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, January 2018

Dear speech-fans and -friends, 

Happy New Year!

Best wishes to you, speech-fans and –friends from Australia to Arizona, with most of you reading this newsletter in Europe.

This January 2018 selection has a special flavour: the best quotes and speeches delivered last month come from men and women receiving a prize or distinction, from the European Parliament Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought to the Nobel Prize. These speeches are typically the perfect occasion to focus on common values, combine logos, pathos and ethos, and call for action. You will find them below. 

You will also find the Bibliography section updated : Philip Collins’s When they go low, we go high – speeches that shape the world and why we need them deserves a special mention : find out why in the bibliography section.

Best wishes,

Great speeches,

Isabelle

 

Make it simple – make it tangible

A European will easily identify what is common for a Portuguese and a Lithuanian, for a Swede and a Croat. Common in the spatial order and architecture, music, painting and in metaphysical experience. As different and colourful as we are – as ambiguous and complicated as we are – we all understand the Bible, Homer, Cicero, Cervantes, Dante and Shakespeare. We find ourselves in the music of Bach, Chopin and Liszt, in the paintings of Piero della Francesca and Vermeer. And we all feel good in towns where we can easily find the market square, directing ourselves towards the distant towers of the cathedral and the town hall. If we want to protect our territory, it is precisely because it is defined not only by borders, but also by the symbols of our culture.

Read the full speech here: Donald Tusk, receiving Honorary Doctorate from the University of Pécs, 8 December 2017

 

[The Sakharov Prize] is an acknowledgment for mothers denying themselves food to save their children, for children rummaging in the rubbish to satiate their hunger, for old people wasting away to death because of a lack of medicines.

Read here: Julio Borges, Democratic opposition of Venezuela receiving Sakharov Prize, 13 December 2017

Watch the full speech in Spanish, English, French, German, Italian or Estonian here

 

Tangible … very tangible :

How can you translate an abstract inflation rate of 2.000% into something very tangible for your audience :

Hunger has been made into a political system in Venezuela: 75% of Venezuelans have lost 10 kilos weight over the last 12 months.

Read here: Julio Borges, Democratic opposition of Venezuela receiving Sakharov Prize, 13 December 2017

Watch the full speech in Spanish, English, French, German, Italian or Estonian here

 

At dozens of locations around the world - in missile silos buried in our earth, on submarines navigating through our oceans, and aboard planes flying high in our sky - lie 15,000 objects of humankind's destruction.

Read the full speech here: Beatrice Fihn, Nobel Lecture given by the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate 2017, ICAN, 10 December 2017

 

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The Political Speechwriter's Companion - second edition

The Political Speechwriter's Companion - second edition - Logos Pathos Ethos
Robert A. Lehrman & Eric Schnure

This is THE book to start with as a new political speechwriter but also to go back to as an experienced speechwriter. For this second edition, Robert Lehrman and Eric Schnure have built on their experience as chief speechwriter and speechwriter to former Vice-President Gore and as teachers mainly in the United States but also in Europe, Asia, and [...]
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Quotation of the day

« I’m so glad to be part of this wonderful event today. And I’m especially glad that you invited me this year. Because next year is supposed to be a tough one for tech. 2019 is when – if you believe the film Blade Runner – renegade androids should be roaming the Earth. It’s when – according to The Island - we should all have clones create... »
Margrethe Vestager
Posted by Isabelle
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Logos Pathos Ethos, December 2017

Dear Speech-fans and friends,

There are so many good lines and quotes in this selection that this newsletter is longer than usual – and this introduction shorter than usual.

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

 Isabelle

 

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 hereMichel Barnier, "Obbligati a crescere – l'Europa dopo Brexit", 9 November 2017

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Logos Pathos Ethos, November 2017

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

Isabelle

 

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 2017 

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

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Logos Pathos Ethos, 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

Isabelle

 

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

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Logos Pathos Ethos, 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

Isabelle


Vision

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.

Read the speech (available in 20 languages): Antonio Tajani, Formal European Parliament ceremony in honour of Simone Veil, 4 July 2017

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 EnglishYou 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.

Watch the speech: Bill Clinton, Personal farewell to Helmut Kohl, 1 July 2017

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