In our Q&A series, we talk with webinar presenters about their current roles, work-life balance and any helpful tips they may have for alumni.

Tell us about yourself and your work.

I work as a senior editor at Harvard Business Review, focusing on the print magazine. I also co-host the Dear HBR podcast, a workplace advice show. Before coming to HBR in 2010, I spent 17 years as a writer and editor at Newsweek. At both HBR and Newsweek, I’ve been fortunate to be able to do book projects on the side; PSYCHED UP is the latest of them.

Can you tell us what inspired your work?

I was a really mediocre high school athlete (football and basketball). Even though I wasn’t a star, it was a formative experience. I became fascinated by the things the coaches would do to get us emotionally ready in the moments before a big game—the pep talks, the music, the rituals, the rivalries they stoked. As I got older and moved into professional life, I recognized the utility of people using similar techniques before big moments at work. My job at HBR exposed me to academic research on which of these techniques really works, and which don’t. So this longstanding interest gelled into a book project.

Any advice for alumni who are intimidated before a big career presentation?

Think about managing three things: your confidence (more is better), anxiety (less is better), and your energy level (the optimal point depends on the context of your presentation—audience size, etc). In the presentation I talk about specific ways to manage each of these three elements. Which ones work best for each person will differ, but everyone should find the right routine they use before such events in order to maximize their chances of performing well.

What is the life in your work/life balance?

I’m married with three kids, 20, 17, and 14. I currently coach the younger two in basketball, and have coached various sports as the three of them have grown up. I golf, though not very well. Exercise, not enough. I also write travel articles, primarily for the Boston Globe’s Sunday Magazine.

Want to hear more about Dan's work? Review his presentation How to Prepare for High-Stakes Professional Events.