Terrible lecture

I’ve just given a terrible lecture. I had worked hard at it but I just didn’t know the material well enough and didn’t think it was interesting enough. Perhaps it was interesting, but it was the second time I had given it, so it felt kind of second hand. It was certainly interesting to me and I’d spent ages on the figures, but when I came to give the talk, the information in the figures just fragmented and overwhelmed me. I wanted to communicate a holistic vision of the subject but it fragmented into small meaningless bits. I usually rely quite heavily on figures in my talks rather than lots of text, so when this happens and the figures swim before my eyes I am lost – its like one of those dreams when you realise you are naked. The present moment crushes me.

I managed to struggle through, but I could not get the words and sentences out well. It felt like I had wool in my mouth and I could not articulate my tongue. The students were kind. I was sure they felt sorry for me.