Unique approach to speaking and presentation based on original research that first came to public notice when a televised experiment showed how Dr Max Atkinson coached a novice with no experience of speaking in public to win a standing ovation at the SDP annual conference in 1984



Design of public speaking and presentation skills courses, coaching and speech writing services to clients in private and public sectors.

What makes our approach different?

Delegate feedback regularly singles out three factors:

  1. The focus on how to make more effective use of language.
  2. The fact that the techniques are soundly based on original research into verbal and non-verbal communication, and audience reactions to different styles of speaking.
  3. How to avoid inflicting death from 1,000 slides.


Personal coaching, speech-writing & editing

For reasons of time or confidentiality, some clients prefer a programme of individual coaching, often geared towards preparing for a major speech or presentation.


Max Atkinson’s academic background:
From 1974-1986, he was a fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford, having formerly lectured at the universities of Lancaster and Manchester. He was a visiting professor at the Henley Management College from 1986 to 2006 and has also been visiting professor at Duke University, North Carolina and the universities of Vienna  and Stockholm .

Speaker training for business leaders:

He’s helped managers in numerous companies and organisations in the UK and abroad to improve their presentations, often working individually with CEOs and other board level executives.

Speaker training for political leaders:

In 1985, he ran a seminar on speech writing in the Reagan White House, and was a close advisor on presentation and communication to Paddy Ashdown throughout his leadership of the Liberal Democrats (1988-1999).

“Neither politicians nor business leaders can lead today without the   ability to communicate with audiences. They have two choices: (1) be born with the ability, or (2) read Max Atkinson’s books and learn.” – Michael Sheehan (speech coach to Bill Clinton and president, Sheehan Associates, Washington, D.C.)

“No one surpasses Atkinson in the rigor and clarity with which he spells out how to move audiences to applause, get quoted in the media and become known as the most brilliant presence on any podium.” – Clark Judge (former speechwriter to President Ronald Reagan and managing director, White House Writers Group, Washington, D.C.

Although Max no longer runs large-scale courses, he is still actively involved in writing speeches and personal coaching for individuals.

His books include the following:

Lend Me Your Ears: All you need to know…

Speechmaking and Presentation Made Easy: Deven essential steps…

Our Masters’ Voices: The Language and body-language of politics



Rose Cottage, Perch Hill, Westbury-sub-Mendip, Somerset, BA5 1JA

T:   01749 870600
M: 07836 234570
Email: maxatkinson@speaking.co.uk