i was at a conference over the weekend as a presenter! hah! so that is it, folks, i have officially presented a paper at an international conference, so woohoo!
of course, i was shivering like a mad woman that very morning. i swear i did not have an ounce of coffee or a spoonful of sugar, but my adrenaline level just shot up to the roof. i was jumpy, i ran about like crazy and was laughing insanely at everyone i met. ok, exaggeration, but i was smiling stupidly that whole morning la.
my presentation was early afternoon and i could hardly eat anything at all at lunch. when dragged to the buffet table anyway (i have such delightful friends), my muddled state of mind choose a bowl of tom yam soup, rice with asam pedas and spicy chicken which had a misunderstanding with my stomach almost as soon as it hit the digestive juices.
i have been a debater for like, what, forever? but this is a whole different scenario. where some paper presenters hardly had any audience at all, i had a room full of professors and i swear it felt like i was just walking to the front of a firing squad out there. you can’t bullshit facts in front of kahunas like these (oh, i never bullshit at debates either… er… really! heheh!). my hands were so fucking cold that i had to sit on them. i kept telling myself that it’s just like a debate… it’s just like a debate… it’s just like a debate… god, i hope i won’t choke!!!
and i really am not the prepared-speech sorta person. been there, tried that, but my debate training gets vexed everytime and the results are disasterous! so although i have my slides prepared the night before, i only listed out my main points half an hour before the presentation.
when my turn came, i went out there, fumbled okay… fumbled with my thumb drive and jabbed it into the pc and opening my slides. the chairperson was dreaming so i had to walk over to him to ask to be introduced. and then realised that i left my notes on the panel desk and was practically standing at the podium with both hands in my pockets and nothing else. and then… er… and then…
i presented. i recall the whole thing like a daze, like a dream- you know what happened, but you don’t remember much of it. amnesia? i know i presented. i know i covered all the points i needed to cover. i remember more and more people entering the room as i was speaking. i remember some people taking photos. i remember running low on time as the chairperson signalled me my last five minutes. i remember ending my slides and wrapping up and an applause?
i guess it was not that bad. the anticipation of the event was actually the nerve wrecking part of the whole ordeal, although my hands were still trembling as i shoke hands with strangers after the talk. i look back at the talk itself as being in an inter-dimentional vortex. i can’t remember that 20 minutes, really, but they tell me it was good. i’m tremendously relieved.
so that is it, my first presentation at an international linguistic conference, shivering in my pants and everything.