Search - List of Books by Max Atkinson
Dr Max Atkinson, author and former advisor and speech writer for Paddy Ashdown.
Total Books: 5
In his book Our Masters' Voices, Atkinson was the first to describe a set of simple verbal techniques that trigger applause during political speeches. A Granada Television World in Action programme showed how he coached a woman with no previous experience of public speaking to use the techniques and win a standing ovation at the annual conference of the Social Democratic Party. Sir Robin Day, commenting for BBC television, described the experience as ‘The most refreshing speech we’ve heard so far.’
Ken Livingstone, then leader of the Greater London Council was asked in an interview at the time what he thought of the techniques and replied: “Public speakers are born, not made. People shouldn’t worry about all these techniques; they should just be themselves.” Thus he used two rhetorical devices - consecutive contrasts - to deny the value of rhetoric.
In 1985, Atkinson ran a seminar on speech writing in the White House during Ronald Reagan's Presidency. He later became advisor to Paddy Ashdown, then the leader of the Liberal Democrats. Ashdown said: "There was scarcely a single major speech, in my eleven years as leader of the Liberal Democrats that I made without benefiting from Max Atkinson’s personal advice and help."
Atkinson is Visiting Professor at the Henley Management College.