Logos Pathos Ethos, November 2018

Dear speech-fans and -friends,

Just back from the Professional Speechwriters Association ‘s 2018 Word Conference: the opening keynote speech was a call for going high when they go low (Philip Collins wrote this book I recommended last year) and the closing keynote session focused on ‘Enough said : What’s gone wrong with the language of politics’, with New York Times CEO, Mark Thompson interviewed on his book. 

I had already recommended the first one in the bibliography. I’ve read the second one and recommend it to anyone who wonders what has happened – when and how – and what to do. With these two highlights of the conference and everything in between, as well as the conversations during the breaks, it’s definitely a call to do our best, especially in times of important elections on the other side of the Atlantic this week, and on our side next spring.

Next to an updated bibliography, you'll find the monthly selection of what good rhetoric is below.

Best wishes,

Great speeches,

Isabelle

 

A rhetorical treasure from the Professional Speechwriters Association’s 2018 World Conference

Too much and for too long, we seemed to have surrendered personal excellence and community values in the mere accumulation of material things.  Our Gross National Product (…) counts air pollution and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage. It counts special locks for our doors and the jails for the people who break them.  It counts the destruction of the redwood and the loss of our natural wonder in chaotic sprawl.  It counts napalm and counts nuclear warheads and armored cars for the police to fight the riots in our cities.  It counts Whitman's rifle and Speck's knife, and the television programs which glorify violence in order to sell toys to our children.  Yet the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education or the joy of their play.  It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials.  It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country, it measures everything in short, except that which makes life worthwhile. 

Robert F. Kennedy, Remarks at the University of Kansas, 18 March 1968

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Logos Pathos Ethos, October 2018

Dear speech-fans and -friends,

One speech stands out this month: it mobilises a whole range of rhetorical forces and ammunition to serve a message that concerns all of us. This speech is the United Nations Secretary General’s call for action on climate change, delivered on 10 September 2018. 

If you read only one speech this month, read this one! Which is why, exceptionally, there is only one speech in this newsletter. 

One speech, but myriad rhetorical devices. I’ve identified some of them below, and under "Read more".

Very important as well: the Professional Speechwriters Association’s 2018 World Conference starts in just three weeks in Washington, DC. I will be there. Let me know if you will.

Best wishes,

Great speeches,

Isabelle

 

How to address the audience

Dear friends of planet Earth,

 

Start with a bang

I have asked you here to sound the alarm.

Climate change is the defining issue of our time – and we are at a defining moment.

We face a direct existential threat.

Read the full speech here : Antonio Guterres, Remarks on climate change, 10 September 2018

Watch the full speech here 

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Logos Pathos Ethos, September 2018

Dear speech-fans and -friends,

Welcome back!

Here’s your selection of the best quotes and speeches delivered over the summer. 

Stories emerge as a leading theme.

Why do we tell stories?

Why is it important to tell them? 

Why do they work so powerfully in speeches?

Of course, I mean well-chosen and well-told stories. The Bibliography section on this website has several references that explain what a story is (in contrast to anecdotes), how to set the scene and build the character so that the audience will be eager to listen to what happens next and will remember your message. 

You’ll find these and more examples of what good rhetoric is below.

Best wishes,

Great speeches,

Isabelle

 

Why do we tell stories ?

Many (people) have already forgotten.

Little by little, perspectives have changed.

Stories have been misremembered.

The danger of memories is that they do not die suddenly –

they fade, and they are distorted.

It's in all of our interests to constantly refresh them.

Read the full speech here: Cecilia Malmström, Transatlantic trade in turbulent times, Brussels, 19 July 2018

 

I mention this story for three reasons. First, I want to pay tribute to Mr Brookins and all other American soldiers for their courage and bravery (…). Secondly, because many (…) who were there that day in December 1944 are no longer around to tell the story themselves. (…)The third reason is that this story shows the unbreakable bond that makes the transatlantic partnership what it is. This bond explains a lot about how we have been able to come so far together.

Read the full speech here: Jean-Claude Juncker, 'Transatlantic relations at a crossroads', Washington, 25 July 2018

 

Stories are memorable

(English below)

Solche Schilderungen lassen mich nicht los.

Die ganze Rede auf Deutsch: Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Gespräch mit Bürgern aus der Nachbarschaft, 22. August 2018

 

I can’t forget these stories.

Read the full speech: Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Turkish-German coffee afternoon, 22 August 2018, translated into Englishand in Turkish, given the subject and the audience.

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Logos Pathos Ethos, July 2018

Dear speech-fans and -friends,

A wind of bracing openings, unexpected quotes, and refreshing tropes has been blowing on this past month’s speeches. 

They are more than welcome; they are necessary to renew the debate on the future of Europe, ahead of the European elections next year.

You’ll find these and more examples of what good rhetoric is on: www.logospathosethos.eu

Have a relaxing and inspiring summer. This newsletter will be back for the September issue.

Best wishes,

Great speeches,

Isabelle

 

Make it easy to grasp

It means that by the time I’ve finished this short speech, somewhere in the world another five women will have lost their lives through complications in pregnancy or childbirth. And twenty more will suffer lifelong pain or disability.

Contrast

It’s not “just a woman’s problem” – it’s an insult to all humanity.

Rhetorical question

As the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation estimated, every dollar spent can save up to six dollars which can then be used for housing, sanitation and other services. So how can we afford not to?

When the speech comes full circle

It’s essential for helping us to achieve our global goals of healthy, happy and prosperous societies and economies. This is why I was determined to make women and girls the focus of this year’s European Development Days.

And why I am very happy to join you here today. Thank you very much.

Read the full speech here: Neven Mimica, No health without rights – women and girls decide, 5 June 2018

 

Unexpected simile

Beyen wrote: ‘Europe is like a giraffe: an animal difficult to define but easy to recognise.’ And fifty years on, that’s still a good description.

Tricolons, repetitions, quotes, crescendo, varied rhythm and much more :

Read the full speech here: Mark Rutte, The future of the European Union, 13 June 2018

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Logos Pathos Ethos, June 2018

Dear speech-fans and -friends,

Data has been all over the news this past month. Little surprise it ranks high in this selection of the best speeches and quotes to highlight its importance (Andrus Ansip), denounce abuse (Guy Verhofstadt), or restore hope in the future (Carlos Moedas). 

You’ll find these and more examples of what good rhetoric is on: www.logospathosethos.eu

If you read French, une nouvelle lecture vous attend dans la section Bibliographie. 

 

NB : Speaking of data, your data to receive this newsletter: the only data collected is your e-mail address, and a first name and surname in most cases (sometimes a nickname). You receive this monthly newsletter because you have expressed the wish to receive it, in most cases by registering on the website, or by sending an e-mail. Your data is stored in Belgium. You can ask it to be corrected or deleted at any time. You can unsuscribe at any time. Your data is not forwarded to anyone.

If you are fine with these, you will continue to receive this newsletter. If not, just reply to this mail with your request.


Best wishes,

Great speeches,

Isabelle

 

One word to remember

Today, we are here to discuss technologies that will change our world. For this, there is just one word to remember: data.

(with 21 occurrences in a 10-minute speech)

Read the full speech here, Andrus Ansip, Technologies that will change our world, 15 May 2018

 

The power of a question

You have to ask yourself how you will be remembered : as one of the three big internet giants, together with Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, who have enriched our world and our societies ? Or on the other hand, in fact as a genius who created a digital monster that is destroying our democracies and societies ? 

Watch the full speech here, Guy Verhofstadt, Conference of Presidents with Mark Zuckerberg, 22 May 2018 (starting at 11’.10’’)

 

Surprises, anecdotes, quotes, stories, 

and tricolons 

I look at the media, or I talk to people and so often all I hear is Doubt. Fear. Disbelief (…)

I think we are not "afraid" of new technologies so much as we are afraid of the loss that we think they will bring. Our lives. Our control. Our jobs.

Read the full speech here, Carlos Moedas, Horasis global meeting, 6 May 2018

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Logos Pathos Ethos, May 2018

Dear speech-fans and -friends, 

This newsletter is reaching your mailbox as Europe celebrates the end of the Second World War (8 May) and the audacity of the European integration project — mind you, launching this invitation the first day after only the fifth anniversary of such an unspeakable horror.

This peace project remains a leading theme in major speeches on the European stage, several decades later, as this selection  of the best speeches delivered in April shows. It still inspires leaders when they speak about the present or reflect about the future. And it matches the views of the Europeans, who still put peace at the top of the most positive results of Europe, together with free movement, well before other achievements like the exchange programme Erasmus or the Euro.

You’ll find these and a whole series of examples of what good rhetoric is on: www.logospathosethos.eu

Best wishes,

Great speeches,

Isabelle

Europe, first and foremost, a peace project

J'appartiens à une génération qui n'a pas connu la guerre et j'appartiens à une génération qui est en train de s'offrir le luxe d'oublier ce que les prédécesseurs ont vécu(...) Mais je viens aussi d'une terre et d'une famille qui a connu toutes les saignées de notre histoire passée. Alors les choix sont simples, moi je ne veux pas appartenir à une génération de somnambules. Je ne veux pas appartenir à une génération qui aura oublié son propre passé ou qui refusera de voir les tourments de son propre présent.

Watch the full speech here (delivered in French with live interpretation into 23 languages): Emmanuel Macron, Discours au Parlement européen, 17 avril 2018.

Read the full speech here.


I could sum it up in just one sentence: don't let the sleepwalkers lead more people to disaster.

Read the full speech here: Donald Tusk, Acceptance speech for the 2018 Polonicus prize, 28 April 2018

 

The European ideal took shape in the second part of the twentieth century. Although, at the time, the world was riven by animosity and fear, some were imaginative enough to envisage a future in which we were joined together by mutual interest, trust and affection. European values are the values that we advance in Ireland, within our European family, and in our relations with the wider world. Europe is one of the most successful political projects of the last century. So much has been achieved that once seemed the stuff of dreams.

Read the full speech here: Leo Varadkar, Martens Lecture on the future of Europe, 26 April 2018

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Logos Pathos Ethos, April 2018

Dear speech-fans and -friends, 

The debate on the future of Europe is in full swing with one Member State leaving the European Union in just one year, European elections coming up shortly after, in May 2019, and the next multi-annual financial framework (Which priorities? How much money?) currently discussed.

Different views, different speakers, all mobilising rhetorical tools to serve their vision and rally support.

See this month’s selection of best quotes and speeches below and click on ‘read more’ to get the whole selection.

Best wishes,

Great speeches,

Isabelle

 

Strong opening

You had a choice today. You could have listened to a speech in the UK about a future without Europe. Or a speech in Berlin by someone who believes in Europe and wants to talk about the best way to move forward with Europe. I’m glad you’re here. 

Make it concrete, visual

The European Union is not, in my view, an unstoppable train speeding towards federalism (…).

To use a painful metaphor: the fact that the Dutch national football team won’t be competing at the next World Cup is not a reason to send a European team in 2022. The Netherlands is going to get there on its own.

Repetition

A deal is a deal. (six occurrences of this guiding principle).

Read Mark Rutte, Underpromise and overdeliver: fulfilling the promise of Europe, 2 March 2018

Egalement disponible en français

Auch auf Deutsch

 

Building your credibility

Perhaps because Portugal returned to Europe after a lengthy 48 years of dictatorship, 13 years of an anachronistic colonial war in Africa, and because we suffered the tensions of the revolutionary founding period of our democracy, Portugal fully understands that being European is not just a happenstance of geography or history. More than a single currency, more than a single market, Europe is a community first and foremost of values.

Watch Antonio Costa, Future of Europe, 14 March 2018, available in 7 languages

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Logos Pathos Ethos, March 2018

Dear speech-fans and -friends,

From the dozens of speeches delivered this month, what stands out in terms of speeches and speechwriting ?

A few good lines that use classical rhetorical devices to make their point.

And two female voices taking the stage: rage after yet another mass shooting in a US school in the voice of a young student packing her 10-minute speech with an impressive collection of rhetorical devices; and the new hostess to the Munich Security Conference.

I wonder what you, speech-fans and –friends, think of these two especially. Let me know.

And, to celebrate the Treaty of Rome anniversary next month, a new book dedicated to great Europeans’ speeches in the bibliography section.

Best wishes,

Great speeches, 

Isabelle

 

Two female voices taking the stage

We are going to be the kids you read about in textbooks. Not because we're going to be another statistic about mass shooting in America, but because (…)

we are going to be the last mass shooting. 

- For this and many other rhetorical devices (in addition to a lot of pathos, contrats, repetitions, litanies, quotes, striking figures, call for action, inspiring precedents, getting the audience involved etc.), read or watch here Florida student Emma Gonzalez, 18 February 2018

- Sophia opens a conference, makes eye-contact and even winks at the audience, but can Sophia tell a personal and compelling story ?

Watch Robot Sophia opening the Munich Security Conference, 15 February 2018. 

 

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Logos Pathos Ethos, February 2018

Dear speech-fans and -friends, 

It's a little late, perhaps, for new year’s resolutions. But I'd like to suggest that we all make one anyway:  To do our bit to help Europeans get involved in building a bright future for Europe.’

This quote is from EU Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in her Competition and the future of Europe speech, delivered on 17 January 2018.

We the speech-fans and -friends do our bit through writing and promoting great speeches. You'll find this speech and many more good quotes and speeches on logospathosethos.eu

Enjoy the latest selection - and keep the resolution. 

Best wishes,

Great speeches, 

Isabelle

 

Ethos

The world is changing. But that doesn't mean the right way to respond is by changing our Union. By creating new institutions, drafting new treaties, producing new legislation by the barrowload.

All those things might seem to carry the stamp of action. But they won't necessarily make people's lives better or help us play a more forceful global role. And the measure of our success in facing up to the future shouldn't be how much we change our institutions, but how much we change people’s lives, and improve everyone’s opportunities.

Read the full speech here: Margrethe Vestager, Competition and the future of Europe, 17 January 2018

Ethos and pathos combined

Calling to memory past matters (also known as anamnesis)

Who, if not you –  the descendants of Spartacus, the inheritors of the oldest European statehood, you, who never ever lost a flag in any battle – would be better placed to rise to this important and exceptionally difficult task, that is to renew the European perspective for the whole of the region?

Read the full speech here: Donald Tusk, Opening ceremony of the Bulgarian presidency, 11 January 2018

Proving a statement by referring to common knowledge  (also known as apodixis)

What makes our European economies strong is the Single Market. The British know this well, since it was the main reason why they joined the EEC in 1972.

Read the full speech here: Michel Barnier, Trends Manager of the year 2017, 9 January 2018

 

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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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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

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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Logos Pathos Ethos, July-August 2017

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. 

Isabelle


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

Logos Pathos Ethos, June 2017

Dear speech-fans and -friends,

What do you remember from President elect Emmanuel Macron’s victory speech at Le Louvre, on 7 May?

I run a quick and informal poll among a few dozens people. Everyone mentioned the European anthem played as the newly elected French President walked to the podium.

And the quote most people remembered was:

« Tout le monde nous disait que c’était impossible, mais ils ne connaissaient pas la France ! » (Everyone told us it was impossible, but they did not know France). Read the full speech here: Emmanuel Macron, Victory speech, Carrousel du Louvre, 7 May 2017

For our next speech: what do we want the audience to remember?

Some more examples in our monthly selection of quotes on: logospathosethos.eu

Isabelle

 

The illiteracy of the modern world is not the incapacity to read or write. 

The illiteracy of the modern world is the incapacity to critical thinking. 

Read the full speech here: Frans Timmermans, Speech at Gazeta Wyborcza in Warsaw, 19 May 2017


My request to you is : how far will you go? What is the next thing? Burning books on the square in front of the Hungarian Parliament ?

Watch the full speech here : Guy Verhofstadt, Debate in the European Parliament on the situation in Hungary, 26 April 2017

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Logos Pathos Ethos, May 2017

Dear speech-fans and -friends,

Suspense had been at its height over the last few weeks.

From all the candidates, who would be selected?

Which speech would have the strongest impact and qualify its author for the final round?

At last, we now know who ‘exemplifies excellence in modern oral rhetoric’: the Cicero Awards were attributed and it is a real pleasure to introduce you to the Grand Award winner: find out how to combine stories that keep the audience with the speaker and build his credibility on a difficult issue; humour that triggers laughters and language that is vivid and visual; and a structure that progressively, in a subtle, yet effective way, leads to a strong call for action. 

In other words, logos, pathos, ethos at its best.

This speech, the other laureates, and our monthly selection are on http://www.logospathosethos.eu

Isabelle

Simplicity:

It bothers me that declaring a simple truth is somehow so controversial. I mean, I get it. I understand why it’s controversial (...)

I can say from experience, it’s hard to get a diversity of ideas from a room full of old, white, straight, cisgender men, who all look like me and who have similar life experiences.

Read the full speech here: James Clapper, Why black lives matter to US intelligence, 4 November 2016

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Logos Pathos Ethos, April 2017

Dear speech-fans and -friends,

This past month was marked by two important events: on the one hand, for all of us caring for Europe, the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome; and on the other hand, for all of us speech-fans and -friends, the selection of the best speeches for the Cicero Awards.

I have prepared this new selection, looking eagerly for how speakers (and their speechwriters) would combine the best of their art and technique to move audiences. Reading the speeches delivered by the European leaders, I have found here and there some good, unexpected, moving lines: you will find them in this selection.

But I have also read some pieces that combine all the these qualities – and many more – in a single speech : these were among the finalists of the Cicero Awards. I had the privilege to read them as a member of the panel for this international competition.

It is as is should be: that the speeches that make it to this final selection ‘exemplify excellence in modern oral rhetoric’.

It is also a source of inspiration and stimulation for all of us if we want the speeches on Europe to match the greatness of this project launched 60 years ago.

To help you in this challenge, a springboard to your skills, network and motivation is the Professional Speechwriters Association’s 2017 World Conference in Washington DC next October. There is even a special discount for you with the code: "LogosPathosEthos".

In the meantime, enjoy the monthly selection on www.logospathosethos.eu 

Isabelle

 

The great potential of the commemorative speeches

Now is the perfect time to recall (Alcide De Gasperi’s) famous words: "The future will not be built through force, nor the desire to conquer, but by the patient application of the democratic method, the constructive spirit of agreement and by respect for freedom." Perhaps these words are not dramatic enough in the age of politics by Twitter. But I still appreciate their truth and power. I still believe they are enough to guide us from here.

Read the full speech here: Donald Tusk, To speakers of EU Parliaments, 17 March 2017

I have to tell you, for those of you who don't know, Max van der Stoel was my political father. I worked with him for many years, when he was High Commissioner on National Minorities we travelled together to all parts of Europe for many years and he taught me everything. Sometimes a person can be lucky enough as I was to be allowed, by a giant, to stand on his shoulders.

Read the full speech here: Frans Timmermans, Prague, 10 March 2017

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Logos Pathos Ethos, March 2017

Dear speech-fans and -friends,

The best speeches delivered this last month illustrate the power of contrast and antithesis. Antithesis is one of the most popular means of being quotable. It succeeds because such contrast allows you, among other things, to urge one course of action and reject another(…). It makes what (the speaker) accepts and rejects clear and easy to remember’, writes Robert Lehrman in The Political Speechwriter's Companion

Use it, but wisely, as one of the European leaders addressing the Members of the European Parliament reminds us.

For those of us who understand French, voici le lien vers une émission de radio consacrée à la rhétorique politique des présidents, de la troisième république à Barack Obama.

Find out our monthly selection on www.logospathosethos.eu

Isabelle

L’Europe n'est pas une évidence. L'Europe fut et l'Europe restera un choix.

Europe is not self-evident. Europe has always been and will always be a choice.

Read the full speech here: Jean-Claude Juncker, L'Europe aujourd'hui et demain, 23 February 2017

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Logos Pathos Ethos, February 2017

Dear speech-fans and -friends,

Among all the speeches we come across, why do we sometimes decide to forward one to our friends?

What does it take for a speech to go go viral?

What does it take for a speech to have us, speech-fans and –friends, send it to our loved ones because we think it will lift their spirits?

January 2017 offered a few such examples :

First came Mery Streep 2017 Golden Globes speech that many of you forwarded.

Then another speech got attention for "words which were surprising, honest, bold and deep. (The speaker) used language which won over many sceptics. Newspapers were now printing statements by (sceptics) expressing respect for the (speaker) and taking back their earlier objections. We know that this doesn't often happen. This is one of the reasons why we consider (this) speech extraordinary and historic".

Last but not least, a third speech inspired many of you in Europe, who shared it with their colleagues and friends and drew my attention to it.

Find out which speeches they are and some other good quotes in our monthly selection on www.logospathosethos.eu

And keep forwarding your favourite speeches.

Isabelle

Overcoming fear

(English below)

Als ich als 11-Jähriger im Hallenbad das erste Mal auf dem Dreimeterbrett stand, hat mir das keine Freude bereitet. Doch ein Kind, das das erste Mal da steht, weiß, wenn es sich weiterentwickeln möchte, muss es springen. Es weiß, es muss springen. Aber es weiß nicht, wie sich der Sprung anfühlt und wie es genau nach dem Sprung weitergehen wird. Und doch, in den meisten Fällen, wagt es den Schritt nach vorne. Ich habe es damals auch gewagt. Und auch den Sprung vom Fünfmeterbrett.

Warum?

Weil die Zuversicht stärker ist als der Zweifel… Ich appelliere heute an Ihre Zuversicht!

As an 11year-old boy at the indoor swimming pool, standing on the three-metre diving board for the first time did not make me happy. But children standing there for the first time know they have to jump if they want to make progress. They know they have to jump. But they don’t know what this jump will feel like and what exactly will happen after the jump. And yet, in most cases, they dare to take this step forward. I also did it back then. And I also jumped off the five-metre diving board  

Why?

Because confidence is stronger than doubt… Today I call upon your confidence!

Read the full speech here (English is below the German text): President Alexander Van der Bellen, Inauguration speech, 26 January 2017

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Logos Pathos Ethos, January 2017

Dear speech-fans and -friends,

Peace.

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 speechwriterspast and presenttook 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

Isabelle

 

Allow me to tell you, from my own experience, that it is much harder to make peace than to wage war.

Read the full speech here: Nobel Lecture by Juan Manuel Santos, Peace in Columbia: from the impossible to the possible, 10 December 2016.

Peace is more precious than diamonds or silver or gold.

Read the full speech here: Martin Luther King's Acceptance Speech, on the occasion of the award of the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, 10 December 1964

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

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Logos Pathos Ethos, December 2016

Dear speech-fans and -friends,

 

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

Isabelle

 

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

 

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Logos Pathos Ethos, November 2016

Dear speech-fans and friends,

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.

Isabelle

 

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

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Logos Pathos Ethos, October 2016

Dear speech-fans and -friends,

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.

Isabelle

 

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.

Read the full speech here : Martin Schulz, The EU and the UK, parting ways but working together, 23 September 2016

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Logos Pathos Ethos, September 2016

Dear speech-fans and -friends, 

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.

Isabelle


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 2016

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Logos Pathos Ethos, July 2016