Empathy is a tool. Alan Alda
Presenting online is a challenge. One of the biggest downfalls I’ve noticed is when presenters seem trapped in their own heads. They don’t notice when participants raise their hands, suck in breath as if they want to speak, or crinkle their brows. These speakers aren’t using the secret power of scanning.
What is Scanning?
Albert Einstein call it “field awareness”. Korean speakers call it “nunchi”, some call it emotional intelligence. Scanning is the ability to use our eyes, ears, and a quiet mind to experience a group’s energy, and then to respond to this awareness.
Why is Scanning Valuable?
Scanning enables presenters to get out of our own heads (which might be humming with anxiety) and to pay attention to the larger reality. Counter-intuitively, doing so is one of the best ways to combat performance anxiety. Our nervousness diminishes as we feel connected to a larger whole. It’s not all about us!
What if We Pick Up Negativity or Resistance?
Number one, it’s good to know what we’re dealing with. Secondly, negativity is a strength test, not an evaluation of you. It probably has nothing to do with you, although it may pertain to your topic. Don’t succumb; just acknowledge it presence. Never allow negative energy to hijack you.
What Do I Do Once I Scan?
Scanning doesn’t require that you verbally respond to what you pick up. Simply open your chest and feel the information that speaks as loudly as words. Because energy changes continually, our challenge is to maintain this awareness throughout the session.
When we operate from the awareness that scanning provides, we honor the group’s energy. Our responsiveness is the secret to greatness as presenters and facilitators.
Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do. Benjamin Spock