- The opening: Atkinson tracks the progression of one session at the South By Southwest Interactive Festival, one of the most popular social-media conventions, to show the complex view of what happens to speakers, moderators and audience members when the Twitter backchannel augments a session--or, as he puts it, "the back of the room collides with the front." Read this to gain a fast but thorough take on all the different types of audiences such an experience creates, and how effective speakers and moderators handled it. A plus: Atkinson, himself a speaker at the conference, talked to the participants in this episode and gives you a behind-the-scenes view that lays out all the issues.
- Nuts-and-bolts details for speakers and organizers, like preparing your slides for audience members using handheld video cameras or camera phones; putting more of your content and resources online in advance of your presentation; developing a message based on "the rule of four tweets," so that your entire talk can be summed up in one introductory tweet and three more that offer supportive details and takeaway points; and, especially useful, realistic tactics for managing, focusing and handling the backchannel in a variety of circumstances--including facing the backchannel directly as part of your presentation, and when to choose that route.
- Ways to engage the audience using Twitter: Here, Atkinson helps you make the leap by suggesting ways to ask the audience questions, take a poll of the audience or get them to complete an online task during your talk--after all, if they're going to be online, get them to participate with what you're discussing.
Related posts: A college president and the backchannel
A speaker's view of a backchannel disaster
What speakers can learn from Twitter hecklers
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