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!" Laura replied. "I'm awake enough." The young man kept walking, but the scent of fresh coffee stayed in Laura's area for a while. Somehow it smelled delicious, but she really could not bring anything down now, because her nervousness increased with each kilometer, with which the train approached the Hesse metropolis. Laura had not closed her eyes all night, so busy 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 call for an interesting and important meeting. We absolutely must attend to bring a new topic for our institute to the public. Please sign up and present. "Laura had no idea what she was supposed to say there. "We're not doing 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 in the topic right now, we have to show ourselves in public" Professor Cornelius lightly said to her when she approached him. "Great," Laura had muttered, "he's easy to talk to. That's against all the rules of good scientific practice if you do something like that. "But she could not possibly say that. So Laura had sat down and researched. She had worked diligently and for days on her lecture, with which she could make a virtue out of necessity. Say: How to use the existing results of the working group for the new theme of the conference.
When Laura was done with it and had read and corrected her lecture several times, one thing had become clear to her: what lay before her was an advertisement for her institute. So à la, Five-Minute-Terrine 'by Maggi - a great idea! "Buy: Brand new, without new content, but in the Maxipack!" As a master thesis Laura had never given that in life, she would never have dared. 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 began her speech. Miraculously, after a few minutes, her nervousness vanished. Actors also know that their stage fright abates when the curtain has lifted. The wait is the worst. It was the same with Laura. She did not have any problems with her English either, and she did her talk fairly professionally. When Laura looked at the clock in between, she found that she had performed faster than at home practicing. That's why she finished much earlier than planned. The little bit of nervousness that was left over vanished when Laura got rapturous applause.
At that moment she felt free, relieved, and simply great.
The many listeners applauded enthusiastically! Not only that! There was some time left, allowed the discussion leader questions from the audience. The experts asked a lot and Laura, now extremely confident and in a good mood, enjoyed it very much. She answered all questions very professionally and satisfactorily for the audience. "Thank you so much for this extraordinarily concise talk, Ms Schilberg," praised the speaker as he said goodbye to Laura with further applause. "As you can see, ladies and gentlemen, you can arouse much interest with a short and crisp presentation."
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 simply appeal to you, Mrs. Schilberg," said a striking male voice. Laura turned to see a handsome, graying gentleman behind her. A well-groomed appearance in a dark blue suit. "Oh, I ask you!" Laura replied. The attractive, estimated 60-year-old gentleman made some impression on the young woman. "My name is Stieglitz!", He introduced himself.
"Your talk was just great! Would you have 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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