‘…And then’

Firstly, I would like to apologize for my sudden ‘moment of silence’ over the last week- I was on a vacation from life! * Mentally puts on sunglasses lays in the sun by the pool*

The strangest thing I find about myself is that I don’t talk in my sleep. I mean I CAN TALK! I guess it is the only time that my mouth gets to rest- that’s my conclusion! Makes sense, right?

Firstly, the strangest things tend to ALWAYS…..I MEAN ALWAYS happen to me, so I gat loads of stories to share! I mean like the other day my gardener called me at work to say good morning, yet I saw him in the morning and said good morning and there was nothing else he wanted from me but to say good morning! I was left scratching my head and pondering upon his actions.

The story above was actually quite irrelevant to where I am taking you today but it basically points out that interesting things are always happening in my life, therefore I am able to have lots to say and often. I like to consider myself a storyteller! (First and foremost I am a decadent chocolate something special….never forget that!)

I remember as a child, when I used to tell my mother a story I would interrupt each sentence with ‘And then..’ and she would stop me and make me repeat my story and tell me to retell it without the use of the words ‘and then’ and I would be smart ass and use the word ‘sooo…’ in its place. She would mock me. What was wrong with her!!? I was only a kid! But she taught me well, because in the words of Barney Stinson, ‘Challenge accepted!’ I knew I had to improve the way I told my stories- I wanted to be more articulate and confident. FACT: I knew I was chubby kid with above average grades and played NO sports, so all I had was my stories and a couple of jokes.

First thing I did was to be mindful of my use of the words ‘and then’ and ‘so’. I tried to pause instead of using those words. Practice makes perfect! It worked! I realised that I needed to take my storytelling to the next level and work on my wit, so that there was an idiosyncratic charm to the way I told stories or merely how I spoke about something. Luckily, I grew up with lots of boys so I always ready for a ‘dissing match’- I would just walk up to one and say ‘You are so fat and bald’ and they would reply ‘you are fatter’ and I would rapidly reply, ‘You are the fattest boy in the world! You can’t even run’- These dissing matches helped me learn how to think quick on my feet but I also learnt how to be rude! Opps!

Now all through my teens, I could easily make friends and make them laugh! However, when I reached university and we had to start doing presentations, I had to be top 10 most boring presenters each time. In my mind, I had this grand plan to charm the lecture room but I would get there and it was like Napoleon Dynamite had taken over my existence. I was dull. I would beat myself each time. I soon found out I was more comfortable behind the words I put on paper. I would get so nervous!

It wasn’t until 3rd year that I had the best lecturer ever! She taught me how to present. That is a story for another day! She taught me what to do with my posture, my hands and what my slides should have versus what I say, as well as synchronizing my speech and movements if I was to present with other people. Public speaking isn’t easy Yo!

Living in Rwanda, you find a lot of soft spoken people, and SOME of


those who seem a tad bit outspoken are noted as great speakers and they are truly average and unrehearsed. I hate that excuse of ‘but they are the best we have’ in the words of the greatest CEO (our president) – ‘Why do you want to be the best of the worst?!’

I think that public speaking is an art form. It needs to be nurtured, hard work needs to be put in so that you cannot just be ‘good at it’ or ‘the best we have’. Why come on earth to be average/basic? Be great and be great something you know that you can do! Public speaking can take you very far, make you very relevant- the gift of the gab is one of those traits that thickens the thin line between those that great and those are not! (by the way…that is probably a lie but I like to think that I convinced you it was FACT! *wink*)


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