Sunday, December 31, 2006

No Mon(ey) No Fun? Oh yes there is, at Speak Easy Toastmasters

Christmas is gone – the pockets are empty, and you cannot afford a night out.

Solution -
You will get for the total cost of € 5.00 - coffee/tea and biscuits ; a warm comfortable room; convivial company; many laughs; the greatest personal satisfaction and sense of achievement when you take part; no hangover; no sore head; no empty pockets; you will make new friends and go home energized. If you can match this offer or you are not happy, we will give you your money back !!!!! Can you find a better offer than that? I doubt it.

Where -
Hibernian Hotel Mallow on Thursday 11th January in the Garden Room at 7.50 pm sharp for the first meeting of Speakeasy Toastmasters Club of 2007

Why -
Because you will learn to

  • Think and speak on your feet through impromptu speaking

  • Prepare and deliver effective presentations

  • Provide constructive and structured feedback

  • Successfully lead and energise meetings

  • Network

  • Build self confidence when communicating in all areas of life

  • These tools will help you to fulfil individual potential in and out of the Work place.

May I clear up some misapprehensions about coming to a Toastmasters Meeting. It is widely understood or should I say misunderstood that you will be asked to speak, and worse still, if you do stand up to speak, you will become asphyxiated, and will have to be resuscitated - NOT TRUE. You may come along as a guest to meetings and keep your mouth shut for as long or as short a period as you wish to do so. However, you will, should you request it, be ‘mothered’ and ‘mentored’ for a limited period. I say ‘limited’ because it would not be in your own interest for you to sit on your pretty little ‘tot’ and do nothing month after month. We are a learning by doing Club. There is a great feeling of achievement and selfsatisfaction when one takes part at a meeting.

So my dear readers take that gigantic step (we will be there should you trip), and come to our next meeting with an open mind. Give us a chance to impress you, and you will be suitably pleased with us. We are ‘awfully nice’ people.

Also feel free to contact our PRO Loretto at 087/4118132 or log on to our web page at

On behalf of all the members of Speakeasy Toastmasters may I wish each and every one of you a healthy, happy and peaceful New Year. May we take this opportunity to thank you all out there who supported our Club by coming to our meetings – without you, there would not be a Club. Please continue to come. We will have the kettle on the hob and we will extend a ‘cead mile Failte to each and every person that takes time out to join us.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

SPEAKEASY TOASTMASTERS, Once upon a time...........

………………………………………in a galaxy far far away a society existed where super human powers were as ordinary as raincoats in Kerry. When the planet was destroyed in a meteor shower only a small number escaped. To preserve their Liberty they have adopted secret identities as mild mannered Speakeasy Toastmasters. Revealing themselves only once every two weeks behind the closed doors of the Hibernian Hotel. Each week they advise us poor mortals on a subject relating to the improvement of our ‘Speech Techniques’ This week they covered a special topic to cure wafflers and those who have acquired the technique of ‘talking’ but saying ‘nothing’. For example those boys up in the Dail. With another election looming maybe they would read this and come all the way to us in Mallow to get cured!!!!!!!!!!!!! Because you are all good attentive readers, I will pass on the words of wisdom of those super human powers, not the politicians to you all. Believe me, this advice is very valuable. If we could bottle it and sell it Speakeasy Toastmasters would become millionaires, and future public speakers would get their message across before the audience eyes became glazed. The words of wisdom are ‘GET TO THE POINT’. As you plan a speech

  • You must know exactly what you want your audience to know

  • Your speech must have a purpose

  • You must decide what information to include; your organization and delivery; in order to achieve your purpose.

  • There are two types of purposes. ‘General’ and ‘Specific’ The general purpose is the broad intent of your speech. Most speeches fall into four general purposes.

    • To inform - when you want your audience to learn about a new subject, develop a new skill.

    • To persuade - A persuasive speech strives to change the audience’s attitudes on behaviours. Sales presentations and campaign speeches are examples of persuasive speeches. Now for my ‘PLUG’ - all you sales executives and politicians out there – you don’t know what you are missing while plying your trade when you have not joined toastmasters. Be consoled – it is not too late. Our portals are always open – ‘tar isteach’

    • To entertain – Here one strives to amuse an audience. Humorous Speeches are the most obvious; however, any speech can be entertaining without being ‘laugh-out-loud’ funny. A few anecdotes thrown in to elaborate on an experience – note – I did say a few – would grasp the audience.

    • To inspire – These speeches ask people to achieve noble goals or ideals or reach their highest potential.

The Second type of Purpose is the Specific Purpose. This is a one sentence statement about what you hope to accomplish in your speech. It should meet three criteria. The Statement should be –

  1. Worded from Audience view point – what do you want them to be able to do having listened to your speech?

  2. Specific - The wording must be precise

  3. Attainable – The specific purpose should be realistic and possible to achieve

Keep the specific purpose clear and concise. The statement should be worded so that after your speech, you could actually test the audience to see if you achieved your specific purpose. Be careful to include only the main points and supporting facts and ideas that directly contribute to your specific speech purpose. The audience wants to know what you are going to talk about, so the beginning of your speech should tell them this succinctly. Knowing your specific purpose and being able to effectively organize your speech to achieve that purpose provide a big benefit for you the speaker. INCREASED CONFIDENCE. You may discover too that when you are interested in your topic, you feel better and more confident about yourself and your speech. And the audience in turn pays more attention to you. When you become totally involved, you forget your NERVES. Your objectives should be –

    • Select a topic, and determine it’s general and specific purpose

    • Organize the speech in a manner that best aachieves this purpose

    • Ensure the beginning; body; and conclusion reinforce the purpose

    • Project sincerity and conviction, and control any nervousness you may feel.

Take these words of wisdom and let them be your inspiration to go along to the next Toastmasters meeting in your area. IF you are fortunate to live in the vicinity of MALLOW – give Speakeasy Toastmasters a visit next THURSDAY 14th. We are having our Christmas Party and a little birdie told me that we are having a few spot prizes too. Maybe they might give me one for my eloquent words of Wisdom. I’ll keep hoping anyway!! The Lord loves a tryer!! So come along, we would love to see you. You can visit our web page or contact our PRO Loretto at 087/4118132 any time. Last but not least a very Holy and Peaceful Christmas to each and every one of our readers. Agus go mbeirimid beo ar an am seo aris

Monday, December 04, 2006

Speak Easy Toastmasters Cordially invite.....

………our club members and all their friends to the next meeting on Thursday l4th December, 2006. It is our Christmas Party. We will kick off with mulled wine to loosen all the tongues and then Michael Walsh will take the podium and conduct an entertaining and light hearted Topics Session. So take your Santa Hats down from the attic, shake out the mothballs and have the ‘hata dearg’ ready to help you enter the Spirit of the Season and the night. I still believe in Santa and fair dues to him I am never disappointed.

Do you recall – last week I promised you a bird’s eye view of the various speech stages in Toastmasters, and the requirements for each stage. This week is stage Two for those of you who are not paying attention. Have you got your butterflies flying in formation. If so, off we go. Sure, I suppose if they can try to tell us that there were aliens flying over Dublin last Friday night, we can put our energies to a more constructive use in the other capital Mallow and keep those butterflies flying in formation, and to our advantage.

Stage Two requires the speaker to organise his/her speech into an introduction; a body; and a conclusion. Well organised speeches have several benefits. They are :-

  • Easier to understand

  • Easier to remember

  • More credible - Speakers who organise their presentations are perceived as more knowledgeable and believable than those who waffle.

  • More enjoyable – audiences appreciate presentations that are thoughtfully crafted

Planning also helps the speaker to give an effective presentation. The first step in creating a speech is to choose what you want to speak about. You have inspiration all around you. The sky is your limit. You can speak about anything - from the sublime to the ridiculous. There are great possibilities and mountains of material available in Libraries and on the Web. However, always remember the simplest speech ever written and delivered and remembered to this day was Getteysburg Address given by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. Despite being President of the United States his trade mark was always simplicity.

Another thing – if you know what you are talking about – you are halfway there. When you are constructing a speech think of a CIRCLE. Start with a strong opening to grab the attention of the person who has nodded off in the back row. (back rows should be banned really !! everyone up to the front !!) Build up the body of the speech and then select a memorable conclusion which should link up to the introduction. There you have it - a full circle which comes to a logical end. Otherwise you will be like the train track to Galway – going on and on and on for ever.

Now I will take a drop of my own medicine (i.e advice – incase you might think I am on the bottle) and I will draw this sermon to it’s conclusion, bearing in mind the three important S’s in every speech –


Slan libh. Contact our PRO Loretto at 087/4118132 or log on to our up to date web page at You don’t have to R.S.V.P. my ‘invite’ to our next meeting Dec l4th. Just come along – Your valuable presence is all we require and don’t forget Guests are NOT asked to speak.