The actual first conference I presented in was an ICA regional that took place in Málaga, Spain.
A former teacher of mine (now colleague) encouraged me to send an abstract…which I did, and I got accepted. The conference was called “Why should I trust you? Conflicts of communication in a time of crisis”. My presentation based on part of the research I was doing for my MA thesis in Ghana.
Now, unless Sider, this was not a student conference, but I was still an MA student. The very first stages of my fraud complex started to kick in. I was nervous and anxious for daaays before I actually travelled down to lovely Málaga.
I wrote the script of the talk (I had 20 minutes), which I rehearsed like a madman.
Well, the day of the conference, we went to lunch, I had to present right after lunch, but the lunch was almost a whole hour late. I was unsure if I should leave early and head to the venue or I should wait for everyone. I ended up waiting, which made the anxiety more pressing.
Back at the venue, I had to talk in the main hall, which of course, summer in south Spain, after lunch, it was mostly empty (which I now thank the planets for)…
My time arrives, I go up to the podium, with the light I barely can see my script, the terror starts to take over, the first joke goes completely unnoticed, I simply rambled on, mostly off the script, in my rustiest English ever, giving probably the worst performance in scholarly oratory.
To this day I get sweaty palms with the whole fiasco. That was the day I chose not to write scripts for talks and presentations. There is no way I can remember them, and I am no good at reading them on the spot…not worth the amount of time I spent preparing for the conference.