I will be speaking at TEDWomen next week Thursday. This is the main TEDWomen conference in San Francisco, which features a large, live (sold out!) audience, and will be broadcast to many TEDxWomen events around the world. The theme, “It’s about time,” is near to my heart. The line-up of other speakers is…well, it’s fun to be the least famous person on stage, right?
So I am quite excited about it, and want to do my best. I have been working with the TED team for a few months on my talk, and coming into the final stretch, I have been practicing it multiple times per day (fortunately, at 12 minutes, this is not as grueling as it sounds). I generally practice in my bathroom so I can watch myself in the full-length mirror. I know there are different schools of thought on this as a speech practicing method, but it works for me. I have tried the speech several times with a stop watch running, so I can see when I hit what material. The idea is to assure myself, as the clock is counting down on stage, that I am on time.
I have also spent a lot of time thinking through my outfit. This is not an easy decision. I want to be reasonably comfortable and approachable, but not casual enough to be sloppy. Solid colors work best on video. All white is out, not that I have ever worn all white beyond my wedding day, but all black is generally out too. I do have a fair number of black dresses — including one that made my finalist round — but currently I am thinking a deep blue shell (sleeveless) with a pair of nice black pants and my fancy speaking shoes (bone-colored stilettos — they go on right before I go on stage, and go off right afterward. If there were no consequences I would probably wear running shoes for my entire life). Do you have any go-to outfits for big events?
I am speaking toward the start of the conference, which I’m quite happy about, because it means I’ll be able to relax and enjoy the rest of it afterwards. My favorite part of conferences like this is listening to other speakers and seeing how they execute their craft. I’ve heard TED really puts on quite a show at these curated events, and in any case, San Francisco is beautiful. I’m hoping to figure out some good running routes near downtown so I can explore the place. Tips welcome! And if anyone reading this happens to be attending TEDWomen in person, I’d love to meet you there! Feel free to email me at lvanderkam at yahoo dot com.
Photo: Michaelmas daisies in bloom.