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The Art of Explanation

On sale

14th September 2023

Price: £20

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Selected: Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9781472298447

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‘For all those who want their audiences to listen and understand’ JEREMY BOWEN | ‘Precision, deftness and a calming expertise’ THE TIMES

Do you worry about holding people’s attention during presentations?

Are you unsure where to start when faced with writing an essay or report?

Are you preparing for an interview and wondering how to get all your points across?

Explanation – identifying and communicating what we want to say – is an art. And the BBC presenter and journalist Ros Atkins, creator of the viral ‘Ros Atkins on…’ explainer videos, is something of a master of the form. In this book, Ros shares the secrets he has learned from years of working in high-pressure newsrooms, identifying the ten elements of a good explanation and the seven steps you need to take to express yourself with clarity and impact.

Whether at work, school, university or home, we all benefit from being able to articulate ourselves clearly. Filled with practical examples, The Art of Explanation is a must-read for anyone who wants to sharpen their communication skills.


Reeta Chakrabarti
From the journalist whose trademark is concision and clarity comes a manual on how the rest of us can achieve just that. The Art of Explanation is part-memoir, part self-help, and thoroughly informative and enjoyable.
Business Traveller Magazine
Public speaking will become far less nerve-wracking after reading this book ... Atkins teaches readers how to best articulate themselves in front of an audience, keep people's attention during a presentation, perform well during an interview, and boost your confidence in general.
Alan Rusbridger, Editor, Prospect Magazine
A dazzling primer on how we can tell the truth effectively. All the tools you need against misinformation are contained within.
Lucid and detailed ... good advice on memory, presentation and a range of techniques to put forward the best explanations in both verbal and electronic communication.
Raju Narisetti, McKinsey Publishing
Ros Atkins does a masterful job of showing you how to be a better communicator in a 'news you can use' book that is interesting, engaging and, ultimately, transformative for readers.
Vivian Schiller, Aspen Institute
This book is incredibly useful to anyone who has to make a persuasive case, illustrated with stories of failures and triumph's from Ros career as a journalist. I thought I knew how to write and present, but this book has already changed the way I communicate.
Irish Times
A recipe book for storytelling, made to be dipped into . . . there is a particular brilliance in the anecdotes told here . . . moving it from textbook to something that operates like a well-thumbed cookbook, asserting its value with heart.
Sir John Hegarty, founder of Saatchi & Saatchi & BBH
This is brilliant book; if you work in the communications industry it's a must-read.
Rory Stewart, author and co-host of The Rest Is Politics
A great new book on explanation by Ros Atkins - sharing the secrets that make him one of the clearest analysts in modern journalism.
Alastair Campbell, author and co-host of The Rest Is Politics
Ros Atkins brings the same clarity and detail to his book as he does to the reports that have made him a well-known and respected figure on the BBC. This book is useful well beyond the media world.
Isabel Berwick, writer and host of the FT Working It podcast
I've read a lot of books about clear communication, knowing your audience, and getting your message across. This is the best.
A great read for polishing your communication skills.
Lorraine Kelly, ITV Presenter
Crisp common sense and beautifully written. Ros is a brilliant communicator and is able to make even the gnarliest subjects crystal clear.
Sarah Brown, founder and president of Theirworld charity
The shining light that guides us to understanding what on earth is going on in our complicated world! Ros Atkins has that rare quality of appealing to all generations - even teens who don't watch TV News find his explainers on their phones and follow his guidance to the thorny topics of the day. Now they can learn to do that for themselves. The book every parent wants to slide in their teens' direction to equip them for real life.
Jeremy Bowen, BBC News
A brilliant guide to communication and explanation. This book will make your arguments stand out in the tsunami of information in our world. It's for all those who want their audiences to listen and understand when they write an essay, a presentation or even send a simple email.
Professor Todd Rogers, Harvard University
What a gift! One of the UK's great communicators shares his wisdom so we can all explain better. It's an engaging, entertaining and (above all) useful book showing how to unpack, organise, compose and deliver our ideas better. To communicate clearly we must think clearly. This book shows how to do both.
The Times
To watch an Atkins report is akin to observing a watchmaker assemble the inner workings of a timepiece - there's precision, deftness and a calming expertise.