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Toastmasters Collection of Quotations and Sayings

Updated on October 24, 2016
Colleen Swan profile image

A lover of the written word Colleen has a Master's degree in English literature and enjoys finding unique and poignant quotes

Imparting Knowledge Via Adage

Quote by Callum from a Ventnor Parish newsletter 1906
Quote by Callum from a Ventnor Parish newsletter 1906 | Source

Introduction

The following collection of quotes and sayings are listed alphabetically according to keyword or subject. Whatever topic you might be seeking, I hope you find some fruitful words here. I will from time to time add fresh material, so please return. The images contain my choices from famous people and authors and the text are my selections from lesser known literature.

John Dickinson said,

  • “Often the finest is found within the seemingly least remarkable.”

And according to John Bonner,

  • “Nearly every book has quality although that might be limited to a single sentence on the last page.”

Affected by Advice and Historical Events

Nothing ever becomes real until it has affected us; even advice is lifeless until it has demonstrated itself. Paul Brewster

Victorian times saw social deprivation alongside social development driven by the virtue of charity. Nowadays charity pays excellent wages. Charlie Briggs

In nearly every decade of human history there has been a momentous event that contributes to humanities future. It often begins with one mind and is proliferated by others. William M. Dudley

Generally one wants to impart good advice to our friends. The mistake one makes is when we interfere in a discourse between two friends; this tends to result in losing them. Hence, often our best advice is to give none at all. Thomas R Taylor

The Infringement of Liberty

 William Pitt born 15 November 1708 to 11 May 1778. also known as William Pitt the Elder he was Prime Minister of Great Britain from 30 July 1766 to 14 October 1768.
William Pitt born 15 November 1708 to 11 May 1778. also known as William Pitt the Elder he was Prime Minister of Great Britain from 30 July 1766 to 14 October 1768. | Source

Death is an Unreasonable Solution

A man who is legitimately disgraced by his peers is destined to a life of misery, and without the courage to end that life is also a coward. Mark L. Schmidt

The most sought after death is the unexpected; alas we find it the most difficult to bring on. Benny Hill

Mankind continues to pay the price of imposing political and religious doctrines upon fellow men; it is a reciprocal mission which ends and begins in defeat and death. Marika Snyder

Only Mankind Knows What Is And What Ought To Be

William Hazlitt born 1778 to 1830 was a famous English writer, critic and philosopher.
William Hazlitt born 1778 to 1830 was a famous English writer, critic and philosopher. | Source

Rewards in Life Come From Creating Joy

While often we cannot change basic struggles in life, we can find contentment and pride in creating our own kind of joy within these parameters. Maureen Lamb

Vexed When Made to Feel Inferior

Mark Twain born 1835 to 1910 as Samuel Langhorne Clemens was a famous author and humorist.
Mark Twain born 1835 to 1910 as Samuel Langhorne Clemens was a famous author and humorist. | Source

Divine Calling: Our God’s Subtle Messages

Why do people bless me when I sneeze? Historically, it is because a sneeze is the first sign of influenza, the plague or the soul briefly leaving the body and your life is in god’s hands. Blaze Carmel

When I give a speech, it is from my heart and is a genuine plea to the congregation to follow my message, but I am not whom I preach to; I am a wallet of a man. George Gently: Hypocrites and Wealth.

When I baptize a new-born, God is sharing a message that he intends the Earth to continue. John Maudlin

Stand By Your Spouse

Author unknown, but thought to be a Bob Hope gem.
Author unknown, but thought to be a Bob Hope gem. | Source

Devotion and Sentiment

Pop stars are often loved and idolized by young girls as an expression of that love and adoration they hope one day to inspire. Missy Kim White

Although we might fail to return the devotion of another, we always concur with that person’s sentiment. Johnny Winder

It's The Little Things That Are The Most Valuable

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle born 1859 to 1930 was a Scottish physician and famous fiction writer.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle born 1859 to 1930 was a Scottish physician and famous fiction writer. | Source

During Her Later Years Courtesy Eluded Judy Garland

Sometimes it is better not to meet your heroes and heroines in the flesh. We were both to appear on the same talk show together, and I was thrilled and excited at the prospect of meeting the one and only Judy Garland at last. We met backstage, and Judy drank glass after glass of wine.

I told her that I was a great fan of hers and admired her so much, but instead of responding graciously, she just took another glass and walked over to the window. “When in hell are they going to put us on?” she complained, impatient and irritable at having to wait for her cue. Source: Shirley Jones: a Memoir by Shirley Jones

Often The Complex Can Become a Simplistic Design

Alan Jay Perlis born April 1 1922 to February 7 1990 was a renowned American computer scientist and programmer.
Alan Jay Perlis born April 1 1922 to February 7 1990 was a renowned American computer scientist and programmer. | Source

Education And The Discipline of Memory

Children when encouraged to fathom a problem themselves rather than be guided by correction are more likely to retain the knowledge. Justin Keaton

Give a hammer to a man and he will find a nail; give the same to a young boy and everything becomes a nail. Mother Hen

When advising students to better understand or present a concept, you will come to realize that there are those who require time and detailed explanation and then there are those who need only one word. These are the students who have acumen, and you must ensure you choose the right word. Paul W. Brewster

You will not be remembered for what you could have done and should have, but for what you did and should not have done. Teresa S. Rilke

The Preachers Dilemma

Christina Georgina Rossetti born 5 December 1830 to 29 December 1894 was a famous English poetess and romantic.
Christina Georgina Rossetti born 5 December 1830 to 29 December 1894 was a famous English poetess and romantic. | Source

Famous Men Learn Faith From Experience

You gain experience from your past mistakes and the ability to recognize new ones sooner. Peter G. Hancock

I have created and published wonderful recipes, but the most difficult recipe to write is the instructions for boiling an egg. Pierre R Miguel

Think twice before taking advice from a man who has complete faith in what he imparts. Marie Spears

A failed man is one that tried to gain fame without first becoming a great man, and a great man can only be famous once. John Heywood

Success Can Be Hidden in The Value of Failure

Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson born 1850 to 1894 was a famous Scottish novelist and poet.
Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson born 1850 to 1894 was a famous Scottish novelist and poet. | Source

Finding The Perfect Woman

I vowed to marry only the perfect woman. She would be chaste modest tolerant sympathetic and patient. Regrettably, when I found her she was searching for the perfect man. Duncan Saris

Flirtation Should Be Subtle

 Oliver Herford born 1863 to 1935 was a renowned American writer, poet and artist.
Oliver Herford born 1863 to 1935 was a renowned American writer, poet and artist. | Source

Love Can Make Us Both Silly And Real

Love is the sharing of distraction, the highs and the lows of everyday life, but the special ingredient is when two lovers can be unabashed and silly together. Douglas R. Mullen

There are two ways to fall in love; again and never again. Marilyn Murray

When a couple in love are drawn apart and neither has a broken heart then is it truly love? Pat Winner

Always be yourself and then you will know that if someone loves you it is the real you they love. Ava Shaffer

I sent my love-heart a valentine and filled it with words of endearment. When my love-heart severed our bond; she said “Your words were written in the sand, never spoken, and soon forgotten.”

When I first met him, he was lacking that sweetness and generosity that I expected; then I made him laugh and he did for me, and we fell-about in love. Clarence Day

No One Wants To Part With Their Fame

Robert Charles Benchley born 1889 to 1945 was a famous American humorist, media writer and actor.
Robert Charles Benchley born 1889 to 1945 was a famous American humorist, media writer and actor. | Source

Poverty Can Become a Fashionable Lifestyle

Many a man of poverty has heard the words “money does not buy you happiness.” Why is it often the well-heeled man who imparts such wisdom to the poor? Rachel Molineux

The modern commune houses people who pretend they were once rich but now survive as Spartan and with equal ability. John James

New Ideas Are Born From Yesterdays Mistakes

 Ralph Waldo Emerson born May 25, 1803 to April 27 1882 was a famous American writer and poet.
Ralph Waldo Emerson born May 25, 1803 to April 27 1882 was a famous American writer and poet. | Source

Success Depends Upon Direction

The road to success is in the understanding that repeated failures indicate the need of a change in direction. Lord Sugar

Business is like crossing water. If you step ever so carefully from stone to stone you are sure to slip, but if you run and jump from stone to stone you will still get wet, but you make it over a whole lot quicker. Ron Dorian Steiner

Success in politics is a juggling act between promising the poor the opportunity to become rich and promising the rich that they will become richer still. Antonia Suez

Although it is natural for us to hide our failures, we can be magnanimous and assist others by sharing these examples. Adrian Parlor

The wonderful thing about politics is that when you gain power you will strive to correct the problems of the present society but having done so, you must create new ones in order to stay in the power race. Gideon Forage

The Bluffer Is Soon Exposed

Unknown, but quoted by Stephen Fry on the BBC programme Q.I.
Unknown, but quoted by Stephen Fry on the BBC programme Q.I. | Source

Survival Is Maintained By Understanding Our Rulers

In order to survive without freedom and liberty, you must follow the rules of dress and etiquette; agree with the majority and ensure that you are popular. Ruth Bennett

Animals are cleverer than we give them credit for, in that they intuit any double-dutch we speak. Marcia Baden Bower

All is unequal under right-wing political systems and equally so under the left, but far better hidden. Marcus O’Brian

The Logic Behind Easy Decisions

 Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ) born August 27 1908 to January 22 1973 was the 36th President of the United States.
Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ) born August 27 1908 to January 22 1973 was the 36th President of the United States. | Source

Temper is a Condition of Madness

There is no upstanding man who is immune from the occasional wisp of madness, but a short temper swells the condition. Paul Burton

Adolf Hitler is remembered for warping human passions by his profound understanding of applied psychology, as well as his sanity painted on the rock of complete madness. Dimitri Lamont

We All Mature Into Our Dark Minds

Joan Didion born December 5 1934 is a renowned American author and journalist.
Joan Didion born December 5 1934 is a renowned American author and journalist. | Source

The Clock of Anxiety

Anxiety is that tick-tock fear of what might never be. It didn’t happen yesterday, but it could be anytime today, and if not surely tomorrow. Veronica Tilley

The Use Of Power can be a Mindless Exercise

 Henry Alfred Kissinger born May 27, 1923 is a renowned American diplomat and political scientist.
Henry Alfred Kissinger born May 27, 1923 is a renowned American diplomat and political scientist. | Source

The Imperfect Lady Is The Most Desirable

I courted an attractive lady whose virtues were: she never responded to flattery, always told the truth, never looked down, and wanted to enter politics. The next lady I courted was like me: unsurprisingly imperfect. Jackson R Shatner

Infatuation Is Boundless; Marriage Has Rules

 Johann Wolfgang von Goethe born 28 August 1749 to 22 March 1832 was a celebrated German writer, poet and statesman.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe born 28 August 1749 to 22 March 1832 was a celebrated German writer, poet and statesman. | Source

Truth And Popularity Are Not Always Friends

If, when people asked me how I am I were to answer honestly, they would rarely if ever ask me again. Kate Marlin

Listening to an arrogant, ignorant man explaining your subject who is oblivious of your knowledge and the lack of his own is to witness stupidity. Rolf Dexter

When you read the minutes of a meeting of a board of banking executives there are never any notes of ordinary honesty such as: “I made a mistake or I don’t know.” The best you get is “an error occurred” Miss S. Tapper

They say it takes two to tell a lie: one to voice and one to listen, but we can live a lie, and never know the truth. Malcolm Baker

Better to Die Than to Submit to Tyranny

 Emiliano Zapata Salazar born 8 August 1879 to 10 April 1919 was a prominent figure in the 1910 Mexican Revolution.
Emiliano Zapata Salazar born 8 August 1879 to 10 April 1919 was a prominent figure in the 1910 Mexican Revolution. | Source

Understanding Is The Sign Of Wisdom

They say that wisdom is imparted from the accumulation of knowledge, but in truth wisdom is not how much you know but how much you understand. Dorian Sutcliffe

Women Know How to Manage Intelligent Men

Joseph Rudyard Kipling born 1865 to 1936 was a famous English writer and poet.
Joseph Rudyard Kipling born 1865 to 1936 was a famous English writer and poet. | Source

Vanity And The Mirror of Admiration

Whenever I meet someone who has achieved similar things as I have and has developed good opinions and prejudices like mine, then I admire them and want to become the reflection in their mirror. George D. Morley

Often people prefer hearing something banal; then any comment they make in response allows them to sound clever. Ted Morgan

Is it possible for vanity to wane? I was admiring my reflection and felt the need to buy a new mirror. Ned G. Thornton

Doubting Mankind's Rationality

 Bertrand Arthur William Russell born 18 May 1872 to 2 February 1970 was a famous British Author historian and critic.
Bertrand Arthur William Russell born 18 May 1872 to 2 February 1970 was a famous British Author historian and critic. | Source

Wealth Does Not Bring Happiness Or True Friendship

Joy and contentment are not emotions you become accustomed to; often they spring from inner warmth, rooted in memories. Danielle Rainer

Born into poverty and suppression, I fought for a better life, achieving both prosperity and freedom. Yet, having experienced both ends of the spectrum; neither brought me happiness. Jules A Camus

Jealously wears a mask when we are exposed to the new found wealth of a friend. Barry Jameson

I left home at aged 16 and went to the big city. It was a lonely existence; even the trees weren’t friendly. Marcus Walden

Perfection Needs no Addition

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry born 29 June 1900 to 31 July 1944 was a famous French writer, poet, and aviator.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry born 29 June 1900 to 31 July 1944 was a famous French writer, poet, and aviator. | Source

Words of Rapture And Conviction

Adolf Hitler’s public speeches were crafted to capture the hearts of the German people. He is said to have mesmerized and bewitched his audiences who would erupt into hysteria and tears of jubilation. Party members would salute and chant the words “Hail Hitler” as they experienced rhetorical rapture. Richard D. Baum

The real power of the word is attributed to politicians who can speak with conviction and empty heads. Cornelius Levine

Sharing Brings Mutual Joy

Quotation by Mark Twain
Quotation by Mark Twain | Source

Choose an ending for this quote

There is nothing wrong with abstinence,

See results

Conclusion

I hope you have enjoyed reading these quotes and have found some of interest that you might use as a toastmaster or for an after dinner speech.

The relationship of the toastmaster to the speaker should be the same as that of the fan to the fan dancer. It should call attention to the subject without making any particular effort to cover it. Adlai Stevenson

I leave you with this gem by LA Rochefoucauld: A suitable ending.

Finally, We Are Least Able To Follow Our Own Advice

 François VI, Duc de La Rochefoucauld born 1613 to 1680 was a famous French author.
François VI, Duc de La Rochefoucauld born 1613 to 1680 was a famous French author. | Source

© 2014 Colleen Swan

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    • Colleen Swan profile image
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      Colleen Swan 3 years ago from County Durham

      Thank you Suzanne. Glad you enjoyed these. Hopefully a quote for every occasion.

    • Suzanne Day profile image

      Suzanne Day 3 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

      A nice collection of quotes that come in handy everywhere! Voted interesting.

    • Colleen Swan profile image
      Author

      Colleen Swan 3 years ago from County Durham

      Thank you Jim, I remember Gary Gilmore, a great musician and lyricist.

    • profile image

      Jim Bean 3 years ago

      My favorite quote is by Gary Gilmore. He said:

      "Let's do it!"

    • Colleen Swan profile image
      Author

      Colleen Swan 3 years ago from County Durham

      Hi Gilbert, Thanks for looking in. I wanted to include quotes about anything rather than a specific keyword. I think it makes it more interesting. Glad you enjoyed them.

    • rebelogilbert profile image

      Gilbert Arevalo 3 years ago from Hacienda Heights, California

      You included many clever quotes from fascinating people, Colleen. I like Conan Doyle's quote "little things are infinitely the most important." Most of us know he is the famous author of master detective, Sherlock Holmes. Solving crimes begins by finding clues. It can be as simple as a burned match or cigar ashes. He was a master at building little things into an interesting detective tale.

    • Colleen Swan profile image
      Author

      Colleen Swan 3 years ago from County Durham

      Thank you DDE and MsDora for your encouraging, discerning comments.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Well I think the last quote is appropriate for me, though I'd have to insert "woman." Also pertinent for me is "advice is lifeless until it has demonstrated itself" by Paul Brewster. These are all deep thoughts. Thank you.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      I like these quotes so meaningful and true about life.

    • Colleen Swan profile image
      Author

      Colleen Swan 3 years ago from County Durham

      Thank you Tom for identifying this pertinent quote.

    • Thomas Swan profile image

      Thomas Swan 3 years ago from New Zealand

      Great set of quotes. Once again, a Goethe quote stood out for me: "Love is an ideal thing, marriage a real thing; a confusion of the real with the ideal never goes unpunished."