I’m leaving tomorrow for a conference, and my nerves are beginning to hit an all time high. I was invited to give a talk at this conference last year, so this is my official debut to the scientific speaking circuit. Last year this prospect was very exciting. Now that it’s actually here, I feel like I might pee my pants…not very impressive, scientifically speaking.

The only thing that’s keeping my heart from completely beating out of my chest right now is the fact that this talk will be given to an audience that’s (mostly) outside of my field. So there won’t be as much of the drooling-over-my-favorite-scientist-superstar awkwardness that I might experience otherwise. Nonetheless, I’m sure I will be spending quite the large bit of energy keeping my shit together next week. Not to mention that my talk is at the very end of the conference, so I have all week to dread wait for my big moment.

I spent the last couple of days finalizing my talk, though, and I think it’s in pretty good shape. I have some nice new data to share, which will hopefully be impressive. I’ve modified my normal spiel for the new audience. And I think I’ve got my transitions from one topic to another down pat. Preparedness is the cure for uncontrollable nerves, after all.

I couldn’t help but wonder after doing my final run-through yesterday…will it be like this every time I give a talk? Surely I’ll get cooler, more confident…right? I see some of these big time scientists get up in front of huge rooms of people and effortlessly give amazing talks. Are they nervous? Were they ever?

Damn it, why am I feeling like a neurotic mess?? ;P


4 thoughts on “Nerves!!!

  1. I couldn't help but wonder after doing my final run-through yesterday…will it be like this every time I give a talk?

    No, it won't. The more experience you have giving talks, the less nervous you become.

  2. Well, yes and no–I'm much more experienced now but I still have some degree of freakout before each one. It ranges from full-on physical illness to minor fluttering. But it's always there for me, lol.

  3. What Arlenna said! Because of all the outreach I do, I've given a ton of talks, but I still get nervous depending on the situation. Usually if it's a situation I've been in before (like a conference, or a classroom) then I don't really get nervous. But, if it's a situation I've never been in (like being the keynote speaker at a conference for the first time), I get pretty nervous!

    Good luck! You'll do awesome!

  4. Thanks guys – I'm soooo looking forward to the time when this gets a bit easier. For now, the heat, humidity, and lack of AC at this site are keeping my mind occupied on staying cool instead of dreading my upcoming date with the podium. 😉

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