Monday, February 26, 2018

25th Anniversary

The stage is set and the speakers are prepared. The countdown is on. Speakeasy Toastmasters Celebration Night takes place on Friday 2nd March at 7.45PM at The Hibernian Hotel, Mallow. Club Members - past, present and, hopefully, future will gather to witness some of the finest speeches from our illustrations history. We invite our friends and readers of this column from all over North Cork to join us for a night of entertainment and reflection. For a modest fee of €10, you can enjoy a wide range of speakers and generous refreshments. The weather may be cold but the room will be warm and the atmosphere electric. We look forward to seeing you at this unique gathering. 

It was business as usual at last week's Speakeasy Meeting. Under the gentle control of our genial host, Sean Corcoran, 4 speeches provided us with a fascinating array of ideas and opinions. "I never knew that!" was the reaction to many of the facts presented by the speakers. Marie Fitzpatrick delivered a speech entitled - " You're not my Type" on the vital issue of the taking of blood or Phlebotomy. She outlined two key areas -the huge role that blood sampling plays in diagnosing illness and the rights of patients to refuse the taking of samples. With wry humour, she confessed her admiration for a prominent healthy blood vein!

Theresa O'Reilly advocated"The right approach". This was a powerful dissertation on the huge social problem of Drug addiction and it's impact on Irish communities. One startling statistic was that in 2014, more Irish people died from drug addiction than road traffic accidents! Using the 
example of Portugal, which introduced a successful  Drugs Policy, Theresa advocated an approach that included Decriminalisation, improving Therapeutical options, needle exchange, education and publicity campaigns. The old approach is not fit for purpose so a radical change of drug policy is essential.

Kieran Butler did a persuasive talk about "The Antique Sale". With the assistance of Liam Flynn, Kieran demonstrated the art of successful salesmanship. The focus must always be on the customer's needs and ensuring that these are met. Even though it was cold call selling, Kieran showed that the customer is always" King".

Valerie Murphy presented a detailed overview on "The Auras and Chakras of the Body". This was an interesting account of all aspects of mind, body and spirit and how all aspects of our lives are inter-comnected. Our feelings, creativity, our wisdom, insight and spirituality are the essence of our being.
From left: Theresa O' Reilly, Marie Fitzpatrick, Sean Corcoran, Valerie Murphy & Kieran Butler.

As always, all speeches were evaluated to ensure that speakers were provided with constructive feedback. The evaluation team of Ray Ryan, Bridie O'Connell, Brendan Foley and Liam Flynn gave comprehensive advice to the speakers, delivered in a sensitive manner. 

John Brennan assumed the role of Topicsmaster for the first time. The impromptu section of the meeting challenges members to "think on their feet". This skill is very useful in job interviews and interpersonal communication. It is quite important in Night - Clubs too! Bobby Buckley waxed eloquently on Brian Dobson and Morning Ireland, a topic which also featured the infamous  Ned O'Keeffe's interview about the film "Babe"! Mary Moynihan recalled her Ice Breaker speech and the words of encouragement she received from other members which helped her reach a significant milestone. Mary Buckley spoke about the satisfaction of a morning's work in the garden without the distraction of a smartphone. Don McSweeney gave an insight into the growth in sales for electric cars.A topic on Space travel led to flights of fantasy about Donald Trump being sent to infinity and beyond and the prospect of Mars becoming a suburb of Dublin. The charisma of Leonard Cohen was recalled with fondness. And finally, in response to the question of his favourite subject in school, Gerry O'Callaghan retorted - "the nearest subject to the 4 o'clock bell"! 

At the meeting's conclusion, the General Evaluator, Anne Buckley presented awards to Marie Fitzpatrick - Best Speaker, Bridie O'Connell - Best Evaluation and Jerry O'Callaghan - Best Topic

The next Fortnightly Meeting of Speakeasy Toastmasters takes place on Thursday 8th March. It will feature our annual Speech and Evaluation Contests. In the meantime, all focus is on our 25 Anniversary Celebration Night on the 2nd March. 
For more information, please check out our website, or Facebook. Alternatively you can contact our President, Helsa Giles - 0838858848. 

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