The past month has been such a whirlwind that I spent more days in April out of town than in town — two conferences, one international TEDx talk, and one luncheon speaking event. It has finally wound down, and now I’m trying to catch up. One of the big events that took up much of my time was my TEDx Oslo talk on April 21.
The months leading up required a great deal of preparation, following by my family’s voyage to Scandinavia for the talk. We spent just over a week there on a mini-quasi family vacation — tips on how well that worked with a 2-year-old and 5-year-old to come later! — first visiting a friend in Sweden and then staying in Oslo for the rest of the time.
It was nerve-wracking and exciting to give a TEDx talk. It needed to be memorized, so I spent many of the hours on trains and planes running through my index cards and my speech from memory. The TEDx Oslo team, however, was so incredibly welcoming and friendly that they put all of us at ease immediately when we arrived for our dress rehearsal on April 20. The rehearsal and the event were held at the National Theater in Oslo, the same theater where one of Ibsen’s plays opened in the first three opening nights over a century ago. As a huge fan of Ibsen (he’s second only to Shakespeare for me, and I was an English major) and a former actress, it was eerie and remarkable and awesome and awe-inspiring and humbling all at once to perform in that space.
As might be expected, I did not deliver the talk I memorized verbatim, but most of the flubs were completely missed by the audience — only I knew. The single time I forgot where I was and glanced at a couple notes on my hand, however, was naturally a moment caught on camera and included in the video. Oh well — we’re all human! My TEDx talk focused on why parents fear vaccines and what might be necessary to begin to build their trust. The complete talk is below.