Raconteur Brooks Hays, former congressman from Little Rock, moved back to Washington to be an assistant secretary of state. Testifying before the Foreign Relations Committee, Hays told members: "I'm so flustered I feel like the preacher whose congregation gave him a large, expensive automobile. He got mixed up and said: 'I don't appreciate this, but I sure do deserve it.'"—Quote
An after-dinner speaker is one who blows in, blows off and blows out.
He makes a great splash; it's like holding a narrow-necked bottle under the tap and turning the water on full force. There is a lot of display and excitement but very little water runs into the bottle.
Some learned speakers have a habit of mentioning unusual things they have done or famous places they have visited as one did recently at a University of Illinois forum. He remarked in a worldly way, "I walked in and out of that old ----- (name) Cathedral a dozen times as you have." Now, I had never walked in and out of that old cathedral even once; as a matter of fact that's the first time I ever heard of it.—M. Dale Baughman
Two women were preparing to board an airliner. One of them turned to the pilot and said, "Please don't go faster than sound; we want to talk."—The Lookout
Did you hear about the master of ceremonies who was down on his luck? After floundering around for a long time, he finally had to settle for a job at Union Station announcing incoming and outgoing trains.
"All rightie, folks," he called over the public address system his first day on the job. "Now coming in on track number 3 from Chicago, the El Capitan—exactly ten minutes ahead of schedule. Let's give it a great big hand!"—Barry Atwater, Journal of the American Medical Association
When the audience is talkative, the toastmaster might first utter, "Let me say something, too, will you?"
Through a national survey it has been determined that, among those who choose the engineering profession and fail to make good, the majority fail, not because they lack training and cannot cooperate or adjust themselves to industrial conditions, but because they lack the ability of self-expression.
The woman had a speech impediment ... she had to stop to breathe once in a while.
When I was just getting started in public speaking I often needed a drink of water to moisten my dry and tense throat, but I was usually so nervous I couldn't get the glass to my lips without spilling some. Now, I'm more relaxed and can pick up a glass with a sure hand, but I don't need the water now.—M. Dale Baughman
It has been estimated that from the first "good morning" to the last "good night," the average man engages in approximately 30 conversations a day.
Jack Waldron recalls he used to practice speaking with pebbles in his mouth: "It worked fine till I got the hiccups one day. I broke two mirrors and a picture window."
If a speaker rehearses his speeches, can you say that he practices what he preaches?—Inspiration
To tell a story is to distill a human experience and recreate it in a form understandable and enjoyable to others. Note that this is more than simple narration or mere technique. This is as true of a Joe Miller joke as of a Joseph Conrad story. A good spinner of yarns can excite and interest by exact description, by a fine sense of the poignant, the humorous, the human.—Robert Wagner, Bureau of Education Research and Service, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio The Newsletter
"I don't know what happened," said H. Gordon Burroughs, attending a spiritualist meeting, "but I became unconscious. When I came to, people were applauding. I had been talking to them for a half-hour but I had no idea what I said." What's the man waiting for? Why doesn't he run for office?—Thomas Morrow, Tribune
A speech expert forecasts that everybody, sooner or later, will get tired of talking and stop. Not as long as we have politicians and news commentators, doctors ... and women.—Phoenix Flame
Master of ceremonies at banquet where there was no principal speaker: "Let's have a round of applause for the wonderful job the program committee did in not being able to obtain a speaker."
(After major speaker finishes): There is an ageless custom by which the audience expresses its appreciation for a significant and appropriate contribution. (applause)..... , you have just witnessed a sample of this custom. Is that ample remuneration or will you still insist on your honorarium?—M. Dale Baughman
Slips of the tongue are made far more frequently than slips of the pen, and although many wise words have fallen from foolish lips far more foolish speeches have come from the mouths of the wise. As our speech is so are we, for it is by the spoken word that we show the degree of our culture or betray the depth of our ignorance. It may take a wise man to make a fool, but that is not reason enough for us to encourage the belief that every time we talk nonsense we become humorists.—Funk and Wagnalls, Introduction to Slips of Speech
Good manners and good speech are the magic master keys to the good life.—Dr. Galen Starr Ross, president, Capitol College of Oratory and Music, Columbus, Ohio, Sunshine Magazine
Toastmaster remarks acknowledging the address: Your remarks were refreshingly different and appropriately relevant. These were exactly the two criteria set up by this group for speakers.
Speaking straight from the shoulder is okay, but be sure it originates a little higher up.—Laugh Book
A film actor was disappointed at not being asked to make a speech on the occasion of his retirement from films. As he said to a friend, "What makes it worse is that I spent three hours in the makeup department having a lump put in my throat."—Indianapolis Star