Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Where humour and history rhyme.

Humour and history were the dominant themes at Speakeasy Toastmasters' Opening Meeting. In front of a packed audience,the Toastmaster of the Evening, Liam Flynn, introduced a fascinating and fun filled programme. From the outset, humour was to the fore. Despite all the dark news about Boris and Brexit and Britannia waiving the rules, it seems that laughter is the best medicine.

Michael Cronin kicked off proceedings with his 'autobiographical' speech -"Second Time Around". Coming from the townland of Ballybrack in Doneraile where "all roads lead to" he described himself as an accidental farmer with a herd of "pet cows" who like to have their ears waxed and fronts scratched.And like the boy whose idea of education was to meet the class on the way home from school, Michel learned his farming by "copying his neighbours".He spoke of his love of humour as a means of acquiring an audience's attention and overcoming any risk of "attention deficit disorder"!

Bobby Buckley continued the line of humour with "Outside the Box".He spoke of his experience of trying his hand at acting as a means of getting "outside of himself". But, this was no ordinary play that challenged his thespian skills. He found himself in a post-modern version of Shakespeare's comedy "As you Like it".Bobby became fascinated by the cast of characters playing parts that were completely opposite to their personalities. Yes, it is called " acting" for a reason. As always, pride of place goes to the director. And Gary, " The Director" didn't disappoint.He was the type of flamboyant character who yelled "Showtime" every time he opened his fridge in the morning!

Pat Sexton presented "The Picnic". But, this was no ordinary picnic. This was "The Pan European Picnic" which took place in the village of Sopron on the Hungarian-Austrian Border on the 19th August 1989. This somewhat innocuous event lit the spark that ignited a " people's revolution" that led to the dismantling of The Iron Curtain which divided a Cold War Europe for over four decades. In a little over five months after this event, when citizens of Hungary and Austria opened their Border, Communist rule was overthrown in all of Eastern Europe in a largely peaceful fashion. The iconic image of that incredible time was of the residents of East Berlin tearing down the Berlin Wall which had divided their city for twenty eight oppressive years.
Pat Sexton, Michael Cronin & Bobby Buckley. 

A frequently asked question about Toastmasters is " How do members learn the necessary skills"? They learn by doing and by receiving feedback which is called "Evaluation". The three aforementioned speakers were evaluated by Marie Lynes, Claire O'Connell and Marie Fitzpatrick respectively. Their role is to provide clear and positive feedback to the speakers , highlighting their strengths and pinpointing areas for improvement. By taking on board these suggestions, members continue to grow both in confidence and in skill as communicators. At the meeting's conclusion, awards were presented to Pat Sexton - Best Speaker and Marie Fitzpatrick.
Claire O'Connell, Marie Fitzpatrick & Marie Lynes

The next meeting of Speakeasy Toastmasters takes place on Thursday, 19th September in The Hibernian Hotel, Mallow at 8.00 PM. Guests are always welcome to attend our meetings and are never obliged to speak unless they wish to do so. The Autumn is a wonderful time to take up new interests and worthwhile challenges.Acquiring the skills of good communication will pay handsome dividends for work, for job interviews and for inter-personal communication. Toastmasters Meetings are also entertaining and friendly. We look forward to seeing you at our meetings.
For more information on Toastmasters, please check out our website, speakeasy toastmasters.com or on Facebook. Alternatively, contact our President,Theresa O'Reilly-
087 6699156.

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