Whew! I made it through the last of my series of talks about humpback whales (for the time being) yesterday, a two-hour presentation for 100 people in Tokyo.
Since I've done similar talks in Beijing, Guangzhou and Hong Kong recently, you might think this one should've been a breeze.
First, I used the New Year holiday period to add a bunch of stuff and expand upon existing materials, so I had a lot more to remember. I never have a script, just talk from memory (hence the obvious potential for screw-ups).
Second, and more importantly, I did the entire presentation in Japanese, even learned a bunch of new biology words for the occasion.
Carrying on a normal conversation in Japanese, where there's back-and-forth, pauses for thought, and opportunities to ask for clarification, isn't a problem.
Yakking for two hours straight, without any other voices involved though...now that's taxing...worrying about making ridiculous grammatical errors, using words incorrectly, or just flubbing entire thoughts!
By the end of my presentation, I was exhausted. Totally crashed when I got home.
Fortunately, there were a lot of friendly faces in the audience, and I think I managed to avoid any egregious errors.
Now it's time to lock-down itineraries, review logistics, clean and prep gear, and get myself ready for the next nine months of travel.