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 a presentation quote that fits your story, comes from a reputable source, and has 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 quote for your presentation below:

Innovation quotes

  1. “Innovation, as I understand it, is both about doing different things as well as doing things differently.”
    Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Biotech Entrepreneur
    From an interview with Dr. Bhavana Weidman on nature.com (January 04, 2014)
  2. “Innovation is more than having new ideas: it includes the process of successfully introducing them or making things happen in a new way. It turns ideas into useful, practicable and commercial products or services.”
    John Adair, Writer on Business Leadership.
    Effective Innovation (2009), Revised Edition ch. 11
  3. “Every new thing creates two new questions and two new opportunities.”
    Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO of Amazon
    From ‘The electricity metaphor for the web’s future’, presented at TED2003 (February 2003)
  4. “Innovation is fostered by information gathered from new connections; from insights gained by journeys into other disciplines or places; from active, collegial networks and fluid, open boundaries.
    “Innovation arises from ongoing circles of exchange, where information is not just accumulated or stored, but created. Knowledge is generated anew from connections that weren’t there before.”
    Meg Wheatley, Author and Management Consultant
    Leadership and the New Science (2001)
  5. “We are all looking for the magic formula. Well, here you go: Creativity + Iterative Development = Innovation.”
    James Dyson, Founder of Dyson
    ‘James Dyson on Innovation’, Ingenia, Issue 24 (September 2005)

Design quotes

  1. “Good design begins with honesty, asks tough questions, comes from collaboration and from trusting your intuition.”
    Freeman Thomas, Automobile and Industrial Designer
    Reviving Professional Learning Communities: Strength Through Diversity, Conflict, Teamwork, and Structure (2012) p. 63
  2. “The urge for good design is the same as the urge to go on living. The assumption is that somewhere, hidden, is a better way of doing things.”
    Harry Bertoia, Artist and Designer
    As quoted in 1000 Chairs, Carlotte and Peter Fiell (2005) p. 66
  3. “People think it’s this veneer — that the designers are handed this box and told, ‘Make it look good!’ That’s not what we think design is. It’s not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”
    Steve Jobs, Chairman and CEO of Apple Inc.
    As quoted in ‘The Guts of a New Machine’, Rob Walker, The New York Times Magazine (November 30, 2003)
  4. “Design is redesign.”
    Jan Michl, Professor Emeritus, Phdr. History and Theories of Design
    ‘On seeing design as redesign’, Scandinavian Journal of Design History, Issue 12 (2002) p. 7-23
  5. “Design is not about products, design is about relationships.”
    Hella Jongerius, Industrial Designer
    ‘Beyond the New: a search for ideals in design’, a manifesto by Hella Jongerius and Louise Schouwenberg (2015) 

Education and learning quotes

  1. “We are now at a point where we must educate our children in what no one knew yesterday, and prepare our schools for what no one knows yet.”
    Margaret Mead, Anthropologist and Author
    As quoted in How They Work In Indiana : Business-Education Partnerships, Andrew L. Zehner (1994)
  2. “The most important thing any teacher has to learn, not to be learned in any school of education I ever heard of, can be expressed in seven words: Learning is not the product of teaching. Learning is the product of the activity of learners.”
    John Holt, Author and Educator
    Growing Without Schooling, Issue 40 (1984)
  3. “True education means fostering the ability to be interested in something.”
    Sumio Iijima, Physicist
    ‘About myself, To the younger generation’, Innovative Engine (September 25, 2007)
  4. “If you think education is expensive — try ignorance.”
    ‘Ask Ann Landers’ Syndicated Advice Column (October 4, 1975)
  5. “The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.”
    Plutarch, Greek Historian, Biographer, and Essayist
    On Listening to Lectures

Success quotes

  1. “Success is fucking up on your own terms.”
    Guillermo del Toro, Director and Producer
    From Portland Mercury Q&A (September 29, 2010)
  2. “We cannot say what brings us success. We can only pin down what blocks or obliterates success. Eliminate the downside, the thinking errors, and the upside will take care of itself. This is all we need to know.”
    Rolf Dobelli, Author and Businessman
    The Art of Thinking Clearly (2013)
  3. “The secret to success is the willingness to serve without aspiring for rewards.”
    Cham Joof, Gambian Historian
    Gambia, Land of our heritage, p IV
  4. “Failure and success are not episodes, they are trajectories. They are tendencies, directions, pathways. Each decision, each time at bat, each tennis serve, each business quarter, each school year seems like a new event, but the next performance is shaped by what happened last time out, unless something breaks the streak. The meaning of any particular event is shaped by what’s come before.”
    Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Author and Management Consultant
    Confidence (2006)
  5. “Success is more than a good idea. It is timing.”
    Anita Roddick, Founder of The Body Shop
    From an interview on bookbrowse.com

Creativity quotes

  1. “Relaxed, playful and harmonious moments are the birth place of creativity.”
    Amit Ray, Author and Spiritual Master
    Meditation: Insights and Inspiration (2010) p. 58
  2. “Originality is going back to the origin and finding an empty chair. Would you gladly sit on it? No thank you. It is empty for a reason. That’s where my ass was. Not where my head is now.”
    Giannina Braschi, Puerto Rican Poet, Novelist, and Essayist
    World Literature Today (2012)
  3. “Creativity isn’t about the advantage or disadvantage of a specific time or culture. Creativity is something that comes internally from a human being having a genuine mistrust of rules. And that may be the constant. It’s almost like there’s some rebellion in it.”
    Paula Scher, Graphic Designer
    From an interview conducted by Neal Shaffer (2006)
  4. “Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple of them and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.”
    John Steinbeck, Author
    Conversations with John Steinbeck, ed. Thomas Fensch (1988)
  5. “Creativity arises out of the tension between spontaneity and limitations, the latter (like the river banks) forcing the spontaneity into the various forms which are essential to the work of art or poem.”
    Rollo May, Psychologist and Author
    The Courage to Create (1975) p. 115

Teamwork and collaboration quotes

  1. “In organizations, real power and energy is generated through relationships. The patterns of relationships and the capacities to form them are more important than tasks, functions, roles, and positions.”
    Margaret Wheatley, Management Consultant
    As quoted in 100 Ways to Motivate Yourself, Steve Chandler (2004) p. 123
  2. “Life is not a solo act. It’s a huge collaboration.”
    Tim Gunn, Fashion Consultant and Author
    ‘Postings | Recent Entries From Our Blogs’, Tara Parker-Pope, The New York Times (December 21, 2010)
  3. “Collaboration is important not just because it’s a better way to learn. The spirit of collaboration is penetrating every institution and all of our lives. So learning to collaborate is part of equipping yourself for effectiveness, problem solving, innovation and life-long learning in an ever-changing networked economy.”
    Don Tapscott, Business Executive and Consultant
    ‘The spirit of collaboration is touching all of our lives’, The Globe and Mail (June 7, 2013)
  4. “As you navigate through the rest of your life, be open to collaboration. Other people and other people’s ideas are often better than your own. Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life.”
    Amy Poehler, Actress, Comedian, Director and Producer
    From The Joy of Success: What It Means to Transform Success Into Excellence, Tochukwu O. Okafor MPA (2013) p. 53
  5. “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.”
    Michael Jordan, Basketball Hall of Fame Player and Businessman
    As quoted in The Victory Letters : Inspiration for the Human Race, Cheri Ruskus (2003) p. 68.

Knowledge quotes

  1. “While knowledge is increasingly being viewed as a commodity or intellectual asset, there are some paradoxical characteristics of knowledge that are radically different from other valuable commodities. These knowledge characteristics include the following: Using knowledge does not consume it. Transferring knowledge does not result in losing it. Knowledge is abundant, but the ability to use it is scarce. Much of an organization’s valuable knowledge walks out the door at the end of the day.”
    Kimiz Dalkir, Director at McGill School of Information Studies
    Knowledge Management in Theory and Practice, 2nd ed. (2011)
  2. “Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.”
    Carl Sagan, Astronomer and Popular Science Writer
    From That’s Weird!: Awesome Science Mysteries, Kendall F. Haven (2001)
  3. “Investing in people is the single most important thing in the knowledge economy. Traditionally, wealth was defined by land and natural resources. Today the most important resources is between our ears.”
    Barack Obama
    Remarks by President Obama at Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative Town Hall, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (April 27, 2014)
  4. “You can’t manage knowledge – nobody can. What you can do is to manage the environment in which knowledge can be created, discovered, captured, shared, distilled, validated, transferred, adopted, adapted and applied.”
    Chris Collison and Geoff Parcell
    Learning to Fly – Practical Knowledge Management from Leading and Learning Organizations (2005) p. 24-25
  5. “The Information Age offers much to mankind, and I would like to think that we will rise to the challenges it presents. But it is vital to remember that information — in the sense of raw data — is not knowledge, that knowledge is not wisdom, and that wisdom is not foresight. But information is the first essential step to all of these.”
    Arthur C. Clarke, Science Fiction Writer, Inventor, Futurist
    As quoted in ‘Humanity will survive information deluge — Sir Arthur C Clarke’, OneWorld South Asia (December 5, 2003)

Leadership quotes

  1. “Successful people become great leaders when they learn to shift the focus from themselves to others.”
    Marshall Goldsmith, Leadership Coach
    What Got You Here Won’t Get You There (2010) p. 72
  2. “Ultimately a genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus, but a molder of consensus.”
    Martin Luther King, Jr.
    From an address at the Episcopal National Cathedral, Washington D.C. (March 31, 1968)
  3. “You can’t lead from behind your desk, you’ve got to get out in front, be visible, for your customers as well as for your employees. During a crisis, you’ve got to be calm and confident. You’ve got to always tell the truth. And you’ve got to be willing to face a crisis, not shy away from it, embrace it.”
    Geisha Williams, Fortune 500 Businesswoman
    Geisha Williams: Set Your Sights High, Take Charge and Keep the Lights On’, Leadership California, Carol Caley (February 17, 2014)
  4. “Courage is the main quality of leadership, in my opinion, no matter where it is exercised. Usually it implies some risk — especially in new undertakings. Courage to initiate something and to keep it going, pioneering and adventurous spirit to blaze new ways, often, in our land of opportunity.”
    Walt Disney
    As quoted in The Disney Way Fieldbook, Bill Capodagli and Lynn Jackson (2000) p. 147
  5. “Embrace what you don’t know. What you don’t know can become your greatest asset. It ensures that you will absolutely be doing things different from everyone else.”
    Sarah Blakely, Founder of Spanx
    ’10 Lessons I Learned from Sara Blakely That You Won’t Hear in Business School,’ Forbes, Kathy Caprino (May 23, 2012)

Mistakes and failure quotes

  1. “We tell our young managers: ‘Don’t be afraid to make a mistake. But make sure you don’t make the same mistake twice’”
    Akio Morita, Co-Founder of Sony Corporation
    As quoted in The Sony Vision, Nick Lyons (1976) p. 101
  2. “There is no such thing as failure. Failure is just life trying to move us in another direction.”
    Oprah Winfrey
    Commencement address at Harvard University (30 May 2013)
  3. “Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.”
    Suzy Kassem, Author
    Rise Up And Salute The Sun (2010)
  4. “Don’t put limitations on yourself. Other people will do that for you. Don’t do that to yourself. Don’t bet against yourself. And take risk. NASA has this phrase that they like, “Failure is not an option.” But failure has to be an option. In art and exploration, failure has to be an option. Because it is a leap of faith. And no important endeavor that required innovation was done without risk. You have to be willing to take those risks. … In whatever you are doing, failure is an option. But fear is not.”
    James Cameron, Film Director
    From ‘Before Avatar … a curious boy’, presented at TED2010 (February 13, 2010)
  5. “I view this year’s failure as next year’s opportunity to try it again. Failures are not something to be avoided. You want to have them happen as quickly as you can so you can make progress rapidly.”
    Gordon Moore, Engineer and Co-Founder of Intel Corporation
    ‘An Interview with Gordon Moore’, Ingenuity 5 (2), Laura Schmitt (May 2000)

Planning and strategy quotes

  1. “Chance favours the prepared mind.”
    Louis Pasteur, Microbiologist, Chemist and Inventor
    Lecture, University of Lille (December 7, 1854)
  2. “The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do.
    Michael Porter, Economist, Researcher, Author
    ‘What is strategy?’ Harvard Business Review (November 1996) p. 70
  3. “Business strategy is the battleplan for a better future.”
    Patrick Dixon, Author and Business Consultant
    Building a Better Business (2005)
  4. “Managers who extensively plan the future get the timing wrong. Sometimes they arrive to market too early and so must wait for the demand to catch up. Sometimes they are too late and so must accelerate to rejoin the future.”
    Shona L. Brown and Kathleen M. Eisenhardt
    Competing on the Edge: Strategy as Structured Chaos (1998) p.135
  5. “Strategy is about stretching limited resources to fit ambitious aspirations.”
    K. Prahalad, Organizational Theorist
    As quoted in The Wal-Mart Way, Don Soderquist (2005) p. 178

We hope you found the quote you need! 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 quotes for? Let us know in the comments below!

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Sandy Rushton

Senior consultant

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PechaKucha presentation nights are a global phenomenon and have taken place in over 900 cities worldwide. On September 15th it was Manchester’s turn to host a 20×20 event, and BrightCarbon went along for the ride. The format of a PechaKucha presentation is simple. Speakers have 20 images on their…

  1. Image of Amit Amit says:

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

    • Image of Sandy Rushton Sandy Rushton says:

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

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