In Perspective, Public Speaking, Quotes, Speech Openers

Maybe when you die,
You come before a big bearded man
On a big throne, and you say,
“Is this heaven ?”
And he says,
“Heaven? You just came from there “
– Kirk Douglas

I saw this quote on a blog and also scrolled down to see two responses- One said ‘brilliant!” and the other said ‘too bad !”
So many men, so many minds !

I used this recently as a speech opener while talking about ‘unity in diversity’ and received very good response. Some people came up and said it provoked them to think on the topic and stay focused !

My take; Never, ever underestimate the power of an attention grabbing, relevant, thought provoking quote to begin your speech !

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Showing 4 comments
  • Shrilatha Putthi

    WOW!!! too good a message…

  • Sowmya

    If were the audience, my mind would have drifted to the meaning of the quote itself and I would try to figure out why the bearded man said “you have come from heaven”. Perhaps earth is heaven. But we dont see the beauty and waste it all by constant complaining and cribbing… 🙂 🙂

    One problem with though provoking openings is this. People may dwell upon it for long instead of following the rest of your speech… 🙂 🙂

  • Malora Fernandes

    I concur – on the power of a quote – at the beginning, as well as the conclusion of a speech or presentation. I’ve used it often – to positive effect. The delivery also impacts the power of the quote.

  • CK

    Thanks, Shri, Sowmya and Malora for your views !

    I feel the skill of an effective speaker lies in using an interesting speech opener to get attention or excite and then skillfully link the opener to the subject. If the transition is weak, yes,Sowmya, as you put it, the audience will only remember the powerful quote and nothing else.

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