😬The Quest #108: How to handle your anxiety before your live sessions

It was one of my first live online sessions and my anxiety was taking over.

The session started and I tried to pull myself together. I kicked into over-enthusiastic performance mode trying to mask my own worries. In an attempt to push through, I started talking. On and on and on.

I hadn’t prepared myself.

I realized that my anxiety was impacting the experience of the group. I felt scattered. And I was missing opportunities for deeper group connection and discussion.

As the group leader, you set the bar for success.

When you prepare yourself, you help your group feel safe and able to contribute their best. When you don’t you cause people to shut down. And it can derail your session.

There are tried-and-tested strategies to handle anxiety.

Feeling anxious before a live session is natural. My palms still get sweaty. The difference is that now I have a greater awareness of how my anxiety shows up. And I have strategies to deal with it.

How do you handle your anxiety before your live session? That’s our Quest for this week🔎

👉Expert advice from Lead Conversations that Count author Carolyn Ellis

👉How to manage your anxiety when presenting from Stanford GBS

👉5 pre-session rituals for calming nerves

📙Expert Advice from Lead Conversations that Count Author Carolyn Ellis

If you lead a lot of meetings, Carolyn Ellis’ book Lead Conversations that Count: How Busy Managers Run Great Meetings is for you.

In the book, she writes about a concept that she calls “calibrate”. It’s the ability to assess your internal thoughts, feelings, and beliefs so you can be fully present and effective when you lead groups.

Here’s her expert advice on how to calibrate before you lead meetings:

👉Take time to calibrate yourself. That means preparing your awareness and perspectives, not only your agenda and ppt slides.

👉Adopt a beginner’s mindset. Stay humble and appreciate the wisdom in the room.

👉Check your blind spots. Notice and name your areas of discomfort beforehandrather than becoming reactive in the moment.

👉Commit. Calibration is something that requires ongoing regular maintenance.

👉Create a clear intention. Notice any potential blocks or biases that may be clouding your awareness so you can be fully present.

Check out this 3 min clip where Carolyn shares how she calibrates before her sessions👇

🎯How to Manage your Anxiety When Presenting

This infographic from Stanford GSB lecturer Matt Abrahams gives you a framework with 9 ways to hack your anxiety and manage fear when you are in front of a group.

Thanks to Quest reader Ravi Iyer for sharing this link in his brilliant newsletter 3-2-1 by Story Rules.

Which one resonates with you?

Source: Matt Abrahams, Stanford Graduate School of Business

😌5 Pre-session rituals that help me calm my nerves

Everyone handles stress and anxiety differently. The important thing is to find the right strategies that work for you.

Here are 5 pre-session rituals I created that help me find my focus so I can be present in case they help you👇

twitter profile avatarGwyn WansbroughTwitter Logo@gwynwans😬It’s normal to feel anxious before leading a live online session. The problem is that when it goes unchecked, it can prevent you from being focused and present. Here are 5 pre-session rituals I use to handle my anxiety in case it helps you🧵👇February 27th 20230Retweets2Likes

Here’s the summary:

1/ Declutter

2/ Rehearse

3/ Breathe

4/ Move

5/ Sing

What rituals help you find your focus and be present before your live sessions?

✍️Quote of the week

You can’t control the waves, but you can learn to surf.”

Jon Kabat-Zin, American Professor Emeritus of Medicine

From Leading Conversations that Count by Carolyn Ellis

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