Dear speech-fans and friends,
How to catch the audience’s attention?
Speechwriters’ and speakers’ recurring question.
Our selection this month focuses on refreshing
openings, tangible examples, and ceremonial speeches and how they throw light
on our challenges today.
You may also like to listen
to a selection of Nobel Peace Lectures, in French and English, gathered by the
radio station France culture in these times between the announcement of the
Nobel Prizes (early October) and the Lectures to come (early December).
Even better, let’s meet! Our fellow speechwriter Jan
Sonneveld – whom I met at the World conference of the Professional
Speechwriters Association in Washington earlier this month – will be in town on
November 25th. Save your lunchbreak to meet this talented colleague (see his
Vital speech: How
Speechwriting Changed Me, or his Twitter
A « save-the-date » is following this mail.
Enjoy the reading, the listening, and the networking.
selection of refreshing openings:
Everyone here will have noted that the European Union has had a lot of
media coverage in the past months – and not all of it flattering.
We have heard a lot about the Greek crisis and we have seen and heard about
hundreds of thousands of refugees seeking shelter from war-torn areas, and many
more displaced in neighbouring countries.
Something which has given space to numerous articles, radio and TV coverage
throughout not only Europe but the rest of the world.
Europe’s responses are watched closely all over the world. And I
believe that all our responses will have profound implications for Europe’s
future and our place in the world.
But beyond the news and the front page headlines, we also get a lot of work
done. We do have a European Union that works; takes decisions; and delivers.
But a working machine room generally does not make it to the headlines.
This is something important both for Europe and for the rest of the World.
Commissioner Vestager, The Values of Competition
Policy, 13 October 2015
Kept indoors during the French revolutionary years − and in search of a worthwhile
distraction − a young Parisian called Sophie Germain turned to studying her
father's library. From intellectual works like Montucla's Histoire des
Mathématiques, Sophie soon discovered a deep love and a remarkable talent for
mathematics. Though her alarmed parents took away her warm clothes, and refused
to light a fire in her bedroom, Sophie wrapped herself in blankets and
continued to study mathematical theorems into the night by candlelight. (…).
Ladies and gentlemen, though every barrier imaginable was thrown in her
path, Sophie Germain succeeded through hard work and perseverance: educating
herself, hiding her true identity and withstanding the social pressure to
conform to traditional expectations.
What I take from her story is that there have always been barriers to
thought and innovation, but those barriers can be overcome.
Commissioner Moedas, Innovation Potential in the
Digital Age, 21 October 2015
It is a particular pleasure to be able to congratulate this year's winner
Ross Murdoch for an excellent and thoughtful essay. And yes, as this is an
event to promote ethics, I feel I should make clear I did actually read it. I
didn't outsource it. Or give it to a compliance officer to read. I read it
myself, which seems to me in the spirit
Commissioner Hill, 2015 Award for the Robin Cosgrove
Prize for Ethics, 15 October 2015
At the bottom of all forms of hatred, is the fact that you are targeted
purely for who you are. No matter what you do, or what you say, you are
targeted for who you are, something you can do nothing about. It's just who you
are. Whether it's being scared of wearing your headscarf in public places, or
covering your kippa with a baseball cap. Not being able to go about your daily
business without a knot in your stomach, knowing the casual insults, the jokes,
the abuse won't go away. The fear that your child's school, your local
supermarket might be targeted by people who hate you for who you are.
First Vice-President Timmermans, First Annual
Colloquium on Fundamental Rights, 1 October 2015
Let me give you three examples.
One interesting company is Partenope Fruits. It's a small firm in Buzau
county that already successfully sells cherries to customers in New York. (…)
Or take Denis Shoes. It's a family business in Vicovu de Sus, a town in
North East Romania. (…)
Finally, what about a larger company like Antibiotice SA? It's a global
leader, for a number of key medicines and already ships its products to the US
and around the world. It's a major Romanian success story. But it's another
good example of how TTIP can help.
Commissioner Malmström, TTIP: Why it is ggod for
Romania, 16 October 2015
selection of commemorating speeches:
Somehow this has become routine. The reporting is routine. My
response here at this podium ends up being routine. The conversation in
the aftermath of it. We've become numb to this (…)
I hope and pray that I don't have to come out again during my tenure as
President to offer my condolences to families in these circumstances. But
based on my experience as President, I can't guarantee that. And that's
terrible to say. And it can change.
May God bless the memories of those who were killed today. May He bring
comfort to their families, and courage to the injured as they fight their way
back. And may He give us the strength to come together and find the
courage to change.
President Obama, on the Shootings at Umpqua Community
College, Roseburg, Oregon, 1 October 2015
I am looking very much forward to your speech today. It is an important
speech during these difficult times for Europe, when we are called upon to deal
with the epochal challenge of migration. And a timely speech, as this year, we
are celebrating the 30th anniversary of the signing of the accession treaty of
Spain to the European community.
Anniversaries are always times of stock taking of past failures and
successes but also times for making plans for the future.
European Parliament President Schulz welcoming King
Felipe VI, 7 October 2015
im November 1989 sprachen zum letzten Mal ein französischer Präsident und
ein deutscher Bundeskanzler gemeinsam vor dem Europäischen Parlament. François
Mitterrand und Helmut Kohl ergriffen kurz nach dem Mauerfall hier in Straßburg
das Wort. Beide spürten die sich abzeichnenden Umbrüche in Deutschland und in
Europa. Beide zeigten sich von diesen Umbrüchen tief bewegt. Beide bekannten
sich in diesen Stunden mit klaren Worten dazu, gemeinsame europäische Antworten
zu finden. (…)
Meine Damen und Herren, heute dürfen der französische Präsident François
Hollande und ich zu Ihnen sprechen. Ich danke Ihnen, Herr Parlamentspräsident,
für diese Einladung. Wir sprechen in einer Zeit, in der Europa wieder eine
große Herausforderung zu bewältigen hat. Es ist eine Bewährungsprobe
German Chancellor Angela Merkel to the European Parliament, 7 October 2015,
The last time a French President and a German Chancellor jointly addressed
the European Parliament was in November 1989. François Mitterrand and Helmut
Kohl spoke together here in Strasbourg shortly after the fall of the Berlin
Wall. Both of them felt that great changes were about to sweep Germany and
Europe. Both of them were deeply moved by this wind of change. Both of them
clearly expressed their commitment to responding with joint European solutions
Ladies and gentlemen, today the French President François Hollande and
myself have been given the privilege of addressing you. I would like to thank
the President of the European Parliament for this kind invitation. Now, again,
Europe is facing a tremendous challenge. We are facing a test of historic proportions.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel to the European
Parliament, 7 October 2015, In English