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
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[...]
« We are here to turn good will and good intentions into good actions and good results. Because that is what our fellow Europeans – and not just Europeans, people worldwide - expect of us. (…) The sooner this legislation is adopted, the sooner you can start planning with certainty for the future. This is what I get back a lot from industry: &qu... »Frans Timmermans
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
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.