My First Conference Speech

With jitteriness in my hands and a tremor in my voice, I took  to the podium to give my first presentation at an  international conference. My head was swarmed with tips I  gathered over the years on good presentation skills:  maintain an eye contact with the audience, avoid a  monotonous voice, stick to the time allocated for your  presentation, do not jiggle with the pointer and use it wisely,  and lastly, try to relax.

The location was Beirut, Lebanon and the audience  comprised of members of the American University of Beirut  community, the organizers of the conference, and other  speakers from all over the Arab Region.  With a grateful prayer that the hall was not fully packed with viewers, I started my speech on ‘Perspectives of the Egyptian Chairs of Research Ethics Committees regarding barriers that affect proper functioning’.

Though I was conscious of the time restriction (which was 10 minutes), I was shocked to view the one minute notice held up by the conference coordinator while I was still halfway through my results. Thinking fast and furious, I decided to skip a couple of slides presenting the results on informed consent and assigned the remaining of my time to the conclusion, limitations of the study, future plans for the study.

There are few lessons I learned,  which I believe are worth sharing:  by far the most important was the value of rehearsing and being prepared. Much of stage fright and speech anxiety can be contributed to ill preparation and not being fully acquainted to your topic.

The significance of constructive feedback was the second most important lesson I learned during the endeavor. In fact, the comments and suggestions made by MERETI members during the rehearsal the prior evening  prompted me to change the presentation content and style altogether.  In addition, maintaining a professional aptitude by abiding to the time allocated to me, being able to think on the spot and accepting criticism, was equally valuable. I can truly say I am looking forward to my next conference presentation.

9 Responses to My First Conference Speech

  1. Nadia Zaki September 27, 2011 at 11:52 pm #

    CONGRATULATIOS Amal. You were more than excellent.

    • Amal Matar September 29, 2011 at 12:01 am #

      Thank you everyone

  2. amr shebaita September 28, 2011 at 1:16 am #

    congratulations Amal

  3. samia September 28, 2011 at 12:31 pm #

    Dear Amal
    you were wonderful. great presenter

  4. Heba Kassem September 28, 2011 at 1:13 pm #

    Congratulations Amal, Of course you are up to it :))

  5. Heba Kassem September 28, 2011 at 1:14 pm #

    could you kindly webcase your presentation please 🙂

  6. Sally Mashaly October 2, 2011 at 11:30 am #

    Congratulation AMAL
    & will be the first in Series of successful speeches ISA 🙂

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