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Nigel Taberner


Nigel Taberner is a former UK hostage negotiator who provides bespoke communications training, consultancy and keynote speeches.

For 10 years that was the world that Nigel Taberner lived in as a hostage negotiator. During that time, he successfully negotiated over 130 domestic and international high-risk armed sieges, suicide threats and kidnap situations. Thankfully, not one person died in any of the incidents Nigel attended.

Nigel spent 30 years with the Greater Manchester Police. His wide-ranging operational career saw him rise to the rank of Detective Inspector, responsible for counter-terrorism policing operations. He was a member of the training team that created a new generation of negotiators in the UK, Finland, Australia and the FBI.

The former policeman now shares his experiences about communicating under pressure and negotiating when you have nothing to give, with today’s business leaders.

Nigel realised very early on in his career as a negotiator, that many of the skills that he was using were also critical in the effective running of any business or organisation.

Communication Skills: Hostage negotiators are trained to be excellent communicators. They are trained to listen like a life depends on it, so they pick up vital information that people often miss. This is what gives them the edge…

Building relationships: Hostage negotiators are skilled at building rapport and trust with people in high-pressure situations. These are the key steps that allow them to influence those around them. These skills are invaluable in the business world, where building strong relationships with customers, partners, and stakeholders can be critical to success.

Emotional Intelligence: Hostage negotiators have a high level of emotional intelligence. They are able to read and interpret the emotions of the people involved in the situation, whilst controlling their own, even in the most fraught of situations. They then use this information to guide their communication and decision-making.

De-escalating conflict: Hostage negotiators are skilled at managing high-pressure situations and de-escalating tension. They understand that to deal with the issue, they have to first deal with the emotions and restore rational thinking. They know how to persuade people to do the right thing.

Strategic Thinking: Negotiators think strategically and come up with creative solutions to complex problems. They are able to assess a situation calmly, quickly and make decisions that can help bring about a safe resolution.

Resilience: Negotiators are trained to handle high-pressure situations and to bounce back from setbacks. They are able to remain calm and focused, even in the most challenging situations.

Influence: Negotiating without bargaining power can be challenging. The key is to focus on building relationships and creating value for both parties, rather than trying to impose one’s will on the other party. It requires patience, persistence, and creativity, but with the right approach, hostage negotiators worldwide have shown that it is possible to achieve a successful outcome.

Nigel is passionate about what he does and delivers his speeches and masterclasses with energy. He thoughtfully explains valuable insights from a world that is rarely seen with jaw-dropping stories, combined with humour and an authenticity that will enthral your audience.


Living On The Edge Of Chaos

Have you ever wondered what skills hostage negotiators use to bring life or death situations to a safe conclusion… and how those skills, honed in the rarely seen world of hostage negotiation can help you and your team? Then wonder no more….

In this speech, Nigel lifts the lid off life as a hostage negotiator, telling you no only what they do, but how they do it… and how it can help your organisation communicate and negotiate better.

Negotiating When You Have Nothing To Give

This is Nigel’s signature and most in demand speech. Through stories, he explores the skills and theories used by hostage negotiators that allows them to successfully resolve high-risk incidents, when they are negotiating from a position of weakness, with no leverage and nothing to give away.

Listening Like A Life Depends On It

What is the key skill of a hostage negotiator? Is it smart talking? Jedi mind tricks? The ability to hold their nerve in crazy, fast moving situations?

In this session, Nigel explores the real hostage negotiator superpower… the ability to connect, develop trust, get people talking and influence them using elite level listening. How much information, how much business, are you and your team missing out on because of a lack of listening?

To hear an interview with Nigel please listen to the Ladder Down podcast –




We have worked with Matthew for many years and will continue to do so. His knowledge of the Speaker Market and ability to interpret our clients requirements is quite exceptional.

He is incredibly thorough in his approach and always goes that extra mile to ensure everything is exactly as required.

I am always happy working with Matthew, he has great credibility, he is very diverse in his ability to make things happen.

Matthew Fisher and I have worked together for many number of years. I have always found Matt to be honest, good natured and willing to work hard always carefully selecting the best appearances to suit my personality and lifestyle. The work Matthew has delivered for me over the years has varied from schools, colleges, attending film premiers, guest speaking  to name a few all of which I have lots of memories and thoroughly enjoyed.