John-Paul Flintoff

The Lady's Not For Turning | On Reading A Speech Out Loud

This week in the Great Speeches Newsletter, I’m focusing on Margaret Thatcher’s 1980 speech to the Conservative Party Conference in Brighton.

Today, I’ve read the whole speech out loud, just to see what I might learn from doing so – as I did with speeches by Winston Churchill and Tazeen Ahmad in A Modest Book About How To Make An Adequate Speech.

At the bottom of this page, I’m posting the whole thing: my introduction, Thatcher’s speech (read by me) and my final thoughts on what it was like to read it. But that video is 34 minutes long, and I don’t suppose many people want to watch it all.

So here’s the first bit. My introduction, with the opening couple of paragraphs of the speech, including an interruption and how Thatcher dealt with it:

Here’s the paragraph containing the line from which the speech now takes its name:

And here are the last words of the speech, plus my immediate reflections on what it was like to read the speech out loud:

And if you really can’t bear to miss the whole thing, including my opening and closing remarks, it’s below. But first: if you don’t know already, you can read about the Great Speeches Newsletter here.

Posted: June 29, 2021

Keywords: thatcher, great speeches

John-Paul Flintoff headshot, with Yours Truly written across it John-Paul Flintoff is author of six books, in 16 languages, including How To Change The World and A Modest Book About How To Make An Adequate Speech. He worked for 15 years as writer and associate editor on the Financial Times, the Sunday Times and other papers and magazines.

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