1 on 1 class Review: Quotes in presentations

1 on 1 presentation skills class
1 on 1 presentation skills class

Quotes In Presentations – does it work?

This blog post will explore the impact of a powerful opener – using quotes in presentations, and how it can transform the impact of your presentation.

Capturing your audience’s attention from the very beginning is crucial for a successful presentation.  Eric had the opportunity to coach a client , Geoff, who was interviewing for a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) roles. Instead of resorting to the typical job-interview style “hello I am a CFO with 10 years of experience, blab la bla” introduction, he wanted to up his game. He finally decided to open with a thought-provoking quote from his ex-boss, the richest man in Ireland.

During a private jet flight back to Ireland from an Asian business trip, he and his boss, the owner of the company, were discussing an extravagant party the company was planning—a celebration with a budget of approximately $500,000. Interrupting the conversation abruptly, the owner posed a thought-provoking question: “Let me ask you – what’s the value of a dollar?”  Which led to a different discussion of whether this the best use of $500k? With this simple question, he challenged the idea of extravagant spending and challenged the difference between vanity and true value.

By sharing this anecdote at the beginning of the interview, he instantly captured the interviewers attention and set the stage for showing his strengths.

The quote served as a springboard for him to explain how this experience affected his perspective on what it means to be a CFO and his approach to financial decisions, including the decisions he would take if he were hired.

By sharing this original quote and providing context, he instantly sparked curiosity among his interviewers – they were eager to hear more. 

What does this mean for you?

Starting a presentation with a quote offers several advantages. Firstly, it provides a unique and memorable entry point that distinguishes the speaker from others: standing out is essential if you want to be hired. Secondly, a quote can serve as a bridge between personal experiences and the topic at hand, establishing an emotional connection with the audience. It evokes curiosity, empathy, or even a sense of shared experience.

To create a captivating opener for your next presentation, consider the following tips:

  1. Choose a relevant quote: Select a quote that resonates with your audience and connects with the core message you want to convey. If you don’t have an ex-boss with great quotes, then a great site for quotes for all occasions is www.brainyquote.com
  2. Provide context: Make sure the audience understands the significance of the quote by providing a brief explanation or sharing a personal anecdote related to it, otherwise it will ring hollow.
  3. Be authentic: Your opening should reflect your personality and style. Don’t try and be someone else because it never works.
  4. Practice the delivery: Work on your timing, intonation, and body language to make the maximum impact. The advantage to using a memorized quote is you don’t have to worry anymore about what to say, so you can focus on how you say it.

Get in touch if you want to up your game for your next interview!


If you would like to know more about how to add more authenticity and impact to your presentation, get in touch

Share this post