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How Did Margaret Thatcher’s Speech Influence Her Audiences

Autor:   •  March 21, 2018  •  2,245 Words (9 Pages)  •  264 Views

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Margaret Thatcher was adamant and it echoes though the speech. Applause from audience was gained when she responded the media favorite catchphrase of “U-turn” to conclude her stand on the economic policy. Punning on the title of the popular play, The Lady’s Not for Burning written by Christopher Fry in 1949, Margaret Thatcher said, “You turn if you want to. The lady’s not for turning.” Using the pun in her speech had proved to be a grave success of catching the attention of the audience and the public. It revealed the cleverness of Margaret Thatcher as well as her ability in using language to add profound meaning to her speech. The quote also became one of the famous quotes of Margaret Thatcher thereafter.

Subtopic 3: Techniques being used in the Speech

Margaret Thatcher’s speech was impressive and convincing. The speech was in general structured into three layers which are: attracting the audience by stating the accomplishments of the Government, outlining the current problems and urging the needs for improvement, displaying a workable solution to the problem and making the visualization of practical benefits for gaining the support from the audience.

At the beginning of the speech, Margaret Thatcher started with the achievements of the Government. She said, “In its first seventeen months, this Government have laid the foundations for recovery.” Policies implemented included the repayment of $3,600 million of international debt so that the enterprises were free to seek opportunities overseas, making the first crucial changes in trade union law, breaking down the monopoly powers of nationalization such as open part of public corporation to private investment, etc. These policies were all out of “this Government thinks about the future.” Through embracing what the Government did, Margaret Thatcher caught the audience’s attention and better gained their support.

Then, she listed out the problems in the nation including high inflation, unemployment and the seriousness of the problems. She described the inflation as “destroys nations and societies as surely as invading army”. As for the unemployment, she even described the level of unemployment was a “human tragedy”. Margaret Thatcher did not try to hide the problems of the country or the public’s sentiments but called for the audience’s awareness of the seriousness of problems. Her stands of pursuing the economic policies further stood out by her highlights of the failure of past policies such as higher public spending and imposing high tax rates in solving the inflation. Lastly, Margaret Thatcher gave solutions to the problems in the line by making the audience to visualize the benefits. She said, “The government are pursuing the only policy which gives any hope of bringing our people back to real and lasting employment….. Without a healthy economy we cannot have a healthy society, without a healthy society the economy will not stay healthy for long.”

Other persuasive writing techniques such as rhetorical questions were also found in the speech. When urging people to count for more instead of relying the State to create a healthy society, Margaret Thatcher posed some questions to get the audience to think:

” If our people feel that they are part of a great nation and they are prepared to will the means to keep it great, a great nation we shall be, and shall remain. So, what can stop us from achieving this? What then stands in our way? The prospect of another winter of discontent? I suppose it might.”

Words used in the speech had also showed Margaret Thatcher’s firmness. In her speeches, she never used hesitate words such as “you know” or “like”. Instead she used strong, convincing vocabularies and phrases such as “Let us” and “We must”, which further contributed for building her strong image. Also, there is a line in Thatcher’s speech, “If spending money like water was the answer to our country’s problems, we would have no problems now!” Margaret Thatcher had used strong and tough words that had precisely answered people on her stand of “U-Turning”. Also, sarcasm was being used in this line as well, which makes the audience to rethink if U-turning could really helped the country. The words that Thatcher used were authoritative which made her stand out by reiterating that she was the leader of Britain.

Apart from the above, literary devices were used throughout the speech. Notable examples of figure of speech used in her speech includes “Rule of Three” in the example below “So let is resist the blandishments of faints hearts; let us ignore the howls and the threats of extremists; let us stand together and do our duty, and we shall not fail!” The lines above were the finishing lines by Margaret Thatcher in her speech. Thatcher had used the phrase “let us” for three times. The repeated phrase made the audience more satisfied and convinced as well as make her statement more firm. After she said these words, the audiences immediately cheer before clapping and standing up.


The determination of Margaret Thatcher was remarkable and she had made significant contribution in the history of England. Margaret Thatcher was regarded as one of the most unpopular prime ministers as she did not follow what the people have hoped for and the policies made during her terms of office was controversial. She was fearless and she had never feared of being confronted by others. From her speeches, in particular “The Lady’s Not for Turning”, we can see Margaret Thatcher’s strong leadership and personality. Margaret Thatcher had used her speeches to convince her people to believe in her and transformed herself from a Prime Minister whom everyone was skeptical to her actions to a leader who was well respected in her country. Margret Thatcher was a good speaker. She spoke in a gentle but contemplative, declarative and firm tone. Not particularly loud or deep tone, her excellent presentation techniques with rich facial expression has fully demonstrated her strong, tough charisma to the audiences.


- "Margaret Thatcher: Powerful with a Gentle Voice." Debatrix RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Mar. 2015.

- "Biography." Essential Margaret Thatcher. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Feb. 2015.

- Mail, Claire Ellicott for Daily. "REVEALED: The Brutal Speech Maggie Tore up after Brighton Bomb. Archives Reveal She Had Planned to Brand Entire Labour Party the 'enemy


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