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, March 2020

Dear speech-fans and -friends,

In March 2016, I launched this website devoted to the art of speeches in Europe today. For four years, Logos, pathos, ethos read, analyzed and selected the best quotes, speeches, and rhetorical tips, with the objectives to help speakers and speechwriters to find inspiration or useful techniques to defend their ideas.

What better way to celebrate the fourth anniversary than to … go back to full-time speechwriting for a European leader, enriched with this experience? 

I am now working as speechwriter to the President of the European Commission.

As I cannot be judge and jury, the monthly newsletter is suspended, but you still have access to the selection of quotes, newsletters, and to the bibliography section on this website.

Thank you to all the readers who have shared their support, ideas and recommendations over the years. 

Best wishes, 

Great speeches,

Isabelle


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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

« This week, the United States and our international partners finally achieved something that decades of animosity has not – a deal that will prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. This deal will make America and the world safer and more secure. Still, you’re going to hear a lot of overheated and often dishonest arguments about it in the... »
Barack Obama
Posted by Isabelle
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Logos Pathos Ethos, February 2020

Dear speech-fans and -friends,

 

The European political cycle is in full speed now. What kind of speeches do we need?

You’ll find below the answers by two major European leaders and, by clicking under ‘Read more’ below, a series of good quotes and speeches delivered this past month.

Enjoy also the special literary bonus.

 

A reminder to speechwriters who want to see their work rewarded: this week is the last week to benefit from the early-bird tariff to enter your speeches in the Cicero awards. More here.

 

Best wishes, 

Great speeches,

Isabelle

 

 

A language everyone can understand

We will try to talk in a language that everyone can understand. And we will listen, too, and hear people’s concerns.

Read the full speech here: Christine Lagarde, Frankfurt and Europe in a new decade, 16 January 2020

 

Nice speeches won’t do – Great, smart, powerful speeches can

Epic geopolitical tensions, the climate crisis, global mistrust and the downsides of technology can jeopardize every aspect of our shared future. That is why commemorating the 75th anniversary with nice speeches won’t do.

 

See also smart and effective signposting with the “four horsemen” recurring theme

Today I want to speak to you in stark and simple terms about the challenges we face.

I see “four horsemen” in our midst — four looming threats that endanger 21st-century progress and imperil 21st-century possibilities.

The first horseman comes in the form of the highest global geostrategic tensions we have witnessed in years.

And after describing these four challenges – or horsemen:

We must address these four 21st-century challenges with four 21st-century solutions.

Let me take each in turn.

First, peace and security, that I mentioned. There are some signs of hope.

Read the full speech here: António Guterres, Remarks to the General Assembly on the Secretary-General's priorities for 2020, 22 January 2020

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Logos Pathos Ethos, January 2020

Dear speech-fans and -friends,

Happy New Year to you all, long-time subscribers and new readers.

The year 2020 has started well with a rich selection of great quotes and speeches delivered this past month. Whether on European politics or on global warming, to close the year 2019 or inaugurate a new mandate, speechwriters and speakers have combined unexpected questions, fresh lines, strong metaphors, powerful quotes, wise thoughts, and care for the audience to meet their objective: get their message across. 

Hats off to the speakers and speechwriters who have made it to this monthly selection already during their first month in office!

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

Best wishes, 

Great speeches,

Isabelle

 

Whom do you quote?

Institutions matter. “They give legitimacy and ensure continuity,” as Jean Monnet rightly said. They matter because they expand our capacity to act.  They are a reflection of what we stand for.

Read the full speech here: Charles Michel, Commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the Lisbon Treaty, 18 December 2019

 

What to do with annual speeches?

(English translation below)

Erinnern Sie sich noch? Vor genau zwölf Monaten hatte ich einen Weihnachtswunsch an Sie: "Sprechen Sie auch mal mit Menschen, die anderer Meinung sind."

Lesen Sie die ganze Rede: Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Weihnachtsansprache 2019 Schloss Bellevue, 25. Dezember 2019

Do you remember what I said last year? Twelve months ago I told you my Christmas request.

I asked you to talk to people who do not agree with you.

Today I want to ask you how that went. What debates and discussions have had a particular impact on you this year?

Read the full speech here: Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Christmas message 2019, 25 December 2019


Writers and storytellers, here's the quest

Today our problem lies—it seems—in the fact that we do not yet have ready narratives not only for the future, but even for a concrete now, for the ultra-rapid transformations of today’s world. We lack the language, we lack the points of view, the metaphors, the myths and new fables. 

Read the full speech here (available in English, Swedish, and Polish): Olga Tokarczuk, Nobel prize in literature, Nobel lecture, 7 December 2019

 

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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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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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