Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Each one of us has experienced it. It's like a knot twisting in your stomach with that awful sense of dread and an inability to move. It's called fear - a four letter word that holds us back, if we allow it.
Theresa O'Reilly addressed the subject head on in her excellent speech - "Feel the fear" which was a highlight of last week's Speakeasy Toastmasters meeting. She gave a hilarious account of her efforts to learn how to swim. She swallowed more water than The Titanic, she was drowning, not waving but she did it! And, just in case, she started doing triathlons! Alongside all that, she joined Speakeasy and overcame her fear of speaking in public! She embodies the famous words of Emerson - "Once you do the thing you fear,the death of fear is certain" '
Vincent Harris entertained us with a fascinating discourse on "Peacocks, Pit bulls and pigs". He explained how the humble "Corgi" dog, so beloved by the British Royal Family, began it's ife as a dog, whose sole purpose was to keep the oven hot by walking on a wheel. They were known as the Kitchen Dog.
He spoke also of the Danish Pig, bred to show off his national colours on the Danish /German Border at a time when tensions between the two countries were strained.
In a hugely enjoyable Topics Session, ably conducted by Bobby Buckley, a wide range of subjects were addressed. Marie Lynes spoke about being on the bandwagon while supporting her club members in recent competitions. Liam Flynn spoke about the Treacys of Carlow who have finished in second place in the World Ploughing Championships on numerous occasions and their willingness to keep trying for the top prize. Memories of all the memorable characters in Mallow in days long gone were exchanged. No discussion on this subject can be complete without a mention of Eddie O'Donovan of the Central Cinema."You're wanted outside and bring your coat". The Royal Wedding was also on the agenda, with Mary Buckley articulating the views of many Irish Royal Wedding watchers.
Last week saw our AGM,where events of the previous twelve months were recalled. It was a year of excitement. It was a year of celebrations - for our Twenty Fifth Anniversary and our unprecedented success in competions.It was a year of another amazing Schools Public Speaking competition where the top prizes went to the schools of Kanturk. In truth, it was a another brilliant Speakeasy year.
|Pat Sexton, Helsa Giles & Deirdre Linehan|
The following officers were elected for the coming year : President - Sean Corcoran;Vice - President Education - Theresa O'Reilly ;Vice President Membership - Michael Cronin;Treasurer - Marie Fitzpatrick ;Secretary - Don McSweeney ;Sergeant at Arms - Helsa Giles; Pathways Mentor - Ray Ryan.
The next Speakeasy meeting will take place in the Hibernian Hotel, Mallow on Thursday, 31st May at 8.00PM.As always, guests are welcome to attend and will not be obliged to speak unless they want to! For more information about Speakeasy, please visit our website speakeasytmasters.comor on Facebook.
Tuesday, May 15, 2018
It's a bit like waiting for a bus to come. It's raining, it seems to be taking forever. Civilisations have risen and fallen in less time than that. And then, two buses arrive together. For years, Speakeasy Toastmasters have longed for a top place on the winners podium at the District Spring Conference in one or the other of the big competitions - the International Speech Contest or the Speech Evaluation Contest. And last weekend at the District 71 Spring Conference in Cork, the unbelievable double was achieved.
The packed attendance at the Clayton Hotel, Silver Springs rose to applaud the achievements of two Speakeasy members. In the International Speech Contest, Deirdre Linehan engaged in verbal jousting with nine of the most accomplished speakers in Ireland and the United Kingdom. It was a thoroughly fascinating contest with very little deviation in quality between ten brilliant speeches. Anne Dooley, a native of County Clare but representing Warrington Toastmasters in the UK, delivered an emotionally uplifting speech - "Take that chance" which chronicled her struggles as a young immigrant in London. Holly Blake of Carrigaline referenced her experiences with the homeless in London in a moving presentation - "Always, always be a little bit kinder". Colm McGlade of Rathfarnham delivered a touching tribute to his mother in "A Reason to Live".
However, Deirdre, representing Fáilte and Speakeasy Toastmasters lifted the roof off the Convention Centre with her rendition of "DOB's Army". And in so doing, lifted the ultimate prize! She becomes only the second Cork representative in the forty years of the International Speech Contest to win the award District 71 title. Déirdre will now go forward to represent Ireland and the UK in the World Semi-Finals in Chicago in August. We send her our every best wish as she strives to achieve the title of World Champion Public Speaker.
In the Speech Evaluation Contest, Pat Sexton emerged victorious at the fourth time of asking. Facing stiff opposition from competitors from Cork, Tipperary, Dublin, Glasgow and the North of England, Pat's critique of Laura Bruce's "Give up the house cleaning" won over the minds and perhaps the hearts of the adjudicators. He becomes the only Cork representative ever to win this elusive title.
Victories of this magnitude are extremely rare. Yet, at each and every Speakeasy Toastmasters meeting, important "little victories" happen. It could be the guest who answers a topic, or the member presenting an" Ice-breaker"speech,or even acting as the Chairperson of the meeting. It is everyone who takes part and gives it their best shot.
Guests are always welcome and are not obliged to speak unless they wish to do so. The Rolling Stones may be playing in Croke Park but we can give you satisfaction or even a "honky Tonk" woman. We look forward to seeing you.
Tuesday, May 01, 2018
The Division B Finals of the International Speech and Evaluation Contests took place in the Castletroy Park Hotel, Limerick last Sunday. Eight of the best performers in both categories from across Munster crossed verbal swords in two hugely entertaining competitions.
In the International Speech Contest, Speakeasy was ably represented by Theresa O'Reilly with her "Confessions of an addict". With great conviction and humour, she described her obsession to Social Media and her resolution to kick the habit. Having previously won the Speakeasy Speech Contest, Theresa has honed this presentation to near perfection. She gave a fine performance, narrowly missing out on a placing in the top three.
In third place was Helen Dagnall of West Limerick with her dissertation on "Peace of Mind". She related her childhood memories, growing up on a farm in Banogue, County Limerick. In runner - up position was Jane Sheehan with "The Award". This was a moving tribute to Helene Brunicardi of Killarney Toastmasters who passed away recently. The first prize went to Deirdre Linehan with "Dob's Army". Deirdre who is a member of Speakeasy Club was representing the Fáilte Club in Charleville. This was an exciting performance about the value of team work, discipline and commitment to a common cause as she recalled the All-Ireland Final of the Schools Basketball Competition. Time is running out and everything hinges on the final basket. Dreams are about to come through or hearts are going to break!
This is the third time that Deirdre will participate in the District 71 Final. On previous occasions, she finished Third and Second respectively. We wish her the best of luck in her quest to achieve the top prize against the best speakers in Britain and Ireland.
|Pat Sexton, Deirdre Linehan, Ray Ryan & Theresa O' Reilly at the Division B Contest|
In the Speech Evaluation Contest, Moira O'Brien of Blarney Toastmasters was the Demonstration Speaker. Her speech - "Check the tide, before you decide",was put under the microscope by eight Contestants. Ray Ryan of Speakeasy gave an impressive and uplifting performance but a top three placing eluded him. In third place was Susan Baughman of Killarney. Emily Sexton of the Raheen Club was placed second. In first place was Pat Sexton of Speakeasy. He will now go forward to the District Final at the Silver Springs Clayton Hotel on Sunday, 13th May.
|Deirdre Linehan, Division B Governor Gerard Mannix & Pat Sexton.|
While all eyes will be focused on The District 71 Conference in Cork, club activities continue. Another entertaining night of speeches and topics is assured. As always, guests are welcome to attend and will not be obliged to speak unless they wish to do so.
For more information, please check out our website speakeasytmasters.com or on Facebook. Alternatively, please contact President Helsa Giles - 0838858848.