I Don’t Get It – Quotes

I Don’t Get It why people use quotes so poorly! Clients tell me that my use of quotes is effective in my training and speaking engagements and in the articles I write, probably because I don’t overuse them and they relate to and support my content.

And, I’m adamant about putting the sources in proper context. Few people are so well known that they don’t need any reference, like Jefferson, Mark Twain, Churchill, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., etc. For the rest, we need to answer the question the readers or listeners often have – ‘So, who is that guy?’ Every item in the ‘Quote-ables’ section of my site has a brief context – http://communicate-confidently.com/topics/bits-and-pieces-blog/quote-ables.

It doesn’t take much time or effort to go beyond just listing ‘Tom Peters’ to ‘Tom Peters, contemporary American management expert & author of ‘In Search of Excellence‘. Same goes for ‘Oscar Wilde, 19th century Irish poet, playwright & novelist’, ‘Voltaire, 18th century French writer, historian & philosopher’ and ‘Jerry Clower, 20th century American humorist & writer’.

Not adding that information can weaken the value of the quote, because ‘who said it’ may be more important than ‘what he or she said’. When listeners or readers encounter quotes without context, they might assume the writer or speaker was too lazy or indifferent to find out that information or assumed everyone knew who that person was  …  possibly making them feel stupid when they don’t.

So, if you get the use of quotes, take the extra effort to put them in context. And you can quote me!  ‘Phil Stella, contemporary American entrepreneur, professional speaker & executive presentation coach’.

 

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