Welcome to this website devoted to the art of speeches in Europe today. Logos, pathos, ethos brings you some of the best quotes, speeches, and rhetorical tips. As its name suggests, this multilingual website is inspired by the long-standing European tradition of the art of speeches stretching back over twenty-five centuries. It seeks to shine a spotlight on speeches that matter on the European stage today.

Logos Pathos Ethos, December 2019

Dear speech-fans and -friends,

A new European Commission and a new President of the European Council are starting their mandate. To succeed, they will need to deliver great speeches. 

Whether a speaker or speechwriter, you will find inspiration in the best quotes, speeches, and rhetorical devices delivered this past month below and under 'Read more'.

You will learn ‘how to own the room’: the Bibliography section is updated with ‘How to own the room – women and the art of brilliant speaking’ by Viv Groskop and her podcast: How to own the room offers, on the same fun and lively tone, useful takeaways from interviews with a series of powerful female speakers.

You will also get a masterclass with Andrew Imbrie, speechwriter to former Secretary of State John Kerry. In this podcast, Andrew Imbrie shares most valuable lessons from his experience on how to build a relationship with the speaker, the ultimate objective of a speech, the most important question, how to address different audiences, etc., including specific guidance for European speechwriters and speakers. 

With this, you’re equipped to start your work!

So, best wishes, 

Great speeches,

Isabelle

 

It’s the unity, stupid (*)

In my office of the President of the European Council, I keep a self-made poster with the inscription "It's the unity, stupid". I made it to always remember what is most important. And I will leave it there, just in case.

Read the full speech with 17 occurrences of ‘unity’ here: Donald Tusk, Opening ceremony of the 2019/2020 academic year at the College of Europe, 13 November 2019

(*) For our readers not familiar with this reference to the 1992 Clinton’s campaign ‘The economy, Stupid’: 

‘Our campaign needed to be more effective (…). We needed much better coordination among all the forces, with a single strategic center. James Carville took it on (…). Carville put a sign on the wall as a constant reminded of what the campaign was about. It had just three lines: Change vs. More of the same – The economy stupid – Don’t forget health care.’

Bill Clinton, My life, Arrow books, 2005, p. 425. 

 

Whom do you quote?

There is one quote from the great Václav Havel – one of the heroes of 1989 – that stands out for me when I look ahead to the future. He said:

“Work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed.”

I choose this quote, because over the next five years, our Union will embark together on a transformation which will touch every part of our society and of our economy. And we will do it, because it is the right thing to do. Not because it will be easy.

Read or watch the full speech here, with interpretation in 23 official languages: Ursula von der Leyen, Presentation of the College of Commissioners and their programme, 27 November 2019

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How to own the room - Women and the art of brilliant speaking

How to own the room - Women and the art of brilliant speaking - Logos Pathos Ethos
Viv Groskop

Pay attention to the first two words of the title: “how to”: they imply that there is a way, that you can learn. And indeed, the idea that we – women, but “they don’t have the monopoly of insecurity”, so actually everybody, really – can learn “how to be powerful in (our) speaking is at the heart of this book. Viv Groskop invites u[...]
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Quotation of the day

« But why does this matter to us? Why should we care what happens to science in other countries or on other continents? The answer is simple: science belongs to everyone and serves all of us. -- Carlos Moedas, Why I am marching for science, 21 April 2017 ... »
Carlos Moedas
Posted by Isabelle
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Logos Pathos Ethos, November 2019

Dear speech-fans and -friends,

As European leaders in office for the 2014-2019 period were ending their mandates and their successors were getting ready, speeches delivered this past October focused mainly on achievements and lessons learnt. 

The President of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, used the end of his term as “an opportunity to look beyond the cut and thrust of current events and to reflect on the past, trusting that the experiences we have had and the lessons we have learned, may be useful for others”.

You’ll find a selection of quotes from speeches delivered by the outgoing Presidents of the European Central Bank, European Council, and European Commission below, and under ‘Read more’.

I am just back from the 2019 Professional Speechwriters Association’s World Conference and I am amazed, once again, and year after year, by how much we learn, how deep we connect, how motivated we come back from this unique gathering. 

What better way to keep up this spirit than read the brand new second edition of ‘The political speechwriter’s companion’ by Robert Lehrman and Eric Schnure? I review and recommend the book in the Bibliography section.

Looking forward to seeing many of the Brussels-based readers of this newsletter at Eric Schnure’s booktalk this week. 

Best wishes,

Great speeches,

Isabelle

www.logospathosethos.eu

 

Ethos

Combined with simple and elegant structure (three qualities), building a bridge toward the audience, quotes, and other rhetorical devices

In a few weeks, I will come to the end of my term as President of the European Central Bank. Such occasions provide an opportunity to look beyond the cut and thrust of current events and to reflect on the past, trusting that the experiences we have had and the lessons we have learned, may be useful for others (…).

Today, I would like to focus on three qualities that often appear to inform what we think of as good decision-making: knowledge, courage and humility.

Read the full speech here: Mario Draghi, Acceptance speech for the Laurea Honoris Causa from the Università Cattolica, 11 October 2019

 

Ethos

here as well combined with simple and elegant structure (three reasons for gratitude), building a bridge toward the audience, personal anecdotes, storytelling, quotes, and other rhetorical devices

This may perhaps be the greatest challenge of our times – how to make out of politics what it once was: acting and thinking for the common good.

Read the full speech here: Donald Tusk, Athens Democracy Forum 2019, 9 October 2019

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Logos Pathos Ethos, October 2019

Dear speech-fans and -friends,

What has been the leading theme in the speeches delivered this past month?

In these weeks of transition in the European institutions, as Commissioners-designate have been preparing their hearings before the European Parliament this week and next, the highlight has been the Climate Summit in the United Nations. Although the United Nations Secretary General announced ‘the ticket to entry is not a beautiful speech, but concrete action’, we heard some powerful speeches. 

So, climate. Our planet.

What do people remember from the speeches they have heard, and in this case from late President Jacques Chirac as France marks a day of national mourning on the occasion of his death last Thursday? In terms of speeches and quotes, these words delivered at the World Summit in Johannesburg in 2002 come on and on, in France and abroad: "Notre maison brule, et nous regardons ailleurs" – "Our house is burning down and we're blind to it". 

So, climate. Our planet. Again.

Want to learn more about speechwriting and speeches? Eric Schnure, co-author of the the just released second edition of the Political Speechwriters Companion is coming to Brussels early November. To know more about the different events and the conversation I will have with him – and hopefully many of you ! – save this date: Tuesday 5 November 1.30 pm. More detail for our European-based readers will follow – or contact me directly. Eric began his career in 1993 as a speechwriter for Vice-President Al Gore. 

So, expect stories on speeches on Climate. And our planet. Again and again.

Last but certainly not least : I’m heading to Washington DC for the Professional Speechwriters Association’s 2019 World Conference on 21 to 23 October. Looking forward to learning, getting inspired, and seeing many of you there.

You’ll find the best quotes, speeches, and rhetorical devices below, and under ‘Read more’.

Best wishes,

Great speeches,

Isabelle

www.logospathosethos.eu

 

 

Excellencies,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Start with a ‘bang’

Nature is angry.  

And we fool ourselves if we think we can fool nature. 

Read the full speech here: António Guterres, Remarks at 2019 Climate Action Summit, 23 September 2019

 

Burning forests are a tragedy no matter where they happen and no matter their scale. A tree needs many years to grow, but only few minutes to burn. We seem to know this, but we needed a shock, the shock of the Amazon rain forest fires to awaken ourselves from our lethargy. 

Read the full speech here: Donald Tusk, meeting on the action for the Amazon, 3 September 2019

 

"Notre maison brule, et nous regardons ailleurs". ("Our house is burning down and we're blind to it."). 

Jacques Chirac, World Summit in Johannesburg, 2 September 2002

 

Read more

Logos Pathos Ethos, September 2019

Dear speech-fans and -friends,

Two main themes mark the speeches delivered this summer: 

- buiding the speaker’s ethos. We see this in new European leaders introducing themselves as they are preparing for their mandates and taking office. 

- And raising the alarm on global warming. This issue is in so many speeches. The challenge is to find the words and craft the speeches the situation is calling for : simple, clear, compelling so as to move from promises to action.

You’ll find the best quotes, speeches, and rhetorical devices below, under ‘Read more’.

To accompany and inspire you as you get back to work, what better advice than starting every day with a speech of note? The anthology ‘Speeches of note’ is all you need and you’ll find the details in the Bibliography section (the English version is already published ; the French translation is announced for next month).

Best wishes,

Great speeches,

Isabelle

 

 

How European leaders build their ethos

I- European Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen

(English translation below)

(The opening was delivered in French)

Il y a exactement 40 ans, la première présidente du Parlement européen, Simone Veil, est élue et présente sa vision d’une Europe plus unie et plus juste.

C’est grâce à elle, et à toutes les autres icônes européennes, que je vous présente aujourd’hui ma vision de l’Europe.

Et 40 ans plus tard, c’est avec une grande fierté que je peux dire : C’est finalement une femme qui est la candidate à la présidence de la Commission européenne.

Je le suis grâce à tous ceux et toutes celles qui ont brisé les barrières et les conventions. Je le suis grâce à tous ceux et toutes celles qui ont construit une Europe de paix, une Europe unie, une Europe des valeurs.

C’est cette conviction européenne qui m'a guidée tout au long de ma vie et de ma carrière - en tant que mère, en tant que médecin et en tant que femme politique.

C’est ce courage et cette audace des pionnières comme Simone Veil qui est au cœur de ma vision d’Europe.

Et ce sera cet esprit qui guidera la Commission européenne que j'ai l'intention de présider.

Read the full speech : Ursula von der Leyen, Opening Statement in the European Parliament Plenary Session, delivered in French, German and English, 16 July 2019

 English translation :

Exactly 40 years ago, Simone Veil was elected as the first female President of the European Parliament and set out her vision for a fairer and more united Europe.

It is thanks to her, and to all the other European icons, that I am presenting my vision of Europe to you today.

And 40 years later, I can say with great pride that we finally have a female candidate for European Commission President.

I am that candidate thanks to all the men and women who have broken down barriers and defied convention. I am that candidate thanks to all the men and women who built a Europe of peace, a united Europe, a Europe of values.

It is this belief in Europe that has guided me throughout my life and my career — as a mother, as a doctor and as a politician.

It is the courage and daring of pioneers such as Simone Veil that are at the heart of my vision for Europe.

And it is my intention to lead the European Commission in that same spirit.

Read the full speech translated in 24 official languages

 

II - President of the European Parliament David Maria Sassoli

(To watch it in your language, see below.)

(Traduction en français ci-dessous.)

Io sono figlio di un uomo che a 20 anni ha combattuto contro altri europei, e di una mamma che, anche lei ventenne, ha lasciato la propria casa e ha trovato rifugio presso altre famiglie.

Io so che questa è la storia anche di tante vostre famiglie... e so anche che se mettessimo in comune le nostre storie e ce le raccontassimo davanti ad un bicchiere di birra o di vino, non diremmo mai che siamo figli o nipoti di un incidente della Storia.

Ma diremmo che la nostra storia è scritta sul dolore, sul sangue dei giovani britannici sterminati sulle spiagge della Normandia, sul desiderio di libertà di Sophie e Hans Scholl, sull’ansia di giustizia degli eroi del Ghetto di Varsavia, sulle primavere represse con i carri armati nei nostri paesi dell’Est, sul desiderio di fraternità che ritroviamo ogni qual volta la coscienza morale impone di non rinunciare alla propria umanità e l’obbedienza non può considerarsi virtù.

Watch the full speech here: David Sassoli, acceptance speech as newly elected President of the European Parliament, 3 July 2019

Read the full speech here.

Je suis le fils d’un homme qui, à 20 ans, s’est battu contre d’autres Européens et d’une mère qui, elle aussi à 20 ans, a quitté les siens pour trouver refuge auprès d’autres familles. 

Je sais que cette histoire est aussi l’histoire de beaucoup de vos familles … et que si nous nous racontons nos histoires autour d’un verre, nous ne considérons jamais que nous sommes le fruit d’un accident de l’Histoire. Bien au contraire, nous considérons que notre Histoire est une histoire marquée par la souffrance, par le sang de ces jeunes Britanniques qui ont été tués sur les plages de Normandie, par le désir de liberté de Sophie et Hans Scholl, par la soif de justice des héros du ghetto de Varsovie, par le printemps réprimé par les chars dans les pays de l’Est, par le désir de fraternité que nous devons reconnaître chaque fois que la conscience morale impose de ne pas renoncer à l’humanité et que l’obéissance ne peut être considérée comme une vertu.

Interpretation available in English, French, German… (you can choose from the 24 official languages) here, starting at 13.06.

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Logos Pathos Ethos, July 2019

Dear speech-fans and -friends,

On the eve of a new five-year term for the European Parliament, European Commission, and other major positions in Europe, here’s our monthly selection of the best quotes and speeches for inspiration.

In these important times for the European project, it’s all the more an honour and pleasure to see every month new speech-fans and -friends registering for this newsletter, both European institutions insiders and citizens caring for words and quotes to express their ideas in a powerful way. Welcome and thank you for your trust. 

You’ll find the best quotes, speeches, and rhetorical devices below, under ‘Read more’.

Make the most of this summer to get inspiration, read good speeches and books (see the Bibliography section), listen to good stories, and prepare for new challenges. 

See you in September.

Best wishes,

Great speeches,

Isabelle

 

Advice to a newly elected European Parliament

(English below)

Comme il est naturel et normal dans une assemblée démocratique telle que la nôtre, nous divergeons par les programmes que nous souhaitons mettre en oeuvre, par les idées que nous voulons défendre et même quant à notre propre rôle.

Gardons-nous cependant du travers qui nous conduirait à faire de notre Assemblée le forum des divisions et des rivalités. Trop souvent déjà, les Communautés européennes donnent à nos opinions publiques l’image d’institutions bloquées, incapables de parvenir dans les délais nécessaires à des décisions.

Notre Parlement aura pleinement satisfait les espoirs qu’il a fait naître si, loin d’être le lieu de résonance des divisions internes de l’Europe, il parvient à exprimer et à faire percevoir par la Communauté l’élan de solidarité si nécessaire aujourd’hui.

Lire le discours complet de Simone Veil, à l’occasion de son élection comme première Présidente du Parlement européen, 17 juillet 1979

As is only natural and normal in a democratic assembly such as ours, we differ on the programmes which we

wish to implement, on the ideas which we wish to advocate and even on the very role we are to play.

Let us, however, avoid the error of turning our Assembly into a forum for rivalry and dissent. Too often in the past, public opinion in our countries has gained the impression that the European Communities are hamstrung institutions, incapable of reaching decisions within the necessary time-limits.

Our Parliament will entirely fulfil the hopes which it has raised if, far from being the sounding-board for the internal divisions of Europe, it succeeds in articulating and bringing home to the Community the spirit of solidarity that is so necessary today.

Read the full speech here : Simone Veil, on her election as First President of the European Parliament, 17 July 1979

 

The value of a speech

One of the great powers and responsibilities of being a central banker is that you can move markets with a single line in a speech. Every word counts a billion. And this is why I always admire Mario's speeches, which are priceless pieces of art.

Telling the story of the euro

Allow me to tell you the story of the euro (…) As every European success story, it is full of crises and lessons learned (…).

And the speech comes full circle :

These six moments, these six examples are all examples of crises. But every time we have been challenged, we have found solutions and even surprised ourselves with what we can achieve. This is a fitting way to tell the story of European construction.

For a series of surprises and lessons learnt, from the British statesman who wanted his grandchildren to be able to pay in euro to the military asked to burn banknotes :

Read the full speech here: Jean-Claude Juncker, celebrating 20 years of the Economic and Monetary Union, 'Building the euro: moments in time, lessons in history, 19 June 2019

 

Read more