Did you know that many people are terrified of public speaking? Apparently, it is the second biggest fear after death. As a cat, neither worry me too much, I still have 7 lives to go and I get along just fine with meows and purrs. But, if you are a fearful one, join Toastmasters. In fact come along to a Bacon and Egg Toastmasters meeting. The first and third Saturday of the month is when they meet – quite an early start at 8.30am, but that means they leave by 11.30am and have the rest of their Saturday to do Saturday stuff..….whatever that may be. It is at Barefoot Kitchen in Muldersdrift so, on top of learning how to speak, you have a Bacon and Egg breakfast….must be where they got their name. hahahaha
They speak about the most amazing things and I’m always impressed to see the quietest of them stand in front and speak. Teachers, lawyers, IT guys, accountants, chefs and all sorts of other interesting people are members. If you think about it, every time you talk to another person you are public speaking, so it stands to reason that humans, who are always talking to each other, should learn the best ways to do so.
The meeting starts and all visitors and guests are introduced. This is my cue to casually stroll in and be welcomed to their midst. Out of all the wonderful members I have two favourites – Shaun and his mom. Joy reminds me of a cat. Obviously that is why I love her so much. To us cats, comfort is important, so she brings her own cushion and when it is a bit chilly, a blanket. For months the others called her ‘Shaun’s mom’, which I certainly wouldn’t have tolerated. But patiently, like an old kitty, she trained them and now everyone knows she is Joy.
Her son, Shaun, is super clever and has won the 702 Brain of Johannesburg twice. However, he is a bit absent minded, he always seems to forget his shoes. Can you believe he has been a Toastmaster for nearly 30 years? Good grief, that seems like forever. At first I thought he might be a bit slow, not learning after so long, but he assures me that there is always something new to learn and he takes something away from every meeting.
Everyone adores me and they all want my attention, which is a real conundrum. Luckily there are three hours for me to do my rounds. I usually start with Joy and then have a quick peek at the agenda to give me an indication when to get to Shaun. You see, if I am on his lap when it is his turn to stand up, he explains that he cannot disturb me, so he remains seated. It works every time. Larry is just before breakfast. He has a cosy lap and can be relied on to slip me a piece of bacon. Sometimes duty calls and a nervous speaker is in need of comfort and attention. Snuggling up gives them that extra bit of courage to get up there and shine.
Apparently, there are some odd people in this world who have never had much to do with cats. Obviously this means they are a little nervous of anything feline. I have undertaken to train them and our un-cat-friendly members, and guests, usually leave the meeting converted.
Let me remind you that a bit of ‘cattitude’ is all you need.