OK, so I have to make a speech. It's really not a difficult speech, and it certainly won't be a long one. Brighton Lions Club celebrates its 64th charter anniversary a week tomorrow with a dinner and dance. Gone are the posh frocks of yesteryear, but most of the men will be wearing penguin suits. It will be my responsibility to respond to the toast to Brighton Lions Club.
As I said, not the most difficult of speeches to make. Indeed, I have already drafted out what I propose to say and on the basis of "stand up, speak up and shut up", it should take no more than about three minutes. I will need to be ready to amend my speech depending on what the proposer says, but that shouldn't be beyond my capabilities.
However, I am a tad concerned about the "and then" mentioned in the title. You see, in a moment of madness (I can think of no other plausible excuse) I agreed to talk to the local branch of the Forum Society about Lions Clubs, with particular emphasis on Brighton Lions Club. And there is nobody better suited than me to talk about Brighton Lions Club. (No false modesty here, you understand.)
Then, yesterday, I received the confirmation letter from the FS secretary. In this it specifies that the talk should last an hour. An HOUR? Granted, that does include time for questions, but still and all!
I am in no way a professional speaker and I have no idea at all just how many words I will need to say to fill an hour, a whole hour (less question time). And it's not as if I can think of any suitable illustrations or other gimmicks to help keep the audience at least semi-comatose.
Oh well, it doesn't happen until November. By then I might have thought of an excuse good enough to prevent me from appearing!