. Get some close friends or family
members to help evaluate you, or somebody at work that you trust.” (Source: AZQuotes)

Take
Away: Use These Motivational Quotes for Public Speaking to Become a
Better Speaker

If
you get nothing else from this article, remember that public speaking is a
skill that can improved. You can improve. You can become a better public speaker!

To inspire you, I’ve gathered some of
the best motivational quotes for public speaking that I could find, including
quotes about public speaking from famous people who’ve struggled with it. And
just for fun, I’ve also shared some funny quotes on public speaking. As you read these, I hope you found them useful.

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