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Topic: Teleconference anxiety

11 posts, 0 answered
  1. VG_
    VG_ avatar
    9 posts
    15 April 2020

    Hi everyone,

    I’m new to the forum, hello! I was hoping you might have some feedback on what I can do with a problem I have.

    I just started a new job and I feel like this issue I’ve had before is exacerbated, where when I have to speak in teleconference meetings sometimes I feel performance anxiety, can’t speak properly, my voice is shaky, I lose my breath and I just lose track of what I’m saying! It rarely happens in face to face meetings.

    I don’t think it’s as noticeable for the others on the call as it is for me. It’s so bad I have even thrown up before a meeting because I was worried it would happen (and it did!).

    Does anyone else feel this way and would this be something I can seek help about with a professional? It’s really disheartening and I feel like I’m my own worst enemy! It’s weird because I know exactly what I need to say and often even write it down beforehand.

    Thankyou - any comments would be greatly appreciated and I hope you’re all hanging in there during these tough times.

  2. blondguy
    Life Member
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    blondguy avatar
    10784 posts
    15 April 2020 in reply to VG_

    Hello VG_

    Welcome and thankyou for being a part of the forums too!

    You are not alone feeling awkward with videoconferencing...I used to be the same too. Especially prior to the conference happening....as we are anticipating the worst possible outcome of how we speak/present ourselves

    My supervisor used be really super nervous when she started to mediate our video meetings yet she did really well and no one had any idea that she was super anxious. We were actually just as anxious as she was!

    Can I ask if you would be as anxious in a boardroom situation?

    you are not alone VG

    my kind thoughts.....Paul

  3. Daniel0712
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Daniel0712 avatar
    12 posts
    16 April 2020 in reply to VG_

    Hi VG

    I’m sure it is something you’d be able to get professional help to assist with if you wanted to, I know anxiety around all forms of public speaking is very common. Have you also tried recording yourself in private and having a few practice goes?

  4. AnnabelleN
    AnnabelleN avatar
    6 posts
    16 April 2020
    Would perhaps covering your face on the screen with a sticky note so you don’t have to watch yourself speak relieve some of the anxiety?
  5. zguenzl
    zguenzl avatar
    31 posts
    16 April 2020 in reply to Daniel0712

    Hi VG,

    I think Daniel's idea is good. Maybe you could practice in the mirror or in front of a trusted friend/parent/other and get them to approve on your presentation?

    Then maybe when it's in front of new people you'll know exactly how you look/sound.

    Or if it's something to do with how you think they'll react, maybe we can try get to the bottom of this? Are you nervous if they'll ask you difficult questions after? Maybe that might help too.

    All the best,

    Zoe

  6. VG_
    VG_ avatar
    9 posts
    16 April 2020 in reply to blondguy

    Thanks so much Zoe really appreciate that idea of trying to practice first with a friendly person.

    In terms of the underlying problem, I’m afraid of not performing well in front of important people at work (usually this only happens with really senior people). Actually my main fear is that I will have the anxious feelings and be unable to continue the presentation!

    The sad thing is actually I have gotten worse over time and that’s why I’ve felt particularly low about it in this new job! But I feel a lot more supported from all of your comments :)

  7. VG_
    VG_ avatar
    9 posts
    16 April 2020 in reply to blondguy

    Thanks so much Paul I really appreciate your comment it’s nice to hear that I’m not alone, I know it may sound silly but this issue is really getting me down.

    It’s actually the weirdest thing - I’m quite good at doing presentations by video or in person if I can see the other person. Like for instance I have presented at conferences with no problems. There’ something about seeing the other people that I find gets me off on the right foot.

    But if it’s via telephone and there’s just silence on the other end, it happens all the time!! Unfortunately now I am working from home, I’m always on teleconferences (due to security reasons we can only do video conference from the office).

    Thanks so much again for your kind words.

    1 person found this helpful
  8. VG_
    VG_ avatar
    9 posts
    16 April 2020 in reply to Daniel0712
    Thanks Daniel and Annabelle as well - your tips are really appreciated
  9. blondguy
    Life Member
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    blondguy avatar
    10784 posts
    17 April 2020 in reply to VG_

    Hello VG

    Working from home is new for many of us...Not being able to see the other person(s) can be sometimes be awkward as we cant see their facial expressions and how they react to our comments/input to the meeting

    Im sorry that I misinterpreted your thread topic as videoconferencing VG...my apologies for doing so :-(

    Can I ask if you are using a cellphone or a landline? The only reason I ask is I find using a headset (with an adjustable microphone) a lot more relaxing than using a hand held device during a teleconference meeting

    You mentioned that you are also in a new position as well......that would account for any performance anxiety

    what are your thoughts?

    respectfully yours

    Paul

  10. VG_
    VG_ avatar
    9 posts
    18 April 2020 in reply to blondguy

    Thanks Paul I think you’re right it could be the combination of the new position plus the job is stressful with a lot of urgent things due to COVID19 (I work for a government agency).

    I’m using a cell phone at home and I agree, at work I have a headset which is much more comfortable.

    I think you’re right about the facial expressions - I’ve been thinking about the helpful advice in this thread and one thing I’ve experimented with is bringing up a photo of someone smiling on the computer screen and pretending that’s who I’m talking to. It’s silly but I had a few of these meetings on Friday and I had less intense anxiety symptoms.

  11. blondguy
    Life Member
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    blondguy avatar
    10784 posts
    19 April 2020 in reply to VG_

    Hi VG

    Thanks for taking the time to reply! I have been in senior corporate roles for a few decades and understand the feelings you have been going through..especially when I started a new role...I also seemed to be anxious when I had a teleconference coming up....

    Its not silly at all bringing up a smiling photo....That is a smart move....Whatever works is fine

    just a note...you are successful not only by achieving your new position VG....also by being so proactive (Confident) enough to post as well as you have!

    please let us know your thoughts/how you feel

    Nice1 VG :-)

    my kind thoughts

    Paul

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