Something is rhetorical in the state of Demmark

This week I spoke, along with Ryan Heath, former speechwriter to the European Union President José Manuel Barosso, to about 60 Danish speechwriters, in Copenhagen.

I don’t know about Heath, but I felt I’d more than met my intellectual match among the organizers, the other speakers and the attendees of the 2011 Logograf Conference. Though these “taleskrivers” struggle to produce great speeches for reticent Danish speakers—see my report on British and European scribes I met in September—they do not doubt, as so often we do, why they do what they do.

Deeply grounded in rhetorical philosophy, the Danes talk theory much more fluently and enthusiastically than their American counterparts, who tend to tread a different continuum, between pragmatic organizational realities and thought leadership dreams.

The Danish theory talk isn’t dull. Each more than the next, the partners and consultants at the leading Danish speechwriting consultancy Rhetor love to talk speechwriting. How can I tell? When the beer begins to flow, the subject doesn’t change, except in volume.

If you’re ever in Denmark, look up my friends at Rhetor, Peter, Kell, Jesper, Christian and the rest of the gang. They’ll be glad to talk to you—in English.

But bring your A-game, because you’re going to need it.

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