Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Fragrant memories of Mallow!

At last week's Speakeasy Toastmasters meeting, Gerry O'Callaghan was asked about what smell reminded him of his childhood. With a glint of mischief in his eyes, he spoke about his daily stroll around Mallow and stopping outside a well knowncoffee shop in Market Square where he took in the beautiful aroma - not of coffee but of memories of the piggery that his family had in that area when he was a child! All these years later,Gerry still recalls an unmistakable and unforgettable fragrance.

This is just an example of the magic that can happen during a Topics Session at a Speakeasy meeting. The notion of speaking "off the cuff" is one that many readers and Toastmasters members find daunting. Yet, we do it all the time in our daily lives and finding ourselves,after a conversation has concluded, wishing "I had said that when I had the chance".Table Topics gives members the opportunity to enhance their impromptu speaking skills.Like all aspects of Toastmasters, we learn by doing.And, the more frequently we do it, the more accomplished we become. The Topics Session helps us to speak more confidently in social situations, in work presentations and at interviews.

Ably conducted by Noel O'Connor, last week's Topics Session encompassed a broad discussion on several issues. The subject of children being assigned household chores, elicited strong responses about "helicopter parents" whose good intentions deny their children the chance to learn self-reliance and resilience. Drowning in a sea of plastic provoked multiple responses on the importance of recycling and on questionable practices by retailers.Is it really necessary to sell fruit and vegetables in plastic packaging? Self-development featured prominently with topics on time management and night classes. Indeed,it was mentioned that the most rewarding night class to partake in is a Toastmasters Club - life long learning at it's best.Outdoor pursuits in the fine weather like mushroom foraging were name checked and the thorny subject of Greenways and private property rights resulted in another meaningful discussion. Such was the level of involvement in the Topics Session, guests became involved, enhancing the evening with their contributions. At the meeting's conclusion,the award for Best Topic went to the aforementioned Gerry O'Callaghan.

Table Topics will take centre stage at our next meeting.In conjunction with the Annual Humorous Speech Contest, the Table Topics Contest will take place. Here, the challenge for participants is to walk into the room and respond to the chosenTopic and display the skills of an impromptu speaker - composure, confidence and coherency. Contest night's are always a great night to visit our Club.You will be guaranteed entertainment and refreshments and a few good laughs.

Guests are always made feel welcome at our meetings and are never obliged to speak unless they wish to do so. We look forward to seeing you at the Hibernian Hotel, Mallow on Thursday,4th October at 8.00PM.

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