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How to Find Local Quotes That Personalize a Speech


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Going to give an out-of-town presentation?

Find a quote that’s tied to the geographic area where you’ll speak.

Plenty of websites and books can provide quotes about cities, states and regions – both in the United States and throughout the world. But you can personalize any presentation by noting what inspirational quotations you might see on public buildings as you travel through your destination city.

Some examples:

Public libraries often have motivational quotations engraved above their front doors. These can be golden. Just jot one down and work it into the opening moments of your speech. You’ll build audience rapport upfront. (When I lived in Brooklyn, I got good ideas from the various branches of the Brooklyn Public Library

Look for inscriptions on municipal buildings (the courthouse or city hall, maybe the train station)

Monuments and statues give important clues to local history.

Public parks can offer a clever theme.

Look for historic plaques, honoring what occurred at a particular location. (A nice touch? Get a photo to include in your PowerPoint.)

Houses of worship often post a rotating series of memorable lines to attract the attention of passers-by. Yesterday in Philadelphia I chanced upon this quote posted near the doorway of St Stephen’s Episcopal Church:

“It’s worth it to be honest, although it doesn’t always pay off. It pays to be dishonest, but it’s never worth it.”

Keep your eyes open. In any city or town, you can find local references that will resonate with your audiences.

Bonus: Your personalized local line might get great attention on social media


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