50 quotes to enhance your presentations

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presentation quotes

Whether you’re looking to inspire your audience, need a strong presentation starter, or want a concise soundbite to end your presentation with, using a quote in your presentation can be a great way to support your slides’ story and enhance your presentation’s flow. Presentation quotes give you – as the presenter – a moment to breathe, while the audience is reading the slide ( a reminder of why you shouldn’t be reading your quotes aloud is here ). They enable your audience to quickly and concisely understand your presentation’s key message, and give you an extra boost of credibility to boot.

The struggle comes when you have to find presentation quotes that fit your story, come from a reputable source, and have an attribution to get you through legal and compliance checks. But worry not: BrightCarbon have done the hard work for you!

We have compiled 50 presentation quotes and categorized them into 10 themes so that you can easily find a quote that resonates with your message, be it in a sales presentation, keynote speech, or training deck. All the quotes include references and attributions, so that you can sail through compliance and get on with creating a stunning presentation!

Pop this in your bookmarks tab (you’ll thank us later!), then dig in and find the perfect presentation quotes below:

Innovation quotes for presentations

paper presentation quotes

Design quotes for presentations

paper presentation quotes

Education and learning quotes for presentations

paper presentation quotes

Success quotes for presentations

paper presentation quotes

Creativity quotes for presentations

paper presentation quotes

Teamwork and collaboration quotes for presentations

paper presentation quotes

Knowledge quotes for presentations

presentation quotes

Leadership quotes for presentations

paper presentation quotes

Mistakes and failure quotes for presentations

presentation quotes

Planning and strategy quotes for presentations

presentation quotes

We hope you found what you needed from our list of presentation quotes! If you’re about to paste that quote onto your deck, but want to know how to format it to perfection, check out our guide to advanced typography in PowerPoint .

Have an idea for a quote we should add to the list? Is there a key theme you want some presentation quotes for? Let us know in the comments below!

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Thanks for this post.It’s a helpful quotes for enhance slides.

Glad it was useful Amit! Thank you for your feedback.

it helped me a lot… thanks!

Amazing Quotes. Really Good. These quotes help me making my presentation perfect Thanks & Regard vinita

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I wanted to make sure I send you both a HUGE thank you for making this story come to life and creating amazing graphics to help. We really appreciate BrightCarbon for stepping up our presentation game massively! Sarah Walker Softchoice

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55 Powerful and Inspiring Quotes to Start Your Presentation

Have you ever stopped to think about the best strategies to start a presentation and gain the audience’s attention or interlocutor? Did you know that using motivational phrases to create a presentation is a great alternative?

It doesn’t matter if you’re a student and you’re presenting a paper, or if you’re a renowned speaker. Knowing how to speak well in public implies several factors, and at any moment of your speech is a crucial moment to ensure that the presentation is successful.

According to businessman and filmmaker Peter Davies,

“Motivation is like food for the brain; you can’t have enough at a meal. Motivation needs continuous and regular recharges to nurture deep and transform a human being into a winner.”

Among the techniques you can and should use, the citation should undoubtedly be among the main in your list.

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A relevant quote, which is aligned with the theme of its presentation, tied to the purpose and objective, creates a strong connection with the audience, often arousing interest and attention.

An unforgettable introduction is the first step in starting a presentation or speech. Often, we are focused only on the content presented, completely forgetting that, for the public to pay attention, it is necessary to arrest them from the beginning.

5 Best Techniques to start a Presentation or Speech

Opening your presentation with a relevant quote can help set the whole tone for the rest of your speech. However, when making the quote, you need to remember two essential things: a) Quote the source of the sentence and b) “Tie it” to the central theme of the presentation.

However, an important point to consider when speaking in public: Citations will depend on the style of the audience, and the moment the presenter lives. Do not push too hard or adopt a tone of voice or language that does not suit the public.

A touch of humor is a great way to break the ice with the audience, relieve tension and connect with everyone. As the example given above quote, the key to success is making the joke related to the topic being discussed.

If this tip is not your style, you can address the other information in this article.

During the presentation, telling a story is another very clever way to start a speech.  After all, stories compellingly connect people.

But, as in the case of jokes, your story needs to bridge or contain a message that can link the introduction to the presentation

‘s content.

An excellent way to use storytelling is by using an “imaginary” scenario, but that is your life story; this will leave the participants interested and can identify better with you.

This technique consists of giving a brief thought-provoking statement, which will set the tone of the presentation theme, especially if this is said with a strong voice, which draws attention and leaves the group ready to hear what’s next.

Therefore, when you start the speech, you can speak a bold and striking phrase and use the silence technique later, increasing the effect of the phrase.

In this sense, an example of an excellent way to catch the public’s attention is to say the sentence and pause, up to 10 seconds. 

This plan will make the audience anxious and attentive.

Using surprising statistics will show the public an immediate value in their knowledge, leaving them more interested throughout their presentation. 

It also helps stimulate the audience’s thoughts; this technique works very well when the facts reported are not common knowledge but are nevertheless relevant and stimulating.

Please make sure to be brief in the opening statement, so your opening won’t get too many easy-to-forget details.

1. “Success is most often achieved by those who don’t know that failure is inevitable.” Coco Chanel

We are often afraid to start a project no matter how much we have ideas that are outside the box, and when compared to other people, we thought that this would not be successful. 

This phrase from Coco Chanel helps us understand that to be successful, and we need to subject ourselves to error sometimes.

2.  “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Eleanor Roosevelt

We have here a phrase from one of the strong women of history known as the defender of human rights unless we identify ourselves with what people think of us; none has power over what we are and want to be.

3. “Failure is another steppingstone to greatness.” Oprah Winfrey

With the illustrious phrase of another inspiring woman Oprah Winfrey, it became clear how error always has a positive side; getting it right is not always what we need from error comes the improvement of an idea that can continuously be improved.

4. “The whole secret of a successful life is to find out what is one’s destiny to do, and then do it.” Henry Ford

If we discover what makes us happy, we can always succeed because happiness is the path of inspiration that leads us to unimaginable ways.

5. “A belief is only a thought you keep thinking.” Abraham Hicks

Beliefs are socialized since we were born, depending on the socio-cultural context and the people around us. Anything is possible if you think so.

6. If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Maya Angelou

Often we can criticize something or behavior when we think we can do better; Angelou encourages us to get up and do it. If we still can’t change, maybe we have to change our attitude towards the situation that bothers us.

7. If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way. Napoleon Hill

Sometimes we think that success comes from great attitudes, and from thinking so much about an idea that surpasses all the others, we stand by and do nothing. Napoleon Hill encourages us to start step-by-step and what matters here is how we make it small or big.

8. Innovation, as I understand it, is both about doing different things as well as doing things differently.” Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw

Sometimes we need to get out of our comfort zone, and for that, we need not only to experience things we’ve never done before, but the way can also lead us to new paths.

9. “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking.” Steve Jobs

When we choose the course we want to take in college, we often choose a course that our parents choose, and that doesn’t make us happy, which we shouldn’t do because we are supposed to live for ourselves and our happiness.

10. “Always remember that you are unique. Just like everyone else.” Margaret Mead

Every human being is unique in its way, and our particular way of being cannot be compared to any other. Hence we need not be afraid when we do something new, even if someone else has already done it.

55 Powerful and Inspiring Quotes to Start Your Presentation

Have you ever stopped to think about the best strategies to start a presentation and gain the audience’s attention or interlocutor? Did you know that using motivational phrases to create

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This post is part 3 of a series of posts that where we will be sharing with you quick tips on how to deliver all types of speech that we

26 Motivational and Inspirational Quotes on Life, Success, and Positive Thinking to Make Your Day

26 Motivational and Inspirational Quotes on Life, Success, and Positive Thinking to Make Your Day

If you came here looking for short, but powerful motivational and inspirational quotes that will lift you up when you are feeling discouraged, or share a pearl of wisdom and

11. “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” Robert Louis Stevenson

This means that sometimes we will have bad days and things will be difficult, but this does not mean that we will not have good days, so we must always be kind and cheerful.

12. “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

It’s much easier to follow the path that many people have taken may seem safer. Yet, here Emerson suggests that choosing a direction is knowledge, adventure, or whatever it is we decided to learn new things and share with other people that would be the trail.

13. “People do not decide to become extraordinary. They decide to accomplish extraordinary things.” Edmund Hillary

People aren’t born brilliant. They make decisions and make choices that push outside the box and are exceptional.

14. “Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Don’t bother to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.” William Faulkner

Faulkner encourages us to be our competence, neither that of descendants or ascenders nor anyone but ourselves. Hold your hand and go hard.

15. “Designing a presentation without an audience in mind is like writing a love letter and addressing it ‘to whom it may concern.” Ken Haemer

You have got to prepare yourself for whichever situations or people you’re going to come across in different environments and conditions so that you don’t do things that don’t make sense.

16. Some people feel the rain. Others get wet.” Bob Marley

We can interpret this Bob Marley phrase as when faced with a chaotic situation, some people will despair, and others will calm down, focus, and look at the problem as an opportunity. Who the hell are you?

17. “When I’m old and dying. I plan to look back on my life and say ‘Wow, an adventure’ not, ‘Wow, I sure felt safe.’” Tom Preston Werner

Werner means to live your life without fears and live your life intensely because you never know how it will be tomorrow.

18. Get action. Do things; be sane; don’t fritter away your time; create, act, take place wherever you are and be someone; get action.” Theodore Roosevelt

Roosevelt encourages us to get better lives by doing something, turning into reality our dreams by consistently taking action.

19. “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” Barack Obama

It’s for no one but ourselves that we need to improve or reinvent ourselves.

20. You have to go wholeheartedly into anything to achieve anything worth having.” Frank Lloyd Wright

Wright tells us that following our heart is the best way to reach out to more incredible things in life; anything we put, our real feelings and natural energy will glow.

21. “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” Nelson Mandela

With this simple phrase, Mandela brings us a crucial message to live an extraordinary life; when we start by somewhere and are not there yet, it seems unreachable but never is if we don’t give up trying.

22. “There are only two days of the year when you can do nothing: one is called yesterday and the other tomorrow” Dalai Lama

Don’t leave for tomorrow what you can do today; live each day as if it were your last.

23. “In the end, everything works out, and if it didn’t work, it’s because it hasn’t come to an end” Fernando Sabino

What Sabino means is you have to be patient because someday, our time to shine will come.

24. “The pessimist sees difficulty at every opportunity. The optimist sees opportunity at every difficulty” Winston Churchill

When we sync our minds to positive thinking, anything we face is reachable, and we get things done because everything turns into an opportunity to learn and grow.

26. “You have to be a protagonist. You can’t just listen to the band play, and you have to be part of the band” Sonia Hess

In life, we face many situations that we work and live with people, but we don’t need to be ordinary because we are not; we have to show and give our best in anything we do.

27. Our failures are sometimes more fruitful than our successes” Henry Ford

With mistakes, we learn, we improve, and one day we reach perfection.

28. “Change your mind and change your world” Norman Vincent Peale

If we have an open mind, we will find that our way of thinking is not always the right one, and when we change our review, we will be able to put it into practice in our lives.

29. “One day you must stop dreaming, take the plans out of the drawer and somehow start” Amyr Klink

Klink encourages us to materialize any ideas or dreams we may have and not spend days only daydreaming about them.

30. “The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change, simply by changing his attitude” Oprah Winfrey

Sometimes the attitude we face in certain realities is the ones that prevent us from enjoying more extraordinary things in life. So you may want to think about some philosophy or way of thinking that you could use a change.

31. “Keep in mind that your desire to achieve success is more important than anything” Abraham Lincoln

What Lincoln means is that we must work hard to achieve our goals and put them as priorities in life if we want to achieve them.

32. “Be content to act. Leave the speech to others” Baltasar Gracián

This means to live your life no matter what other people think; if you are happy with it, be gentle with yourself.

33. “To achieve success, you need to accept all the challenges that lie ahead of you. You can’t just accept the ones you prefer” Mike Gafka

Gafka means that Challenges turn us better if we submit to the lesson they have to teach us.

34. “A successful warrior is an average man, but with a sharp focus like a laser beam” Bruce Lee

Lee means that even though a warrior is seen with prestige, he is a regular man. Still, the difference between them and what he is, is how he put attention to what he wants, and we can compare that analogy with daily situations such us when we see some people more successful than others.

35. “Logic can lead from point A to point B. Imagination can lead anywhere” Albert Einstein

Things go far beyond what they seem to be, don’t focus on the obvious, and also see subtexts.

36. “The task is not so much to see what no one has seen, but to think what no one has thought about what everyone sees.” Arthur Schopenhauer

Schopenhauer gives us a lesson about creativity; most of the time, we look for new ideas that no one ever thought about; however, imagination can recreate helpfully something that already exists.

37. “It is much better to set out in search of great conquests, even exposing oneself to failure, than to align oneself with the poor in spirit, who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a grey gloom, where they know neither victory nor defeat.” Theodore Roosevelt

Living adventurously and risky is much more satisfying and rewarding than having a monotonous and safe life.

38. “What we predict rarely occurs; what we least expect usually happens.” Benjamin Disraeli

This means always to expect the unexpected.

39. “Unless we change our way of thinking, we will not be able to solve the problems caused by the way we get used to seeing the world.” Albert Einstein

Einstein encourages us to see situations more dynamically because we socialized in a certain way with ease; our thoughts can become a cycle of ignorance.

40. “Persistence is the least path to success.” Charles Chaplin

Chaplin means that we insist and don’t give up on what we want to do. Indeed, we are going to make it no matter how much time it takes.

7 Steps for Writing an Inspiring Graduation Speech 

7 Steps for Writing an Inspiring Graduation Speech 

You were chosen to make the graduation speech of your class, you were pleased by the trust placed by your colleagues, but now you face a problem: the blank page

3 KEY Things For Delivering a Successful Speech

3 KEY Things For Delivering a Successful Speech

Have you ever had to give a speech and have no idea how to direct their thoughts or start talking? In this article, we will discuss in a straightforward way

41. “To discover consists in looking at what everyone is seeing and thinking something different.” Roger von Oech

This means that we have to think like no one ever thought or even imagined to discover something.

42. “Sometimes we feel that what we do is only a drop of water in the sea. But the sea would be smaller if it lacked a drop”. Mother Teresa de Calcuta

We all make a difference in this world; every soul counts, and every opinion counts either. Please don’t give up on sharing what you got because it is critical.

43. “The more our knowledge increases, the more evident is our ignorance.” John F. Kennedy

The more things you learn, the more things you need to learn because no one can know anything about anything.

44. When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the plane takes off against the wind, not in his favor.” Henry Ford

Remember that Henry Ford suggested the car model we use today back in his time, and nobody but him believed it was possible, he had nobody but himself to hold hands. Don’t give up.

45. “No matter how slow you go, as long as you don’t stop.” Confucius

Do things in your time and never give up.

46. “An entrepreneur sees opportunities where others see only problems.” Michael Gerber

Someone who sees a chance to grow in any situation is a winner, and he has nothing to lose because, in any position of life, we can get something that could be what we didn’t expect.

47. Choose a job you like, and you won’t have to work a single day of your life.” Confucius

If you choose a job that you love, you don’t feel like you’re working; you’re doing a leisure activity.

48. “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you do, you will succeed.” Albert Schweitzer

As Nga, a rapper, says, there is no way to happiness because happiness is when we vibrate good feelings, especially do things we love, life becomes more accessible.

49. “Don’t play games you don’t understand, even if you see many other people making money with them.” Tony Hsieh

Don’t do things through other people’s influence to make your life easier.

50. “Nothing great has ever been achieved without enthusiasm.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

When we do things without good energy, they can easily be ruined.

51. “The thoughts we choose to have are the tools we use to paint the picture of our lives.” Louise Hay

Your way of thinking will determine the course of our lives, which means always be open to new forms of thinking so you can live in a more inclusive World.

52. “Success is born of wanting, determination, and persistence in reaching a goal. Even not reaching the target, who seeks and overcomes obstacles, at least will do admirable things.” José de Alencar

What Alencar means is that when we want something, even if we don’t get what we were thinking at first, we always get something.

53. “To act, that is the true intelligence. I will be whatever I want. But I have to want whatever it is. Success lies in being successful, not in being able to succeed. Palace conditions have any wide land, but where will the palace be if they don’t do it there?” Fernando Pessoa

Pessoa says that when we want something, conditions don’t determine if we thrive or not, but our vibration towards it and that will makes us anything we desire.

54. “You can get anything you want in life if you help other people get what they want.”  Zig Ziglar

If you are kind to other people, they will give back in the future.

55. I like the impossible because there is less competition.” Walt Disney

Walt means that the unthinkable doesn’t exist; most people can’t perseverance, so he does because few people can.

How you open your presentation determines how interested the public will be in what will be said afterward. So, when thinking about how to start a speech or presentation, evaluate if your introduction is completely bland; this will be the initial message that the audience will get from the speaker and the display itself.

Reference and Further Reading

Ace The Presentation. Amadebai, E. 11 Best Body Language Tips for Engaging Presentations.

Ace The Presentation. Amadebai, E. 120 Persuasive Speech Topics.

Ace The Presentation. Amadebai, E. 8 Awesome Persuasive Speech Techniques.

Ezine Articles. Toney, B (2011). Key Elements of a Persuasive Speech.

Emidio Amadebai

An avid seeker of knowledge, and passionate about sharing the lessons he picks up in life. Emidio is passionate about public speaking, teaching, and helping others develop critical soft skills, such as communication, leadership, and other interpersonal skills which are in high demand in today's rapidly evolving market.

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Blog > Powerful Quotes for your PowerPoint Presentations

Powerful Quotes for your PowerPoint Presentations

07.24.20   •  #powerpointtips.

One of the most powerful ways to begin a presentation is to start by sharing a influential and morable quote that relates to the message of your talk. This can loosen up the beginning, consciously encourage important things while speaking or end the presentation with a meaningful conclusion and underline the main topic again.

This will bring liveliness and power to your presentation and create a more pleasant environment for your audience!

Quotes for presentations. Logic will take you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere. Albert Einstein.

Quotes can be funny, inspirational, profound, successful, motivational, meaningless or basically everything! The most important thing is that they fit the today´s topic, correspond to the situation. This means, that they are appropriate and reinforce the actual theme.

If you are looking for great lines you can use in your PowerPoint or other presentations, you are perfectly right here! Read the following article to get inspired and to find a suitable citation you can use for your speech in school, work, business or anywhere and to leave an unforgettable impression on your presentation.

To save time, we have already created PowerPoint Templates below, which you can download for free!

According to time:

Quotes for Beginning

Quotes while presenting, quotes for ending.

According to category:

In case you need more specific citations, have a look at different sections of quotes:

Inspirational / Motivational

With quotations to open your presentation you can represent yourself in a great authentic and relaxed way. The audience gets an exciting insight into the upcoming topic and in the best case can relate with the citation and thus build a sympathetic bond to you as the presenter. And all this is achieved by just one simple sentence.

How we live is what makes us real. Quotes for PowerPoint

Powerful quotes to start your presentation

Using powerful citations while speaking makes your presentation much more exciting and memorable. A meaningful quotation gives your words much more power and emphasis and can additionally emphasize important things. Furthermore, if a listener hears a mentioned citation of your presentation one more time, he will most likely remember you.

Follow that dream. PowerPoint quotes for presentations

Powerful quotes to reinforce essential topics

paper presentation quotes

With citations you have the opportunity to clarify the topic just dealt with in one sentence and it is highly recommended to use this chance. Your audience will remember the end best, as it is the shortest, so it should be well chosen and memorable. It should also match your personality as well as the theme and be catchy.

It always seems impossible, until it's done. Nelson Mandela. Quote for PowerPoint

Powerful quotes to close your presentation

Best citations by category

Stop chasing the money and start chasing the passion. Tony Hsieh. PPT quote

You can't blame gravity for falling in love. -Albert Einstein. Funny quote

The only thing, that overcomes hard luck is hard work. Harry Golden. Quotes used in PowerPoints

Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning. Bill Gates. Buisness quote.

If you want to be happy, be happy. -Leo Tolstoy. motivational quote

Chinese language quote. When written in chinese, the word crisis is composed of two characters. ONe represents Danger and the other one represents opportunity. John F. Kennedy

Now you have 60 quotes you can incorporate into your presentation to stand out from the everyday, all-too-familiar phrases that everyone knows.

But remember: Under no circumstances should they be discriminatory, racist or offensive, so you need to make yourself known in advance through your audience.

Leave your personal impression and convince your audience with simple but incredibly strong lines!

Free PowerPoint Templates

In addition, we have already created some PowerPoint templates for you, which you can download for free. Simply replace the existing quotes or image if you want and adapt the slides to your presentation!

PowerPoint Quote design ideas

What are good quotes for starting a presentation?

By opening your presentation with a quote you can represent yourself in an authentic way. The audience gets an exciting insight into the upcoming topic and in the best case can relate with the quote and thus build a sympathetic bond to you as the presenter. And all this is achieved by just one simple sentence. Here is a list of good quotes to begin a presentation .

What are good quotes for ending a presentation?

With citations you have the opportunity to clarify the topic just dealt with in one sentence and it is highly recommended to use this chance. Your audience will remember the end best, so it should be well chosen and memorable. It should also match your personality as well as the theme and be catchy. Here is a list of good quotes to finish a presentation .

What are powerful quotes for a PowerPoint presentation?

One of the most powerful ways to begin a presentation is to start by sharing a influential and memorable quote that relates to the message of your talk. This can loosen up the beginning, consciously encourage important things while speaking or end the presentation with a meaningful conclusion and underline the main topic again. We have collected 60 powerful quotes for your PowerPoint presentation .

Related articles

About the author.

paper presentation quotes

Philipp Angerer

Philipp is a creative supporter at SlideLizard in marketing and design. There he uses his imagination and provides creative freshness, also in blog articles.

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21 Brilliant Presentation Quotes To Start Your Speech

We all know the saying, you only get one chance to make a first impression . This quote continues to be repeated, even though it is borderline cliché, because first impressions can make or break relationships.  This is true even if a first impression is a presentation.

If you are at a loss for how to make a lasting, positive impression during the first few seconds of your next presentation, consider telling a story, sharing a joke, or even leading with a powerful quote that relates to the message of your talk.   If you want to begin with a quote, you are in luck, because below are 21 brilliant presentation quotes that are sure to start your speech off on the right foot.

1.  The common question that gets asked in business is, ‘why?’ That’s a good question, but an equally valid question is, ‘why not?’.  – Jeff Bezos

2.   There’s lots of bad reasons to start a company. But there’s only one good, legitimate reason, and I think you know what it is: it’s to change the world. – Phil Libin

3.  A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business.   – Henry Ford

4.  If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.  – Reid Hoffman

5.  If everything seems under control, you’re not going fast enough.  – Mario Andretti

6.  A man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd.  – Max Lucado

7.  Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. – Steve Jobs

8.   The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones. – Confucius

9.   The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.  – Warren Buffett

10.  Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.  – Rumi

11. You don’t have to be a genius or a visionary or even a college graduate to be successful. You just need a framework and a dream. – Michael Dell

12.  Build something 100 people love, not something 1 million people kind of like. – Brian Chesky

13.  The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. – Mark Twain

14.  The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.  – Bruce Lee

15.   Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.  – Albert Einstein

16.  If something is important enough, even if the odds are against you, you should still do it. – Elon Musk

17.  In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you. – Deepak Chopra

18.  Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. – Thomas Edison

19.  Fall seven times and stand up eight.  – Japanese Proverb

20.  I was taught the way of progress is neither swift nor easy. – Marie Curie

21.  Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another. – Napoleon Hill

Like these quotes? You might also enjoy:

Inspirational Quotes for Presentations from Aristotle

Our Favorite Presentation Quotes

Also check out  13 Inspiring Quotes about Design :

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45 Best Motivational Quotes For Work: Perfect For Presentations & Slide Decks

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Focus, determination, and focus. How do you inspire your team? These quotes can help with motivation they need. Great for presentations, slide decks, corporate retreats, or reflection in your next team meeting.

Looking for even more quotations? Try these quotes on productivity and teamwork !

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What It Takes to Give a Great Presentation

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Five tips to set yourself apart.

Never underestimate the power of great communication. It can help you land the job of your dreams, attract investors to back your idea, or elevate your stature within your organization. But while there are plenty of good speakers in the world, you can set yourself apart out by being the person who can deliver something great over and over. Here are a few tips for business professionals who want to move from being good speakers to great ones: be concise (the fewer words, the better); never use bullet points (photos and images paired together are more memorable); don’t underestimate the power of your voice (raise and lower it for emphasis); give your audience something extra (unexpected moments will grab their attention); rehearse (the best speakers are the best because they practice — a lot).

I was sitting across the table from a Silicon Valley CEO who had pioneered a technology that touches many of our lives — the flash memory that stores data on smartphones, digital cameras, and computers. He was a frequent guest on CNBC and had been delivering business presentations for at least 20 years before we met. And yet, the CEO wanted to sharpen his public speaking skills.

“You’re very successful. You’re considered a good speaker. Why do you feel as though you need to improve?” I asked.

“I can always get better,” he responded. “Every point up or down in our share price means billions of dollars in our company’s valuation. How well I communicate makes a big difference.”

This is just one example of the many CEOs and entrepreneurs I have coached on their communication skills over the past two decades, but he serves as a valuable case in point. Often, the people who most want my help are already established and admired for their skills. Psychologists say this can be explained by a phenomenon called the Dunning-Kruger effect. Simply put, people who are mediocre at certain things often think they are better than they actually are, and therefore, fail to grow and improve. Great leaders, on the other hand, are great for a reason — they recognize their weaknesses and seek to get better.

The following tips are for business professionals who are already comfortable with giving presentations — and may even be admired for their skills — but who, nonetheless, want to excel.

1) Great presenters use fewer slides — and fewer words.

McKinsey is one of the most selective consulting companies in the world, and one I have worked with many times in this area. Senior McKinsey partners have told me that recent MBA hires often try to dazzle clients with their knowledge — and they initially do so by creating massive PowerPoint decks. New consultants quickly learn, however, that less is much more. One partner instructs his new hires to reduce PowerPoint decks considerably by replacing every 20 slides with only two slides.

This is because great writers and speakers are also great editors. It’s no coincidence that some of the most memorable speeches and documents in history are among the shortest. The Gettysburg Address is 272 words, John F. Kennedy’s inauguration speech was under 15 minutes, and the Declaration of Independence guarantees three unalienable rights — not 22.

Key takeaway: Reduce clutter where you can.

2) Great presenters don’t use bullet points.

Bullet points are the least effective way to get your point across. Take Steve Jobs , considered to be one of the most extraordinary presenters of his time. He rarely showed slides with just text and bullets. He used photos and text instead.

Experiments in memory and communication find that information delivered in pictures and images is more likely to be remembered than words alone. Scientists call it “ pictorial superiority .” According to molecular biologist John Medina, our ability to remember images is one of our greatest strengths. “We are incredible at remembering pictures,” he writes . “Hear a piece of information, and three days later you’ll remember 10% of it. Add a picture and you’ll remember 65%.”

Key takeaway: Complement text on slides with photos, videos, and images.

3) Great presenters enhance their vocal delivery.

Speakers who vary the pace, pitch, and volume of their voices are more effective, according to a new research study by Wharton marketing professor, Jonah Berger.

In summary, the research states that effective persuaders modulate their voice, and by doing so, appear to be more confident in their argument. For example, they raise their voice when emphasizing a key message, or they pause after delivering an important point.

Simply put, if you raise and lower the volume of your voice, and alternate between a high pitch and low pitch while delivering key messages, your presentation will be more influential, persuasive, and commanding.

Key takeaway: Don’t underestimate the power of  your voice to make a positive impression on your audience.

4) Great presenters create “wow” moments.

People don’t remember every slide and every word of a presentation. They remember moments, as Bill Gates exemplified back in 2009 in his now famous TED talk .

While giving a presentation on the efforts of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to reduce the spread of malaria, Gates stated: “Now, malaria is, of course, transmitted by mosquitos. I brought some here just so you could experience this.” And with that, he walked out to the center of the stage, and opened the lid from a small jar containing non-infected mosquitoes.

“We’ll let those roam around the auditorium a little bit.”

This moment was so successful in capturing his audience because it was a surprise. His audience had been expecting a standard PowerPoint presentation — complete with graphs and data. But what they got instead was a visceral introduction to the subject, an immersive experience that played on their emotions.

Unexpected moments grab an audience’s attention because the human brain gets bored easily. According to neuroscientist, A.K Pradeep, whom I’ve  interviewed : “Novelty recognition is a hardwired survival tool all humans share. Our brains are trained to look for something brilliant and new, something that stands out, something that looks delicious.”

Key takeaway: Give your audience something extra.

5) Great presenters rehearse.

Most speakers don’t practice nearly as much as they should. Oh, sure, they review their slides ahead of time, but they neglect to put in the hours of deliberate practice that will make them shine.

Malcolm Gladwell made the “ 10,000-hour rule ” famous as a benchmark for excellence — stating, in so many words, that 20 hours of practice a week for a decade can make anyone a master in their field. While you don’t have nearly that long to practice your next presentation, there’s no question that the world’s greatest speakers have put in the time to go from good to great.

Consider Martin Luther King, Jr. His most famous speeches came after years of practice — and it was exactly this level of mastery that gave King the awareness and flexibility to pull off an advanced speaking technique: improvisation. King improvised the memorable section of what is now known as the “Dream Speech” on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. When he launched into the “I have a dream” refrain, the press in attendance were confused. Those words were not included in the official draft of the speech they had been handed. King read the mood of his audience and, in the moment, combined words and ideas he had made in previous speeches.

It’s believed that King gave 2,500 speeches in his lifetime. If we assume two hours of writing and rehearsals for each one (and in many cases he spent much more time than that ), we arrive at the conservative estimate of 5,000 hours of practice. But those are speeches. They don’t take into account high school debates and hundreds of sermons. King had easily reached 10,000 hours of practice by August of 1963.

Key takeaway: Put in the time to make yourself great.  

Never underestimate the power of great communication. It can help you land the job of your dreams, attract investors to back your idea, or elevate your stature within your organization. But while there are plenty of good speakers in the world, using the above tips to sharpen your skills is the first step to setting yourself apart. Stand out by being the person who can deliver something great over and over again.

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When to Use Quotation Marks for Titles

Matt Ellis

Do you know when to use quotation marks for titles? Knowing whether to use italics or quotation marks for titles is one of the most common problems students have, especially when it comes to academic writing where you discuss your sources. Luckily, there are consistent themes that can help you pick the right format for each title, no matter what style guide you’re following. 

Below, we explain exactly when to use quotation marks in titles (and when to use italics instead). We’ll cover the title rules for the three main style guides—APA, MLA, and Chicago—and give you some guidelines for figuring out which kinds of titles use which format. 

How to properly quote a title with quotation marks

Quotation marks (“ ”) are mostly for showing speech or copying passages verbatim from other works, but sometimes they’re used for more than just punctuation . For certain types of works, they’re used to set apart titles. 

The general rule is to use quotation marks for titles of short works such as articles, poems, songs, essays, or short stories. By contrast, use italics for larger works such as books, movies, and the names of periodicals. We provide a complete list below. 

When to use italics or quotation marks for titles

Some types of work italicize titles , and some use quotation marks, but how do you know which is which? Here’s a quick list of what kinds of works use each. 

Works that use quotation marks in titles

Examples of titles with quotation marks

“A Policy Framework for the Growing Influence of Private Equity on Health Care Deliver”

( Journal of the American Medical Association )

“Sonoma County Board of Supervisors to consider sewer rate increase”

( The Press Democrat )

“E.U. Approves Microsoft’s $69 Billion Deal for Activision”

( The New York Times )

“A Dream Deferred” 

(Langston Hughes)

Short story:

“Everything that Rises Must Converge”

(Flannery O’Connor)

“A Lonely Coast”

(Annie Proulx)

“ (Sittin ’ On) The Dock of the Bay ”

(Otis Redding)

“Think About Things”

(Daoi Freyr)

“The Wolves”

( The Wild Robot Escapes )

“The First Tee”

( The Match: The Day the Game of Golf Changed Forever )

“The Danger of a Single Story”

(Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie)

“ Creativity in Management ”

(John Cleese)

Podcast episodes:

“The Lives of Others”

( This American Life )

[email protected]: Miles To Go Before I’m Me”

( Rough Translation )

“Responsible AI”




Works that use italics in titles

  • anthologies
  • epic poems (not regular poems)
  • periodical names (magazines, newspapers, and news websites)
  • radio shows
  • TV shows (not individual episodes)
  • podcasts (not individual episodes)
  • music albums
  • video games
  • operas and long musical compositions
  • classic art like paintings and sculptures
  • dissertations
  • legal cases
  • large vehicles such as ships, aircrafts, and spacecrafts

When to use quotation marks for titles for each style guide

While the basics are the same—italics for the titles of long works and quotation marks for the titles of short works—some minor details may vary. Here’s a quick rundown of when to use quotation marks in titles for the APA, MLA, and Chicago styles. 

Quotations marks in titles for APA

The APA format follows the list above: It uses quotation marks for all types of work mentioned. The only particular rule they have about quotation marks in titles is that they are not used in the reference list for articles and chapters.  

In APA, the reference list is the name of the bibliography, like a works cited page . When writing a full citation that mentions an article or book chapter, simply write the title with neither quotation marks nor italics. However, if the same title is written within the text (or in a copyright attribution), use quotation marks. 

Quotations marks in titles for Chicago

In general, Chicago style follows the list above. It does, nevertheless, list a few extra types of works that the other style guides do not. 

Quotation marks for titles:

  • fairy tales and nursery rhymes

Italics for titles: 

  • serialized cartoons and comic strips

Quotations marks in titles for MLA

The use of quotation marks in titles for MLA format is very straightforward. Simply use the appropriate format for the type of work, as indicated in the large list above. 

When to use single or double quotation marks for titles

There are two types of quotation marks: single quotation marks (‘ ’) and double quotation marks (“ ”). 

In general, American English uses double quotation marks. The only time we use single quotation marks for titles is to replace quotation marks within another pair of quotation marks. 

For example, if you were writing an article about Langston Hughes’s poems—highlighting “Harlem” in particular—the title of your article might be something like this:

“Reflections on ‘Harlem’ and Other Poems” 

Notice how, when we talk about the poem “Harlem” on its own, we use the standard double quotation marks. However, when we mention it within another pair of quotation marks, we use single quotation marks instead. 

This is done simply for the sake of clarity. It would be confusing to use double quotation marks within double quotation marks, so this makes reading a bit easier. Let’s look at another example: 

EPISODE TITLE: “The Winds of Winter” (episode of Game of Thrones )

ESSAY TITLE: “Why ‘The Winds of Winter’ Is the Best Episode of Game of Thrones ”

Keep in mind that if a title in quotation marks is used within an italicized title, double quotation marks are used. For example, look at how we write the title of a full book that collects Roald Dahl’s short stories: 

“The Landlady” and Other Short Stories

It’s also worth noting that this is only the convention in American English. In British English, single quotes and double quotes are switched! That means titles and speech quotes use single quotation marks most of the time and double quotation marks are used only within single quotes. Keep that in mind if you’re ever reading a British piece of writing . 

Quotation marks for titles FAQs

Why use quotation marks for titles.

Quotation marks set apart the titles of short works like articles, poems, songs, essays, or short stories. Longer works like books or movies use italics instead. 

When do you use quotation marks for titles?

Use quotation marks for the titles of articles, essays, poems, short stories, songs, chapters, lectures, pages for websites, episodes of serial works (such as TV shows or podcasts), names of sections or parts in larger works, and short-form videos such as those on YouTube. 

When do you use italics?

Use italics for the titles of books, movies, plays, TV shows, podcasts, video games, apps, classic art (like paintings and sculptures), music albums, legal cases, dissertations, anthologies, reports, periodicals (like magazines or newspapers), operas and long musical compositions, and large vehicles (like ships or aircraft).

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The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

What this handout is about

Used effectively, quotations can provide important pieces of evidence and lend fresh voices and perspectives to your narrative. Used ineffectively, however, quotations can clutter your text and interrupt the flow of your argument. This handout will help you decide when and how to quote like a pro.

When should I quote?

Use quotations at strategically selected moments. You have probably been told by teachers to provide as much evidence as possible in support of your thesis. But packing your paper with quotations will not necessarily strengthen your argument. The majority of your paper should still be your original ideas in your own words (after all, it’s your paper). And quotations are only one type of evidence: well-balanced papers may also make use of paraphrases, data, and statistics. The types of evidence you use will depend in part on the conventions of the discipline or audience for which you are writing. For example, papers analyzing literature may rely heavily on direct quotations of the text, while papers in the social sciences may have more paraphrasing, data, and statistics than quotations.

Discussing specific arguments or ideas

Sometimes, in order to have a clear, accurate discussion of the ideas of others, you need to quote those ideas word for word. Suppose you want to challenge the following statement made by John Doe, a well-known historian:

“At the beginning of World War Two, almost all Americans assumed the war would end quickly.”

If it is especially important that you formulate a counterargument to this claim, then you might wish to quote the part of the statement that you find questionable and establish a dialogue between yourself and John Doe:

Historian John Doe has argued that in 1941 “almost all Americans assumed the war would end quickly” (Doe 223). Yet during the first six months of U.S. involvement, the wives and mothers of soldiers often noted in their diaries their fear that the war would drag on for years.

Giving added emphasis to a particularly authoritative source on your topic.

There will be times when you want to highlight the words of a particularly important and authoritative source on your topic. For example, suppose you were writing an essay about the differences between the lives of male and female slaves in the U.S. South. One of your most provocative sources is a narrative written by a former slave, Harriet Jacobs. It would then be appropriate to quote some of Jacobs’s words:

Harriet Jacobs, a former slave from North Carolina, published an autobiographical slave narrative in 1861. She exposed the hardships of both male and female slaves but ultimately concluded that “slavery is terrible for men; but it is far more terrible for women.”

In this particular example, Jacobs is providing a crucial first-hand perspective on slavery. Thus, her words deserve more exposure than a paraphrase could provide.

Jacobs is quoted in Harriet A. Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, ed. Jean Fagan Yellin (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1987).

Analyzing how others use language.

This scenario is probably most common in literature and linguistics courses, but you might also find yourself writing about the use of language in history and social science classes. If the use of language is your primary topic, then you will obviously need to quote users of that language.

Examples of topics that might require the frequent use of quotations include:

Southern colloquial expressions in William Faulkner’s Light in August

Ms. and the creation of a language of female empowerment

A comparison of three British poets and their use of rhyme

Spicing up your prose.

In order to lend variety to your prose, you may wish to quote a source with particularly vivid language. All quotations, however, must closely relate to your topic and arguments. Do not insert a quotation solely for its literary merits.

One example of a quotation that adds flair:

President Calvin Coolidge’s tendency to fall asleep became legendary. As H. L. Mencken commented in the American Mercury in 1933, “Nero fiddled, but Coolidge only snored.”

How do I set up and follow up a quotation?

Once you’ve carefully selected the quotations that you want to use, your next job is to weave those quotations into your text. The words that precede and follow a quotation are just as important as the quotation itself. You can think of each quote as the filling in a sandwich: it may be tasty on its own, but it’s messy to eat without some bread on either side of it. Your words can serve as the “bread” that helps readers digest each quote easily. Below are four guidelines for setting up and following up quotations.

In illustrating these four steps, we’ll use as our example, Franklin Roosevelt’s famous quotation, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

1. Provide context for each quotation.

Do not rely on quotations to tell your story for you. It is your responsibility to provide your reader with context for the quotation. The context should set the basic scene for when, possibly where, and under what circumstances the quotation was spoken or written. So, in providing context for our above example, you might write:

When Franklin Roosevelt gave his inaugural speech on March 4, 1933, he addressed a nation weakened and demoralized by economic depression.

2. Attribute each quotation to its source.

Tell your reader who is speaking. Here is a good test: try reading your text aloud. Could your reader determine without looking at your paper where your quotations begin? If not, you need to attribute the quote more noticeably.

Avoid getting into the “he/she said” attribution rut! There are many other ways to attribute quotes besides this construction. Here are a few alternative verbs, usually followed by “that”:

Different reporting verbs are preferred by different disciplines, so pay special attention to these in your disciplinary reading. If you’re unfamiliar with the meanings of any of these words or others you find in your reading, consult a dictionary before using them.

3. Explain the significance of the quotation.

Once you’ve inserted your quotation, along with its context and attribution, don’t stop! Your reader still needs your assessment of why the quotation holds significance for your paper. Using our Roosevelt example, if you were writing a paper on the first one-hundred days of FDR’s administration, you might follow the quotation by linking it to that topic:

With that message of hope and confidence, the new president set the stage for his next one-hundred days in office and helped restore the faith of the American people in their government.

4. Provide a citation for the quotation.

All quotations, just like all paraphrases, require a formal citation. For more details about particular citation formats, see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . In general, you should remember one rule of thumb: Place the parenthetical reference or footnote/endnote number after—not within—the closed quotation mark.

Roosevelt declared, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” (Roosevelt, Public Papers, 11).

Roosevelt declared, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”1

How do I embed a quotation into a sentence?

In general, avoid leaving quotes as sentences unto themselves. Even if you have provided some context for the quote, a quote standing alone can disrupt your flow.  Take a look at this example:

Hamlet denies Rosencrantz’s claim that thwarted ambition caused his depression. “I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space” (Hamlet 2.2).

Standing by itself, the quote’s connection to the preceding sentence is unclear. There are several ways to incorporate a quote more smoothly:

Lead into the quote with a colon.

Hamlet denies Rosencrantz’s claim that thwarted ambition caused his depression: “I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space” (Hamlet 2.2).

The colon announces that a quote will follow to provide evidence for the sentence’s claim.

Introduce or conclude the quote by attributing it to the speaker. If your attribution precedes the quote, you will need to use a comma after the verb.

Hamlet denies Rosencrantz’s claim that thwarted ambition caused his depression. He states, “I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space” (Hamlet 2.2).

When faced with a twelve-foot mountain troll, Ron gathers his courage, shouting, “Wingardium Leviosa!” (Rowling, p. 176).

The Pirate King sees an element of regality in their impoverished and dishonest life. “It is, it is a glorious thing/To be a pirate king,” he declares (Pirates of Penzance, 1983).

Interrupt the quote with an attribution to the speaker. Again, you will need to use a comma after the verb, as well as a comma leading into the attribution.

“There is nothing either good or bad,” Hamlet argues, “but thinking makes it so” (Hamlet 2.2).

“And death shall be no more,” Donne writes, “Death thou shalt die” (“Death, Be Not Proud,” l. 14).

Dividing the quote may highlight a particular nuance of the quote’s meaning. In the first example, the division calls attention to the two parts of Hamlet’s claim. The first phrase states that nothing is inherently good or bad; the second phrase suggests that our perspective causes things to become good or bad. In the second example, the isolation of “Death thou shalt die” at the end of the sentence draws a reader’s attention to that phrase in particular. As you decide whether or not you want to break up a quote, you should consider the shift in emphasis that the division might create.

Use the words of the quote grammatically within your own sentence.

When Hamlet tells Rosencrantz that he “could be bounded in a nutshell and count [him]self a king of infinite space” (Hamlet 2.2), he implies that thwarted ambition did not cause his depression.

Ultimately, death holds no power over Donne since in the afterlife, “death shall be no more” (“Death, Be Not Proud,” l. 14).

Note that when you use “that” after the verb that introduces the quote, you no longer need a comma.

The Pirate King argues that “it is, it is a glorious thing/to be a pirate king” (Pirates of Penzance, 1983).

How much should I quote?

As few words as possible. Remember, your paper should primarily contain your own words, so quote only the most pithy and memorable parts of sources. Here are guidelines for selecting quoted material judiciously:

Excerpt fragments.

Sometimes, you should quote short fragments, rather than whole sentences. Suppose you interviewed Jane Doe about her reaction to John F. Kennedy’s assassination. She commented:

“I couldn’t believe it. It was just unreal and so sad. It was just unbelievable. I had never experienced such denial. I don’t know why I felt so strongly. Perhaps it was because JFK was more to me than a president. He represented the hopes of young people everywhere.”

You could quote all of Jane’s comments, but her first three sentences are fairly redundant. You might instead want to quote Jane when she arrives at the ultimate reason for her strong emotions:

Jane Doe grappled with grief and disbelief. She had viewed JFK, not just as a national figurehead, but as someone who “represented the hopes of young people everywhere.”

Excerpt those fragments carefully!

Quoting the words of others carries a big responsibility. Misquoting misrepresents the ideas of others. Here’s a classic example of a misquote:

John Adams has often been quoted as having said: “This would be the best of all possible worlds if there were no religion in it.”

John Adams did, in fact, write the above words. But if you see those words in context, the meaning changes entirely. Here’s the rest of the quotation:

Twenty times, in the course of my late reading, have I been on the point of breaking out, ‘this would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it!!!!’ But in this exclamation, I should have been as fanatical as Bryant or Cleverly. Without religion, this world would be something not fit to be mentioned in public company—I mean hell.

As you can see from this example, context matters!

This example is from Paul F. Boller, Jr. and John George, They Never Said It: A Book of Fake Quotes, Misquotes, and Misleading Attributions (Oxford University Press, 1989).

Use block quotations sparingly.

There may be times when you need to quote long passages. However, you should use block quotations only when you fear that omitting any words will destroy the integrity of the passage. If that passage exceeds four lines (some sources say five), then set it off as a block quotation.

Be sure you are handling block quotes correctly in papers for different academic disciplines–check the index of the citation style guide you are using. Here are a few general tips for setting off your block quotations:

  • Set up a block quotation with your own words followed by a colon.
  • Indent. You normally indent 4-5 spaces for the start of a paragraph. When setting up a block quotation, indent the entire paragraph once from the left-hand margin.
  • Single space or double space within the block quotation, depending on the style guidelines of your discipline (MLA, CSE, APA, Chicago, etc.).
  • Do not use quotation marks at the beginning or end of the block quote—the indentation is what indicates that it’s a quote.
  • Place parenthetical citation according to your style guide (usually after the period following the last sentence of the quote).
  • Follow up a block quotation with your own words.

So, using the above example from John Adams, here’s how you might include a block quotation:

After reading several doctrinally rigid tracts, John Adams recalled the zealous ranting of his former teacher, Joseph Cleverly, and minister, Lemuel Bryant. He expressed his ambivalence toward religion in an 1817 letter to Thomas Jefferson:

Adams clearly appreciated religion, even if he often questioned its promotion.

How do I combine quotation marks with other punctuation marks?

It can be confusing when you start combining quotation marks with other punctuation marks. You should consult a style manual for complicated situations, but the following two rules apply to most cases:

Keep periods and commas within quotation marks.

So, for example:

According to Professor Poe, werewolves “represent anxiety about the separation between human and animal,” and werewolf movies often “interrogate those boundaries.”

In the above example, both the comma and period were enclosed in the quotation marks. The main exception to this rule involves the use of internal citations, which always precede the last period of the sentence. For example:

According to Professor Poe, werewolves “represent anxiety about the separation between human and animal,” and werewolf movies often “interrogate those boundaries” (Poe 167).

Note, however, that the period remains inside the quotation marks when your citation style involves superscript footnotes or endnotes. For example:

According to Professor Poe, werewolves “represent anxiety about the separation between human and animal,” and werewolf movies often “interrogate those boundaries.” 2

Place all other punctuation marks (colons, semicolons, exclamation marks, question marks) outside the quotation marks, except when they were part of the original quotation.

Take a look at the following examples:

I couldn’t believe it when my friend passed me a note in the cafe saying the management “started charging $15 per hour for parking”!

The coach yelled, “Run!”

In the first example, the author placed the exclamation point outside the quotation mark because she added it herself to emphasize the outrageous nature of the parking price change. The original note had not included an exclamation mark. In the second example, the exclamation mark remains within the quotation mark because it is indicating the excited tone in which the coach yelled the command. Thus, the exclamation mark is considered to be part of the original quotation.

How do I indicate quotations within quotations?

If you are quoting a passage that contains a quotation, then you use single quotation marks for the internal quotation. Quite rarely, you quote a passage that has a quotation within a quotation. In that rare instance, you would use double quotation marks for the second internal quotation.

Here’s an example of a quotation within a quotation:

In “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” Hans Christian Andersen wrote, “‘But the Emperor has nothing on at all!’ cried a little child.”

Remember to consult your style guide to determine how to properly cite a quote within a quote.

When do I use those three dots ( . . . )?

Whenever you want to leave out material from within a quotation, you need to use an ellipsis, which is a series of three periods, each of which should be preceded and followed by a space. So, an ellipsis in this sentence would look like . . . this. There are a few rules to follow when using ellipses:

Be sure that you don’t fundamentally change the meaning of the quotation by omitting material.

Take a look at the following example:

“The Writing Center is located on the UNC campus and serves the entire UNC community.”

“The Writing Center . . . serves the entire UNC community.”

The reader’s understanding of the Writing Center’s mission to serve the UNC community is not affected by omitting the information about its location.

Do not use ellipses at the beginning or ending of quotations, unless it’s important for the reader to know that the quotation was truncated.

For example, using the above example, you would NOT need an ellipsis in either of these situations:

“The Writing Center is located on the UNC campus . . .”

The Writing Center ” . . . serves the entire UNC community.”

Use punctuation marks in combination with ellipses when removing material from the end of sentences or clauses.

For example, if you take material from the end of a sentence, keep the period in as usual.

“The boys ran to school, forgetting their lunches and books. Even though they were out of breath, they made it on time.”

“The boys ran to school. . . . Even though they were out of breath, they made it on time.”

Likewise, if you excerpt material at the end of clause that ends in a comma, retain the comma.

“The red car came to a screeching halt that was heard by nearby pedestrians, but no one was hurt.”

“The red car came to a screeching halt . . . , but no one was hurt.”

Is it ever okay to insert my own words or change words in a quotation?

Sometimes it is necessary for clarity and flow to alter a word or words within a quotation. You should make such changes rarely. In order to alert your reader to the changes you’ve made, you should always bracket the altered words. Here are a few examples of situations when you might need brackets:

Changing verb tense or pronouns in order to be consistent with the rest of the sentence.

Suppose you were quoting a woman who, when asked about her experiences immigrating to the United States, commented “nobody understood me.” You might write:

Esther Hansen felt that when she came to the United States “nobody understood [her].”

In the above example, you’ve changed “me” to “her” in order to keep the entire passage in third person. However, you could avoid the need for this change by simply rephrasing:

“Nobody understood me,” recalled Danish immigrant Esther Hansen.

Including supplemental information that your reader needs in order to understand the quotation.

For example, if you were quoting someone’s nickname, you might want to let your reader know the full name of that person in brackets.

“The principal of the school told Billy [William Smith] that his contract would be terminated.”

Similarly, if a quotation referenced an event with which the reader might be unfamiliar, you could identify that event in brackets.

“We completely revised our political strategies after the strike [of 1934].”

Indicating the use of nonstandard grammar or spelling.

In rare situations, you may quote from a text that has nonstandard grammar, spelling, or word choice. In such cases, you may want to insert [sic], which means “thus” or “so” in Latin. Using [sic] alerts your reader to the fact that this nonstandard language is not the result of a typo on your part. Always italicize “sic” and enclose it in brackets. There is no need to put a period at the end. Here’s an example of when you might use [sic]:

Twelve-year-old Betsy Smith wrote in her diary, “Father is afraid that he will be guilty of beach [sic] of contract.”

Here [sic] indicates that the original author wrote “beach of contract,” not breach of contract, which is the accepted terminology.

Do not overuse brackets!

For example, it is not necessary to bracket capitalization changes that you make at the beginning of sentences. For example, suppose you were going to use part of this quotation:

“The colors scintillated curiously over a hard carapace, and the beetle’s tiny antennae made gentle waving motions as though saying hello.”

If you wanted to begin a sentence with an excerpt from the middle of this quotation, there would be no need to bracket your capitalization changes.

“The beetle’s tiny antennae made gentle waving motions as though saying hello,” said Dr. Grace Farley, remembering a defining moment on her journey to becoming an entomologist.

Not: “[T]he beetle’s tiny antennae made gentle waving motions as though saying hello,” said Dr. Grace Farley, remembering a defining moment on her journey to becoming an entomologist.

Works consulted

We consulted these works while writing this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find additional publications. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback.

Barzun, Jacques, and Henry F. Graff. 2012. The Modern Researcher , 6th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

Booth, Wayne C., Gregory G. Colomb, Joseph M. Williams, Joseph Bizup, and William T. FitzGerald. 2016. The Craft of Research , 4th ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Gibaldi, Joseph. 2009. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers , 7th ed. New York: The Modern Language Association of America.

Turabian, Kate. 2018. A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, Dissertations , 9th ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

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How do we best govern AI?

May 25, 2023 | Brad Smith - Vice Chair & President

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This post is the foreword written by Brad Smith for Microsoft’s report Governing AI: A Blueprint for the Future . The first part of the report details five ways governments should consider policies, laws, and regulations around AI. The second part focuses on Microsoft’s internal commitment to ethical AI, showing how the company is both operationalizing and building a culture of responsible AI.

“Don’t ask what computers can do, ask what they should do.”

That is the title of the chapter on AI and ethics in a book I co-authored in 2019. At the time, we wrote that, “This may be one of the defining questions of our generation.” Four years later, the question has seized center stage not just in the world’s capitals, but around many dinner tables.

As people have used or heard about the power of OpenAI’s GPT-4 foundation model, they have often been surprised or even astounded. Many have been enthused or even excited. Some have been concerned or even frightened. What has become clear to almost everyone is something we noted four years ago – we are the first generation in the history of humanity to create machines that can make decisions that previously could only be made by people.

Countries around the world are asking common questions. How can we use this new technology to solve our problems? How do we avoid or manage new problems it might create? How do we control technology that is so powerful?

These questions call not only for broad and thoughtful conversation, but decisive and effective action. This paper offers some of our ideas and suggestions as a company.

These suggestions build on the lessons we’ve been learning based on the work we’ve been doing for several years. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella set us on a clear course when he wrote in 2016 that, “Perhaps the most productive debate we can have isn’t one of good versus evil: The debate should be about the values instilled in the people and institutions creating this technology.”

Since that time, we’ve defined, published, and implemented ethical principles to guide our work. And we’ve built out constantly improving engineering and governance systems to put these principles into practice. Today, we have nearly 350 people working on responsible AI at Microsoft, helping us implement best practices for building safe, secure, and transparent AI systems designed to benefit society.

New opportunities to improve the human condition

The resulting advances in our approach have given us the capability and confidence to see ever-expanding ways for AI to improve people’s lives. We’ve seen AI help save individuals’ eyesight, make progress on new cures for cancer, generate new insights about proteins, and provide predictions to protect people from hazardous weather. Other innovations are fending off cyberattacks and helping to protect fundamental human rights, even in nations afflicted by foreign invasion or civil war.

Everyday activities will benefit as well. By acting as a copilot in people’s lives, the power of foundation models like GPT-4 is turning search into a more powerful tool for research and improving productivity for people at work. And, for any parent who has struggled to remember how to help their 13-year-old child through an algebra homework assignment, AI-based assistance is a helpful tutor.

In so many ways, AI offers perhaps even more potential for the good of humanity than any invention that has preceded it. Since the invention of the printing press with movable type in the 1400s, human prosperity has been growing at an accelerating rate. Inventions like the steam engine, electricity, the automobile, the airplane, computing, and the internet have provided many of the building blocks for modern civilization. And, like the printing press itself, AI offers a new tool to genuinely help advance human learning and thought.

Chart showing the impact of tech on GDP growth

Guardrail s for the future

Another conclusion is equally important: It’s not enough to focus only on the many opportunities to use AI to improve people’s lives. This is perhaps one of the most important lessons from the role of social media. Little more than a decade ago, technologists and political commentators alike gushed about the role of social media in spreading democracy during the Arab Spring. Yet, five years after that, we learned that social media, like so many other technologies before it, would become both a weapon and a tool – in this case aimed at democracy itself.

Today we are 10 years older and wiser, and we need to put that wisdom to work. We need to think early on and in a clear-eyed way about the problems that could lie ahead. As technology moves forward, it’s just as important to ensure proper control over AI as it is to pursue its benefits. We are committed and determined as a company to develop and deploy AI in a safe and responsible way. We also recognize, however, that the guardrails needed for AI require a broadly shared sense of responsibility and should not be left to technology companies alone.

When we at Microsoft adopted our six ethical principles for AI in 2018, we noted that one principle was the bedrock for everything else – accountability. This is the fundamental need: to ensure that machines remain subject to effective oversight by people , and the people who design and operate machines remain accountable to everyone else. In short, we must always ensure that AI remains under human control . This must be a first-order priority for technology companies and governments alike.

This connects directly with another essential concept. In a democratic society, one of our foundational principles is that no person is above the law. No government is above the law. No company is above the law, and no product or technology should be above the law. This leads to a critical conclusion: People who design and operate AI systems cannot be accountable unless their decisions and actions are subject to the rule of law.

In many ways, this is at the heart of the unfolding AI policy and regulatory debate. How do governments best ensure that AI is subject to the rule of law? In short, what form should new law, regulation, and policy take?

A five-point blueprint for the public governance of AI

Section One of this paper offers a five-point blueprint to address several current and emerging AI issues through public policy, law, and regulation. We offer this recognizing that every part of this blueprint will benefit from broader discussion and require deeper development. But we hope this can contribute constructively to the work ahead.

First, implement and build upon new government-led AI safety frameworks. The best way to succeed is often to build on the successes and good ideas of others. Especially when one wants to move quickly. In this instance, there is an important opportunity to build on work completed just four months ago by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology, or NIST. Part of the Department of Commerce, NIST has completed and launched a new AI Risk Management Framework.

We offer four concrete suggestions to implement and build upon this framework, including commitments Microsoft is making in response to a recent White House meeting with leading AI companies. We also believe the administration and other governments can accelerate momentum through procurement rules based on this framework.

A five-point blueprint for governing AI

Second, require effective safety brakes for AI systems that control critical infrastructure . In some quarters, thoughtful individuals increasingly are asking whether we can satisfactorily control AI as it becomes more powerful. Concerns are sometimes posed regarding AI control of critical infrastructure like the electrical grid, water system, and city traffic flows.

This is the right time to discuss this question. This blueprint proposes new safety requirements that, in effect, would create safety brakes for AI systems that control the operation of designated critical infrastructure. These fail-safe systems would be part of a comprehensive approach to system safety that would keep effective human oversight, resilience, and robustness top of mind. In spirit, they would be similar to the braking systems engineers have long built into other technologies such as elevators, school buses, and high-speed trains, to safely manage not just everyday scenarios, but emergencies as well.

In this approach, the government would define the class of high-risk AI systems that control critical infrastructure and warrant such safety measures as part of a comprehensive approach to system management. New laws would require operators of these systems to build safety brakes into high-risk AI systems by design. The government would then ensure that operators test high-risk systems regularly to ensure that the system safety measures are effective. And AI systems that control the operation of designated critical infrastructure would be deployed only in licensed AI datacenters that would ensure a second layer of protection through the ability to apply these safety brakes, thereby ensuring effective human control.

Third, develop a broad legal and regulatory framework based on the technology architecture for AI . We believe there will need to be a legal and regulatory architecture for AI that reflects the technology architecture for AI itself. In short, the law will need to place various regulatory responsibilities upon different actors based upon their role in managing different aspects of AI technology.

For this reason, this blueprint includes information about some of the critical pieces that go into building and using new generative AI models. Using this as context, it proposes that different laws place specific regulatory responsibilities on the organizations exercising certain responsibilities at three layers of the technology stack: the applications layer, the model layer, and the infrastructure layer.

This should first apply existing legal protections at the applications layer to the use of AI. This is the layer where the safety and rights of people will most be impacted, especially because the impact of AI can vary markedly in different technology scenarios. In many areas, we don’t need new laws and regulations. We instead need to apply and enforce existing laws and regulations, helping agencies and courts develop the expertise needed to adapt to new AI scenarios.

There will then be a need to develop new law and regulation s for highly capable AI foundation models, best implemented by a new government agency. This will impact two layers of the technology stack. The first will require new regulations and licensing for these models themselves. And the second will involve obligations for the AI infrastructure operators on which these models are developed and deployed. The blueprint that follows offers suggested goals and approaches for each of these layers.

In doing so, this blueprint builds in part on a principle developed in recent decades in banking to protect against money laundering and criminal or terrorist use of financial services. The “Know Your Customer” – or KYC – principle requires that financial institutions verify customer identities, establish risk profiles, and monitor transactions to help detect suspicious activity. It would make sense to take this principle and apply a KY3C approach that creates in the AI context certain obligations to know one’s cloud , one’s customers , and one’s content .

Image outlining Know Your Customer

In the first instance, the developers of designated, powerful AI models first “know the cloud” on which their models are developed and deployed. In addition, such as for scenarios that involve sensitive uses, the company that has a direct relationship with a customer – whether it be the model developer, application provider, or cloud operator on which the model is operating – should “know the customers” that are accessing it.

Also, the public should be empowered to “know the content” that AI is creating through the use of a label or other mark informing people when something like a video or audio file has been produced by an AI model rather than a human being. This labeling obligation should also protect the public from the alteration of original content and the creation of “deep fakes.” This will require the development of new laws, and there will be many important questions and details to address. But the health of democracy and future of civic discourse will benefit from thoughtful measures to deter the use of new technology to deceive or defraud the public.

Fourth, promote transparency and ensure academic and nonprofit access to AI. We believe a critical public goal is to advance transparency and broaden access to AI resources. While there are some important tensions between transparency and the need for security, there exist many opportunities to make AI systems more transparent in a responsible way. That’s why Microsoft is committing to an annual AI transparency report and other steps to expand transparency for our AI services.

We also believe it is critical to expand access to AI resources for academic research and the nonprofit community. Basic research, especially at universities, has been of fundamental importance to the economic and strategic success of the United States since the 1940s. But unless academic researchers can obtain access to substantially more computing resources, there is a real risk that scientific and technological inquiry will suffer, including relating to AI itself. Our blueprint calls for new steps, including steps we will take across Microsoft, to address these priorities.

Fifth, pursue new public-private partnerships to use AI as an effective tool to address the inevitable societal challenges that come with new technology. One lesson from recent years is what democratic societies can accomplish when they harness the power of technology and bring the public and private sectors together. It’s a lesson we need to build upon to address the impact of AI on society.

We will all benefit from a strong dose of clear-eyed optimism. AI is an extraordinary tool. But, like other technologies, it too can become a powerful weapon, and there will be some around the world who will seek to use it that way. But we should take some heart from the cyber front and the last year-and-a-half in the war in Ukraine. What we found is that when the public and private sectors work together, when like-minded allies come together, and when we develop technology and use it as a shield, it’s more powerful than any sword on the planet.

Important work is needed now to use AI to protect democracy and fundamental rights, provide broad access to the AI skills that will promote inclusive growth, and use the power of AI to advance the planet’s sustainability needs. Perhaps more than anything, a wave of new AI technology provides an occasion for thinking big and acting boldly. In each area, the key to success will be to develop concrete initiatives and bring governments, respected companies, and energetic NGOs together to advance them. We offer some initial ideas in this report, and we look forward to doing much more in the months and years ahead.

Govern ing AI within Microsoft

Ultimately, every organization that creates or uses advanced AI systems will need to develop and implement its own governance systems. Section Two of this paper describes the AI governance system within Microsoft – where we began, where we are today, and how we are moving into the future.

As this section recognizes, the development of a new governance system for new technology is a journey in and of itself. A decade ago, this field barely existed. Today, Microsoft has almost 350 employees specializing in it, and we are investing in our next fiscal year to grow this further.

As described in this section, over the past six years we have built out a more comprehensive AI governance structure and system across Microsoft. We didn’t start from scratch, borrowing instead from best practices for the protection of cybersecurity, privacy, and digital safety. This is all part of the company’s comprehensive enterprise risk management (ERM) system, which has become a critical part of the management of corporations and many other organizations in the world today.

When it comes to AI, we first developed ethical principles and then had to translate these into more specific corporate policies. We’re now on version 2 of the corporate standard that embodies these principles and defines more precise practices for our engineering teams to follow. We’ve implemented the standard through training, tooling, and testing systems that continue to mature rapidly. This is supported by additional governance processes that include monitoring, auditing, and compliance measures.

As with everything in life, one learns from experience. When it comes to AI governance, some of our most important learning has come from the detailed work required to review specific sensitive AI use cases. In 2019, we founded a sensitive use review program to subject our most sensitive and novel AI use cases to rigorous, specialized review that results in tailored guidance. Since that time, we have completed roughly 600 sensitive use case reviews. The pace of this activity has quickened to match the pace of AI advances, with almost 150 such reviews taking place in the 11 months.

All of this builds on the work we have done and will continue to do to advance responsible AI through company culture. That means hiring new and diverse talent to grow our responsible AI ecosystem and investing in the talent we already have at Microsoft to develop skills and empower them to think broadly about the potential impact of AI systems on individuals and society. It also means that much more than in the past, the frontier of technology requires a multidisciplinary approach that combines great engineers with talented professionals from across the liberal arts.

All this is offered in this paper in the spirit that we’re on a collective journey to forge a responsible future for artificial intelligence. We can all learn from each other. And no matter how good we may think something is today, we will all need to keep getting better.

As technological change accelerates, the work to govern AI responsibly must keep pace with it. With the right commitments and investments, we believe it can.

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