Why I Love Proper Quotes

I love using quotes in my writing and presentations – I really do.They can add sizzle, credibility or perspective to the message. However, I really love using quotes correctly by including author details.

Few people are so well known that they don’t need any reference, like Abraham Lincoln, Mark Twain, Winston Churchill or Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. For the rest, I always answer the question readers or listeners often have – ‘So … who is this person?’

I regularly use Wikipedia to find the source details. That helps me include century (actual dates are less important) and three facts about the person. Easy. Very easy.

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’. Adding that information enhances the value of the quote, because ‘who’ said it and ‘when’ may be more important than ‘what’ he or she said.

When listeners or readers encounter quotes without identification, they might think the writer or speaker was too lazy or indifferent to find out that information – not good for their image. Or, they assumed everyone knew who that person was … possibly making some people feel stupid when they shouldn’t. Also not good for reinforcing positive image.

So, harness the power of using quotes correctly and invest the extra time to indicate source details. It won’t take long for you to love using quotes just like I do. And … you can quote me!

Phil Stella, contemporary communication consultant, writer and executive presentation coach.