Cross posted at the Positive Light website.
Doing a TEDx talk is in a word: Intense. You work for weeks, you change it a dozen times as you break down the layers in your personal story and get feedback from friends/spouse/family/speaking coach/hosts, you rehearse it another dozen times over the 24 hours before the event, you get one of those cool headsets and then for 15 nerve-wracking minutes you speak to an audience you can’t even see.
I’ve never imagined myself becoming a public speaker of anything, much less standing on the TEDxDhaka stage. For most of my life I’ve concentrated on figuring out what is the next thing I can do is in order to drive forward my projects and initiatives. It’s only recently that I learned that in order to increase the impact of what I do, I’ve needed to develop the skills of leadership so that others can be inspired and follow my vision in business and sustainable travel. (Big thanks to the Centre for Sustainability Leadership’s media bootcamp for that learning!)
I spent about two solid weeks preparing for the talk, doing the ‘right’ things like figuring out my key messages and deciding on a script. I also decided I wanted to speak with humility and yet authority, without being preachy.
Finally, I also needed to look really deeply at and share the emotions surrounding my choices regarding Bangladesh. I needed to share why I’ve been so moved by what I experienced in the country; Bel and I have spent six years encouraging tourism development in the country, promoting it to all those who would listen and realising that it’s in our blood now, that our actions outside of the country could now bring immense change inside it.
I enjoyed it immensely and have nothing but gratitude for the organising team, whose teamwork showed and culminated in a very memorable and moving event full of inspiration, laughter and beauty. Thank you TEDxDhaka for having me, and for helping me get my positive message out to the world!
BackgroundMikey Leung and Belinda Meggitt have been working in Bangladesh for a number of years, a lifelong relationship with the country that began in 2006 when the husband/wife duo lived there as development volunteers. In 2007 they were offered the opportunity to write a new travel guidebook for Bangladesh, which began a number of travel adventures that would eventually culminate in the first edition of the book, published in 2009. Meggitt and Leung eventually moved back to Australia in 2009, but then returned to Bangladesh for frequent visits, including four visits in 2011 to research and develop the 2nd edition of the Bradt Travel Guide.
In 2011, Leung and Meggitt also decided to create a new social enterprise which works at promoting sustainable travel in Bangladesh. The first project of this country was to launch the Positive Light project, which aims to show a positive story of Bangladesh through photography. In late 2012, Leung was invited to speak at TEDxDhaka about the project.