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:



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

Of course, we recognise that we can’t leave the EU and have everything stay the same. Life for us will be different.

But what we do want – and what we hope that you, our European friends, want too – is to stay as partners who carry on working together for our mutual benefit.

In short, we want to work hand in hand with the European Union, rather than as part of the European Union.

Read the full speech here: Theresa May, Florence speech: a new era of cooperation and partnership between the UK and the EU, 22 September 2017


At the end of the day, the only ones who could determine the fate of the Polish nation are the Polish people. We cannot do that, none of us. But what we can do and what we must do, what we are obliged to do, is to say, when we are of the opinion that Treaties signed and ratified by Member States are being violated, we need to step in and say that this is the case. I think it would be a dereliction of duty on the part of the Commission if we were not to do that. It is my duty to do it, it is the Commission's duty to do it. And let me just say – for the sake of clarity because I have seen quite lot of that - this is not a personal issue. This is not me talking. When I speak, I speak on behalf of the Commission, and the Commission is united on this. And when I speak, I also speak on behalf of what I see is the thinking of many many Member States. And may I add today since I am here (before the European Parliament), that after having listened to you, I have the impression I also speak on behalf of a majority of the European Parliament when I talk about this.

Read the full speech here: Frans Timmermans, on the Rule of Law in Poland, European Parliament, 31 August 2017


Time and time again we have no courage to enforce the rules that we ourselves create. We draw red lines in the sand and then pretend they don't exist.

This has to change. Bullies are aggressive precisely because they are weak and insecure. That is why we must stop being passive observers and start calling things by their own names.

Aggression cannot make anyone stronger. It can never earn anyone even a drop of respect. The only thing the aggression will bring is contempt, shame and condemnation.

Read the full speech here: Dalia Grybauskaity, United Nations General Assembly, 19 September 2017


 (English below)

Le devoir de la France est de parler pour ceux qu’on n’entend pas. Car parler pour eux, c’est aussi parler pour nous, aujourd’hui ou demain. Et en ce jour, ce sont ces voix oubliées que je veux porter.

J’ai entendu Bana, citoyenne d’Alep, et c’est sa voix que je veux ici porter. Elle a vécu sous la terreur des bombardements, des polices et des milices, elle a connu les camps de réfugiés. (…)

J’ai entendu Ousmane, écolier à Gao, et c’est sa voix que je veux ici porter. Son enfance se passe au Mali dans la hantise des attentats aveugles. Et pourtant, son seul rêve est d’aller à l’école sans risquer la mort. (…)

J’ai entendu aussi Kouamé, et c’est sa voix que je veux ici porter. Jeté sur les routes, il a traversé l’Afrique avant de remettre son sort en Libye entre les mains de passeurs.

Je parle enfin au nom de Jules, mon compatriote, vivant sur l’île de Saint-Martin, je songe à sa maison détruite, à sa peur que cela ne recommence encore et encore parce que le réchauffement climatique multiplie les catastrophes. L’avenir du monde c’est celui de notre planète qui est en train de se venger de la folie des hommes, la nature nous rappelle à l’ordre et nous intime d’assumer notre devoir d’humanité et de solidarité. (…)

Mesdames et Messieurs, derrière chacune de nos décisions il y a ces voix, il y a ces vies, il y a le cortège invisible de ceux que nous devons défendre parce qu’un jour on nous a nous- mêmes défendus.

Ne pas écouter ces voix, c’est croire que leur misère n’est pas la nôtre. Que nous posséderons pour toujours les biens dont ils ne pourront que rêver. Mais lorsque ce bien, c’est la planète, lorsque ce bien, c’est la paix, la justice, la liberté, pensez-vous que nous puissions en jouir seuls, dans un coin ?

Nous n’avons qu’un courage à avoir, Mesdames et Messieurs, celui d’entendre ces voix, celui de ne pas dévier de la trace que nous devons laisser dans l’Histoire et celui, à chaque instant, de considérer que nous devons réconcilier notre intérêt et nos valeurs, notre sécurité et les biens communs de la planète. Notre génération n’a pas le choix, car elle doit parler pour aujourd’hui et pour demain.

Read the full speech (en français) here: Emmanuel Macron, Assemblée générale des Nations Unies, 19 September 2017

Read the full speech in English here: Emmanuel Macron, General Assembly, 19 September 2017




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