Sunday, January 13, 2019

Feel the fear and do it anyway


Feel the fear and do it anyway!

There is something special about an "Ice Breaker" speech. It takes it's audience on a journey or an adventure. Therein lies the opportunity to "walk a mile in someone else's shoes". Susan Hegarty took her audience on a wonderfully entertaining journey at last week's Speakeasy Toastmasters meeting. "Feel the fear and do it anyway" was the title she borrowed from Susan Jeffers book. She showed no fear, we heard no butterflies fluttering.Instead, we received a fascinating slice of life. When you come from a family of thirteen, it can be difficult to get a word in edgeways. Not so with Susan.

Susan's speech was brimful of evocative images.We watched her dancing in the rain at an Aslam concert - a "Crazy World" indeed.Welaughed at a family game as members try to recite all their siblings names (all twelve of them)at speed! We found her chosen style of running - sunny day running- to be quite an attractive proposition. The Toastmaster of the Evening, Marie Lynes commented that there was an  enough material in Susan's speech for another eight speeches. We look forward to hearing them!

Claire O'Connell delivered a reflective speech on "The loser effect". Drawing on the game of Chess for her examples,she spoke of the Pawn as the loser that can become a Queen. Learning from mistakes was the core message of Claire's speech. The ultimate example of this can be seen in the Aviation industry where the information acquired from the "Black Box" is analysed in an effort to prevent future crashes and improve air safety.The result of such scrutiny is reflected in the safety record of Air Travel with one accident for every 2.4 million flights. On a personal level,  Claire spoke of how she took on board the lessons of a poor exam performance and turned a negative into a positive. Claire's speech brought to mind the words of Oscar Wilde - "Experience is simply the name we give to our mistakes".

Michael Buckley of the  Crusaders Club in Bishopstown posed a frightening question - "How are we going to feed them?" The numbers are stark : in 1800
the World's Population stood at 1 Billion, by 2050 it will exceed 10 Billion. With a cultivatable land area of less than 4 percent of the Earth's surface,can we sustain such a population? The answer, according to Michael is a "conditional yes". There is huge potential in Fish Farmin and Food Production increases. But, enormous changes in life style are required. Food waste is at unsustainable levels and the long-term
viability of meat production which  depends on large consumption of grain  is questionable. As Mahatma Ghandi warned - There is enough resources for man's need but not for man's greed"

Theresa O'Reilly presented a well researched and motivational talk called - "Dreamers".She spoke of the untapped potential we all pocess - sleep! She highlighted the enormous problems of sleep deprivation by posing a stark question - "Would you ask a surgeon, about to perform life saving surgery, about the number of hours he slept last night"? It is quite a staggering reality that drowsiness is the cause of more road traffic accidents than alcohol.

Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher were renowned for functioning on a few hours sleep during their time of leadership. Ironically, both succumbed to Alzheimer's Disease in later life. Modern research indicates a connection between lack of sleep and Alzheimer's.The production of Melatonin, essential for sleep is diminished by modern living. Smartphone screens emit "blue light" which tricks the brain to thinking it needs to stay awake. The result is people finding themselves drowning in a sea of insomnia.
Theresa O'Reilly, Susan Hegarty, Claire O'Connell & Michael Buckley

A highly productive programme of speeches was greeted by some comprehensive and constructive evaluations. Deirdre Linehan, Brendan Foley, Don McSweeney and Maria Connolly evaluated the speakers with detailed analysis and positive recommendations. The General Evaluator, Marie Fitzpatrick commended everyone who contributed to another outstanding meeting. Awards were presented to Susan Hegarty - Best Speaker and Deirdre Linehan - Best Evaluator.

The real beauty of Speakeasy meetings is that every meeting is different - different speakers, different evaluators, yet the same friendly, helpful atmosphere. If you are interested in witnessing for yourself what happens at our meetings, why not drop in and see.
The next Speakeasy Toastmasters meeting takes place in the Hibernian Hotel, Mallow on Thursday,24th January at 8.00 PM. Guests are always welcome and are never obliged to speak unless they wish to do so.
For more information about Speakeasy, please check out our websitespeakeasytoastmasters.com or on Facebook.Alternatively, please contact Sean Corcoran - 086-6054784.




Friday, January 04, 2019


Operation Transformation in Speakeasy!

Do you need to say a few well chosen words on those special occasions?
Do you need to sharpen your communication skills for work presentations or interviews?
Do you wish to chair meetings effectively?
Do you wish to improve your creative writing skills?
Or are you simply looking for a good night's entertainment?

If the answer to any of the above questions is "Yes",then Speakeasy Toastmasters is for you. For many people,speaking before an audience is a daunting challenge.Invarious surveys,respondents listed speaking in public as their number one fear,outranking even the fear of death by a two to one margin.

Speakeasy Toastmasters is devoted to enabling it's members to express their thoughts,ideas and opinions in an enjoyable,yet professional training programme."Learning by doing" is the best way to learn any new skill and that is how Toastmasters works.You start speaking in a helpful,supportive and positive environment and in an "Operation Transformation " fashion you will grow in confidence and will get better and better.

We are very familiar with the term - "butterflies in your stomach". Toastmasters will help you to manage your butterflies or to help them "fly in formation". You will be introduced to various speaking techniques on how to organise your thoughts and speech structure.You will gain valuable experience on body gestures,on vocal variety and on the use of language to get your across.

To assist each member, speakers are assigned an "evaluator".The evaluator provides helpful,constructive feedback to the speakers which helps them pinpoint their strengths, identify areas for improvement and gives useful suggestions for future speeches.Other important facets of Toastmasters is the experience gained in chairing a meeting and participating in the impromptu part of the meeting, which is called the "Topics Session ". The Topics Session gives members the opportunity to let off steam and express their views on a broad range of issues,some of them serious, others humorous. And all of this takes place in a two hour meeting,held fortnightly .

As we face into a New Year,now is an appropriate time to take up new challenges or do the things you've often promised yourself you'd do. And what more rewarding opportunity can there be than honing your communication skills.Toastmasters is open to everyone from 18 to 81 years of age and beyond! Old dogs can learn new tricks and important life skills.

With this in mind,Speakeasy Toastmasters issues an invitation to the interested and the curious to our first meeting of 2019. It takes place on Thursday,10th January in the Hibernian Hotel,Mallow at 8.00pm.
Guests will not be obliged to speak unless they wish to do so. We look forward to seeing you on Thursday night.
For more information on Toasmasters,please check out our website speakeasytoastmasters.com or look us up on Facebook. Alternatively,contact Sean Corcoran -086-6054785.