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I gave a 20-minute talk today to about 200 grad students, post docs, and faculty at a departmental retreat. I think the talk went pretty well — I don’t think I rushed at all and I stayed on time. Folks I met afterwards also appeared enthusiastic about my material / delivery.

The relative ease I felt while giving speaking stood in stark contrast to how anxious I was leading up to it. I’d never spoken in front of so many people before and was frankly a little intimidated. So much so that it spoiled my weekend a bit — I was having trouble giving my attention to non-talk-related tasks Saturday and Sunday.

I thought I’d make a note of this, since one of the reasons I agreed to give this presentation was my hope that I’d get some ease speaking in front of large audiences. Now that the talk is over, I recognize that it’s not comfort with speaking that I’d like more of (although that’s always nice), but rather comfort leading up to the talk. It’ll be interesting to see if that comfort increases in the coming years …

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