On the eve of the presidential election in the United States, our attention might be taken away from Europe. Little surprise that First Lady Michelle Obama’s speech that made it to the frontpages worldwide and was already suggested as speech of the year by Vital speeches appears in this selection.
But our focus remains to shine a spotlight on the speeches that matter to Europe : this month, the best lines are to be found in some of our leaders’ confessions.
They give us food for thought and share valuable lessons for these difficult times:
‘It is an iron law that those who will be caught up in the great movements determining the course of their times always fail to recognise them in their early stages’, wrote Stefan Zweig in The world of yesterday : memoirs of a European, quoted by President of the European Council Donald Tusk, 20th anniversary of the European Policy Centre, 13 October 2016.
Confessions of a leader
When I gave my first policy statement ten years ago, as Prime Minister of Poland, I spoke for nearly three hours. One of the commentators correctly observed that had my speech been as wise as it was long, it would have been one of the best in Polish history.
Read the full speech here: Donald Tusk, 20th anniversary of the European Policy Centre, 13 October 2016
Je laisse maintenant mon discours, que des mains inspirées ont rédigé, mais en regardant la salle, je crois que je vais vous parler d'une autre façon.
Read the full speech here: Jean-Claude Juncker, Remise du prix de l'engagement européen, 6 octobre 2016
Just as anyone writing speeches for a European audience will benefit from reading Aristotle’s Rhetoric, anyone preparing a speech for a Chinese audience – i.e. more and more European speechwriters – will be well advised to read Guiguzi’s First treatise on rhetoric. Good news: this old Chinese classic has been translated into English. It pro[...]
« Let me take this argument the other way around. Not what we need to succeed – we all know that – but what we would have to say to our grandchildren if we failed. We’d have to say, “it was all too difficult”, and they would reply, “well, what was so difficult?” What was it that was so difficult when the earth was in peril? When s... »David Cameron
Just back from the World Conference of the Professional Speechwriters Association in Washington DC.
Even posting the dozens of pages of notes and documents I bring back could not match what you get by participating: next to high-level expertise and the most up-to-date insight on speeches, it’s meeting and networking with professionals from all over the world; it’s experiencing the power of speeches from talented colleagues; it’s the motivation to become better professionals.
The conference this year ranged from how the political brain works to what wit adds to speeches and speakers, to reflections on the profession of speechwriter – from the making of the State of the Union to what singing and speechwriting have in common. Let us know what you want to explore and we’ll find a way to share this.
You will find the latest selection of quotes and speeches on logospathosethos.eu.
Variations on the power of antithesis
I am convinced that the worst day of European integration is better than the best day of nationalistic Europe.
Logos, pathos, ethos is back with its summer harvest.
With major elections coming up, several speeches ask what kind of rhetoric we need.
Also in this newsletter, some epideictic speeches - as examples of how commemorating an anniversary can serve as a springboard - and a selection on the beauties of multilingualism. Find more on logospathosethos.eu.
To help you ‘ignite change through speeches, stories, ceremonies and symbols’, the Bibliography section reviews Nancy Duarte’s 2016 book : ‘Illuminate’, together with other useful titles. More under : logospathosethos.eu/bibliography
In just four weeks, speechwriters from all over the world will meet at the Professional Speechwriters Association World Conference. Let us know if you go so that we can meet there – you can still register.
What kind of rhetoric do we need?
The current lack of public and political engagement in fact-based decision-making even has people asking, have we have entered a "post-factual" era of democracy? One in which the public identifies with populist rhetoric and decisions are made based on fears and assumptions, because people feel science and politics have left them behind.
Read the full speech here : Carlos Moedas, Europe's voyage towards an open global research area, EuroScience Open Forum, 25 July 2016Read more
Dear speech-fans and -friends,
“A politician is a man who thinks of the next election, while a statesman thinks of the next generation”.
Together with its relevance for us today, this makes it our quote of the month.
If you want to find out who used it, read this month selection of quotes.
European speeches in June have dealt with – obvioulsy - the referendum in United Kingdom, but also history, Asterix and football.
Logos, pathos, ethos will be back after the summer.
Have a fruitful break.
Why does the art of
speeches matter so much?
Speechwriter Simon Lancaster explains it quite well in his Ted talk: (watch:) Speak like a leader. It is becoming viral within the speechwriting community and for good reason.
This month harvest of speeches illustrates his point, by revealing once again the great potential of remembrance speeches, in Hiroshima, Verdun, or on Europe Day.
If you understand French, (écoutez:) La parole comme une arme: l'éloquence en politique. Cette émission radiophonique d’une heure est consacrée à l’éloquence de la politique française mais ses conclusions valent bien au-delà de l’hexagone.
Enjoy this selection,
The point I’m making here is very serious : The reason we all used to learn rhetoric at school was because it was seen as a basic entry point to society. How could society be fair unless everyone had equal ability to articulate and express themselves ? Without it, your legal systems, your political systems, your financial sytems are not fair. It should be of intense concern to all of us that education in this has been narrowed to a very small and powerful elite (…)
Let’s revive rhetoric, let’s really reinvigorate debates around the world and let’s really give every child on the planet to become a leader. What should we call this grand initiative ? Well here’s an idea. How about : democracy ?
(Full speech:) Simon Lancaster, Speak like a leader, April 2016
Commemorating Europe Day
What has happened to you, the Europe of humanism, the champion of human rights, democracy and freedom?
What has happened to you, Europe, the home of poets, philosophers, artists, musicians, and men and women of letters?
What has happened to you, Europe, the mother of peoples and nations, the mother of great men and women who upheld, and even sacrificed their lives for, the dignity of their brothers and sisters?
(Full speech:) Pope Francis, Conferral of the Charlemagne Prize, 6 May 2016 (also available in Arabic, German, French, Italian, Polish, and Portuguese)