Saturday, September 29, 2007

Tips....Rehearsing that Presentation

Following on from the Speak Easy Notes on Sept 20th in which we discussed the way to structure a speech or presentation with the “Opening, Body and Conclusion”, this week we look at preparing yourself to make that presentation.

How do you do that? By rehearsing.

Practice the talk until you are comfortable with it.

You won’t need to memorise the body of the talk since you already know all about the subject. As mentioned already, you should memorise your opening and conclusion.

Present the talk to a family member or friend and ask for comments.

They may give you some helpful suggestions. If you have a tape recorder, record the talk and listen to it carefully making any necessary improvements to improve your speaking ability. Rehearse as often as it takes until you are comfortable with your presentation. Use visualizing techniques in which you imagine yourself in front of your audience delivering that perfect presentation.

Another very important aspect of making your presentation is appearance.

Be well groomed and appropriately dressed. When you look right, you feel good about yourself. You will then forget about your appearance and concentrating about presenting your talk. You will have increased confidence because you know you have made a good first impression on your audience.

All these presentation skills and many more are learned and practiced at every toastmaster meeting. A toastmaster meeting is not a classroom or lecture but a workshop in which the emphasis is on mutual support, learning but most importantly on enjoyment, fun and friendship.

Don’t just take my word for it, come along and see for yourself.

As a guest you will be most welcome and you will not be asked to speak

So why not come along tonight, 4th of October to the Hibernian Hotel, Mallow at 7.50pm and join us.

Tonight we present the Club Humorous Speech Contest and Table Topics Contest in which is one of our highlights of the toastmaster year.

Here you will see club members using their speaking skills just to make you laugh.

Remember, tonight at the Hibernian Hotel, Mallow at 7.50pm

Looking forward to meeting you

Further information on The Speak Easy Toastmasters Club can be obtained by logging on to our website at

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Speak Easy on Sept 20th

Thursday 20th last saw another fantastic evening of speeches, fun and entertainment at the Speak Easy Toastmasters meeting in which club members were joined by 11 guests.

The meeting began with a welcome by acting President for the evening, Ray Ryan Jnr Toastmaster for the evening was Michael Walsh who guided us smoothly along for the duration of the meeting.

First to the lectern was the youngest member of our club, Kieran Butler with a speech entitled “The Clinton Syndrome” in which he was President of the US and all that went with it including the secretaries, well, especially the secretaries. Kieran kept us entertained for the duration of his speech and showed what a talented speaker he is.

Kieran was followed by Pat Sexton who is one of the founder members of the club an. Pat’s presentation was on how to answer topics or how to think on our feet in any given situation. Answering topics (topics are questions in which members have to speak for 2 minutes on any subject without preparation) gives confidence, encourages spontaneity and sharpens thinking. Pat’s message was to “Get hot on Topics, don’t get bothered”

Then it was the turn of Margaret O’Regan who entertained with a speech entitled, “The Greatest”….men. She has been observing them for years, she said, and shared with us her hilarious observations. “Most men will take a command, once” but it must be very simple and precise. A world without men would be like a “black and white television, bland”.

The final speaker of the evening was Michael Cronin with a speech entitled “The Lions Den” in which he gave details of his experience at a “Dine to meet” which is the latest way to meet members of the opposite sex. Michael took us through his experiences of the evening as only he can, and at the end of the “Dine to meet” evening he came home with….the napkin.

Tim Ahern was Topics Master of the evening and kept us on our toes with a well thought out range of topics.

Our next meeting is on Thursday, October 4th and is the club’s Humorous Speech Contest which is one of the highlights of the year and is an evening not to be missed.

The Table Topics Contest also takes place on the night..

We invite you to come along as a guest and see what Toastmasters has to offer and also to see the skills and confidence that anyone can learn by being a member of a Toastmasters Club

Remember the date, October 4th, at 7.50pm in The Hibernian Hotel, Mallow.

Further details on Speak Easy Toastmasters can be had by logging on to our website at

Monday, September 17, 2007

Opening Body and Conclusion

What is common between any of the following? Back to college? Joined a new club or association? Started a new course? New job?

Well at some stage you are going to have to make a presentation, or put forward a point of view in front of others from a lectern, the top table or in a committee.

Doing this correctly will mean that you and the point you are making will be heard or that presentation will stand out above the others.

Over the next few weeks in the Speak Easy Toastmasters notes we’ll be looking at the various ways in which you can prepare yourself to deliver that perfect speech, presentation or viewpoint.

This week it’s the “Opening, Body and Conclusion.

Like any good story, your talk needs a clear beginning and ending. Create an interesting opening sentence that captures the audience’s attention, Memorize it, if necessary and use it even if a better idea occurs to you just before you speak.

Then devise a good closing and memorize it also.

Giving your audience too much information will only overwhelm them. A memorized beginning and ending enable you to start and finish your talk with confidence and ease.

In any speech it’s best to select a few main points (three or four at the most) and emphasize them by using examples, stories for anecdotes. If you merely state a face and then continue most of your audience will miss the point, say it again in different words, illustrate the point and then state it once more in order to be clearly understood. This is a good skill to learn.

If you need notes, write a brief speech outline on for example, 3x5 cards which you can place on the lectern or table. Refer to them only when you need them.

Remember, you’re speaking, not reading.

Many speakers begin by writing out the entire speech or presentation, then breaking it down into parts with a key word for each part and finally writing just the key words on note cards.

The above skills are some of the many that are learned and practiced at every toastmaster meeting so why not come along tonight to The Hibernian Hotel, Mallow at 7.50pm and see for yourself.

You will be very welcome and remember that guests are never asked to speak at a toastmasters meeting.

Tonight we are in the capable hands of Toastmaster Michael Walsh with Tim Ahern as Topics master. Speakers are, Kieran Butler, Michael Cronin, Margaret O’Regan and Pat Sexton.

Remember, tonight, at The Hibernian Hotel Mallow.

Looking forward to meeting you.

For further information about Speak Easy Toastmasters, log on to our website at

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Familiar Faces are Back

September 6th saw familiar faces, friends and welcome guests greet a new year of Speak Easy Toastmasters. Anne Buckley was warmly welcomed as incoming President. The able Jerry Mulcahy acted as Toastmaster or MC for the evening and demonstrated his prowess as genial host. Three speakers from the club entertained with prepared speeches.

Liam Flynn demonstrated his passion for astronomy with a history of Edwin Hubble, after whom the Hubble space telescope is named. Liam enumerated the benefits of the space race and the many achievements of the telescope, concluding by putting into perspective our place in the Universe. Sean Corcoran evaluated Liam’s speech.

Marie Fitzpatrick recounted her depressing experience with false tan. A wedding led her to try tanning wipes with disastrous consequences! Bridie O’Connell evaluated Marie’s speech.

Ray Ryan demonstrated his enthusiasm for history and his easy ability to educate and entertain with a history of MPs for Mallow from the 17th to the 19th century, culminating in the election of Wm O’Brien. Margaret O’Regan evaluated Ray’s Speech

Following the coffee break, Michael Cronin was a source of inspiration as topics master and got the audience into lively discussions.

Topics, delivered to members only included “the attraction of watching the Rose of Tralee competition”, “the safety of letting a bunch of Toastmasters loose in a brewery”, and “whether men or women lie most”!

Other participants in the meeting included Mary Buckley, General Evaluator, Mary McCarthy, Timekeeper, Joe Hassett and Mary Moynihan, Sergeants at Arms. Pat Duggan acted as Grammarian.

Put this date your diary, Thursday 20th of September, next Thursday. Come along to our meeting, and experience what Toastmasters is all about.. You will be most welcome.

Learn the skills of public speaking, enhance your listening skills, and learn how to think on your feet and do all this in an atmosphere of fun and friendship.

So come along and meet us next Thursday night 20th, at 7.50 pm in the Garden Room of the Hibernian Hotel, Mallow.

Remember that guests are never asked to speak at a Toastmasters meeting.

For further information on Speak Easy Toastmasters and Toastmasters International, log on to our website,

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Speak Easy Returns Tonight

Hello there …After a long enjoyable Summer, the mind turns to the big question. What will it be this year? You possibly have covered everything from Conversational Japanese to Set Dancing to Personal Finances and you have the Certificate to prove it.

This September, why not try something different? Join Toastmasters. Did I hear you say, ‘are you mad.’? The answer to that is “no! I am not”. At the last meeting of Toastmasters in May, Certificates were presented to members who attained the status of Competent Toastmaster, and also to those who attained the Advanced Toastmaster status.

These performances were the culmination of years of hard work and a little fun thrown in. The Certificates were not the big issue of the night. What was most important was the assertiveness, confidence and total ease with one’s self that all the speakers had achieved.

Next year it could be you. Come along to our meeting tonight, the 6th September at 7.50 pm at the Hibernian Hotel, Mallow where President, Anne Buckley will be presiding over her first meeting and will be ably assisted by Toastmaster for the evening, Jerry Mulcahy. Michael Cronin is Topicsmaster and watching over the entire meeting is General Evaluator, Mary Buckley

You may come as a guest without any commitment until you get the ‘measure’ of us, and be assured you will not be asked to speak unless you wish to do so during the topics session

What is assertiveness? It is the weapon that makes life easier for every human. Some have a natural gift of assertiveness, others need to learn the art. A great way to do so is by joining our club. We will nurture you and bring you along by the hand. Now while it is not possible to make a gentle soul into Margaret Thatcher, one does learn how to set clearer boundaries for others.

The idea is to feel better about saying ‘no’ or giving your opinion without changing who you are. Here at Speakeasy Toastmasters Club you learn to present clear messages; gain increased confidence, handling difficult situations; In general you will start shaking hand with yourself and saying the odd affirmation. For example ‘yes I handled that appraisal well’ or yes I won that round with my teenager.

So come along tonight to the Hibernian Hotel, Mallow at 7.50pm, and sample the experience that is Speak Easy Toastmasters. You will be delighted that you did.

For further details log on to our continously updated website,