Matthew Collins is a voice coach who works with clients ranging from prisoners and business people to members of the Women’s Institute.
For ten years he was ‘Special Assignments Man’ on BBC2’s The Travel Show – a curious low-budget-travel job.
Each week a stunned Matthew was given tickets, money and a surprise travel assignment – anything from a week in a French nudist camp to a six-days-and-nights coach journey to Athens and back (with only a half-hour break in Athens).
He also presented on Wogan, Open Air, This Morning, Well Worth A Visit… And (his Alan Partridge moment) an Anglia TV quiz show. He then brought up two sons alone, wrote books and articles about their travails and travels, and ran prison Fathers Workshops.
Once his sons were teenagers, he did an MA in Voice Studies at the Central School of Speech and Drama. There he met RSC Voice Director, Cicely Berry, who completely changed his life: On learning he worked with prisoners, she invited him to her home for masterclasses and inspired him to do Shakespeare in prison.
This led to voicework with numerous non-thespians – from prisoners, to police officers, to Women’s Institute members. (And he still loves helping everyone explore their voices by speaking wonderful words aloud – their own presentations; a Shakespeare speech; a great story or poem.)
Matthew runs online and in-person Voice Courses; Community Poetry-Speaking sessions; and Explore Shakespeare by Speaking Him workshops for schools and social organisations. He also does online and in-person commercial work. This includes corporate Voice Clubs. And public speaking sessions for local authorities and law firms.
Recent school work includes a presentation about Language and Social Media for the London Oratory; a talk to Dulwich College about Teaching Shakespeare to Prisoners; and Speaking Shakespeare workshops for King’s Worcester and Lycée Charles de Gaulle. (Matthew also runs public Shakespeare workshops in French: Decouvrez Shakespeare en Parlant Son Langage.)
He runs public Speaking Shakespeare Workshops nationwide. In 2023 these included Valentine’s Day Speaking Romeo and Juliet workshops; Explore Shakespeare’s Mothers – by Speaking Them workshops for Mother’s Day; and sessions on Shakespeare’s sonnets.
For Halloween ’23 he ran Explore Shakespeare’s Ghosts by Speaking Them workshops in London’s Brompton Cemetery. Speeches were spoken by graves and in the chapel.
Matthew is a professional speaker whose speeches range from the purely entertaining to the entertaining and serious. Recent talks include a luncheon speech (Budget Travel, Borrowed Grannies, Tax-Free Cash from Yours Kids AND Shopping for Free In Supermarkets) for Cancer Research; and a speech to the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham’s Legal Department on Teaching Public Speaking to Prisoners.
In November he was keynote speaker at the Brilliant Communicators conference. His speech, How Shakespeare Can Improve Your Public Speaking, was delivered to an audience of speechwriters for public figures such as the US Ambassador to London, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and a former Swedish prime minister.
John-Paul Flintoff, said it was “full of brilliant ideas” while Brian Jenner, founder of The European Speechwriter Network said “Matthew blended the sacred and the profane, the high and the low brow. His speech sent me back to the sonnets…”
For more information about talks/speeches & corporate/social/schools voice workshops, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
And to find out about Speak Well With Willpower, a social enterprise Matthew founded with two colleagues, that aims to level up public speaking skills, using Shakespeare, in disadvantaged communities, please visit: www.speakwellwithwillpower.co.uk