Congratulations to all the speechwriters behind these speeches, many of whom read this newsletter every month. Congratulations and thank you.
You will find the full version of the newsletter – and much more – on: logospathosethos.eu
Face the facts
Europe woke up on 24 June 2016 with a sense of disbelief. We could hardly believe that the British people had decided, in a sovereign vote, to put an end to 44 years of common history. We found it hard to grasp, a few months later, that Transatlantic relations might change as a result of the election of Donald Trump. And of course, following each terrorist attack we found it hard to believe that our countries' children could inflict irreparable harm on our soil.
Put the spotlight on hope – highlighted with repetition
But on each occasion, this sense of shock led to a common response.
Very quickly, following the British referendum, Europeans expressed their desire to continue to move forward together.
Very quickly, following the election of Mr Trump, the Union spoke out strongly to reaffirm its commitment to multilateralism and the fight against climate change.
Very quickly, following each of the attacks on our soil, in Paris, Brussels, Nice, London, Manchester, Berlin, Stockholm and Barcelona, we saw a display of solidarity between the peoples of Europe and a determination to fight terrorism side by side.
Read the full speech here: Michel Barnier, "Obbligati a crescere – l'Europa dopo Brexit", 9 November 2017
Speakers often ask for numbers and statistic in speeches to support their message, but is quantifiable data the best idea in a speech?
In a speech, ie not to be read with the eyes, on a screen or on paper, with the possibility to pause, analyze, and reflect, but heard by the ear, in a flow of words and sentences, with hardly any time or tool to p[...]
« Der 23. August 1939 – ich fürchte, in Deutschland ist dieses Datum nicht mehr jedem gegenwärtig – ist der Tag … *** On 23 August 1939 – I am afraid that not everyone in Germany is still familiar with this date – ... -- Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Awarding of the Peace of Westphalia Prize, 14 July 2018 ... »Frank-Walter Steinmeier
Dear speech-fans and -friends,
Welcome to the new readers who have subscribed to this monthly newsletter following the World Conference of the Professional Speechwriters’ Association in Washington DC from 16 to 18 October.
Each conference is different from the previous ones but the inspiration and motivation you get remain as high, from the keynote address to conversations with peers, new tips and insights on storytelling, voice, and ‘the nuclear bomb of rhetoric’ (ie metaphors, for better or for worse), professional advice from the most experienced and talented colleagues, to exchange with the laureates of the Cicero Speechwriting Awards.
There are more and more European speechwriters attending this gathering. That they attend this professional conference is a good omen for the future of European speeches.
I was invited to deliver the «state of speeches in Europe in 2017» speech. Looking back at the ones delivered over the last twelve months, our speeches are getting more and more to the heart of the matter :
Who are we ?
What are our values ?
What do we want to build together ?
The best lines delivered last month confirm this trend to existential questions: just look at the selection on: logospathosethos.eu
It starts with a fair assessment:
Over the last years managing all these crises, we've been excessively pragmatic in communicating about them. Trying to convince people with PowerPoint presentations and graphics, saying: "We're doing better than you think... Yes, you might feel like that, but here are the numbers." And we've lost many people because of that.
Read the full speech here: Frans Timmermans, (Re)thinking Europe, 27 October
Britain's referendum campaign was full of false arguments and unacceptable generalisations. But it would have been a big mistake to interpret the negative result exclusively as a symptom of British exceptionalism and Euroscepticism, because all over Europe, even moderate voters were asking "Is the European Union the answer to problems of instability and insecurity, or is it now standing in the way?"
Read the full speech here: Donald Tusk, Address to the European Committee of the Regions, 10 October 2017
Dear speech-fans and -friends,
September means back to school, back to
work and, for world leaders, back to the United Nations General Assembly. This
annual gathering gives the floor to the largest variety of speakers, with one
common goal : describe the world and the challenges ahead in just a few
minutes to the widest possible audience and get this message across. You will
find a selection below.
In Europe, September means back to the European Parliament for the State of the European Union. This address, together with the Brexit negotiations and other topical issues, also calls for clear and powerful messages.
And for speechwriters, autumn means back to the Professional Speechwriters Association World Conference. This year, moved from September to October. We will be there, with for sure a fruitful harvest next month. Stay tuned.
In the meantime, you will find quotes, tips and books on: logospathosethos.eu
I am here in a spirit of gratitude and humility for the trust you have placed in me to serve the world’s peoples.
“We the peoples”, and the United Nations, face grave challenges.
Our world is in trouble. People are hurting and angry. They see insecurity rising, inequality growing, conflict spreading and climate changing.
The global economy is increasingly integrated, but our sense of global community may be disintegrating.
Societies are fragmented. Political discourse is polarized. Trust within and among countries is being driven down by those who demonize and divide.
We are a world in pieces. We need to be a world at peace.
And I strongly believe that, together, we can build peace. We can restore trust and create a better world for all.
Read the full speech here: Antonio Guterres, Address to the General Assembly, 19 September 2017
The wind is back in Europe's sails.
We now have a window of opportunity but it will not stay open forever.
Let us make the most of the momentum, catch the wind in our sails.
Read the full speech (available in the 24 official languages) here: Jean-Claude Juncker, State of the European Union address, 13 September 2017
The future of the Union is our priority, not Brexit.
Read the full speech here: Michel Barnier, Italian Parliament, 21 September 2017
Dear speech-fans and -friends,
Over the summer, two major European figures passed away: Helmut Kohl and Simone Veil. Their lives inspired eulogies that stand out as they provide an opportunity to stand back and reflect on what ultimately matters, celebrate values and achievements, and share a vision of what unites us. Little surprise that several quotes in this selection come from these epideictic speeches.
Our shared interest for great speeches has found an unusual space on TV this summer. The European TV channel Arte has a special series on great speeches, available en français : Les grands discours und natürlich auch auf Deutsch: Grosse Reden
You will find more quotes, tips and books on: logospathosethos.eu
The history of her life is the history of our continent, the history of a continent torn apart, lost, which experienced the worst atrocities of which humanity is capable, but which, like her, found the strength to rise up again, to rebuild itself and to be reborn.
In her inaugural speech, which she gave on 17 July 1979, she showed that she grasped the true nature of the responsibility on her shoulders.
This is what she said: ‘For this is the first time in history, a history in which we have so frequently been divided, pitted one against the other, bent on mutual destruction, that the people of Europe have together elected their delegates to a common assembly . Let there be no doubt, these elections form a milestone on the path of Europe, the most important since the signing of the Treaties’.
In a 23-minute speech, she set out, with exceptional clear-sightedness, a vision for the development of our Parliament over the next 40 years.
I urge you to read the speech, if you have not already done so, because it seems to me to be remarkably topical. You will find in it enthusiasm, hopes, expectations, the ambitions of a whole generation of men and women who sat on these benches before us and who we should all take as our inspiration.
As the President of the European Parliament urges us to read Simone Veil’s inaugural speech, you can read here the original in French, and here in English. You can also watch her delivering this speech.
The power of the ‘Why’ question
I ask you to think about something not in my notes. I was looking around this crowd today, and all of us who used to be in office, all of us who came. Why ?
Because Helmut Kohl gave us the chance to be involved in something bigger than ourselves, bigger than our terms of office, bigger than our fleeting careers, because all of us, sooner or later, will be in a coffin like that.Read more
Dear speech-fans and -friends,
Summer is coming: a heat wave has affected Brussels and several places in Europe over the last few days, giving climate change a very direct and tangible feel. You will find a major plea on climate action in the speech UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres delivered just before the US presidency would announce their decision on the Paris Agreement.
Summer is coming, and so are a few positive events and trends in Europe. They echo in a lighter touch in some of the European speeches. Imagine … John Lennon quoted in the European Council …
Summer is coming, and hopefully for many of you, time for a break, time to read, time to get inspired. If you read French, savourez Trop de fleurs, délicieux petit discours dans lequel Jules Verne nous parle de ce qui nous anime, l’écriture de discours: léger et drôle, un régal de rhétorique au meilleur sens du terme.
Some more examples in our monthly selection of quotes on: logospathosethos.eu
This newsletter will resume after the summer.
The music makes it memorable
Climate change is undeniable.
Climate action is unstoppable.
And climate solutions provide opportunities that are unmatchable.
Read the full speech here: António Guterres, on Climate action, 30 May 2017