Ireland has been called many things - the "Island of Saints and Scholars" or a "Nation of Begrudgers" are two that spring to mind. However, at last week's Speakeasy Toastmasters meeting, Don McSweeney likened Ireland to Goldilocks' Porridge - not too hot, not too salty, just right. His speech - "Home Sweet Home" was a celebration of everything positive that Ireland has to offer. We have geologically sound earth beneath our feet and are never prone to earthquakes and volcanoes. Our climate is temperate, lacking the extremes of weather that blight other countries. Likewise, our politics is moderate and lacking the idiocy that is evident elsewhere. As a people, we are cultured, welcoming, humorous and generous. All things considered, Ireland is "just right".
By contrast, Valerie Murphy lauded the Republic of Slovakia. Her speech - "My special Slovak Holiday" recalled her experiences in that beautiful country while holidaying there. Prior to 1993,Slovakia was joined together in one State with the Czech Republic in the country known as Czechoslovakia.It was under the yoke of Communism until the momentous events of 1989 which saw the Iron Curtain torn apart. It is a land of welcomes on the banks of the River Danube. It is a place of breathtaking Medieval Castles, best encapsulated by it's capital city of Bratislava.
Deirdre Linehan reflected on her life through the prism of Sport with her presentation - "This Sporting Life". On growing older, she realises that for many of her loved ones, their game is over - they have reached "full time". She still views herself as a participant in life - not a spectator or a referee. She keeps going through her life with the attitude of the golfer, Gary Player as her motto - "The more I practice, the luckier I get".
Mark Twain once remarked that "Man is the only animal that blushes - or needs to". Susan Hegarty's speech - "Beetroot" focused on her embarrassing tendency to blush far too easily. Susan goes red" when she is angry or happy, when she doesn't like the truth or suspects that someone is untruthful. The Science of Blushing defines it as a voluntary process that those afflicted have no control over. But Susan is not alone in pulsating like a beetroot. Simon Cowell and the singer, Pink, suffer from over frequent bouts of blushing. But blushing can be camouflaged by make-up but that leaves the wearer looking like "Shrek"!
Philip O'Riordan delivered his Ice-breaker, simply called "The Wedding Speech". He confessed to getting married on the day after the Brexit deadline! Hopefully, he will not require a backstop!" Following his engagement, he realised that hewould have to "give a speech". And then he resolved to join Toastmasters to learn the basics of public speaking. Philip's story is like many others who need to speak for a specific reason. Participation in the Toastmasters programme has helped thousands of people to overcome their nervousness and anxiety about speaking in front of an audience. Members of Speakeasy were privelaged to hear Philip's rehearsal of his "Wedding Speech" and we wish him well on his "Big Day".
|Deirdre Linehan, Don McSweeney, Philip O'Riordan, Valerie Murphy & Susan Hegarty.|
All the speeches delivered were given thoughtful and incisive evaluations from their chosen evaluator. Evaluations were provided by Claire O'Connell, Pat Sexton, Bobby Buckley, Bridie O'Connell and Verna Byrne who were cognisant of our evaluationethos - "Evaluate to motivate". At the meetings conclusion, awards were presented to Don McSweeney - Best Speaker and Verna Byrne - Best Evaluation.
In other news, the Division B (North Munster) Speech and Evaluation Contests will take place in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Ennis Road, Limerick on Sunday 31st March at 1.30pm. Speakeasy will be represented by Sean Corcoran, Pat Sexton and Brendan Foley. It promises to be a wonderful evening of entertainment and everyone is welcome.
The next Speakeasy Toastmasters meeting will take place on Thursday, 4th April in the Hibernian Hotel, Mallow at 8.00PM. As always, guests are welcome to attend and will not be cajoled into speaking unless they wish to do so.
For more information about our club, please check out our website, speakeasy toastmasters.com or on Facebook.