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
Author Cliff Atkinson shares the insider information about the genre, he writes
Understanding Backchannel Blowups -- With the ground shifting so quickly and dramatically for presenters and audiences, it's easy to see how conflicts can happen. Someone complains, someone responds in a way that is misread or misunderstood, and sparks fly—igniting an explosion of emotion.
As more audience members create more backchannels, more confrontations are sure to follow. These confrontations can be mitigated—if not altogether averted—by developing a clear understanding of backchannel blowups and their aftermath. Understanding the reasons behind blowups helps hosts, presenters, and audiences understand what they can do to prevent them (or at least what they can do to minimize their impact).
The first place to go to find out why blowups happen is to audiences themselves.
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.
How Audiences are Using Twitter and Social Media and Changing Presentations Forever
by Cliff Atkinson
SEE: Free Chapter: Risks of the backchannel
Cliff Atkinson "wrote the book" on using PowerPoint effectively with Beyond Bullet Points. The book pioneered the market for smart presentation books. Cliff's impact on the field of presentations has been significant. He designed the presentations that helped persuade a jury to award a $253 million verdict to the plaintiff in the nation's first Vioxx trial in 2005—presentations that Fortune magazine called "frighteningly powerful."
He has taught his approach at many of the country's top law firms, government agencies, business schools, and corporations, including Sony, Toyota, Nestle, Nokia, Nationwide, Deloitte, Amgen, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Intel, Microsoft, and the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal.