So it has been quite a day. I did not make it through the whole thing to the bitter end — so, alas, I only got to hear Taylor Dayne sing once today. But anyway, my TED talk went great! I was up early to be to hair and make-up by 6:45. After getting my full-on fake eyelashes (supposedly they look good on camera) I got my oh-so-TED face microphone, and then went on stage as speaker #2 for the day.
Everything went off without a hitch. I had a great time speaking with the audience. They laughed in all the right places! The video was streamed live to hundreds of TEDx events going on simultaneously, but the video itself may take a few months to go up online. I will be sure to spread it far and wide when it goes live.
After my session, I signed 100 copies of my book, and then sat back to listen to the other sessions of the day. There were many great speakers, but I think the one that will stay with me longest was a joint speech from Thordis Elva, and Tom Stranger, co-authors of a book called South of Forgiveness that will be out next year. The two met in Iceland when she was 16 and he was an exchange student from Australia. They went to a dance together, she remembers drinking a little bit and having a bad reaction to it, and him offering to take her home — a situation that ended in a rape she described in its full brutality as he was standing there on stage with her. Those hours then wound up haunting both of them for decades. At a low point she wrote him a letter about it and he responded. The two corresponded for years and wound up meeting in South Africa to talk through and process what had happened. It was an incredibly challenging speech to listen to — to know this young man had done something horrible years ago, and yet listening to him talk and her talk there was still so much humanity in it all. If the book is anything like the speech, I will be sharing that one broadly.
As an introvert, I find that conferences can get a bit tiring as I make small talk all day. I love meeting new people, but it can be draining. So I left the dinner prior to the Taylor Dayne performance. She had spoken during the day, so I heard her sing then. I need to live to fight another day (and take the red-eye back tomorrow). I did make sure to take this photo with the TED logo though. It’s a good souvenir.