Like teaching, giving presentations at academic conferences was also terrifying, at first. Before I gave my first talk, I envisioned being ripped to shreds with the sharp critiques of seasoned academics who I thought would be impossible to please. Instead, I found engaging discussion and positive reception to what I had to offer. Lucky me.
As a green-behind-the-ears scholar, I used to feel quite excited by academic conferences. The discussion. The learning. The new ideas. The social opportunities. It was grand in the beginning.
But now, I loath academic conferences because, in my view, most academics couldn’t engage an audience if their life depended on it. And don’t even get me started on how dreadful most academics are at using visual media like PowerPoint. Ninety percent of academic presentations are perfectly awful because of audience abuse through misuse of PowerPoint. Have I conveyed how I really feel?
I try to set a better example and, quite frankly, I have. I’m good at it. Check out some of what I’ve done.