"Audiences are always right - so you need to know what inspires them - and what doesn't!"


A unique approach to effective public speaking and presentation skills training based on original research into speaker-audience interaction that first came to public notice when a
televised experiment showed how Max Atkinson coached a novice with no experience of speaking in public to win a standing ovation at a political party conference in 1984 ('Claptrap').

Dr Max Atkinson

Academic background
From 1974-1986, I was a Fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford, having formerly lectured at the Universities of Lancaster and Manchester. More recently, I have been a visiting professor at the Henley Management College and other universities in Europe and the USA.

Effective presentation and public speaking for business leaders
I've helped managers in numerous companies and organisations in the UK and abroad to improve their presentation skills, public speaking and speech writing, often working individually with CEOs and other board level executives.
Presentation skills courses

Effective presentation and speaking for political leaders
In 1985, I ran a seminar on speech writing and speaking in the Reagan White House, and was a close advisor on presentation and speaking to Paddy Ashdown throughout his leadership of the Liberal Democrats.

Effective communications blog
Since 2008, I've blogged on communication, presentation and public speaking and have now reached nearly 1,000 posts, many of which include short video clips illustrating the main themes under discussion.

Effective presentation and public speaking books

"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.)

Max Atkinson's
Lend Me Your Ears: All You Need to Know about Making Speeches and Presentations, was first published in 2004 and reached second place in the Amazon UK bestsellers list in September 2006.

LEFT BOX for UK customers from amazon.co.uk

RIGHT BOX for US customers from amazon.com.

KINDLE versions of both books are now available from Amazon.

"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 (speechwriter to Ronald Reagan and Managing Director,
White House Writers Group, Washington, D.C.).


Client testimonials:

"Probably the most significant use of any 24 hour period in my career to date."

"I have not been on a course which met its objectives better or more fully."

"It broke the fear of public speaking."

"An excellent illustration of what can be achieved within tight limits on time."

"A unique and refreshingly practical approach."

"Provided more absorbable information than any other course of its type I have been on."

"The best communications course I have ever been on."


What we do / Claptrap / Clients / Books / Blog / Contact us