Max Atkinson's blog- bloody brilliant and fanatically detailed

I first read his book, ‘Our masters’ voices‘ when I was 22.  If I’m honest, lots of it was beyond me then.  But like great poetry, that you like the sound of, but don’t really ‘get’,  I persevered, and learned more at each reading; as I matured and gained experience. At 22 years old, I was trying to find some of the core skills of a really effective speaker for myself.

At 46 I’m still trying, and helping my clients to do the same, and Max (I’ve met him once, so forgive my over familiarity) has helped with the kind of detail and insight, that gives me, and the people that I work with, a chance to make small steps towards competence, skill and then flair.

If you want to understand how speeches and speakers can generate a desired reaction in an audience, you really should read this book.  And if you’re too mean to buy a copy, have a look at his brilliant blog.

Jim Harvey

Jim Harvey

Managing Director at The Message Business
Jim is the MD of The Message Business, a company which helps FTSE 100 companies to sell themselves, and their products better. Speech writer, Prezi trainer and designer, coach and consultant, Jim also finds time to be a proud father and husband.
Jim Harvey


  1. Max Atkinson

    January 5, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    I came across this via the counter that tells me where blog visitors come from – and felt I must write to thank you for such an accolade (though I do have slight reservations about being described as fanatical!). Receiving unsolicited favourable reviews of a blog is as gratifying as positive book reviews when it comes to getting an idea of whether or not you’ve hit the mark(s) you were aiming for – so I’m delighted that you like both of them!

    The only thing is that ‘Our Masters’ Voices’ was never intended to be a ‘how to do it’ book, as I hadn’t a clue whether or not it had any practical implications when I wrote it 27 years ago.

    Since then, however, I’ve written two books that are specifically aimed at showing how to do it, both of which are readily available from ‘any good book shop’ (if there still is such a thing) or Amazon: ‘Lend Me Your Ears: All You Need to Know about Making Speeches and Presentations’ ( and ‘Speech-making and Presentation Made Easy’ ( As such, your readers might find one or other of them rather more useful if their main interest is in improving their speaking and presentation skills.

    • Jim Harvey

      January 6, 2011 at 10:23 am


      Thank you for the reply. It’s my pleasure, and I have both your other books too and give them away to clients who are interested in them. Sorry about the ‘fanatical’ word, and I’ll happily amend it to another, if you so choose? I simply admire your detail in the research and explanation. And that’s why I used that word. Cheers. Jim

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