Tomorrow morning, 9:45 am I'll be doing this here presentation to a gathered audience of world renound people, astronomers and even a bit of press. I'm nothing particulary special at this conference, but you get this homogeneous collection of various bods at all presentations, and as I'm the last person it might be less so. I'm going to be presenting my work, or at least the work coded by Andrew Morley that I've applied a bit and written about.
To be honest, with 15 hours and 25 minutes to go I'm not actually as nervous as I suspected I would be. At least no more than I have been before at the various times I've given small presentations.
I've been quite struck by the general quality of most presentations here. Sure some of them have been pretty rubbish, but for the most part the style has been confident and enthusiastic. These are two aspects that I hope I can build into my talk so that I don't end up shaking and simply reading out my slides. I'd also like to try walking around while I talk as there is a roving 'Britney-esq' headset mic to use which should improve circulation. I'm also tempted to make a mini starting joke about the Britney mic, but I'm not sure it will totally go down well. We'll have to wait and see with that one.
I used to be under the impression that my presenting style is quite good, but over this week I've been able to analise it more critically and I'm not so sure. I'm cirtainly not terrible as I tend to talk along with the slides rather than read through them, but I still distract myself by trying to make sure I cover all the points written down. I've really got to concentrate on giving a presentation on my work and having the slides there to explain and back up what I'm saying. I also need to be more aware of myself and surroundings when I present as I tend to work myself into a mental fuzz so that I don't keel over, a standard self protection mechanism, but this separates my from reality and doesn't allow myself to interact with the audiance. I think that is the critical bit, the presentation is not in front of a wall, it's to an interested audience who, I hope, will be supportive. I must remain in touch and engaged with them throuout.
Can I put this into practice? We'll see!