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

 

Call for action :

And I call on every nation to join the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. 

The United States, choose freedom over fear.

Russia, choose disarmament over destruction.

Britain, choose the rule of law over oppression. 

France, choose human rights over terror. 

China, choose reason over irrationality. 

India, choose sense over senselessness.

Pakistan, choose logic over Armageddon. 

Israel, choose common sense over obliteration. 

North Korea, choose wisdom over ruin. 

(…) To all nations: choose the end of nuclear weapons over the end of us!

This is the choice that the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons represents. Join this Treaty.

Read the full speech here: Beatrice Fihn, Nobel Lecture given by the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate 2017, ICAN, 10 December 2017

 

The impact of a prop

Evoquant, dans un livre d'entretien, votre enterrement, vous aviez écrit : « à l'enterrement de Malraux, on avait mis un chat près du cercueil, à celui de Defferre c'était un chapeau, moi je voudrais un crayon, un crayon à papier, les mêmes que dans notre enfance. Ni épée, ni Légion d’honneur, un simple crayon à papier. »

(…) Puis-je, au nom de tous, vous rester fidèle en déposant sur votre cercueil (…) un crayon, un simple crayon, le crayon des enchantements.

Retrouvez le discours intégral ici : Emmanuel Macron, Céremonie d’hommage national à Jean d’Ormesson, 8 décembre 2017

 

Start with a story …

I would like to tell you, our guests from New York, a story that wasn’t published in your paper. It is the story of the demise of a civilisation, and it was experienced by an eight-year-old boy.

… and close with your story and a few lessons learnt

And that brings me back to the start of my speech, to the milkman in Augsburg.

Read the full speech here: Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Marion Dönhoff Prize to the New York Times, 3 December 2017

More about this Prize ? Read here.

 

Antithesis :

There will not be a Europe as we know it, if there are no borders and no law enforcement – and there will not be a Europe we desire, if it is taken over from within by our political barbarians.

Read the full speech here: Donald Tusk, receiving Honorary Doctorate from the University of Pécs, 8 December 2017

 

Alliterations

Today I want to talk of three things: fear, freedom, and the future.

Read the full speech here: Beatrice Fihn, Nobel Lecture given by the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate 2017, ICAN, 10 December 2017

 

Les débats sont nécessaires, les désaccords sont légitimes mais les divisions irréconciliables minent notre pays. 

Retrouvez le discours intégral ici : Emmanuel Macron, Voeux pour l'année 2018, 31 décembre 2017

**************************

Reactions

Aucune réaction pour l'instant. Soyez le premier.

Your reaction