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.
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.
More classical rhetoric: watch here the power of a prop
Building the speaker’s ethos
We see that the Second World War is slipping away from living memory, simply because the generation who lived through the 1930s and the war are gradually leaving us. We are arriving at the turning point where living memory is substituted by written history.
Distance in time has the same effect as distance in space: the events disappear from view, suffering is felt less acutely, and budding threats are perceived less keenly (…)
But read the first line of the Schuman Declaration of 1950: "World peace cannot be safeguarded without the making of creative efforts proportionate to the dangers which threaten it."
This then is the original raison d'être of European integration.
Read the full speech here: Frans Timmermans, Annual event of Liberation Route Europe 2018, 3 February 2018
The power of stories:
They decided to try something new (…).
So what was the result?
To end this unbearable suspense and get the story, read the full speech here: Carlos Moedas, First Gago Conference on European Science Policy, 14 February 2018
Of the many attributes that the Japanese and Germans have in common, one stands out for me in particular, namely our enthusiasm for European classical music. This is probably true first and foremost of Ludwig van Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, which is a symbol of the joy we take in music. Many are aware of the fact that this wonderful work is the anthem of the European Union. However, what many people do not know is that it also tells a story of Japanese-German history.
To get this story, read the full speech here: Frank-Walter Steinmeier, on the occasion of his visit to Japan, 6 February 2018
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: "Give us the certainty, so we can plan for the future."
Read the full speech here: Frans Timmermans, Circular economy stakeholder conference, 20 February 2018
We had some luck along the way but we also made our own luck. When faced with the wake-up call, Europe's leaders and institutions came together. We chose unity.
Together, we chose to rally around a common positive agenda and renew our vows to our Union of solidarity.
And the results start to speak for themselves.
Every economy in our Union is now growing healthily. Employment is at an all-time high, unemployment at a 9-year low.
Read the full speech here: Jean-Claude Juncker, Ideas Lab 2018 ''Europe – Back on Track'', 22 February 2018
Building a rapport with the audience
Je viens là parce que le président Sall m’y a invité et parce que vous, monsieur le maire, le 12 décembre dernier m’avez interpellé à Paris, lors du Sommet pour le climat en me disant : mais que faites-vous pour l’érosion côtière, venez voir chez nous la réalité, venez voir ce que vivent les habitants de Saint-Louis.
Alors nous sommes là, je suis là avec vous pour voir, et nous avons vu l’érosion côtière, la peur, les murs qui tombent, l’activité économique détruite et la ville qui peu à peu recule devant ce que certains parfois veulent encore nier, les effets du changement climatique.
Retrouvez le discours intégral ici : Emmanuel Macron sur la Place Faidherbe à Saint-Louis, 7 février 2018