Sunday, May 20, 2007


I have news for you - Politics is an honorable profession. So said the Church of Ireland Archbishop Alan Harper. Where is there a more suitable learning ground for future politicians to hone their speaking skills than at Speakeasy Toastmasters? Michéal Martin is/was a Toastmaster. Listening to the lovely charismatic vocal sounds that he emits, made even sweeter by his charming smile is proof of the value of Toastmasters. Election fever is sweeping the country and our Club got the bug. On Thursday 17th May the Annual General Meeting took place. Election was the buzz word of the night. The team which will be entrusted with the organization, promotion and loving care of the Club for the year 2007 – 2008 are:-

President - Anne Buckley

Vice President of Education - Ray Ryan

Vice President of Membership - Bridie O’Connell

Treasurer - Michael Cronin

Secretary - Loretto Barry

Sergeant at Arms - Mary Moynihan & Joe Hassett

All of those elected have already proved themselves in the past, and will run a great Club next year. We wish them every success in the year to come. So when you arrive to the first meeting of the year in September, the faces welcoming you at the door will be different, but the welcome will be just as sincere as last year. They will have the kettle on the hob and will serve you a great cup of coffee and the best biscuits in town at the interval. A great big thank you to the outgoing President and her crew. Well done folks - you did a great job keeping the show on the road in the past year.

Prior to the election we had business as usual. Having charged every one €5 on the way in, we had to have entertainment. And value for money it was - Gerry O’Callaghan, a staunch member of the Club since its inception excelled himself as Topics Master. He put great preparation into the task; it was original; innovative; and entertaining. We were all ‘in stitches’. He went from, in this case, the ridiculous to the sublime. The co-operation from the audience was super. We could have gone on for an hour with his well chosen topics, but time was limited.

On the Speech front we were equally entertained. Vivienne Buckley started with an ‘After Dinner’ speech. She spoke about her grand uncle’s experiences as a Missionary Priest in Africa. While it was sometimes sad, she also included humour. Vivienne is noted for good speeches. She was followed by Liam Flynn, who is just a year in Toastmasters. His speech called ‘the anvil of life’ was a well thought out speech with a profound message. I cannot print the content now, so just imagine what you have missed by not attending our meetings! Liam is a fund of information, and a brilliant speaker. Marie Fitzpatrick did an advanced speech on the Art of Conversation. Every one made notes during her speech. Her advice was good. It could be applied to the politicians that are breaking down our doors at the moment (they will go to ground next week for another five years); the car salesman or the green young teenager on his/her first date, that is if green young teenagers still exist. Well done Marie, Liam and Vivienne.

Our next and last meeting of the Club year is on Thursday 31st May at the Hibernian Hotel Mallow at 7.50 sharp. The weather is great at the moment, and one is tempted to avail of the sunny evening, but just think what words of wisdom, and great fun you missed by not coming last week. Do come along for our last night. It promises to be good. Should you require any information about our Club or Toastmasters in general log on to our web page and all will be revealed. Slán libh go leir.

Monday, May 14, 2007

To get or not to get that Job!

The employment interview is a crucial communicative experience. The outcome may enhance your career aspirations or simply ensure that your rent gets paid. Either way you often have a lot at stake in an interview situation. To be successful you have to ask yourself these questions

  • Why do you want the job?

  • Aside from money, what is your reason for seeking this particular job?

  • What information can you gather about the Company before the interview?

  • What homework should you do to indicate that you are seriously interested in the Company?

  • What working conditions are you willing to accept?

  • What is the most appropriate apparel for the interview?

Next stop is the actual interview. An interview seldom gets down to business in the initial moments of the interview. There is a brief time for exchanging social talk. This time allows one to relax and to establish a communicative relationship with the interviewer, and assess what approach he may take. He may be relatively informal or totally businesslike. Follow the interviewer’s lead. When s/he is ready to move to more formal questions, the interviewee should be able to shift gear, and begin answering and asking questions. You will be expected to ask questions as well as respond to them. Have a couple of relevant questions ready. Be sensitive to the interviewer’s cues that the session is coming to an end. All your prospective employees out there - we wish you success in your job search, and invite you to join our Club in September to sharpen your communication and interview skills.

Speakeasy Toastmasters are holding their next meeting at the Hibernian Hotel, Mallow on Thursday 17th May at 7.5O pm. You are welcome to come as a guest to view for yourself what we have to offer. Guests will not be asked to speak but are welcome to join in our Topics session.

Saturday, May 05, 2007


The race is on. We are confronted on all sides by people willing to communicate with us and elicit promises from us. So I thought it would be a good idea to explore the effectiveness of word choices. Communicating with precision is not easy. There are a number of essentials to adhere to - the virtues of 1. Accuracy. 2. Simplicity. 3. Coherence. 4. Appropriateness. These are the primary essentials of effective word choices. Choose words that are the exact shade of meaning you wish to communicate. Abraham Lincoln once said “speak so that the lowliest can understand you, and the rest will have no difficulty. Simplicity does not mean that your language must be simplistic, or that you should talk down to your audience. Use short easily understandable words that convey precise concrete meanings. Audiences do not have the luxury of going back over your points as they do in reading, hence the need for coherence.

Besides being accurate, clear, and properly intense, your language should be appropriate to the topic and to the situation. Solemn occasions call for diction that is restrained and dignified. Joyful occasions for word choices that are informal and lively. Suit your language to the tone of the occasion. These suggestions will help you in the construction of your future speeches. Good luck with them.

On May 3rd we had our club meeting. An entertaining and very full programme. We had five speakers. Joe Hassett; Pat Duggan; Anne O’Sullivan; Mary Buckley; John Dillon.

A great variety of speeches. All very informative and entertaining. The Topic Session which was the longest this year – fortyfive minutes – was run by Pat Sexton. Pat has done many and varied topic sessions, but this was his best to date. I can honestly say that while he raised eyebrows at times, he certainly raised peals of laughter. Whoever said laughter is the best medicine is correct. He got great response from the audience. Well done Pat. A great night was had by all. Our next meeting is on May 17th at 7.50 pm at the Hibernian Hotel Mallow. This meeting which will have the same programme of speeches and topics will also be our AGM. Do come along and test the waters for yourself. Full details on our web page