Sunday, April 29, 2007


Don’t get trapped in a routine. The secret of success is to practice what you are not good at. Get uncomfortable. A sport’s man, when asked to identify the secret of his success, replied ’I practiced what I was not good at’ All successful people both in and out of Toastmasters have had to overcome obstacles in life. What determines their ability to transcend those obstacles and fears is a great willingness to stretch their comfort zones. In a Toastmaster’s Club your comfort zone is measured by the speeches you give and the assignments you take on. Successful Toastmasters have one thing in common – they form the habit of THOROUGH PREPARATION and ACTIVE LISTENING. Those who clock watch and day dream do not get far.

Your habits reflect your personality. They influence how you dress; walk; sit; smile and laugh. As part of your internal makeup most habits are formed early in life. By adulthood those habits are much easier to follow than change. If you want to be more successful both in and out of Toastmasters, you must make an effort to reject stagnation, and form habits of self improvement. To evaluate your personal habits – ask yourself

  • Do successful happy people seem to enjoy my company.

  • Do others seek my advice

  • Do I continue to grow through careful reading and exposure to stimulating ideas.

  • Do I surround myself with positive uplifting influences.

  • Do I usually feel good about myself

  • Do I look for new ways to improve my speaking, writing, and listening skills

Remember a lack of time is almost always a lack of organization and management. The ability to invest time wisely is a habit acquired through deliberate choice. Success requires passion and is governed by the laws of habit. To develop habits, one must have an objective. It is never the strength of a goal that will make you do anything in life. It is the strength of the purpose behind it. If your goal in life is to make money to put bread on the table, then that is all you will do. This standard requires you to cross the finish line only because it exists. In order to achieve a far greater level of success, you must have passion to go the distance. So finally “Never be content with what you are, if you want to be what you are not”

After that PARTY POLITICAL BROADCAST - the party being Speakeasy Toastmasters – let me turn to the immediate. Speakeasy Toastmasters will hold their next meeting at the Hibernian Hotel, Mallow on Thursday 3rd May, at 7.50 for and 8.00 pm start. Do call in to see what is going on. You will be most welcome. We have a full and varied programme, and the usual delicious ‘cuppa’ at the interval.

Another big news item for our Club is that our Club member Mike Cronin is representing us at the Toastmasters District 71 Spring Conference, on May l3th in the Evaluation Contest. This incorporates contestants from both Ireland and Great Britain. We are very proud of Mike. He is a nice person, a hard working club member. He has great ability, and a winning personality .He will do us proud at the final. Any Club would be delighted to have Mike as their ambassador, but you are not getting him. He is ours. We wish you the very best Mike. We will be with you in spirit, that is, those of us in the club who are not traveling there.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Speakeasy Toastmasters

Speakeasy Toastmasters fortnightly meeting was held at the Hibernian Hotel Mallow on Thursday last. Despite of or perhaps because of the beautiful sunny evening our attendance was twenty three members. We have three more meeting before the end of this year. So if you have any interest in or curiosity about Toastmasters – come along and see for yourself. You will not be asked to speak unless you wish to.

On Thursday night we had a very full programme. Five speakers entertained us with wide and varied subjects. The speakers were as follows - Mary Moynihan; Mary McCarthy; Pat Sexton; Angela Sheehan; Margaret O’Regan. The topics Master of the night was Mary Stack. Mary had a very innovative approach to topics which worked well. There were many contributions to the topics and of course plenty laughs. This is the sort of thing that lengthens one’s life - fun and laughter. The time keeper was Liam Flynn, and our ‘ah’ counter was Jerry Kelleher. Both did their tasks admirably.

On Saturday night the Division Final of the International Speech and Evaluation was held at the Radisson Hotel, Cork Airport. This was very well attended by toastmasters from the five areas in our Division. We were proud to support the two contestants from our Club who won at the Area Final, beating four other clubs to arrive at this stage which is no mean achievement. They were Mike Cronin and Pat Sexton. At Saturdays Final there were five contestants in each competition. So we are very proud to say that Pat Sexton came second in the Speech Final and Mike Cronin came second in the Evaluation Final. A wonderful achievement. Well done boys - our heartiest congratulations. You both did Speakeasy Toastmasters proud.

Our next meeting is on Thursday May 3rd. Do leave the gardening or the jogging and come and join us at the Hibernian Hotel at 7.50 sharp. We are still serving the best tea/coffee and biscuits in town at the interval. We serve them with a smile. When did you get your last ‘cuppa’ served with a smile?

We look forward to seeing you there on 3rd.

Friday, April 20, 2007


Easter is over, and Easter Eggs are two for the price of one. It is also that time of year when AGM’s are hitting the headlines. Clubs and Voluntary Organizations are casting an eye on perspective honorary Chairpersons; Treasurers etc. Therefore this week we will explore the secrets of successfully chairing a meeting.

An effective Chairperson is rather like a good parent. He/she casts a caring eye over their charge without interfering on all fronts. They allow events to develop democratically, without denying the right of self expression and freedom. He/she is firm without being authoritarian in the role, and sees that there is fair play. The Chairperson will follow an Agenda. Will aim to foster a wide spread of opinion. However some people love to talk for talking sake, so allow each person a minimum time and then politely but firmly move on. Be firm but friendly. A Chairperson may have to introduce a Speaker or a Guest at a Meeting; do homework, and get name correct, plus a few well chosen relevant and complimentary comments. Keep it short. And do it with momentum.

At Question Time after a Speech, questions may go through Chair or directly to Speaker. If there is aggravation caused by a member of the audience, you can intervene but avoid unnecessary ‘nannying’. Always smile as you make your opening remarks. This is a very difficult thing to do, but necessary. Maintain a pleasant expression. This way, one appears more approachable.

Now I better address the bread and butter issues of the Club. Our last meeting was the Tall Tales Contest. The winner was Michael Walsh. He definitely led us up the garden path, but entertained us greatly. Well done Michael. Previous to Tall Tales we had a Speech Contest and an Evaluation Contest. The Division Final of this will take place at The Great Southern Hotel, Cork Airport, at 7.50 pm on Saturday April 21st. Pat Sexton is representing us in the Speech Contest and Michael Cronin in the Evaluation Contest. We wish them both every success and we will all be there on Saturday night to lend our support. Good Luck boys!

Our next Club Meeting takes place on Thursday 19th April at the Hibernian Hotel Mallow at 7.50 sharp. We have an entertaining programme which is ably compiled by our Vice President Anne Buckley. Do come along – we will be delighted to see you. We also value any feedback from both guests and members. We have a ‘suggestion box’, where everyone may make suggestions. This is a brilliant idea because every one has an opinion, and a variety of opinions carefully studied and implemented can give more life to a club. We at all times abide by the Constitution of the Club of course. Always remember the responsibility for a successful meeting lies in the hands of all present. Every ones opinion is important. Meetings are a team effort.

Saturday, April 07, 2007


In this day and age when your neighbour is more likely to be from Kenya than Killarney, communication takes on a whole new meaning. Every country has its own way of saying things. Communicating across the cultures begins with the understanding that one size does not fit all. Simply because you practice certain cultural habits or patterns does not mean the rest of the world does. So the basic guide should be “when in Rome, do as the Romans do”. In Toastmasters one perfects the skill of oral communication in a pleasant environment, with willing members to mentor you. Take this as an open invitation to all who want to improve their English Language and come to our next meeting.

Our last meeting on Wednesday April 4th was hilarious – tall tales took on a whole new meaning. We had seven contestants – Mary Buckley; Angela Sheehan; Liam Flynn; Vivienne Buckley; Michael Cronin and Michael Walsh. All very skilled and very amusing. In my opinion they were all winners, because to compile and deliver any speech is a great hurdle won. Unfortunately there can only be one official winner, and this time the honour went to Michael Walsh. In second place was Michael Cronin. The Topics Session was very enjoyable. There was a great response to the topics. Topics is the part of the night which gives everyone in the room an opportunity to stand up; speak up; and shut up. It is ONE’S OWN FAULT if one leaves a meeting without speaking. While one does not have to speak, answering a topic gives one a chance to hear the sound of one’s own voice, and while the most intelligent answers come to one driving home in the car, at least one will have said something. Always remember it is easier the second and third time round with everything in life. Do you remember your first date? I bet the second one was easier. Likewise with speaking in public.

Come along on Thursday 11th April to our next meeting. We cannot guarantee it but people have ‘made dates’ having ‘eyed’ one another across the floor at a Toastmaster Meeting. We can guarantee though, that we will be thrilled to meet you and greet you and relieve you of the €5 admission fee which covers entertainment and coffee/tea and biscuits and if you play your cards right the possibility of a ‘date’. That is assuming of course that you are interested.Log on to

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


By the time you read this, the Toastmasters Meeting will be over. On Wednesday 4th April we held our meeting because this is Holy Thursday. We had a great meeting. I t was the Tall Tales Contest and the contestants really pushed the boat out - the tales were ‘funny' and pretty ‘tall’. We had an attendance of twenty eight, despite the outdoor distractions of longer evenings, sunshine and that urge to “smarten” up the garden or even the front gate, with a lick of paint! I must admit that the nearest I have got to those activities is sitting in the car outside Atlantic Home Care looking at all those energetic people coming out with ‘ready to plant’ flowers , and all kinds and sizes of paint tins.

However, this is a really good time of the year - Easter. We have all those Solemn Ceremonies which ground us, and help us to get our priorities right. These Ceremonies bring us hope and tranquillity, and are not spoiled by the commercialism that has crept into the beautiful feast of Christmas. Easter Sunday is the culmination of the forty days of Lent and a day to celebrate in the Resurrection of the Lord. On that note we wish you all a very happy Easter, and look forward to seeing you at our next meeting on Thursday l9th April at 7.50 for 8 pm at the Hibernian Hotel Mallow.

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