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  • Writer's pictureRabbi David Paskin

Physical Energy vs. Digital Energy

Anyone who has been at a big concert has felt the energy that comes with a group of people all being at one place together sharing in an experience. Beyond the music and dancing, there is a palpable energy that you can feel just from sharing that space and experience.

That energy also exists whenever we teach, preach or bring people together to learn from and with us. But what happens when we are teaching or creating community online? Can we replicate that natural physical energy in digital space?The answer, I believe, is a resounding "yes". But how that energy is created is not quite as natural and requires intention and effort on our part as leaders and educators.

Can we replicate that natural physical energy in digital space?

Fundamentally, I think of presenting online like being on a stage in a large theater. Performers on stage have to exaggerate their body movements and the tenor of their voice to fully express their character’s emotions and behaviors. Even the makeup worn by performers on stage is exaggerated to bring attention to their facial features and draw the audiences eyes in.

Likewise, in digital space, we have to be more animated, more energetic, and more engaged to create the energy that might exist more naturally in a shared physical space. That’s why I always encourage teachers, leaders, and presenters to stand when presenting in digital space. When we can’t slump back in our chair our bodies and our minds are more engaged and attentive.

It is also important in digital space to bring the fun.

It is also important in digital space to bring the fun. Playing music as a session beings, having dance breaks, encouraging your participants to get up and move around all contribute to the energy in the space time you share together. We have been conditioned to sit down when joining a Zoom call or watching a video. But sitting is a passive posture. If we want to up the energy in digital space we need to give people permission to move their bodies. Not only will the energy of your session skyrocket, but it will also help your participants be more engaged and attentive.

On the most basic level it is fundamentally important to remember that the energy will drain out of an online experience if your participants can’t hear you well or see you clearly. That’s why I include these on my Streaming Hierarchy of Needs (which you can access in the pinned post here at Having clear audio, a high quality image, and being intentional about bringing your own energy to digital space will undoubtedly improve the experience your participants have and will keep them coming back for more.


Hot Tip 🔥 The best purchase I ever made as a teacher in digital space was my sit/stand desk. There are tons of different ones out there at different price points. Once you have it, I recommend clamping any cameras, mics or lights that you might have right to the desk so they go up and down with the desk and you don't have to do any repositioning.

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