Next week it’s the IATEFL conference, the annual getting-together of our ‘tribe’, one that pre-dates (but includes) the twitter folk (aka PLN). It is always god to see so many friends and colleagues in one place.
And of course it means presenting again – in various guises I’ll be doing that at least 3 times in Liverpool. And though I’ve done it hundreds of times before, the nerves never go away – of course. And neither do the nightmares.
Nightmares? Well yes. I have a series of ‘presentation’ nightmares! Three nights ago, for example, I found that my ‘audience’ for some reason had split into three rooms – that’s after I had noticed that they weren’t really paying attention to me. And when I went into one room they (the teachers) seemed to be involved in a karaoke session and wouldn’t stop! They wouldn’t even listen to me! Me!!!
Once I had a nightmare about how I was talking away, losing confidence, so I turned my back on the teachers – it seemed to be in a room I had once presented in in Serbia – but/and when I turned round again almost all of the audience had vanished.
And then there’s the one (which recurs quite a lot) where we are some big conference and someone introduces me and explains what I am going to talk about and I stand up….and then have absolutely no idea what to say about the topic, and all the people are looking me expectantly…
I guess we all have nightmares which have something to do with the things that we do, and the fear of looking like a fool comes to some of us in some dreamlike form or other. I once knew someone who used to have hideous dreams about being in a reception line for the Queen wearing only her boots and a hat!
Then there’s the nightmare about publishers going crazily all-out digital and making people redundant all over the place and focusing only on a corporate-driven view of client satisfaction (the two are not compatible by the way).
Oh wait. That’s not a dream, that’s reality. So it doesn’t belong in this blog post. I’d better continue….
Not all my dreams are nightmares, of course. I had one which had an incredible farewell song in it so I had to write it down and record it.
But the presentation nightmares are part of my life, it seems, and even if/when I stop presenting (if I ever do) they’ll probably stick around. Personally I wish they’d go away, but maybe they are part of the presentation ‘furniture’
Do you have presentation/teaching nightmares that you feel like sharing?
Go on! You know you want to!