The Quest #158: 🦗How to transform silence from awkward to awesome

Hello friends,

Greetings from Barcelona ☀️

🙌Many thanks for reading The Quest, your weekly round-up of tips and insights to help you design and lead exceptional online sessions that your group members will love.❤️

Let’s jump right in.

“Does anyone want to share?”

You’ve finished your presentation. Now it’s question time. And then bam—awkward silence hits. Just you and 20 Zoom screens staring blankly back at you. It can be one of the things we most dread.

Source: Giphy Studios

So you avoid it.

You speed through content. You fill any gaps with talking. You move on so quickly that your group members don’t have a chance to process one idea before diving into the next.

Not all silence is awkward.

Silence is also natural. And necessary. It’s the pause your group members need to gather their thoughts. That’s the kind of awesome silence that gives people time to think up and share new ideas.

You can turn silence from awkward to awesome

By embracing silence in your online sessions you can encourage reflection. Uncover deeper insights. And enrich your group’s experience.

How do you turn awkward into awesome silence? That’s our quest for this week. 🔎

👉Embrace the awkward silence

👉5 Ways to Turn Awkward Silence into Awesome Silence

👉This week’s facilitator finds


🪄Live Session Magic – On-demand video course update

😶 Embrace the Awkward Silence

This Atlantic Monthly article by Michael Waters helped me to understand what makes silence awkward.

It helped me confront some of my own discomfort with silence. And it gave me a fresh perspective on how to navigate it in my live sessions. (You can access the article by signing up for a free trial).

Waters talked to psychologists and read through the research on silence and the persistent belief that silence is wrong.

Here’s what he found:

👉We don’t like it when the natural rhythm of conversation is interrupted.

👉We are quick to interpret silence as a sign of displeasure that can make us feel rejected.

Research shows that video calls have amplified awkward silence. So if you lead a lot of live sessions it’s worth learning to it navigate well.

Here are my top three takeaways for leading live sessions:

1/ Challenge your beliefs. Understand that silence isn’t inherently negative. It’s a chance for deeper reflection and engagement.

2/ Reframe your response: Instead of rushing to fill the silence, see it as time that people need to contribute their best ideas.

3/ Embrace discomfort. Sitting with silence can strengthen connections and open space for deeper expression.

Illustration by Liana Fink via The Atlantic

✨5 ways you can transform awkward into awesome silence

Navigating the many different facets of silence isn’t easy.

It’s taken me years to understand how to skillfully use silence in live sessions. And I’m still learning!

So it got me thinking…

What if you could turn the awkward silence into the kind of awesome silence that leads to deeper discussion and insights?

Check out these 5 tips and join the conversation on LinkedIn here👇

💪 This Week’s Facilitator Finds

#1/ ✍️Well-being entrepreneur Yvonne Eshuis’ LinkedIn Post on being “always on”. She shares some well-being tips including “no one can recover for you.” Noted!

#2/ ✍️Seasoned facilitator and experience designer Anamaria Dorgo’s LinkedIn Post on the cost of non-participatory events. A superbly written post on the benefits of immersive learning with a cool graphic to go with it.

🪄Live Session Magic Course – Coming Soon!

We are just a couple of weeks away from the launch of my new on-demand video course ✨Live Session Magic✨.

Last week I was immersed in creating video content. It’s been fun and challenging.

In the course, I will be taking you through step-by-step the exact same framework I use to design my live sessions. All secrets will be revealed! 😅

Click here to join the interest list. You’ll be the first to get access when it goes live. ✨

And big thanks if you have already joined! 💪

💌 Thanks for reading The Quest

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Creatively yours,

Whenever you are ready there are 2 more ways I can help you:

👉Custom coaching & team training. Book a free 15-minute zero-commitment call with me to see how I can support you and your team.

👉5-week Live Online Course. The Breakthrough Facilitation course gives you tools, personalized feedback, and a proven framework for designing and leading high-engagement live sessions. Join the interest list and be the first to get the next cohort dates and discounts.

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