Sunday, January 27, 2013

Presidents Distinguished Club 2012

Speakeasy provides a warm and supportive environment for people who want to improve their communication and leadership skills. This week, the second meeting of the new season, President Jerry Mulcahy and Toastmaster Celine Cremin took the opportunity to inform new comers at the meeting that membership at this stage of the year is half price, -35 euro.
As Toastmaster, -Celine fulfilled the duties of explaining the running of the meeting, introducing the officers, and introducing the speakers with ease and with great humour. James Kelleher joined Celine and the President at the top table in the role of Topicsmaster. James produced a great range of topics over the course of the evening which engaged the audience.

There were four excellent speeches. In a speech entitled Taking a Stand, Michael Cronin took us back to the dramatic year of 1968, and told the stirring story of two Black athletes, -John Carlos and Tommy Smith who were recipients of Gold and Bronze medals. These brave men in the times when Black people struggled to get basic Human Rights, raised their fists in the Black Power Salute, as their National Anthem played. They were not alone, but accompanied by the Silver Medallist, an Australian, Peter Norman, who did not raise his fist, but stood with them, also wearing a badge symbolising Human Rights. They all 3 suffered the consequences of being ostracised for years to come. With the great visual aid of the 3 on the podium to contemplate, this speech gave the audience much to think about. Pat Sexton evaluated Michael’s speech.

Tom O’Connor gave a wonderful speech, with the title of “An Elusive Truth”. In this most absorbing speech Tom paid homage to a great human being, called Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish Diplomat, who saved the lives of many Hungarian Jews in World War Two. Rona Coughlan evaluated Tom’s speech.

Liam Flynn’s speech was called “You’re not Alone”. This was a heartwarming, uplifting and beautifully crafted speech, where Liam encouraged us all to look to our own ability in terms of self sufficiency to get through the present day economic crisis, but most importantly ,-to help others. He cited local strengths, our agriculture, our tourism potential and most importantly, our youth, who could lead the way forward to a return to prosperous times. Claire O’Connell evaluated Liam’s speech.

Finally our immediate ex President, Tony O’Regan had the objective of giving a speech to accept an award, and as it happened Tony really did have an award to accept. Speakeasy Toastmasters under Tony’s stewardship have been given the award of President Distinguished Club by the international Toastmasters Organisation for the amount of goals they achieved last year. These goals are set out in the interest of having a well run, productive, successful club which Speakeasy is. Tony accepted the award graciously on behalf of all the members and paid special tribute to one person, our Educational Vice President of last year, -Jean Sayers, for the quiet and unassuming manner in which Jean did so much work behind the scenes. He encouraged new members to join up and to be relaxed in knowing that this club gives people the perfect opportunity and place where they can safely fail on the way to improving their public speaking and leadership skills. Ray Ryan evaluated Tony’s speech.

Bill Martin evaluated the meeting as a whole and evaluated the evaluators, keeping a strict eye on timing which is an important focus in Toastmaster meetings.
Angela Sheehan was the grammarian for the night. She watched out for the use of “crutch words”, such as ah and um and pointed out nice use of English, such as Tom’s use of a quote-
“The midnight fear, the knock upon the door,
the brutal face behind the gun, on the icy Danube shore."
Angela’s word that she chose to promote was “Bravo”, and there was certainly plenty of occasion to use this word!.

Pat Duggan as Timekeeper kept a watchful eye on timings. All were warmly welcomed to the meeting by Guest Greeters,- Marie Lynes, Mary Moynihan and Ronan Condon

Speakeasy Toastmasters meets every 2nd Thursday in the Hi-B. next meeting at 8pm Hibernian Mallow, Thursday Feb 7th. Non members are most welcome and are never asked to speak. Contact Jerry 0863752895,or Noel 0872427485.
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