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



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

This is indeed an extraordinary day.

A historic day.

A day when we put to bed any doubts that the whole EU is fully committed to joining the Paris Agreement.

Today we are again showing global leadership on climate action, just like we did in Paris by helping craft this landmark deal.

Our reputation was on the line because remember:

They said Europe is too complicated to agree quickly.

They said we had too many hoops to jump through.

They said we were all talk.

They even started to question whether our heart was really in it.

Today we clearly showed that we mean business.

Today's agreement shows unity and solidarity as Member States take a European approach, just as we did in Paris.

This is what Europe is all about.

In difficult times, we get our act together, and we make the difference.

Read the full speech here : Miguel Arias Cañete, Ratification of the Paris agreement, 30 September 2016


Our Secretary of State [John Kerry] is the descendant of sea merchants and sailors.  He’s a Navy veteran himself.  So, in a lot of ways, the ocean is in his blood.  Many years ago, John’s father passed to his son a sailor’s love of the sea -- its wonder and its beauty and its power.  But John’s dad also loved what he called “the sailor’s environment” -- reading the weather and the waves, and the different ways that one adapts to the ocean. 

Of course, the problem that confronts all of us today is that we’re asking far too much of our ocean in asking it to adapt to us. 

Read the full speech here : Barack Obama, Our Ocean Conference, 15 September 2016


Finding the stories

It is the responsibility of a leader to spend time with the people they were elected to serve.

If you want the real stories, you have to go where people live. Coffee shops and church basements, mosques and synagogues. Farmer’s markets. Public parks.

It was in places like that that I got the best sense of what Canadians were thinking, and how they were doing.

Read the full speech here : Justin Trudeau, General Assembly of the United Nations, 20 September 2016


Listening to the outside world is not a bad thing: we need to hear what people think about our proposals (…) Yes we must listen, but citizens need to know who we are listening to. We need to be open about when and how lobbying happens and have some rules in place for how it works.

Read the full speech here : Frans Timmermans, Opening remarks on the Commission proposal for a mandatory Transparency Register covering all EU Institutions, 28 September 2016


The power of silence

When we gather in places like Babi Yar, Auschwitz or Ponary, to honour the memory of the murdered victims, we helplessly search for the right words and phrases. Some, like Pope Francis, who recently visited Auschwitz-Birkenau, choose silence (…) . It is (…) understandable that we most often choose silence, because silence can be louder than a scream.

Read the full speech here : Donald Tusk, Commemorative Ceremony of Babi Yar Massacre, 29 September 2016


Make it tangible

Imagine waking up in a room whose temperature is exactly as you want it.

Your sleep-tracking wearable device has already switched on the lights.

The app knows you are awake, so the coffee machine starts to brew.

A fantasy of the future? Not really.

The 'smart home' is fast becoming a reality.

Read the full speech here : Andrus Ansip, Europe should not be afraid of data, 29 September 2016


Call to action

Ci sono poche professioni che hanno tanta influenza sulla società come quella del giornalismo. Il giornalista riveste un ruolo di grande importanza e al tempo stesso di grande responsabilità. In qualche modo voi scrivete la “prima bozza della storia”, costruendo l’agenda delle notizie e introducendo le persone all’interpretazione degli eventi.

Read the full speech here : Pope Francis, To the National Council of the Order of Journalists, 22 September 2016



Great, as usual! Thanks for sharing all this with us. cécile
2016-10-03 09:01:28