Sunday, September 10, 2017

First meeting

A night to remember at Speakeasy!

"God made everyone right handed.Only the truly gifted overcome it".So spoke Verna Byrne in her wonderful speech on left handed people at the opening meeting of Speakeasy Toastmasters Club last Thursday night.

In front of a large audience of members and a sizeable number of guests,Club President Helsa Giles opened proceedings for the 2017-2018 Season. Toasmaster of the Evening,introduced a wide range of diverse speeches.
With a speech entitled "Spreading your wings",Pat Sexton gave an interpretive reading from Richard Bach's best selling novel, Jonathon Livingston Seagull. This inspirational reading was dedicated to everyone who wished to make a leap of fate,accept a new challenge,perhaps asking themselves the questions -will I? or can I? The answer is : go for it, you can learn how to fly!

Kieran Butler presented some fascinating and insightful information in his speech-Educational Discrimination. Among the jaw dropping pieces of information presented was the survey that showed that boys were one third more likely to be graded more highly if the examiner didn't know it was a boy! This speech gave an insight into the often complex nature of gender equality.

Verna Byrne delivered a highly entertaining speech on "Left-handed people",or "citeogs" as they are called in Irish. Left handlers or "lefties" have always been regarded as different and not in good way. Yet many famous people in history have been left handed. Among those truly gifted left handlers were  several U.S.Presidents, including Clinton and Obama.Being a lefty can be alright.

Marie Fitzpatrick spoke a lot of rubbish or,  to be more precise about "Flytipping",one of the biggest problems facing rural dwellers. A lot of rubbish indeed,as our countryside is inundated with garbage, dumped by unprincipled people.Sometimes a serious message can be conveyed effectively by use of satire as Marie adeptly illustrated.

Finally,Sean Cocoran gave an educational presentation. Choosing a topic is of interest to all speakers in Toastmasters.Sean is an experienced Toastmaser and gave us the benefit of his many years experience ,with very practical ideas and suggestions.

Indeed, one of the questions that new members and guests frequently ask is - "Where do I get ideas for speeches?" The best ideas are often found in the simple straightforward,everyday issues of life.This meeting was an example of that.Speeches ranged from Flytipping to learning to fly,from boys and girls in the classroom to left-handed people. Not a hint of rocket science anywhere!

All speeches were ably and sensitively evaluated by Liam Flynn,Michael Cronin,Bobby Buckley,Marie Lynes and Bridie O'Connell.All evaluations in our Club focus on motivating the member to improved performances and fostering self belief and confidence.All evaluators at this meeting epitomised the mantra :"evaluate to motivate".

The Topics Session provides our members with the opportunity to speak off the cuff,an essential skill in honing our social communication, for job interviews and for aspiring politicians! Theresa O'Reilly ably conducted this portion of the meeting.She challenged the audience with some well chosen subjects with the emphasis on topical issues.From topics like 'first day at school from a parents' perspective to how Donald Trump is faring in making America great again ,from Princess Diana to Conor McGregor, Theresa elicited   
a great response from the audience.

It is worth noting that guests are not pounced on or coerced into responding to topics but can join in if they wish..Guests' contributions often enhance the discussion and leave the contributors feeling ten feet tall.

At the meeting's conclusion,the General Evaluator, Ray Ryan, spoke in positive terms about the high quality of the contributors.Awards were presented to Verna Byrne - Best Speaker, Bridie O'Connell - Best Evaluator and Best Topic-!! Angela Sheehan.

Our Meeting Season continues on the Thursday,21st September in the Hibernian  Hotel at 7.45 PM for 8PM start.Guests are always welcome. Unlike Night Classes where there is a defined starting and concluding points  to every course,you can join Toastmasters at any time.So if you always wanted to do a communications course but didn't know where to begin, then you are most welcome to our meetings.Resolutions don't have to wait until January,you can start at any time and the sooner the better!
For further information check out Alternatively,you can contact Pat Sexton,PRO, (086-1564567) or Michael Cronin,Membership Officer (087-8298443).

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