Speaking at TEDxClapham

Yesterday (Saturday 17th January 2015), I spoke at TEDxClapham. I am a huge fan of TED talks, they’ve taught me a lot over the last few years and so when Alex Merry asked me to speak at TEDxClapham I jumped at the opportunity! To all my friends and family, I’m sorry. It’s over now. I’m not stressed anymore.


I was so nervous beforehand and I still haven’t decided if I want to watch the video of my talk when it goes online. I made a joke at the beginning about “buffering” if I mess up. At one point I forgot what I was about to say and played my “buffering” get out of jail free card. Speaking to some people after the event they didn’t realise that I’d genuinely gone blank – they thought it was another part of the joke! YES! Smooth Hannah, smooth…

When I first saw that there were going to be 16 speakers and the day would run from 11am-5pm I was a bit worried that I’d get bored or fall asleep. A whole day of lectures!? I’ve already graduated! Don’t make me go back there! Please! But I was gripped the whole time. Everyone was so inspiring and engaging. During Lisa & Tida Finch’s talk I actually cried. There were so many badass women talking about their work and how they’re changing the world little by little. TEDxClapham truly made me feel a part of something. Something big.

*Edit 20th February. You can watch the video of my talk now!

In the breaks I got to mingle with people in the audience and the after party was attended by speakers, TEDxClapham workers and volunteers and audience members. There was such a great vibe. Everyone felt pumped. We were all so excited for the future. Or maybe that was the adrenaline and alcohol…

To end this I want to introduce you to some of the badass people I met yesterday and the work they’re doing.

Lisa and Tida Finch @FINCHITTIDA
Lisa and Tida are twins and they run their own jewellery business. They brought an entourage of friends with them wearing some of their pieces and they look amazing! They are on a mission to clear the dormant bombs in Laos where their mother is from. They told their mother’s story of escaping from Laos at the beginning of their talk and when they brought her on stage at the end, that was when I cried.

Izzie Chapman @IzzieChapman
Izzie is incredible. Like me, her thing is sex education and she is a huge inspiration. Her talk was about violence against women and girls and how the “and girls” part of that statement is often forgotten about. Izzie works with girls in gangs and some of the stories and statistics she mentioned were horrifying. But this woman is unstoppable and the work she’s doing to help women and girls is amazing.

Sophia Thakur @SophiaThakur
Oh Sophia, Sophia. I have so much love for Sophia. For one, she’s a fresher at the university I just graduated from and we were bonding over having the same politics lecturer. But more importantly, Sophia is an amazing spoken word poet. The poem she performed was all about masculinity and gender roles. SO MUCH LOVE. Watch out for this girl. I’m expecting amazing things.

Dave Chawner @DaveChawner
I love Dave. He is a stand up comedian and naturally his talk was hilarious! Dave is a recovering anorexic and he uses his platform to address issues of mental health and eating disorders amongst men. Afterwards, Dave and I had some good chats about mental health, gender norms, love, relationships and spooning. All around amazing human.

Dr Sue Black @Dr_Black
Sue Black single handedly saved Bletchley Park. You may have heard of Bletchley Park. It’s where Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch defeated the Nazis with maths. Sue harnessed the power of Twitter before I even had a Twitter account and petitioned to save Bletchley Park which was under threat of closure due to lack of funds. We have a lot to thank this woman for. I remember my grandparents taking me to Bletchley Park and I was blown away by the story. Thanks Sue!

Clockwise from top left: Dr Sue Black, Izzie Chapman, Sophia Thakur, Lisa and Tida Finch.

There were loads more amazing speakers and you can find out more about them on the TEDxClapham website.

Yesterday was incredible but I am so glad it’s over. I will be spending today in my pyjamas watching Netflix.

Thank you to everyone who worked on TEDxClapham and for letting me share the stage with so many inspiring people. I’ll never forget it.

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  1. When and where will it be uploaded? I can’t wait to see you, it sounds like an amazing experience, I’m so happy for you! You are a huge inspiration for me.

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