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How to Tame Conference Anxiety and Enjoy the Show

Key Takeaways

After a couple of years off, are you ready to mix and mingle at in-person industry events? Robert Coplan, developmental psychologist and Professor of Psychology at Carleton University, offers tips on how to ease back into real life gatherings so you can get the most out of conferences like Workiva Amplify this fall.


Join us at Amplify September 12 through 15 in Vegas or from anywhere around the world to mingle with peers and experts, get a jump on ESG best practices, tackle the future of SOX compliance, gain the latest insights and simplifying the closing process, and so much more. If you’re attending virtually, Amplify is free! Get the full details and register here.

To learn more about Robert Coplan and his work check out And you can get his books here:

Season 3, Episode 25: How to Tame Conference Anxiety and Enjoy the Show | Transcript

Steve Soter: Hello and welcome to Off the Books where we serve the unchartered waters of accounting, finance, risk, and wherever else the waves take us. This episode is brought to you by Workiva, the risk, reporting, ESG, and compliance platform that simplifies your complex work and puts a spring in your step. Check it out at My name is Steve Soter, accounting enthusiast and Coke aficionado. I'm looking forward to debiting a great conversation, and I'm very happy to have you with us. I'm also happy to have my co-host, Catherine Tsai, and our producer, Mike Gravagno, joining.

Catherine Tsai: Yes, and we are mixing things up this week because fall conference season is almost here.

Mike Gravagno: It is right around the corner, and Workiva has a huge conference for accounting, finance, risk, and ESG teams coming up in September. It is Amplify, which is a big deal around our parts. It's going to be in Las Vegas from September 12–15. We're super excited. And there's over 70 sessions where you can earn up to 18 CPE credits if you go in person, six if you come online. Virtual attendance is free. It's going to be a blast. Anything else you think they need to know? Catherine, Steve?

Catherine: It's super fun.

Mike: It’s super fun. We have mashup artist Girl Talk doing exclusive entertainment. I don't know how much we're allowed to say—sweet keynote speakers, but I assume we're allowed to say because they're on the website. Go check it out there. Now there's still time to register.

Steve: Yeah, it is a terrific conference. I have gone for many years, both as a speaker as well as an attendee. And for this audience, I can't recommend it enough.

Catherine: Are you going to Amplify this year, Mike?

Mike: I am. I'm going to be on the mean streets of the Amplify Expo as a beat reporter, getting the voices of our customers out there to find out what they care about. So, if you see me Off the Books listeners, and you recognize me, and Catherine will be there with me, and we'll be the little Workiva press team. And we're going to be there—just find us and be like, "I have some stuff to say." And hopefully it's positive.

Steve: Our listeners are dying to know. Mike, will you be wearing a Ghostbusters costume?

Mike: Maybe for the third day.

Steve: Excellent.

Mike: Depending on the Las Vegas weather.

Catherine: Steve, do you have any tips for people since you've been to a couple of versions of Amplify?

Steve: Well, a few that come to mind are number one, wear tennis shoes. You might be wanting to wear your fancy heels or your fancy dress shoes, but you will be doing a lot of walking, which is all very good, and again, you'll want to be comfortable as you move around. So that's probably number one. But number two, I would say meet as many people as you can. You might recognize some familiar faces, either coworkers that have are attending with you or people you have met in the past. And it's certainly great to catch up with them. But I would say meet as many new people as you can. Some of the best connections that I have made have actually been at the Workiva conferences and other conferences, incidentally. But that takes a little bit of effort to get out of your comfort zone. I realize not everybody is comfortable doing that, but to the extent that you are, it can really make for a great conference experience.

Catherine: I would agree. That all sounds good to me. So, Mike, as a first time attendee of Amplify, what sorts of questions do you have?

Mike: I've been wondering a lot. For the most part, we haven't been in giant group events, right, for the last couple of years. And for those of us like me, I was a shy boy. I couldn't deal with people. I don't know if you guys believe me. A lot of people don't. But those kinds of events and big conferences, when you have to mingle and you really have to make an effort to start talking to people, it can bring that shy little kid back out. And so I wondered what we could do to prepare ourselves and to prepare our listeners to like, what are tips? Are there professionals out there? Is there anybody who's an expert in gatherings? And that led us to Dr. Robert Copeland.

Catherine: Tell me more about Robert.

Mike: He's a developmental psychologist. He has studied shyness and social anxiety, as well as the benefits of solitude, which feels like maybe the opposite of what a conference is. But I think there's such a huge relationship between shyness and solitude. And so we wanted to bring him on and be like, just give us the tips. Give us the real down and dirty of what people can do to prepare beforehand and while they're at a conference to take care of their mental health.

Steve: Well, it's been two years since Amplify has been held in person, as well as many other live in-person events. So one of the first questions Mike and I had for Robert was what people can do to prepare to go back to the big stage. Here's what he had to say.

Dr. Robert Copeland: Yeah. I think one thing is really important for us to understand is that you should expect a wide range of responses from people in terms of this idea of going back to large live events. And I think it's really important for everybody involved to consider the, you know, the full gamut of possible responses. So some people have been chomping at the bit to get back into large groups. They get excited. They get energized. They, you know, they really thrive on being in this kind of large group community and have really suffered from having it taken away from them, you know, during the time of the pandemic. So for these guys, they're going to be super excited. They're going to be exuberant. They're going to be, you know, really, you know, raring to go, crowd surfing across the floor, you know, when they return to a live event.

And then on the other end of the spectrum, you've got some people who, you know, even before the pandemic started, were always somewhat nervous or self-conscious about being in a crowd. And for them that, you know, that was an opportunity where they had to really worry a lot about, you know, being around other people, what other people were thinking about them at the stresses of being in that kind of group environment, a lot of self-focus, a lot of focus on sort of, you know, being perceived negatively and and concerns about how one is being presented and being perceived in those kinds of circumstances. So for these individuals, time away from that might have been sort of a respite from those stresses. And now they are finding themselves thrust back into that, those situations again after not having the experience of having to cope with that for a while. So it might be particularly difficult for them having not experienced that for a while to really feel comfortable and at home in those kinds of circumstances.

Steve: As you think about maybe getting those moments of solitude for somebody who might feel a little bit of anxiety about being back in that large scale, lots of people type of an event. Any thoughts or recommendations you might have on how to create maybe those moments of solitude other than going up to your hotel room, closing the doors, drawing the blinds, just sitting alone in the dark?

Robert: Yes, sure. So, I mean, there are there are many different reasons why people might find it challenging to be in a large group. You know, as I mentioned before, some people get nervous and anxious, and they get self-conscious when they're around other people. For others, it's not so much a question of feeling nervous and anxious. It's just kind of exhausting. And for some people, just being in a crowd and being around other people kind of makes their battery run out. You know, that's sort of the classic definition of an introvert, right? As someone who being, you know, in the presence of others, it's not so much stressful. It's not so much anxious. It's just kind of exhausting. And they're quite happy to do it, but after a while they'd need sort of a respite. And for them, that respite might be spending time in solitude. You know, for people who tend to be more sociable and extroverted, they actually draw energy from being in that large crowd. And for them, being alone or being separated from that crowd is kind of draining. And if they want to recharge their battery, you know, off they go to seek out other people. And so if you are one of those people who find challenges in being in a large group, whether it's because you're feeling self-conscious, whether it's because you find it draining, you know, in fact, your idea about slipping away into your room for a few minutes, even here and there is not a bad one, right? So one of the things that we do recommend that this kind of momentary respites, right? Not everybody has time to go for a two hour walk in the woods every day to recharge their battery. But even just a few moments to catch your breath, you know, whether it's stepping in, you know, stepping away from the crowd step, going back up into your room for a few minutes, even just those few minutes to kind of recover and recharge can have a kind of a cumulative effect of making it a little bit more, you know, helping your coping strategies for getting through the through the day. And, you know, so if it is something that you find exhausting, taking those micro-moments of solitude, so that it doesn't build up too much would be highly advised. And if you're feeling nervous and anxious, there's sort of a number of different techniques that you can use, you know, even just some breathing. And stepping away from where people are and just focusing on your breath for a few minutes, just to kind of reset and let your blood pressure come down and your heart rate come back down will help you build up those resources for the next meeting or the next group session that you need to attend.

Steve: Yeah, this conference is going to take place in Las Vegas, so somebody who is used to going for a walk in the woods in order to decompress might find themselves with very limited options. Although it's interesting, so I attend and speak at a number of events—that's kind of part of my job—and I have found that usually within fairly close proximity to the event space, there's an empty room or an empty ballroom or something like that. And so it's a maybe a personal confession for me. Generally, if I've been in a booth or I've been in a session talking to a lot of people, sometimes it's nice to just maybe go through a quick stroll through an empty room, even just to take a couple of minutes to kind of decompress, right? Heart rate kind of goes down, your sort of level set, and then, you know, you're good for maybe the rest of the day or the next event or time at the booth or whatever. So I can certainly identify with those recommendations, Robert, for sure.

Robert: Yeah. And that's certainly good advice to give. I can tell the story of a colleague of mine who was an award-winning teacher. So he taught at university, taught an intro to a personality class. He would have 600 students in his class, and he was known for being a real showman when it came to putting on his classes. And he would tell jokes, and he would be loud and raunchy and very engaging. And the students absolutely loved him. But what they didn't know about him because of this sort of outward appearance that he presented was that he was also really introverted. And that doing that, you know, act—acting in that way was exhausting for him. And so he would be teaching a three-hour class. And when they would take a break at the halfway point, he would run into the bathroom, you know, go into one of the stalls and close the door just to have 10 minutes of being alone so that he could recharge his battery enough to go out and continue with the show, so to speak. So, you know, your suggestion of sneaking away for a couple of minutes into an unoccupied room I think is a good one.

Steve: A lot of our listeners probably haven't been to a live event for a very long time, at least before the pandemic. And similarly, a lot of our listeners appreciate a good checklist, so I'm wondering what generally should be on their checklist of things that maybe they should try to accomplish after being away from an in-person event after a long time?

Robert: Yeah, that's an interesting question. I think we also have to acknowledge that, you know, some people will be coming back into this large event feeling nervous not just about being in a group, but just feeling nervous about being around other people in general because of, you know, risks associated with contacts in large group. And I think you're going to see a, you know, a big difference in terms some people will be wearing masks. Some people will not be wearing masks. Some people will be hugging and shaking hands, and some people might be refraining from doing that. I think that's something to keep in mind, and I think that will sort of change people's checklists a little bit. And I know that's not a direct answer to your question, but I just want to raise that as something that people should consider in terms of a checklist.

I think for people who are socially anxious and find challenges in these types of events, it's really important to break down those challenges into smaller, more, you know, perhaps more attainable micro goals. So, if you say my goal is to attend this conference, that sounds big and scary. But if you break down your goal into smaller little steps and work on attending each of those little steps one at a time, it might make it a little bit easier. So, for example, your goal might not be to network with people, but maybe to introduce yourself to one new person in the first day that you are there. And it might not be to carry on conversations, you know, and lead a discussion in a breakout group. But it might be to offer one comment or one suggestion in a smaller group that you're participating in. It's important to understand for people who are facing these sorts of challenges that it's natural to feel worried and anxious and scared about these kinds of things. It doesn't mean that you are not brave. Being brave is doing these things despite feeling nervous and anxious and scared, right? It's not the absence of fear. It's acting even when that fear is there. So, you know, you have to give yourself a bit of a break and understand that it's okay to be nervous and anxious. And then when you manage to do even a small step—introducing yourself to that one person or offering a brief comment in one of these sessions—you know, pat yourself on the back. That's a big deal to be able to make those kinds of small steps. And if you continue to make those small steps and progress towards what you're doing, soon those small steps add up and you start to be able to accomplish some of those larger goals.

Steve: I'm not a naturally anxious person—I don't think—but I'll point out, because what you said now just reminds me of experience that I had attending a conference. This was maybe five years ago, and it was unique because I could only be there for about half the period of time that the entire conference was running. And there were some very specific things that I wanted to do. There's a couple of sessions I wanted to attend. There were some questions that I wanted to ask. There were certain people who I knew were going to be there that I wanted to find and and introduce myself to and talk with. And so, as I said, many of us appreciate a good checklist, and I'm one of them. So I went to that conference with a list of those things that I wanted to do, but I found that having that sort of list of, hey, you know what, these are the goals that you have set out. And, yes, that needed to be a little bit fluid, but having that list of goals of things that I wanted to do took away some of the uncertainty, some of the mild anxiety of, hey, you know, how's this thing going to go? And I remember it almost felt like it was more productive for me to be there half the time than the entire time because it forced me to be more focused.

Robert: That's a good point. And I think a lot of what contributes towards our anxiety when we're in large groups is the uncertainty and the unpredictability of those kinds of situations. And so anything that you can do to make it more familiar and less unpredictable would be really helpful. So if you're scheduled to give a presentation in a room, you know, on the second day of the conference, go to that room the day before, maybe even when it's empty, and just walk around, get yourself familiar with the environment. Check out the audio visual set up. Check out what the where the microphones are set, where you know, where the lectern might be if you're going to be standing at the front of the room so that when you get in there at the time of your presentation, it's not all completely brand new. It's not all completely overwhelming. That kind of practice ahead of time to reduce uncertainty can also be helpful for more mundane kinds of tasks. So if you are nervous about introducing yourself to someone, just practice even alone in your room in front of your mirror. Just practice what the kinds of things that you might say if you were to sit next to someone unexpectedly in a session that you would like to introduce yourself to. Have a set of two or three or four different kind of responses available for when people ask you to introduce themselves to them or ask what you do or ask what you're, you know, what you're trying to accomplish here, and having these things prepared ahead of time, not that you have to stick to a strict script, but as you mentioned, Steve, it's helpful sometimes to have these things laid out. And things that you can prepare ahead of time will reduce some of that novelty, reduce some of that unpredictability, and hopefully make you feel a little bit more comfortable.

Steve: Well, I think Mike in our booth is chuckling just a little bit because he is constantly encouraging Catherine and myself to not have a list and not have notes and just talk. So it sounds more natural. So I don't know, Mike, I'm getting mixed messages here.

Mike: I would say go with the expert. I like bulleted lists is all I'm saying, Steve. I don't know if this is to to sidetracking, but is there something that extroverted amongst us can keep in mind? Are there signs or are there ways they can help the introverted people in these kinds of situations?

Robert: Yeah, that's a great question because, of course, for extroverts, introverts are like alien creatures, right? They just don't understand why they just, you know, why they find it tiring to be around other people and why they, you know, they might feel nervous or anxious, you know, in a large group situation, because for them, this is just their natural way of being in their natural state of being. So I think part of it, Mike, is just to learn to understand that there are huge individual differences in how we respond to being around other people. And just because you're feeling this way in that situation, others are not necessarily feeling the same way. And just that sort of openness to understanding these differences is a really great first step for, you know, for maybe altering your behavior. And then you're right. Looking out for signs or cues that someone might be getting tired or that someone might, you know, it might be a strain for them to continue this kind of conversation and offering them an easy out as a way of ending the conversation could always be helpful.

And just to return to this idea of lists, I think, you know, I think both Mike and Steve, you both have a point here because we don't want to get too rigid with our list, right? Because we don't want to go up to someone and read for them word for word with a piece of paper in front of our face while we're introducing to them. So it could provide some structure and it could provide some background comfort in terms of being able to do. But I think it's important to to understand that it's kind of like a tool and a stepping stone and that once you have those lists written out, you might not actually even need them. But there is some comfort and extra structure and going through and thinking about those, what's going to go on that list and writing it out that gives you sort of the scaffolding, the support system that you can draw upon if you need it when you are interacting with others, and particularly for people who are nervous. One of the symptoms of social anxiety is your mind goes blank and you don't remember something you were supposed to say or supposed to do. And under those circumstances, think how helpful it is to know that in your pocket you've got a list of things that you know that you can say or do that you can draw upon if you needed them. And that's a good coping strategy for helping your anxiety.

Steve: Well, let's take a quick break and our conversation with Robert for a commercial. We'll be right back.


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Catherine: Welcome back. We've been listening to Steve and Mike talk with author and psychologist Robert Copeland about getting ready to go back to the great big world of in-person events.

Mike: People who have some sort of social anxiety about going to life events might think that they're the only ones who feel that way, so I asked Robert if it's more common than most of us think.

Robert: Yeah, it is much more common. You know, the studies would suggest anywhere between, you know, 20 to 25% of individuals at any one time are going to be suffering from chronic problems with anxiety. And one of the reasons why it is, you know, it's not so well known in the general population, is that one of the primary goals when you're socially anxious is to not draw attention to yourself, right? So, if anything, you're going out of your way to not be noticed and to not be seen as different and to not be, you know, not be perceived as in any way different from from your peers.

Mike: Is it kind of like a muscle? Like do shy kids inherently become shy adults? Or if if you push through that anxiety, can you lessen it over time?

Robert: Yeah. I mean, that's about the first 15 years of my career was spent studying exactly that question. And I can say that certainly, you know, some people who come into the world are born with a temperament that is wired to react strongly to new things, and that certainly has a tendency to make you feel more shy and more reactive in these kinds of social situations. But the good news is that although that might put you at a higher risk for developing problems with anxiety later on, it's certainly, you know, biology is not destiny, as they like to say, and that parents and teachers and peers who support and provide assistance with developing coping strategies for these kids are, you know, make it much more likely for them to turn out to be normal, regular, everyday kids who are not necessarily going to have these kinds of problems. And if you're born shy, you're not necessarily going to grow up to be a raging extrovert. But there's every reason to believe that that you can grow up to be just a normal, regular everyday, you know, regular adult, and that there are things that you can do and coping strategies that you could develop over the course of your childhood and adolescence that will reduce the likelihood of any more serious problems.

Mike: That shakes a question loose: introversion and shyness, are they intrinsically linked? I'm sure a lot of introverts lean shy, but are all shy people introverts?

Robert: Yeah. So, I mean, there are lots of psychologists who spend lots of time trying to break down the various different components of these terms. My general idea here is that introversion and extroversion are a much broader set of characteristics. So someone who is extroverted is not always a sociable component to it and their sociable and outgoing, but it's also associated with being a risk taker, with being impulsive, with seeking reward that, you know, goes beyond just the social realm. And there's not necessarily an anxiety component associated with being more or less introverted, more or less extroverted. So, as I said before, introverts might find it tiring to be around people, but they don't get nervous or anxious about it, and shyness and social anxiety are much more concerned with specific social situations and how self-conscious or wary or fearful you feel in those kinds of situations where you're meeting a new person or you feel like you're the center of attention. And yes, there's certainly some overlap there. And there are introverts who are also socially anxious, but neither one is sort of mutually exclusive or completely overlapping to the other.

Steve: It's interesting. As I've been listening to these questions, Robert, and your answers, I think about members of my immediate family who do have some various levels of anxiety and how remarkably well they have responded to treatment and medication, and where for me previously had thought, "Oh, well, you just got to get over it, just bite your lip. Everybody's uncomfortable talking to somebody new." I sense you realize just how wrong and uninformed that was, but conversely, how well certain medicines, for example, can work really, really well to kind of help the biology and maybe some of the chemical things that might be happening in a person's brain. It was something that I hadn't really appreciated about just how devastating that type of anxiety can be, but how easily it can be treated and really make life-changing results.

Robert: Yeah. And I think that's a critically important message that we all just need to continue to try and get out there, right? In a lot of cases it's not just suck it up, right? It's not just like, you know, if you're scared, get over it and bite your lip and do it anyway. And that anxiety can be a crippling disorder that can have profoundly negative implications on our life and our wellbeing. But and as you know, Steve just reinforced there are treatments out there both, you know, both therapeutic and talk therapies as well as medications that can just profoundly change people's lives. And, for the most part, these these treatments are extremely effective and can make life-altering changes to to how we experience everyday life, and people should be encouraged to seek out those treatments when they're warranted.

Steve: One other question, Robert, that I did want to ask is specific to Workiva's conference: there is an in-person option, but there is also a virtual option, which people might be using for a variety of different reasons. I'm wondering if you have any insights or advice to a virtual attendee who may similarly have some type of anxiety, but who is likely going to have a slightly different conference experience as opposed to somebody who is there, you know, full-time, right in the thick of things.

Robert: Yeah. So there's been quite a bit of study actually of the impact of of technology on the social experiences of people who tend to be somewhat anxious, and people are sort of of two minds about it. So there's one school of thought that says that, you know, when we add all this technology and, you know, computer-mediated communications that it just provides another medium where people who are socially skilled and sociable are going to do well and people who are socially anxious are going to struggle. That's called the rich-get-richer hypothesis.

And then there's another school of thought that wonders, well, maybe some of these technological advances might actually help socially anxious individuals because it might, you know, remove some of the stressors. So, if you're not engaged in a synchronous discussion, for example, like if you are, you know, posting something and someone's responding, you're texting and you're waiting for a response, then that gives socially anxious people a moment to consider their reactions and their responses and think about what they want to write before it's not immediately due. Some people suggested, you know, once your camera's off, it takes off some of that, you know, self-presentation concerns because some people are worried about how they are going to appear. And I would say the research has supported both sides, but the problem comes, I guess, is if that if socially anxious people are using this kind of technology and computer communication as a replacement for face to face, then that can potentially be a problem because face-to-face communication in kind of real time is really good for us in a whole bunch of ways. So if it's edging that out and used only instead of it, that's a potential problem. If it's being used, however, as kind of like a stepping stone—so, you know, while I get to know this person a little bit or while I get used to this kind of situation, I'm using the technology to help me, but that eventually it's leading towards a face to face type of interaction. I think that's a positive thing. So if someone is attending this conference virtually, they could try to take advantage of some of the characteristics of that virtual experience to make them feel a little bit less anxious. So maybe for some of the sessions, they turn their camera off so that they're not, you know, self focused so much as they might be as if their own face was staring back at them the whole time. They might be able to think a little bit more before they engage someone in a chat room or in a chat box on the side of a presentation. Gives them a moment to think through. And I would encourage people who are feeling socially anxious that that's a place and a domain where they can push themselves a little bit. So, if they're normally really nervous to approach a new person or to make a comment, in this kind of situation where you have a chance to think about it ahead of time, you could write it out, make sure that's okay, remove some of the stressors that sometimes are in the moment. And so it's a perfect kind of, you know, smaller step that we talked about before where, you know, if you're too nervous to say something, post a short comment in the chat box as part of a session and feel really good about your ability to do that if you were feeling too nervous about saying something in person.

Mike: All right, Steve, I think we can we can get to the closing question.

Steve: As we wrap up our podcast, we always try to ask some lighthearted closing question of the day, and one that I thought was great that might be a very useful tool for anybody who is either attending our conference or in any social situation is what is your favorite or recommended way to excuse yourself from a conversation either because you are feeling overwhelmed, or it has been too long, or you are simply ready to be done for a variety of reasons? So I won't put you on the spot yet, since I realize we're springing this on you and I don't want to increase your anxiety, but having found myself in that situation many, many times, I usually just reference the clock. Say I am so sorry. I have clearly lost track of time. There's somewhere else I need to be but always give some sort of a, "Hey, it would be great to connect on LinkedIn, or it would be great to continue this conversation by email." Or just something like that just so it doesn't feel so, you know, final and abrupt. Because I feel like when somebody does that to me either because I realize I've been talking too much and maybe they needed to go, but I wouldn't shut up, you know, that can always make it feel a little bit awkward. So kind of having that to having that connection or that future potential to still keep talking, might alleviate some of that. It was funny, in preparation for this, I actually googled "best ways to end a conversation," and one of the most hilarious ones I thought was, "Hey, I need to end this conversation now, but tell your mom I said hello." I'm picturing myself saying that in conference, which might be pretty awkward if I'm being honest.

Mike: Five bucks, Steve. Next conference you go to.

Robert: Well, I'll say I'm not sure I have time to answer your question because I need to leave this podcast because, you know, I have another appointment, and the time is really flying. But it has been a real pleasure to talk with you on this podcast, and I really do hope we get a chance to connect in the future. And you know, I know you have my contact information, and I would really value the opportunity to talk with you some more.

Steve: Expertly done, expertly done. Well played, Robert. Very well played. Mike, any recommendations?

Mike: I think conferences are the perfect place to do it because you can be like, "Oh, I'm looking forward to go and see so-and-so speak. I've got to go do that." Or be like, "Oh, I haven't had a drink of water in an hour." But I've recently was told by my wife that she always has to end conversations because I just sit there because I don't know how to. These are good tips for me personally, because I will just sit there and like, I guess when they want to leave, they'll leave. I don't know how to do this, so this is great.

Steve: Well, Robert, since you clearly have somewhere to be, I just want to tell you again, thank you so much for joining us. Really appreciate the insights, both relative to, of course, the Workiva Amplify conference for our listeners and attendees. But I think just some of these issues generally, I know for my part I found it really valuable. Thank you.

Robert: Again. Thank you so much for having me.

Catherine: All right. I think I'm ready to go to a conference now.

Mike: See you at Amplify, Catherine, and you, Steve, and hopefully you, dear listener. We want to thank Robert Copeland for joining us. And if you want to find out more about his work, you can go to, and you can find links to a few of his books, including The Handbook of Solitude and Quiet at School in the show notes.

Steve: And thank you, dear listener, for surfing along with us. I'm Steve Soter. That was Catherine Tsai and Mike Gravagno, and this has been Off the Books presented by Workiva.

Catherine: Please subscribe. Leave a review. Tell your buddies if you liked the show, and feel free to drop us a line at to tell us what you'd like to hear us discuss on upcoming episodes. Surf's up and we'll see you on the next wave.

Off the Books season 3


Steve Soter, Catherine Tsai, Mike Gravagno, Robert Coplan

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