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Chapter 15. Start at the Very Beginning,... > You Could Look It Up - Pg. 120

Start at the Very Beginning, A Very Good Place to Start 120 Speech of the Devil Be merciful when it comes to using a favorite story or a beloved quotation. Include it only if it precisely fits the audience, occasion, and purpose. If it doesn't, put it back in your folder for another day. Then craft an opening to that shows you've taken the time to learn about your hosts and their com- munity or organization. It will make all the difference--cross my heart. Speech of the Devil Never read your opening remarks. To preserve the spontaneity and sincerity of the opening, recite your opening from memory. If you're concerned about remembering it, jot down notes on separate index cards. Make it appear that this is not part of your regular speech--although, of course, it is. You Could Look It Up · "I'm not into working out. My philosophy: No pain, no pain." --Carol Leifer · "The reason most people play golf is to wear clothes they would not be caught dead in otherwise." --Roger Simon · "Anytime four New Yorkers get into a cab together without arguing, a bank robbery has just taken place." --Johnny Carson · "I always wanted to be somebody, but I should have been more specific." --Lily Tomlin Most speakers love quotations, but there is a vocal minority that won't open a speech with anything less than an original utterance. Ironically, the oft-quoted famous 19thcentury American philosopher and minister Ralph Waldo Emerson was a member of the later crowd. "I hate quotations," he said. "Just tell me what you know." Actress Marlene Dietrich, in contrast, was a standard-bearer for the quote crowd: "I love quotations because it is a joy to find thoughts one might have, beautifully expressed with much authority by someone recognizably wiser than oneself." Controversy aside, it can be surprisingly comforting to let other people's words carry the opening of your message. Using an appropriate quote in a speech is like using good artwork in a book: It illustrates your point and grabs the audience's attention. Good quotations should be a standard part of your speech-making bag of tricks. Quote with Class Here are some pointers to follow when using quotations: