It doesn’t matter if you’re talking to your partner, your children, or your colleagues – proper communication is essential. It can also be difficult to get right.
The ability to convey your message can positively impact many areas of your life for the better but it takes practice. This collection of communication quotes will help you gain perspective, improve team collaboration, and make it easier to communicate well.
Don’t just read the communication quotes and close the browser tab. Pick out one or two that speak to you and try incorporating the lessons in your daily life. You’ll start seeing the results of better communication sooner rather than later.
Communication quotes for all situations
- “The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.” – Peter Drucker
There are many facets and nuances of communication. The surface level consists of the literal meaning of the written or spoken words. Below the surface are the nuances and the true message being communicated. Great communicators understand this and make an effort to understand the real meaning behind words.
- “Emotional awareness is necessary so you can properly convey your thoughts and feelings to the other person.” – Jason Goldberg
Emotions exist in every statement we make and vary depending on the situation. If you want to communicate well then it’s essential that you understand the emotional state of your audience. For example, you wouldn’t talk to an angry customer the same way you talk to a happy one.
- “Communication works for those who work at it.” – John Powell
It takes time and energy to become a great communicator. Though some people start out better than others, you can improve as long as you put in the effort. Take the time to understand your audience. In a marketing or team communication setting, you’d collect data about their interests, dislikes, preferences, etc.
That information will allow you to connect with your audience and persuade them to your way of thinking. This is applicable whether you’re working on a long term project with teammates or launching a new marketing campaign.
- “When people talk listen completely. Most people never listen.”– Ernest Hemingway
As one of the most famous essay writers, Hemingway understood the role of listening to the other person in the conversation for better communication. Each of us has different perspectives and ideas. Those differences are what make it possible for teamwork to solve the greatest problems in the world. Unfortunately, we’re often so wrapped up in our own ideas that we don’t truly listen to what others have to say unless it supports our stance. Team communication can be improved 10x if everyone just listened completely.
- “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” – George Bernard Shaw
Are you sure the person on the other end of the conversation understands what you’re saying? Simply asking, “did that make sense” in an honest way can go a long way towards ensuring people understand. When I’m working through a difficult problem with my team, I like to ask them to rephrase what I said in their own words. If they’re missing something, I’ll explain it again until everyone is on the same page.
- “To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.” – Tony Robbins
Whether you realize it or not, there are inherent assumptions in the things you say and do. For example, if you’re trying to communicate a concept around dog obedience training, you may assume the person understands its importance. Your message is clearest when you’re aware of your assumptions and work towards making sure the other person understands your perspective.
- “The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice.” ― Peggy O’Mara
I’d hesitate to call your team members your children. What I take away from this communication quote is that you can influence performance and further collaboration by what you say and how you say it. For example, if someone makes a mistake it shouldn’t be an opportunity to belittle them. Instead, it should be a way to give them constructive criticism to improve and become more productive over time.
- “Honest, open communication is the only street that leads us into the real world… We then begin to grow as never before. And once we are on this road, happiness cannot be far away.” ― John Joseph Powel
In almost every organization, there’s a hierarchy through which information flows. If it’s hoarded at the top then the candid conversations that move the group forward can’t occur. Use your discretion with this but default towards openness and honesty.
- “Effective communication is 20% what you know and 80% how you feel about what you know.” – Jim Rohn
This is an essential communication quote that sheds light on what many people overlook. Persuasion is necessary for all areas of your life whether it’s with a customer, teammates, or your family.
You may have all the facts but if they’re delivered poorly, it doesn’t matter. If you feel you’re right and can pass that emotion on to others then you’re much more likely to convince them.
- “Effective communication helps to keep the team working on the right projects with the right attitude.” – Alex Langer
If you’ve ever been a part of a large scale project that blew its deadline or budget then you know how important team communication is. It’s the glue that keeps everyone on track and excited no matter how difficult or far away the goal is.
- “The most important things to say are those which often I did not think necessary for me to say — because they were too obvious.” ― André Gide
I’ve come to realize that just because I’ve known something for a long time doesn’t mean someone else knows it. To me, it’s obvious but that’s not the case for everyone else. Even if you take a piece of information for granted, make sure you communicate it to those around you.
- “Make sure to communicate your idea quickly and keep it straight to the point.” – Paul Bailey
It’s been said that the attention span of people – especially online – is getting shorter and shorter. One of the best strategies to counteract this is to strip your message down to the core elements and remove jargon. Once you’ve communicated the core ideas, you can then expand on them to an interested audience.
You can use quote slides to present a specific quote to an audience during a presentation. There are thousands of creative designs available online, but alternatively, you can rely on free presentation templates and slide decks including pre-designed quote slides with placeholders.
- “If people had the right skills and intention to communicate well, there would be no conflict. The better we are at communicating, the better our lives will be.”― Yama Mubtaker
This communication quote touches on a truth few people grasp. It doesn’t matter if you’re communicating as a partner, a teammate, parent, or sibling, your relationships can be improved when it’s done well.
- “There is no communication that is so simple that it cannot be misunderstood.”― Luigina Sgarro
Even something as simple as “take out the trash” can be misunderstood. As the speaker or writer, it’s your job to convey your message clearly and succinctly. Sometimes, that means repeating it in many different ways until you’re sure it has sunk in.
- “Communication is a skill that you can learn. It’s like riding a bicycle or typing. If you’re willing to work at it, you can rapidly improve the quality of every part of your life.” – Brian Tracy
Many people fail at communication because they don’t try to improve their ability to do it well. This is a mistake because, like other soft skills, it takes practice. Make a deliberate effort to communicate clearly with your team and those around you.
- “The art of communication is the language of leadership.” – James Humes
While all great communicators aren’t great leaders, all great leaders are great communicators. If you can’t share your ideas, challenges, and goals with stakeholders then you won’t get very far.
- “The best speakers in the world are the best storytellers. They have a gift to not only tell a great story, but also share a lot of the details that many others wouldn’t.” – Larry Hagner
This is especially true when you’re using your words to persuade. For example, if you’re hosting webinars to grow your business then you’ll know that people connect with the stories you tell. The facts are, in many cases, secondary. The same is true when you’re selling software, cars, or houses. People connect with the stories then look for the facts to support the decisions they’ve made.
- “Although we live in an information technology age, we often find ourselves in failure to communicate situations.” – Johnny Tan
It’s funny because platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok are supposed to bring us closer together. Oftentimes, we’re engrossed in the apps and ignore those in the same room as us. Technology has its merits but there’s no substitute for a candid conversation without distractions. That could be through a team messenger like Chanty, a conferencing tool like Zoom, or a face to face conversation.
- “To have good communication skills means you are able to make your point without a lot of fillers and stumbling.” – Gregory Davidson
If you can’t communicate a concept clearly, it means you don’t understand it well enough. Even though filler words don’t equal a lack of understanding, that’s the impression it can give. Consider practicing your delivery or editing it until it’s clear, concise, and effective.
- “Replacing paper with a PC screen doesn’t change the need for clear, precise communication.” – Kenneth Roman; Joel Raphaelson
Computers and the internet give us near limitless space to write or talk. That doesn’t mean you should use all of that space. No matter the medium, keep your message as concise as possible.
- “If you don’t seem confident of what you say or your speech is stuffed with instances of throat-clearing and fillers, why would the listener have any concrete faith in your words either?“ – Grady Roche
Another quote spoke about stumbling over your words but this one is about inspiring trust in your words. If your message isn’t delivered with conviction and it seems like you don’t believe it then how could anyone else
Filler words and stuttering seem to communicate that you’re not confident in what you’re saying – even if that’s not the case. If this is a problem for you then rehearse ahead of time to make sure you get it right.
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- “I began noting where the audience laughed or clapped or paid closest attention. I came to realize that a good speech is not a soliloquy but a dialogue.” – Sarah Ferguson The Duchess of York
This ties into listening to your intended audience to become a better communicator. Instead of going through the motions, make an effort to understand where your message is falling flat or being misunderstood and work to improve it. That’s when your ability to communicate improves and your messages are spread further.
23. “Get to the point quickly to prove that what you’re saying is worth reading or listening to, otherwise, people will lose interest.” – Corrina Thurston
It’s been said that the average attention span is only a few seconds. If that’s true then this communication quote is more important than ever. Cut the fluff and jargon so you can deliver a message people care about.
24. “Every time I stand to communicate I want to take one simple truth and lodge it in the heart of the listener. I want them to know that one thing and know what to do with it.” – Andy Stanley
Instead of trying to make dozens of points, focus on one key aspect and ensure the people listening or reading understand it. Only then should you move on to another message. This is especially true when writing sales copy or delivering instructions.
25. “Verbal communication is essential in order to understand what is going on inside other people. If they do not tell us their thoughts, their feelings, and their experiences, we are left to guess.” – Dr. Gary Chapman
When you’re interacting with your team, don’t assume that they understand what you’re saying and vice versa. Use your verbal communication skills to rephrase what they’ve told you or ask them to rephrase what you’ve said to ensure everyone is on the same page.
26. “Communicate unto the other person that which you would want him to communicate unto you if your positions were reversed.” – Aaron Goldman
This communication quote illustrates the approach we should take when trying to pass a message across to someone else. If you would want someone to simplify something for you then you should also simplify it for them.
27. “Communication is your ticket to success, if you pay attention and learn to do it effectively.” – Theo Gold
If you cannot communicate well then nothing else will be able to take shape. This holds true whether you’re communicating with your team, communicating the brand vision, or communicating why people should buy.
28. “Communication involves self-revelation on the part of one individual and listening on the part of another.” – Dr. Gary Chapman
In other words, communication is a two-way street. Both people have to put in the effort to make it work.
29. “We, as human beings, learn through sharing and communicating.” – Hugo Reynolds
It doesn’t matter if it’s verbal, nonverbal, or written. You only start to learn when you’re able to communicate well. This is especially true for soft skills.
30. “Every act of communication is a miracle of translation.” – Ken Liu
When you understand this quote, you’ll start to appreciate the little miracles that we experience every day. You, as an individual, have had countless experiences that shape your worldview and the way you express yourself. Every time you communicate with someone else, they interpret what was said through their countless experiences. For you to be able to get your message across in the way it was intended is, for lack of a better word, a miracle.
31. “When the trust account is high, communication is easy, instant, and effective.” – Stephen R. Covey
Before you can move people to action, there needs to be a baseline of trust. For a business, that could be a good design and a registered company. For an individual, that could be through consistent actions. Whatever the case, effective communication starts after trust is established.
32. “We are stronger when we listen, and smarter when we share.” – Rania Al-Abdullah
This quote is especially relevant in a team setting. Listen to what the people around you have to say and share your thoughts to produce outcomes everyone is happy with.
33. “Communication is one of the most important skills you require for a successful life.” – Catherine Pulsifer
Everything else starts when you learn how to communicate with different types of people. Learn to speak their language and you will accomplish a lot.
34. “We take communication for granted because we do it so frequently, but it’s actually a complex process.” – Joseph Sommerville
The frequency of the act has allowed many people to grow complacent and they no longer put in much effort. The ones who stand out and achieve success in marketing, business, relationships, etc. are those who take communication seriously.
35. “Say a little and say it well.” – Irish proverb
Be concise, be direct, and you’ll achieve more than countless flowery sentences.
36. “Here is what I believe to be the bottom line in relation to customer satisfaction: Real people engaging in real conversations based on a real desire to serve people rather than the bottom line.” – Byron Pulsifer
People over profit starts with communicating with the people who are responsible for your profit. Talk to your customers and team, understand what they want, and do your best to give it to them.
37. “Another vitally important attribute along the road to wisdom in interpersonal success is to listen well. This means that you pay total attention to those that are speaking to you and not barging into the conversation because you want to insert your opinion.” – Catherine Pulsifer
We often do it subconsciously – cutting people off to refute them or tell them what we think. Instead, listen fully and actively, reflect on what they’ve said, then speak. This will help you save time and produce better outcomes within your organization and customer interactions.
38. “Use different messaging for different groups to ensure your communications are relevant.” – Andrea Plos
There’s no such thing as one size fits all when it comes to communicating with your audience. There are many segments and each one needs to be catered to individually.
39. “Talking more than is necessary is a barrier to effective communication and effective listening.” – Clodagh Swanson
Similar to the Irish Proverb, say what you need to say. Nothing more and nothing less.
40. “You must be able to communicate successfully in order to become a leader and someone others listen to.” – Keith Boyer
Even if you have the skills to occupy a position, you’ll underperform if you’re unable to communicate with the people who are supposed to follow you. This holds true whether you’re a team leader or the founder of a company.
41. “The quality of your communication determines the size of your result.” – Meir Ezra
The better you’re able to get your message across the better the outcome will be. This is easier said than done and takes preparation beforehand. The message should be tailored to the audience that’s receiving it – whether that’s internal or external communication.
42. “Don’t assume that prior communication has been effective and that people get it.” – Benjamin Komlos
Instead of making that assumption, be sure. You can do this by sending out surveys to your audience, interacting with live audiences, or requesting that your teammates repeat or rephrase what you’ve told them.
43. “The fact that I’m using words doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m saying anything.” – Craig D. Lounsbrough
It’s important to reflect on what you’re saying and ask yourself whether or not you’re communicating a message or simply speaking. More words don’t necessarily mean more comprehension.
44. “Sometimes it isn’t what a person says, but rather what they don’t say, that tells you more than their words ever could.” – Laurie Buchanan
A lot of communication is explicit – meaning it’s obvious. An equally large amount of communication is implicit based on what you’re expected to know. When you’re listening or speaking, be sure to take both aspects into consideration.
45. “I think that the number one rule to effective communication should be ‘choose your words wisely’. This is because a simple choice of your words can make a great difference and determine whether your message would be accepted or rejected.” – Jason Mainsons
There are many ways to say something. For example, ‘you’re fat’ may mean the same thing as ‘it may be a good idea to lose weight because of your health.’ The way those messages are received would be different. Take into consideration who you’re talking to before you say it.
46. “When we are fully present, we have access to our greatest power, creativity, and ability to communicate and perform exceptionally at whatever we are doing.” – Christopher Babson
If you set out to do something, then do it with your whole being. Tune out the distractions and focus on your task to the exclusion of everything else and you’ll get much better results.
47. “Communication leads to community, that is, to understanding, intimacy, and mutual valuing.” – Rollo May
Community is what helps a company thrive amongst the challenges they’ll inevitably face. This community is built deliberately – not by chance. Take the time to foster it through open communication and you’ll see the positive results yourself.
48. “Good words are worth much and cost little” – George Herbert
Think about what you say before saying it and you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the outcome.
49. “Talk low, talk slow, and don’t say too much” – John Wayne
While this seems to be something a playboy will do, it has hidden truths. Speak to be understood and only say as much as is needed.
50. “The two words ‘information’ and ‘communication’ are often used interchangeably, but they signify quite different things. Information is giving out; communication is getting through.” – Sydney J. Harris
Always strive to get the information you want to deliver through to the right person. In other words, focus on the communication and you’ll be able to deliver the right information.
Thoughts on communication quotes
Communication is essential whether you lead a team of 200 or you’re trying to get your family to the park on Saturday morning. It takes understanding, empathy, and clarity to get right. The communication quotes shared here deal with different aspects of the entire communication process.
Before you can get better, you have to understand where you’re lacking. Do you have trouble listening to others? Is it difficult for you to break your message down into its core elements? Does the problem come when you’re talking?
Once you can identify the communication challenges you experience, you can start to work on them. According to Brian Tracy, communication is a skill that needs to be worked on over time if you want to improve it.
Internalize the lessons from one or two quotes shared here and start applying them in your daily life. Let me know what you think in the comments and strategies you’re using to improve your communication skills.