8 Quotes on Public Speaking for Tonight’s State of the Union Address

“Here comes the orator! With his flood of words, and his drop of reason.”

Intellectual Takeout | January 12, 2016

“Here comes the orator! With his flood of words, and his drop of reason.”
8 Quotes on Public Speaking for Tonight’s State of the Union Address

Every year about this time, the President of the United States makes his appearance at the lectern in the House of Representatives with great pomp and circumstance - and often great political theater. In light of this expected tableau, we’ve compiled the following 8 quotes on oratory to bear in mind.

  1. “An orator without judgment is a horse without a bridle.” – Theophrastus
     
  2. “No man can be a complete orator unless he is a good man.” – Quintillian
     
  3. “Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving us wordy evidence of the fact.” – George Eliot
     
  4. “Here comes the orator! With his flood of words, and his drop of reason.” – Benjamin Franklin
     
  5. “Orators are the most vehement when they have the weakest cause, as men can get on horseback when they cannot walk.” – Cicero
     
  6. “What orators want in depth they give you in length.” – Montesquieu
     
  7. “There is no power like that of oratory; Caesar controlled men by exciting their fears, Cicero by captivating their affections and swaying their passions; the influence of the one perished with its author, that of the other continues to this day.” – H. Clay
     
  8. “Oratory is an engine invented to manage and wield at will the fierce democracy, and like medicine to the sick, is only employed in the paroxysms of a disordered state.” – Montaigne

Sources: Poor Richard’s Almanack, Day’s Collacon, Wisdom for the Soul, and Reed’s Political Oratory.