Dear speech-fans and -friends,

With the European elections in just two months, it is topical that this month’s harvest offers a selection of speeches with a special focus on building a rapport with the audience. You’ll find your monthly selection of the best speeches and quotes below.

Best wishes,

Great speeches,

Isabelle

 

Building a rapport with this audience, in this place, for this event

- Here in Lund, Sweden

In 1962, before many of us were even born, a young law graduate from the United States arrived here in Lund. The topic of her studies – civil procedure in Sweden – wasn’t one that seemed likely to change the world. And yet the things that Ruth Bader Ginsburg saw here in Sweden really did end up changing the lives of millions of women. 

Read the full speech here: Margrethe Vestager, Dealing with power in a brave new world: economy, technology and human rights, Anna Lindh Lecture, Lund, 18 March 2019

 

- Here in Berlin, Germany

I was born in the year that the Berlin wall was built. Our son Marc was born in the year the Berlin wall came down. Our son Max was born in the year 2004, when Europe became one and whole again by the enlargement with the Central and Eastern European countries. I say this because for a global audience this perhaps seems to be just a bit of history, but for me it is my life.

Read the full speech here: Frans Timmermans, Global Solutions Summit, 18 March 2019 

 

- Here, at a conference on the oceans

Jacques Cousteau once said: “The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever”. That’s how I think of the sea, something that captures the imagination. Maybe it’s because I come from Portugal. My ancestors spent their lives gazing out across the ocean. Some wondered what was out there, some took a chance and explored beyond the horizon. And still today, the ocean captures the imagination unlike anything else.

Read the full speech here: Carlos Moedas, High-Level Conference Oceans: the Future of the Blue Planet, 19 March 2019

 

- Here, in Portugal, on the link between this country and the ocean

Last October, before we held our Annual Meetings in Bali, Indonesia, I delivered a speech in Washington (…). In that speech, I quoted an American poet who said the following: “To reach a port, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it—but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor.” To summarize, I said: We need to steer the boat, not drift!

Preparing my visit to your country, I thought again about that quote. 

Why? 

Because I believe Portugal knows a thing or two about steering ships through dangerous and unchartered waters. You have been doing precisely that over the last few years, with remarkable success.

Read the full speech here: Christine Lagarde, Portugal and the Global Economy: The Way Forward, 1 March 2019

 

- Here, to women, just after International Women Day

We need you here, and we need you now.  And we need you more than ever.

I will be frank. 

Our world is a bit lost. 

Now, and I can recall my experience as a driver. I know men sometimes have difficulties recognizing when they get lost.

We don’t like to admit it. 

We have trouble asking for directions and trouble even looking at a map. 

Well, the fact is that our world today needs direction, and I know you can help guide the way.

Read the full speech here: António Guterres, Commission on the Status of Women, 11 March 2019

 

Make it concrete, make it tangible

When [Ruth Bader Ginsburg] got into Harvard, she was invited to dinner by the Dean of the Law School, along with the other eight women in a class of 500,1. And he asked each one of them to stand up and say how they could justify taking a spot from a qualified man. But here in Sweden, she found something different. Here, as many as one in four of the law students were women. And women were not only students, but judges. More than fifty years later, she vividly remembered attending a case where the judge was eight months pregnant.

Read the full speech here: Margrethe Vestager, Dealing with power in a brave new world: economy, technology and human rights, Anna Lindh Lecture, Lund, 18 March 2019

 

Contrast

I was trained as a soldier to fight the very people I am now in one Union with. My children cannot even imagine that we would confront fellow Europeans in a hostile way ever again. 

This is what the European Union is about. It is not about a currency, not about a common market. These are instruments (…). This is, in my view, the most successful peace project this continent has ever seen.

Rhetorical question

Yes, of course the European Union has many challenges, but who doesn't?

Anaphora

We are at the beginning of the fourth industrial revolution, which will have an effect on every single human being on this planet. 

And like with any other industrial revolution everything is challenged. 

Like with any new technological revolution all institutions are challenged. And we either adapt, or become obsolete. 

And like with any other industrial revolution people are worried, afraid sometimes. 

Leadership

This is without any doubt the biggest challenge the global community has. And we have to rethink most of our institutions. We have to fight the notion that by doing nothing everything will stay the same.

Make it concrete, make it tangible

We have to drive home the point that if we continue to live like this in the western world and developing like this in the global community, we will need three planets to meet the needs of humanity, and we certainly do not have more than one.

Anaphora and crescendo

And still I believe there is a story to tell, how the global community can face this challenge and come out winning. 

And still I believe there is a specific European story to tell, a story that starts with multilateralism.

The 21st century’s version of We shall fight…”

We will fight this in education. We will fight this in the media.

Anamnesis

If there is one subject Europe has to pick up with great urgency in the global community, it is to feel the core responsibility for the success of our sister continent, Africa (…). I honestly believe that in Europe in 1945 Germany and France very soon after these horrible wars understood that crossing the Rhine was the only right thing to do for the destiny of their peoples, and that at the end of the 1980s we understood that crossing the Elbe was the only right thing to do for Europe as a whole. We should now understand that crossing the Mediterranean is a choice of this and next generations for the future of Europe.

Read the full speech here: Frans Timmermans, Global Solutions Summit, 18 March 2019 

 

What do these numbers mean, in real terms? 

An ocean filled with plastic. Right now, we are in a similar place to where we were 15 to 20 years ago with climate change. We are just beginning to realise the true scale of the problem. And honestly, it’s terrifying.

Some projections tell us that by 2050 the ocean could contain more plastic than fish by weight. We know that 8 million metric tonnes of plastic is entering the ocean each year. Let me put that in real terms: it’s the equivalent of people standing side by side across every coastline in the world, and each of those people throwing in five shopping bags full of plastic per year. 

Read the full speech here: Carlos Moedas, High-Level Conference Oceans: the Future of the Blue Planet, 19 March 2019

 

Fresh, evocative, concrete simile

The trouble is that this ideal of an open debate [on the internet], where every voice counts as much as any other, doesn’t reflect what happens in reality. When you bring out a picnic on a summer day, it’s not long before the wasps are swarming around it. And in the same way, an environment that’s open and unfiltered very quickly attracts the attention of power. And we’ve all seen the harm that can do, when powerful interests take over those debates. We’ve seen how the lies that spread online can tip an election, or sow doubt about the need to tackle climate change. They can even cost lives, the way that they do when outright lies about the risks of vaccination leave our children vulnerable to disease.

Read the full speech here: Margrethe Vestager, Dealing with power in a brave new world: economy, technology and human rights, Anna Lindh Lecture, Lund, 18 March 2019

 

Alternate the rhythm : long and short sentences, alliteration, non-verbal sentences.

Since taking office almost 5 years ago, I have worked hard to spread that message. 

To build a coalition for healthy, productive seas and oceans, at home and abroad. 

A coalition of politicians and business leaders. 

Of activists. 

Of citizens. 

Of young people concerned about their future, who will one day inherit this blue planet from us.

So I am very pleased to see such a full room today. 

It shows that awareness is growing of how important the oceans are. 

For our economy. 

For our climate. 

For our very survival.

Combined with a rhetorical question

On the eve of the 2019 European elections, I am more convinced than ever that we need to tell citizens what the EU is doing for them. 

For their communities. 

For their families. 

For their future. 

And the ocean is a great place to start. After all, as President Juncker is fond of saying: we want to be big on the big things. 

And what could be bigger than the ocean?

Read the full speech here: Karmenu Vella, The Future of the Blue Planet, 19 March 2019

 

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