Backchannel by Cliff Atkinson

How Audiences are Using Twitter and Social Media and Changing Presentations Forever

Armed with laptops and smartphones, audiences today are no longer sitting quietly taking notes during live presentations. Instead, they’re carving out a new space in the room called the backchannel, where people are online searching for resources, checking your facts, and connecting with others inside the room and out.

When audiences are happy, the backchannel vastly extends the reach of ideas and creates a new sense of community and connectedness. But when they are unhappy, the intersection of frustrated audiences with unaware presenters can often create dramatic and public breakdowns of communication–and even mob mentality.


In this book, communications consultant Cliff Atkinson shows that if these new kinds of audience participation are embraced and the conversations properly handled, the outcome can be a new, more effective form of communicating.

Whether you’re a host, presenter, or an audience member, Cliff will help you understand how this convergence of social forces is upending the presentation norm and how you can effectively manage the change.


“Presenters who don’t learn to manage the backchannel will not only lose the respect of the audience, they’ll miss the opportunity to have much more interesting and relevant conversations.”
– Pamela Slim, author of Escape from Cubicle Nation

“Twitter and other forms of social media are changing the nature of business communications. This book will help you stand apart in the new digital world—as a presenter, communicator and representative of your brand.”
– Carmine Gallo, author of The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs and Fire Them Up!


Format: Paperback, 240 pages
Published In: United States, 28 December 2009
Publisher: New Riders Publishing
Dimensions: 22.61 x 17.53 x 1.52 centimeters (0.44 kg)