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10 Secrets of Making Every Presentation Fun, Engaging, and Enjoyable

10 Secrets of Making Every Presentation Fun, Engaging, and Enjoyable

Not a lot of people are good at public speaking. You could even say that virtually everyone needs to get some practice, and preferably good guidance, before they can learn to stay calm when facing a room full of people. Having all eyes on you is an uncomfortable experience and it takes time to get used to. However, even if you can manage to control your stage fright and stay focused, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your presentation won’t put people to sleep. This is usually the case with long presentations on a very dull subject, with the presenter speaking in a monotone voice and dimming the lights to play a PowerPoint presentation.

You have to work hard to develop the right skills

Developing skills

    If you want to be remembered and actually get people engaged, you need to make your presentation fun and enjoyable, without coming off as corny or desperate to please. I know, it doesn’t sound that easy at all! A good presentation during a promotional event or given to an important client can be a game changer for your business, so it is easy to get stressed out and fail to perform all that well. Luckily, giving an interesting lecture is something that can be practiced and perfected. There is plenty of advice out there on the topic, but let’s look at the most important aspects of giving a memorable and fun presentation.

    1. Make your presentation short and sweet

    With very long, meandering speeches you tend to lose the audience pretty early on, and from then on out it’s just a test of endurance for the few bravest listeners. Not only will people’s attention start to drop rapidly after sitting and listening to you talk for 30 minutes, but you also risk watering down your core ideas and leaving your audience with little in the way of key phrases and important bits of information to take away from the whole ordeal. Famous speakers throughout history have known the importance of condensing the information by using well thought out sentences and short phrases loaded with meaning.

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    Dictionary page

      JFK’s famous: ”It’s not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country,” expresses so much in very few words and gets the audience thinking. Ancient Spartans, for example were famous for their quick, dry wit, often demolishing their opponent’s argument with a single word or phrase. You’ll want to channel that ancient spirit and be as concise as possible when preparing your presentation.

      2. Open up with a good ice breaker

      At the beginning, you are new to the audience. There is no rapport, no trust and the atmosphere is fairly neutral. Even if some of the people there know you personally, the concept of you as an authority on a particular matter giving a speech will be foreign to them. The best way to encourage a warm and friendly atmosphere is to get some kind of emotional response out of the audience right at the beginning. It doesn’t matter what emotion it is, you just need to connect with them on a more personal level. It can be shock, curiosity, laughter, knowing smirks, nervousness – whatever gets them out of that initial feeling of indifference. There are different kinds of effective ice-breakers, but generally speaking, the most successful ones utilize one of these tactics:

      • Joking
      • Tugging on their heart strings
      • Dropping a bombastic statement
      • Telling an interesting and relevant anecdote
      • Using a metaphor or drawing comparisons

      Icebreaker

        You can make a small, self-deprecating comment, stir the presentation one way and then suddenly surprise the audience, use sarcasm, open up with a short childhood story that taught you a lesson, quote a famous person and elaborate on it from personal experience, use an inspirational anecdote or hit them with a bit of nostalgia. Just remember to keep it short and move on once you’ve gotten a reaction.

        3. Keep things simple and to the point

        Once you’re done warming up the crowd you can ease them into the core concepts and important ideas that you will be presenting. Keep the same presentation style thoughout. If you’ve started off a bit ironic, using dry wit, you can’t just jump into a boring monologue. If you’ve started off with a bang, telling a couple of great little jokes and getting the crowd riled up, you have to keep them happy by throwing in little jokes here and there and being generally positive and energetic during the presentation. You need a certain structure that you won’t deviate too far from at any point. A good game plan consists of several important points that need to be addressed efficiently. This means moving on from one point to another in a logical manner, coming to a sound conclusion and making sure to accentuate the key information.

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        4. Use a healthy dose of humor

        Some of the best speeches and presentations in the world, which have been heard and viewed by millions, all feature plenty of humor. No matter the subject, a great speaker will use natural charisma, humor and beautiful language to convey their points and get the crowd excited about what they are saying. A great example of building rapport with the audience through the use of humor is Barrack Obama talking about the government building Iron Man.

        It is silly and fun, and absolutely not something that you would expect from a man in a position of power speaking in such a serious setting – and it’s exactly why it works. The more serious the situation and the bigger the accent on proper social behavior, the harder your jokes will hit.

        5. Try to tell a story instead of ranting

        Telling a story

          Some people can do all of the above things right and still manage to turn their short and fun little presentation into a chaotic mess of information. You don’t want your speech to look like you just threw a bunch of information in a blender in no particular order. To avoid rambling, create a strong structure. Start with the ice breaker, introduce the core concepts and your goals briefly, elaborate on the various points in a bit more detail, draw logical conclusions and leave your audience with a clear takeaway message. You want to flow naturally from one part to the next like you are telling a big story chapter by chapter.

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          6. Practice your delivery

          Standing in front of the mirror and practicing a speech or presentation is a technique as old as mirrors – well, come to think of it, as old as human speech, since you can see yourself reflected in any clear and calm body of water – and that means that it is tried and true. The theory is incredibly simple, yet the real problem is actually putting in the effort day in and day out. Work on your posture, your tone of voice, accent, pauses between sentences and facial expressions. The most important thing is to talk slowly and loudly enough to be heard and understood clearly. Many famous speakers, such as Demosthenes and King George VI, overcame speech impediments through hard work.

          7. Move around and use your hands

          Although you won’t instill confidence in your project if you are very jittery, moving around erratically, not knowing what to do with your hands and making fast movements, standing dead still can be just as bad. You shouldn’t be afraid to use your arms and hands when talking as it makes you seem more passionate and confident. The same goes for moving around and taking up some space. However, try to make slower, calculated and deliberate movements. You want your movements to seem powerful, yet effortless. You can achieve this through practice.

          8. Engage the audience by making them relate

          Getting people to engage

            Sometimes you will lose the audience somewhat in techno-babble, numbers, graphs and abstract ideas. At that point it is important to reel them back in using some good, old-fashioned storytelling. Make comparisons to events from everyday life that most people are more than familiar with. By making things look simple, not only will you help your audience get a better understanding of the subject by enabling them to visualize the information more clearly, you will also draw a connection between you. After all, you are all just regular people with similar experience, you just happen to be performing different roles at the moment.

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            9. Use funny images in your slides

            Cartman Authority

              Although slides are not really necessary at all times, if you do need them to make your point and present your information more effectively, it’s best to liven them up. They say that facts aren’t always black and white, and your presentation should reflect this. Add a bit of color, make the information stand out and use an interesting animation to switch from slide to slide. You can use the slides to add some more humor, both in terms of the text and the images. An image that is used to elicit a positive response needs to be funny within the context of what you are discussing. For example, if you are discussing the topic of authority, an image of Eric Cartman from South Park in a police uniform, demanding that you respect his “authoritah,” is a nice way to have a bit of fun and lighten things up.

              10. End on a more serious note

              When all is said and done you will want the audience to remember the core concepts and keep thinking about what you have said after the presentation is over. This is why you should let things naturally calm down and end with an important idea, quote or even a question. Plant a seed in their mind and make them think. Let us turn to Patrick Henry for a great way to end a speech: “Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.”

              As you can see, there is quite a bit to learn when it comes to giving a good presentation, one that is both memorable and fun. Be sure to work on your skills tirelessly and follow in the footsteps of great orators.

              Featured photo credit: Churchill Club Top 10 Tech Trends Debate/ Steve Jurvetson via flickr.com

              More by this author

              Ivan Dimitrijevic

              Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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              Last Updated on June 25, 2019

              100 Motivational Quotes That Will Guide You To Massive Success

              100 Motivational Quotes That Will Guide You To Massive Success

              Below are the 100 most motivational quotes ever. Read them and get motivated for success, and share this post to help your friends get success too!

              1. All our dream can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them. – Walt Disney

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                2. Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude. – Zig Ziglar

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                  3. The Man Who Has Confidence In Himself Gains The Confidence Of Others. – Hasidic Proverb

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                    4. What the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.– Napoleon Hill

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                      5. For me, life is continuously being hungry. The meaning of life is not simply to exist, to survive, but to move ahead, to go up, to achieve, to conquer. – Arnold Schwarzenegger

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                        6. What you seek is seeking you. – Rumi

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                          7. It is never too late to be what you might have been. —George Eliot

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                            8. Don’t worry about failure; you only have to be right once. —Drew Houston

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

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                                10. I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have. – Thomas Jefferson

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                                  11. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. – Lao Tzu

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                                    12.The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me. – Ayn Rand

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                                      13. Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. – Mahatma Gandhi

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                                        14. The only thing standing between you and your goal is the bullshit story you keep telling yourself as to why you can’t achieve it. –  Jordan Belfort

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                                          15. When you can’t change the direction of the wind, just adjust your sails. – H. Jackson Brown Jr

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                                            16. Security Is Mostly A Superstition. Life Is Either A Daring Adventure Or Nothing. – Helen Keller

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                                              17. Identify your problems but give your power and energy to solutions. – Tony Robbins

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                                                18. We become what we think about most of the time, and that’s the strangest secret. – Earl Nightingale

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                                                  19. Double down on whats working. Cut the rest. – Tai Lopez

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                                                    20. The best revenge is massive success. – Frank Sinatra

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                                                      21. Tough times never last, but tough people do. – Dr. Robert Schuller

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                                                        22. Stop chasing the money and start chasing the passion. Tony Hsieh

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                                                          23. I’ve been blessed to find people who are smarter than I am, and they help me to execute the vision I have. – Russell Simmons

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                                                            24. The secret of success in life is for a man to be ready for his opportunity when it comes. – Benjamin Disraeli

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                                                              25. Patience, persistence, and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success. – Napoleon Hill

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                                                                26. If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much. – Jim Rohn

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                                                                  27. People who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones that do. – Rob Siltanen

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                                                                    28. Poor people have big TVs. Rich people have a big library. – Jim Rohn

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                                                                      29. A friendship founded on business is better than a business founded on friendship. – John D. Rockefeller

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                                                                        30. The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing. – Walt Disney

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                                                                          31. The biggest risk is not taking any risk. In a world that’s changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks. – Mark Zuckerburg

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                                                                            32. Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do that the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. – Mark Twain

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                                                                              33. Everything you want is out there waiting for you to ask. Everything you want also wants you. But you have to take action to get it.”– Jack Canfield

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                                                                                34. If you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything. – Malcolm X

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                                                                                  35. Nobody ever wrote down a plan to be broke, fat, lazy. or stupid. Those things are what happen when you don’t have a plan. – Larry Winget

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                                                                                    36. Don’t let the fear of losing be greater than the excitement of winning. – Robert Kiyosaki

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                                                                                      37. If you want to be successful, find someone who has achieved the results you want and copy what they do and you’ll achieve the same results. – Tony Robbins

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                                                                                        38. Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly. – John F. Kennedy

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                                                                                          39. Reading is to the mind, as exercise is to the body. – Brian Tracy

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                                                                                            40. The best reason to start an organization is to make meaning; to create a product or service to make the world a better place. – Guy Kawasaki

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                                                                                              41.You must expect great things of yourself before you can do them. —Michael Jordan

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                                                                                                42. Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great. – John D. Rockefeller

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                                                                                                  43. Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping-stones to success. – Dale Carnegie

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                                                                                                    44. The first step toward success is taken when you refuse to be a captive of the environment in which you first find yourself. – Mark Caine

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                                                                                                      45. Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago. —Warren Buffett

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                                                                                                        46. Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swamps of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists.. it is real, it is possible, it’s yours. – Ayr Rand

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                                                                                                          47. If you are willing to do more than you are paid to do, eventually you will be paid to do more than you do. – Anonymous

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                                                                                                            48. Make each day your masterpiece.  – John Wooden

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                                                                                                              49. You can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down and it has made all the difference in my life. – Steve Jobs

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                                                                                                                50. Knowing Is Not Enough; We Must Apply. Wishing Is Not Enough; We Must Do. – Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

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                                                                                                                  51. If you don’t have a competitive advantage, don’t compete. – Jack Welch

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                                                                                                                    52. People who succeed have momentum. The more they succeed, the more they want to succeed, and the more they find a way to succeed. Similarly, when someone is failing, the tendency is to get on a downward spiral that can even become a self-fulfilling prophecy. – Tony Robbins

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                                                                                                                      53. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. – Wayne Gretzky

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                                                                                                                        54. You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it. – Margaret Thatcher

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                                                                                                                          55. If you want to make a permanent change, stop focusing on the size of your problems and start focusing on the size of you! – T. Harv Eker

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                                                                                                                            56. Be patient with yourself. Self-growth is tender; it’s holy ground. There’s no greater investment. – Stephen Covey

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                                                                                                                              57. Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone. – Pablo Picasso

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                                                                                                                                58 – Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment. – Oprah Winfrey

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                                                                                                                                  59. I believe every human has a finite number of heartbeats. I don’t intend to waste any of mine. – Neil Armstrong

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                                                                                                                                    60. A goal is a dream with a deadline. – Napoleon Hill

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                                                                                                                                      61.You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine. – John C. Maxwell

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                                                                                                                                        62. The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate. – Oprah Winfrey

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

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                                                                                                                                            64. Accept responsibility for your life. Know that it is you who will get you where you want to go, no one else. – Les Brown

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                                                                                                                                              65. Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work. – Stephen King

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                                                                                                                                                66. A strong, positive self-image is the best possible preparation for success. – Joyce Brothers

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                                                                                                                                                  67. If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. – John Quincy Adams

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                                                                                                                                                    68. If you’re not stubborn, you’ll give up on experiments too soon. And if you’re not flexible, you’ll pound your head against the wall and you won’t see a different solution to a problem you’re trying to solve. – Jeff Bezos

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                                                                                                                                                      69. Imagine Your Life Is Perfect In Every Respect; What Would It Look Like? – Brian Tracy

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                                                                                                                                                        70. First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win. –  Mahatma Gandhi

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                                                                                                                                                          71. Do one thing every day that scares you. – Eleanor Roosevelt

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                                                                                                                                                            72. Successful and unsuccessful people do not vary greatly in their abilities. They vary in their desires to reach their potential. – John Maxwell

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                                                                                                                                                              73. It does not matter how slowly you go, so long as you do not stop. – Confucius

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                                                                                                                                                                74. If you don’t build your dream, someone else will hire you to help them build theirs. – Dhirubhai Ambani

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                                                                                                                                                                  75. A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him. – David Brinkley

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                                                                                                                                                                    76. Learn to value yourself, which means: fight for your happiness. – Ayr Rand

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                                                                                                                                                                      77. When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us. – Alexander Graham Bell

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                                                                                                                                                                        78. Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value. – Albert Einstein

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                                                                                                                                                                          79. The number one reason people fail in life is because they listen to their friends, family, and neighbors. – Napoleon Hill

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                                                                                                                                                                            80. Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people. – Eleanor Roosevelt

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                                                                                                                                                                              81. The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. – Franklin D. Roosevelt

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                                                                                                                                                                                82. If you are not willing to risk the usual, you will have to settle for the ordinary. – Jim Rohn

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                                                                                                                                                                                  83. Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm. – Winston Churchill

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                                                                                                                                                                                    84. The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it. – Henry David Thoreau

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                                                                                                                                                                                      85. Take one idea. Make that one idea your life – think of it, dream of it, and live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success that is the way great spiritual giants are produced. – Swami Vivekananda

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                                                                                                                                                                                        86. Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right. – Henry Ford

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                                                                                                                                                                                          87. It always seems impossible until it’s done. – Nelson Mandela

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                                                                                                                                                                                            88. Be so good they can’t ignore you. – Steve Martin

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                                                                                                                                                                                              89. If you can’t fly, then run, if you can’t run, then walk, if you can’t walk, then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward. – Martin Luther King Jr.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                90. In the end, we only regret the chance we didn’t take – Lewis Carroll

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                                                                                                                                                                                                  91. Don’t compare yourself with anyone in this world… if you do so, you are insulting yourself – Bill Gates

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    92. Small daily improvements are the key to staggering long term results – Unknown

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

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        94. Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going – Jim Rohn

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          95. The best way to predict the future is to create it – Peter Drucker

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            96. It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up. – Vince Lombardi

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                                                                                                                                                                                                              97. The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                98. Don’t let yesterday take up too much of today. – Will Rogers

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                  99.You learn more from failure than from success. Don’t let it stop you. Failure builds character. – Unknown

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                    100. Optimism is the one quality more associated with success and happiness than any other. – Brian Tracy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    lastone!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      You made it to the end! Are you feeling motivated? Awesome, now share this post with your friends to help them achieve success too.

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