John and Joshua

‘Fill The Gap’ was the TEDxYouthCroydon talk delivered by the Okungbaiye brothers John and Joshua, who are the founders of High Spirit Bag Ltd. Their product was born out of their traveling experience in New York, where they realised how easy it was for people to have items stolen from their backpacks. They set out creating stylish, high-quality backpacks that have a unique zipping design which protects your possessions from theft and loss during your travels.

The unique patented product has earned the brothers numerous awards including the Virgin Pioneer Award, Shell LiveWIRE Grand Ideas Award and investment from Sir Richard Branson.

How did the brothers prepare for their TEDx talk?

The brothers prepared for their TEDxYouthCroydon talk by attending arranged workshops, which were used to develop their speech writing skills and oral skills for successfully delivering their speech. John and Joshua say this was useful because it increased their confidence and their drive to deliver a speech that people would remember.

While delivering speeches for TEDx are an exhilarating and wonderful experience, there are some minor challenges that speakers often have to overcome.  The brothers said that “the most challenging thing is developing a speech that cuts through to the audience.  We had to look for elements that our audience could relate to. In addition, we had to develop ways to communicate our speech in an articulate way in order to avoid getting our message lost in translation.’’

What made a difference to them delivering a great talk?

John and Joshua learned that in order to deliver a speech, you have to be confidence, articulate, project your voice when speaking and be firm when articulating views.

Support from friends and families really helped. The brothers had a big support network made up of family, friends and mentors, who kept encouraging them ‘‘to practice, practice, practice’’, and their constructive critique also helped enhance their final speech delivery.

What has happened to High Spirit Bags since last year?

Since their talk last year, High Spirit Bags Ltd has grown in strength; they’ve been featured in the Metro newspaper, Elle Magazine, The Guardian Observer. They also partnered with other online retail stores. The talks also gave them the chance to meet more people and expand their networks, which lead to more opportunities, increasing their profile.

What did they enjoy the most about participating in TEDxYouthCroydon?

Their mentors. The brothers shared that curator and founder of TEDxYouthCroydon, Elaine Powell was very instrumental in building their confidence. ‘’She was open to finding solutions to our concerns and we really learnt a lot of valuable lessons working with her.’’

Their final advice for anyone wanting to do a TEDx talk? 

‘’You have to be committed to becoming a better speaker and you have to have an idea that you believe will resonate with the audience.’’


Good luck boys! We look forward to following your exciting journey.

Watch their TEDxYouthCroydon talk of last year and let it inspire you here