Someone recently suggested that introducing the concept of Chat Mats is like introducing a new language or way of communicating.
The great news is that in reality it is much easier. If I am going on holiday I aim to learn a minimum of 6 words before I go (hello, goodbye, yes, no, please and thank you and maybe ‘do you speak english’) any more than that starts to need a full on language course of some kind. However, if you want to ‘chat’ it’s really simple: there are only 2 key phrases (say hello, not today), and you don’t have to memorise them or even learn how to say them – you simply put your Chat Mat on a table green or red side up.
However, using any language needs confidence and that is where practice either with a fellow speaker or at a class can help. There’s good news here too – that’s what Companions Hours are for. And it just gets better, if there isn’t one near you just set one up – unlike running a language class it requires no prior knowledge or special skills just a willingness to create connections for yourself and/or others. I’ve never yet needed to learn Esperanto but ‘chat’ has been dead easy and is understood by those that have never even come across it before.