Dear speech-fans and -friends,
Peace is the recurring theme in this month’s selection of quotes and speeches.
Peace for places as diverse as Aleppo, Columbia, Germany, Pearl Harbor.
Peace as the most precious lesson past and current leaders urge us to embrace.
And peace as my best wish to you, readers of this newsletter, as we start a new year. To you, from Australia to Arizona, who read these lines : peace.
I also recommend two webpages:
- The outgoing White House administration reminds us that ‘behind (President Obama’s) words is a group of speechwriters who have worked closely with the President to craft important messages to the American people. It’s meant countless drafts and rewrites, late nights, and last-minute edits from the motorcade. As his time in office comes to a close, the President’s speechwriters — past and present — took a look back at eight years of remarks to share some of the words, speeches, and memories that stand out to them.
Take a look at a few of the President’s top speeches as chosen by his speechwriters’.
- Nancy Duarte, whose books we strongly recommend in our Bibliography, has designed, together with Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, an insightful test to help speakers with fear of public speaking, available on the Harvard Business Review website. Answering some 24 questions provides guidance on one’s strengths and where to focus to improve and ultimately feel … at peace when taking the floor.
You’ll find the full latest selection of quotes and speeches on http://www.logospathosethos.eu
Allow me to tell you, from my own experience, that it is much harder to make peace than to wage war.
Peace is more precious than diamonds or silver or gold.
I hope that together, we send a message to the world that there is more to be won in peace than in war; that reconciliation carries more rewards than retribution.
Read the full speech here: Barack Obama, Remarks at Pearl Harbor, 28 December 2016
The subtitle of this anthology of speeches announces: ‘a celebration of the old, new, and unspoken’. This beautiful book is indeed a celebration, as it highlights the ethos of the speakers and presents the circumstances and the making of the speeches, providing photographs of the notes when possible. You’ll recognise well-known masterpieces a[...]
« We cannot understand our own times apart from the past, seen not as an assemblage of distant facts, but as the lymph that gives life to the present. Without such an awareness, reality loses its unity, history loses its logical thread, and humanity loses a sense of the meaning of its activity and its progress towards the future. -- Pope Francis,... »Pope Francis
End of September, I was invited to speak at the Professional Speechwriters Association World Conference on ‘Speeches and Speechwriting in Europe in 2016’. To prepare this talk, I looked for trends that would both refer to Europe and be relevant for an international audience. I soon identified one leading trend, only emerging yet obvious, and already the strongest. I spoke about this new word capturing this new phenomenon : the ‘post-truth’ - or ‘post-fact’ - era of speeches and democracy.
From hardly used before, it is suddenly everywhere now, from titles to articles to conferences.
Little did I know then that the Oxford Dictionary would select it as the 2016 International Word of the Year.
It’s a real concern for our democracies, and an additional challenge for speakers and speechwriters. All the more reason to have a look at the speeches that matter on the European stage today.
You’ll find the latest selection of quotes and speeches on http://www.logospathosethos.eu
Commemorating : the great potential of epideictic speeches
We all know that we are living in a historic time, and that our actions will have effects for generations to come. But we can't know exactly what effect we will have. All we can do is to trust in our values, and have the courage to act on them.
Read the full speech here: Margrethe Vestager, Luther and the modern world, 14 November 2016
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 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