The Backchannel by Cliff Atkinson, New Riders 2009

About The Backchannel book

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.

In this exciting new 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

Three Twitter Takeaways from the Book...

Take at least three Twitter breaks during your presentations to check in with your audience (Chapter 7)

Make your ideas more Twitter-friendly by distilling your most important ideas into 140 characters (Chapter 6)

Review the Twitterstream after your presentation to get valuable insight from your audience (Chapter 7)

  • Learn more about the author

    About Cliff Atkinson

    Cliff's bestselling book Beyond Bullet Points (Microsoft Press, 2007) was named a Best Book of 2007 by the editors of, and it expands on a communications approach he has taught at many of the country's top law firms, government agencies, business schools and corporations, including Sony, Toyota, Nestlé, Nokia, Nationwide, Deloitte, Amgen, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Intel, Microsoft and the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal. For more about the author, visit