Fear of the lecture
Fortunately, Laura had a window seat on the train to Frankfurt and it was a beautiful autumn weather. The sun was shining and the nature presented itself in colorful colors. Laura sat comfortably and relaxed in her comfortable seat and peered through the window. Outside, the Westerwald rushed by. Luckily, the train had not been running too fast, so she could enjoy the landscape of Rhineland-Palatinate.
Laura smiled and a little was warming her heart. For a long time she had not been here, in her home country. But she felt immediately returned to her childhood in Rhineland-Palatinate. At the front of the wagon, the glass door opened, and a young attendant came in with a narrow cart to feed the passengers with food and drink.
"Coffee?" Asked the friendly man in the obligatory dark blue uniform and bright red tie. "No thanks!" Answered Laura. "I'm awake enough." The young man walked on, but the smell of fresh coffee remained in Laura's area for a while. Somehow it smelled delicious, but she really couldn't bring anything down now, because her nervousness increased with every kilometer the train approached the Hesse metropolis. Laura hadn't closed her eyes all night, so she was preoccupied with her big performance.
Today she had to give a lecture for the first time
And she had had her the whole night before her mind's eye. She had been standing on the stage, in front of the auditorium, waiting to bombard them with questions. With questions she might not be able to answer because everything she could deliver on the subject was already on the slides of the lecture.
She had seen himself as a narrow-necked soldier, who had already fired all his ammunition and had now been defenseless to the enemy. All alone, she had been up there on the stage, around 600 experts from all over the world, sweating, with a frog in her throat. Laura had literally felt her blush and how all had fallen upon her.
These pictures had constantly been repeated before their mind's eye and robbed her of all sleep. Laura had thrown back and forth sweating all night long. She was just panicky afraid to lose her face on her first appearance in the specialist community. When her alarm clock rang in the early morning, he had not torn her out of her sleep. No, he had freed her from the film, which had been running all night before her mind's eye. It was not much better now. Laura gave herself every conceivable effort to hide her condition, because even here on the train this annoying film began to run with the many unsightly images of her failure. She tried to distract herself, always looking out into the beautiful landscape. But that did not help:
Laura's hands were moist, there was a heavy stone on her chest.
And she had the oppressive feeling that all the other passengers in the compartment were aware of that. With every friendly smile she could get from someone walking through the wagon, Laura saw a derogatory grimace of glee, sometimes paired with a bit of pity for a sure loser who did not go into battle.
The whole misery started with one eMail their Professors: “Enclosed the invitation to tender for an interesting and important conference. We absolutely have to participate to bring a new topic to the public for our institute. Please log in and speak. ” Laura had no idea what to say there. "We don't do anything in this area," she had thought. Well, there were certainly a few ideas for one or the other research assignment, but so far no results.
How should you give a complete lecture about this? And also good?
"Because we are not yet on the subject, we just have to show ourselves in public," had Professor Cornelius said lightly to her when she asked him about his request. "Great," Laura had grumbled, "he spoke easily. It's against all the rules of good scientific practice if you do something like that. ” She couldn't tell him that. So Laura had sat down and researched. She had worked hard and worked on her lecture for days, with which she could make a virtue of necessity. Say: How to use the existing results of the working group for the new topic of the conference.
When Laura had finished reading her lecture several times and correcting it again and again, one thing had become clear to her: what lay before her was an advertising presentation for her institute. So à la 'five-minute terrine' from Maggi - great idea! “Buy: Brand new, without new content, but in the Maxipack!” As a master thesis, Laura would never have given that in life, she would never have dared to do so. Professor Cornelius would have ripped that thing around her ears. Laura was sure of that.
When the train stopped in Frankfurt am Main and she alighted in the familiar station, the joy of her arrival in Frankfurt helped her to distract herself, and she thought she had her nerves under control. However, when she entered the nearby exhibition hall, her pulse accelerated again, the moisture on her hands increased and the perspiration became as active as indoor cycling in her fitness center. No wonder: The huge lecture hall was packed.
Laura had never spoken to so many people.
Above all not in English, which has been a bit confused with her in recent years. And then she had to wait a while until she was the turn. Each of her previous speakers got worse. When the discussion leader finally announced it, her nerves were finally bright. As if in a trance, Laura climbed the stairs to the stage. Fortunately, the headlights dazzled, so she could not see the many listeners who were waiting for their talk.
"Ladies and gentlemen," Laura started her speech. Miraculously, her nervousness evaporated after a few minutes. It is also known from actors that their stage fright will quickly subside once the curtain has risen. Waiting for it is the worst. It was the same with Laura. Her English didn't cause any problems either, and she did her lecture fairly professionally. When Laura checked her watch in between, she found that she had given her speech faster than at home when practicing. Therefore, it was finished much earlier than planned. The little bit of nervousness that was left passed completely when Laura got thunderous applause.
At that moment she felt free, relieved, and simply great.
The many listeners applauded enthusiastically! Not only that! Since there was still some time, the discussion leader allowed questions from the audience. The experts asked a lot and Laura, now very confident and in a really good mood, enjoyed it very much. She answered all questions very professionally and satisfactorily for the audience. "Thank you very much for this extraordinarily concise lecture, Ms. Schilberg," said the discussion leader when he said goodbye to Laura with further applause. "As you can see, ladies and gentlemen, a short and crisp lecture can spark a lot of interest."
Laura enjoyed her success. Right!
As she left the stage and sank down to her chair in the front row, she felt indescribably good. Just great! The heavy burden of nervousness and anxiety fell from her like a millstone. The adrenaline had degenerated, and now the fatigue of the last sleepless night was noticeable. Laura had a headache, but that did not matter. She had done her job well. Only that counted. She had not become embarrassed, but had achieved the exact opposite. And while Laura was sunk in thought, somebody knocked on her shoulder from behind.
"Excuse me if I just speak to you, Ms. Schilberg," said a striking male voice. Laura turned and saw a handsome, graying gentleman behind her. A well-groomed appearance in a dark blue suit. "Oh, please!" Answered Laura. The attractive, estimated 60-year-old gentleman made a little impression on the young woman. "My name is Goldfinch!", He introduced himself.
“Your lecture was just great! Would you have some time for me during the coffee break? ”
Of course, a young, cosmopolitan woman like Laura Schilberg could not and would not reject the offer of such an elegant gentleman. So she met Mr. Stieglitz for a coffee. This date should be very important for Laura. She received an invitation from the Leibnitz Institute to hold the same speech at an exclusive meeting. Of course Laura accepted. For the first time in her life she was invited guest speaker.
Food and lodging as well as travel expenses of course free. Not bad! Laura Schilberg was the only doctoral candidate to join Professorand experienced scientists spoke. Laura noticed, however, already at the thought of the next lecture, that in spite of all the confirmation again ungainly feelings rose in her. What could she do about it?
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German edition: ISBN 9783965960343
English version: ISBN 9783965960350 (Translation notice)
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