My professional thanks are due to three sets of people. First, my colleagues in Downing Street where I had the privilege of being able to enact everything I had learnt about writing a speech for the Prime Minister, Tony Blair.
Second, great thanks are due to The Times, whose generosity as an employer has allowed me the time off my duties there to write this book. I also owe a debt of thanks to The Times for granting me the space to analyse prominent speeches in its pages. It’s a privilege to do so and the interest that these pieces have generated shows that rhetoric continues to fascinate people.
Third, to Brendan Barnes and the team at Speakers for Business who have helped to put together the speech-writing symposium at which I have tested the ideas contained in this book. My thanks are due to the people who came to those classes, for their stimulating thoughts and responses. For research assistance, my great thanks to Claudia Wood.
My personal debt of gratitude is much greater. Suffice to say that it is owed to an extended family but most of all to Geeta, Hari and Mani.