The Backchannel by Cliff Atkinson, New Riders 2009

Posted on April 1st, 2010 by stacey in , Blog, Featured

Now that The Backchannel book has been out for a little while, what’s the backchannel saying about it?  Check out some of the recent reviews:

From Richard Pachter, “Two Books Present Useful Thoughts on Presentations”, Miami Herald:

“Atkinson, who wrote an earlier book on PowerPoint, shows how savvy presenters, hosts and participants can use this crosstalk, chatter and snark to extend and expand their own presentations into full-blown participatory multimedia experiences.”

From Carmine Gallo, “Use Twitter in Your Next Presentation”, Business  

“Instead of ignoring your audience’s posts, follow presentation guru Cliff Atkinson’s advice to acknowledge and include them.”

From Irene Knokh, :

“Cliff’s strongest point through the book is his emphasis on understanding the learner and today’s audience. The situations he describes, however, don’t just apply to today’s unique target audience. Much of his advice is applicable to anyone who presents or teaches -whether every day or once a year. I found this book tremendously useful for my own workshops, in learning how to filter negative and positive feedback, and immediately applying such concepts as “the Law of Two Feet” and “dispense with pretense.”

From Jill Aggersbury at Golden Gate Computer Society, May 2010 Periodical:

“Each chapter takes on a part of the Backchannelling process, and I think this book is essential for people who give presentations. It shows how to embrace the new technology, how to be prepared, and I particularly like the fact that it shows how to integrate Twitter into a presentation.”

From Thomas ‘Duffbert’ Duff at : 

“I expected (the book) to be a basic “here’s Twitter, and did you know people tweet about you when you talk?” volume.  I was wrong.

Posted in: , Blog, Featured

Posted on March 18th, 2010 by stacey in , , Blog

Dwayne Melancon has posted a video review of The Backchannel on his blog , check out his video here:

Posted in: , , Blog

Posted on February 10th, 2010 by stacey in

Watch this weekly workshop recorded December 4th, 2009 where Cliff introduces his new book titled The Backchannel: How Audiences Are Using Twitter and Social Media and Changing Presentations Forever.

The book explores the huge impact that Twitter is having on live presentations, and what you can do to engage the change. You can order a copy now on, or download a sample chapter from the book’s new website here.

In this video Cliff addresses some of the core questions the book asks:

• What is a backchannel?
• Why is it important to me and my presentations?
• What could/should I do about it?

To launch the recording of this webinar,

Posted in:


Webinar: “Using Social Media to Market Webinars and Excite Audiences”

Posted on February 2nd, 2010 by Cliff Atkinson in , Featured, Training, Uncategorized

Join me at 11:45 AM Pacific Time on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2010 for a free webinar co-sponsored by the American Marketing Association and Adobe Acrobat Connect titled, Using Social Media to Market Webinars and Excite Audiences.

The session description is below – I hope you can join me!

Sign up (free registration required).

Session Description: “Using Social Media to Market Webinars and Excite Audiences,” with Cliff Atkinson, author of The Backchannel

When you use social media to market your webinars, you can open up a whole new world of opportunity to Read More »

Posted in: , Featured, Training, Uncategorized

Posted on January 14th, 2010 by benwp in , , Training, Uncategorized

Join me at 10am Pacific Time on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2010 for a free webinar sponsored by SlideRocket titled The Backchannel: A Presenter’s Nightmare or a Dream Come True?

The session description is below – I hope you can join me!

Register free .

The Backchannel: A Presenter’s Nightmare or a Dream Come True? with Cliff Atkinson

Ready or not, the backchannel has arrived! Armed with laptops and smartphones, audiences are no longer sitting quietly while speakers are talking – instead they’re using Twitter and other tools to create a backchannel where they chat with one another, make comments about your presentation and broadcast their thoughts to people all over the world.

If audiences are happy, the backchannel can spread your ideas far and wide, create buzz about your ideas and keep a conversation going long after you left the podium. But if audiences are unhappy, the backchannel can criticize your ideas and delivery, disrupt your talk and even derail your presentation completely.

So is the backchannel yet another thing to fear when you give your next presentation? Or a great opportunity to really know what your audience is thinking? Join Cliff Atkinson, author of The Backchannel: How Audiences are Using Twitter and Social Media and Changing Presentations Forever and find out about the major changes coming to a presentation near you.

Attendees of this presentation have the chance to win one of three copies of Cliff’s latest book.


Posted in: , , Training, Uncategorized
Tags: , events, resources

Posted on December 7th, 2009 by benwp in

When audiences create a backchannel in a meeting room, it can produce conflict as it forces speakers and presenters to reconsider their relationships with one another or presenters and hosts to reconsider what they display on the stage. 

ACSB Twitter Policy_calloutNow enter a new conflict, as the backchannel forces conference organizers to reconsider the rights and powers they have to control what their audiences do with Twitter and social media.

Word has gotten out that the organizers of a conference underway in San Diego published a policy that bans the use of Twitter during its meetings.

In its Camera, Cell Phone and Tweeting Policy posted on its website, the American Society for Cell Biology lays down the Twitter law:

Twittering… and other forms of communication involving replication of data are strictly prohibited at the Annual Meeting or before publication, whether data presented are in the Exhibit Hall, poster area, poster sessions, or invited talks, without the express permission and approval of the authors.

The penalty?  According to ASCB:

Posted in:
Tags: agreement, , blowups, lessons


What Not to Display

Posted on November 25th, 2009 by benwp in

Scott Berkun writes an excellent blog post here about why it’s simply bad idea for hosts (or anyone) to display a live Twitterstream behind a presenter during a talk, as happened to him at the Web 2.0 Expo recently.

Scott Berkun

Scott Berkun on stage at Web 2.0 Expo New York. Photo by James Duncan Davidson

Scott explains the most important reason not to display visuals that are not directly related to what the speaker is saying: Read More »

Posted in:
Tags: , lessons, stories

"If that's what public speaking is going to be like, I'm out"

Posted on November 24th, 2009 by benwp in

In a powerful post on her blog, Danah Boyd describes blow-by-blow how it felt to be a speaker when the backchannel turned against her at a recent conference.

Danah Boyd on stage at Web 2.0 Expo NY 2009

Danah Boyd on stage at Web 2.0 Expo NY 2009. Photo by James Duncan Davidson

As she reflects on the backchannel and its impact on her talk, she writes, “if that’s what public speaking is going to be like, I’m out,” and “I can’t take the idea that this is the future.”

It would be a travesty if we lost committed and passionate public speakers because of the changes that the backchannel is bringing to bear on live presentations.

Audiences are certainly accountable for what they say and do, and there are techniques a presenter can use to make sure they are, for example: Read More »

Posted in:
Tags: , blowups, lessons, stories

Posted on November 23rd, 2009 by benwp in

Although people have written about the backchannel for years, presentation coach and blogger Olivia Mitchell was one of the first to write extensively about its impact on public speaking, and to offer practical tips on what presenters can do to engage it. I interviewed Olivia for The Backchannel book, and she was kind enough to review an early manuscript and offer extremely helpful edits and suggestions that made the book much better.

Olivia has compiled her posts into a new e-Book that I’m happy to recommend titled How to Present with Twitter (and Other Backchannels):

Olivia's e-Book
It’s a great companion piece to my book, filled with practical tips, suggestions and tools that you can apply to your presentations.

Download a free copy of the e-Book at

Posted in:
Tags: , resources, tools

Posted on November 23rd, 2009 by benwp in

If you’re interested in finding out more about what people have written about backchannels, I’ve collected a list of 280+ bookmarks to online articles, blog posts at this link using the Delicious bookmark-sharing service:

Many people have written some great material about the backchannel – as you read through the materials,

Posted in:
Tags: , bookmarks, resources

  • « Older Entries

What People are Tweeting about The Backchannel

Warning: file_get_contents( [function.file-get-contents]: failed to open stream: HTTP request failed! HTTP/1.0 410 Gone in /home/backchan/public_html/wp-content/themes/backchannelbook/index.php on line 39
myRSSParser: Could not open /tmp/fa6d3df4d29fcb2a25f2b4cf74c1e240 for input