...exhale through your mouth counting to 10. Gaze at the floor or ceiling during this deep breath. Then roll your shoulders back and look ahead. This one breath will do wonders to center you and prepare you to be present for the upcoming meeting or event that you're about to join. In her blog post, Kate Nugent of The Ariel Group calls this a "doorway moment" in that she recommends this quick vertical centering exercise before entering each meeting. (The Ariel Group offers corporate training in communicating and establishing relationships. They employ actors and acting coaches who give seminars to demonstrate the importance of good communication as well as techniques for achieving it.)
The Ariel Group has also been sharing various techniques at education webinars and conferences such as Pearson's CITE 2015. It was through a webinar actually conducted by Kate Nugent that I learned the benefits of taking a deep breath before taking part in meetings and such. Why would I, as the distance education coordinator, be writing about the "doorway moment"? Well, we can use this centering, getting to the present technique when we're going to meet our students online in a Blackboard Collaborate session, for example. We can also employ this technique before we record a video for our students in order to help us really focus on them and what we want to say to them. Finally, we can insert this deep breath technique into our online courses (I'm thinking at the beginning of the study guides for their tests maybe?) and recommend that the students take a deep breath before plunging into the module.
This first step, right before we begin communicating with our students, may be the most important one in establishing our virtual presence. We're shaking off whatever came before and moving into the present moment, fully engaged and ready to engage the students.