Thursday, April 30, 2009

Even more Toastmaster Skills

While most of public speaking/toastmaster training is centred on a person giving a presentation and the audience listening, i.e. you talk, they listen. This type of communication is training is extremely important when one’s job or community activities require such presentations.

Think about your daily life, however, and another kind of communication becomes equally important.

Each day we interact with many people in a variety of situations. We may deal with clients and co-workers at work, our family and friends. We may be called upon to calm an upset customer/friend/relation or convince a sales assistant to refund your money. Persuade your son or daughter to clean their room or negotiate a raise with your employer.

And especially in the times we live in (I will not use the “r” word), being a good communicator and member of Toastmasters International can and will, give a person the edge over someone who is not.

Special skills are needed to successfully handle the above types of situations and Toastmasters International; “Interpersonal Communications Program” will help you to develop them.

The program consists of five projects that require different interpersonal communication skills.

In the first project we learn how to start a conversation with a stranger.
Project two requires one to negotiate using win/win strategies to achieve a goal.
In the third project, we learn how techniques on how to diffuse verbal criticism.
In the next project we practice coaching someone who is not performing on your satisfaction and finally, you’ll learn to assert yourself effectively.

The projects in this program are challenging but they will provide you with valuable experience in communication with others.

As with all Toastmasters programs, toastmasters are firstly required to complete the basic program, called “The Competent Communicator” program in which all the basic skills of speaking are learned and practiced.

So why not come along to any of our meetings and see for yourself? Speak Easy Toastmasters meet in the Hibernian Hotel, Mallow on alternate Thursdays from September to May.

Toastmaster meetings are not a classroom but a workshop in which members learn at their own pace in a mutually supportive atmosphere where the emphasis is on fun and friendship.

Summer is almost on us, we hope, and there are only two more Speak Easy Toastmasters meetings left before our summer break. Now is the time to experience the “Speak Easy Toastmasters” experience, think about what we have to offer come back to us in September when we start our meetings again.

You’ll be glad you did.

You are welcome to come along as our guest for as often as you want and rest assured, you, as a guest, will never be asked to speak.

Our final two meetings are May 14th and 28th and tonight April 30th of course.
Further information on Speak Easy Toastmasters can be had by visiting our website at or contact our Club PRO Seán on 086 6054784

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Whirlpools and Crocodiles

It’s not too often in our lives that we are encouraged to tell whoppers but that is what happened at the Speak Easy Toastmasters meeting last Thursday night as the club hosted its Tall Tales Contest.

The meeting was as usual opened by President, Ray Ryan , and Michael Cronin was our Toastmaster for the evening.

The programme for the evening was started by a type of speech and speaker that every toastmasters club looks forward to hearing and that is the “Icebreaker” speech. It is the first speech that a new toastmaster delivers to the club in which he/she introduces themselves.

On Thursday night the members were privileged to hear a speech entitled, “The Vibrant 70’s….Not” by Norrie O’Sullivan which was her view of growing up in 70’s Ireland.

Taking the lectern after Norrie was Máire Corbett from The Galtees Club in Mitchelstown with an interpretive reading project in which she delivered Shirley Chisholm’s Speech to Congress.

And finally after Máire was another guest speaker also from The Galtees Toastmasters Club, Conor O’Brien with his speech, “You are what you eat”.

Then it was the turn of Pat Sexton who was Topicsmaster for the evening who had us all thinking about things that we were not prepared for, which is exactly what the a topics session in toastmasters is all about. Practicing, speaking “off the cuff”.

After the coffee break it was the Tall Tales contest and boy, what tall tales they were.
There were three club members in the competition and they were Jerry Mulcahy with his speech, “My Transport” in which he told of his unusual car. Jerry was followed by Ray Ryan with this speech, “Arthur and I”, a tale of his pet crocodile, and finally Grant March with, “A Close Call” which was a story about being caught in a giant whirlpool.

When the votes by the judges were counted, Jerry Mulcahy was declared the winner.

Last Sunday, the Division A finals of the International Speech and Evaluation Contests took place in the Oriel House Hotel in Ballincollig where representatives of toastmasters from Cork, Kerry and West Limerick took part in the contests.
Pat Sexton and Tony O’Regan represented the clubs in North Cork and fantastic performances were delivered by both.
When the votes were counted, Tony was in 3rd position in the Evaluation Contest. Congratulations Tony.

Speak Easy Toastmasters meet again on Thursday, April 30th in The Hibernian Hotel, Mallow and you are invited to attend. If you would like to learn to speak comfortably before an audience on any subject, learn how to give constructive feedback, learn how to speak completely unprepared and to do all this in an atmosphere of fun and friendship, why not come along to the next meeting of Speak Easy Toastmasters?

We meet in the Hibernian Hotel, Mallow on alternate Thursday’s at 8.00pm and we would be delighted to welcome you as our guest to come along and experience, the toastmasters experience.

You will not be asked to speak, guests never are and you can come along as our guest as many times as you like without obligation.

Further information from our website, or from our PRO, Seán on 086 6054784.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Rakes and Rebels

Last Thursday night saw members of Speak Easy Toastmasters take part in a very special meeting with the title “Rakes and Rebels” which was a historical meeting, with a difference.

Members over the past number of weeks researched different people who lived in Mallow in the late 17 and early 1800’s and of course the events and social issues of that time.

But, as well as delivering their speeches, the speakers spoke in the first instance, putting themselves in the place of the characters they were researching, and the result was nothing short of phenomenal.

The Garden Room in the Hibernian hotel, was for a couple of hours transported back into the 1700’s as the famous “Long Room” complete with an assortment of pikes, candles, jugs and various other items from that era.

Members and guests signed the register using goose quills and those taking part in the program were in period dress.

The entire meeting was conducted as if it was taking place in that bygone era, including the topics session.

The meeting was opened by The Hon. James Walsh of Skahana (Tony O’Regan) who told us where we should have tied our horses and also warned us of the no spitting rule.
He told us of the purpose of the meeting which was to hear the stories and experiences of those sitting round the table with him.

The first speaker was, Mortimer Murphy esq. Of Manor of Mallow (Ray Ryan) and also the manager of the long room who told us of the range of entertainment and food and drink that he provided. Mallow Spa was he said, on par with Bath and Tunbridge Wells.

Next to speak was Mrs. Welstead (Anne Buckley) who told us that the life of the gentry was certainly not enjoyed by everyone. She told how she was cured by drinking the spa waters, some of the local entertainment of the time and finished with a rendition of “The Ballad of the Hot Wells”.

Mrs Canty (Angela Sheehan), Landlady of a rooming house in Ballydaheen told us of a conspiracy by members of the Meath Militia stationed in the town, how it was discovered and the resulting consequences.

Mrs Mary Davis (Cáit Murry), mother of Thomas Davis told of her memories of Mallow, the layout of the town and the plans that were being made at the time for the building of the new churches, a Bridewell and marked but also the living conditions of people living in mud cabins in Mallows lanes.

Finally the V Rev Richard Cannon Smiddy (Joe Hassett) who spend four years as curate in Mallow and who is not PP of Ahada, shared with us his memories of the time he spend among the people of Mallow and its surrounds. His memories included the great flood, the tales of rescues, and the misery that people suffered. He also described the emigration of the time and even that the blackwater froze over.

The second half of the meeting was conducted by Captain D’Arcy (Liam Flynn) the local Magistrate. He got the audience involved by speaking of issues of the day and what we thought of them.

Speak Easy Toastmasters would like to thank Kevin Myres of The Mallow Field Club who provided invaluable assistance to our members in compiling the historical data for this meeting.
Photographs from the meeting as can be seen via our website,

Our next meeting is on April 16th in the Hibernian Hotel at 8.00pm sharp and you are invited.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Rakes, Rebels and Good Advice

Speak Easy Toastmasters are holding a Theme meeting tonight
Thursday night, April 2nd, in the Hibernian Hotel, Mallow.

The title of the meeting is "Rakes and Rebels" and is a look at
Mallow in the late 1700 and early 1800's........but with a difference.

The members presenting speeches will be doing so through the eyes of actual people who lived
at that time and who will also be dressed accordingly.

The meeting takes place in the famous "Long Room" (aka The Garden Room) and you will meet

President, Mortimer Murphy Esq. of Manor of Mallow (Ray Ryan)
Toastmaster , The Hon, James Murphy of Skahana (Tony O'Regan)
Topicsmaster, Captain D'Arcy RN (Liam Flynn)

Mrs Welstead (Anne Buckley)
Mrs Canty of Ballydaheen. (Angela Sheehan)
Mortimer Murphy Esq. of Manor of Mallow (Ray Ryan)
V Rev. Richard Cannon Smiddey (Joe Hassett)
Mrs Mary Davis (Cáit Murry)

Come along to the Hibernian Hotel tonight at 8.00 sharp, where members of Speak Easy Toastmasters will be bringing the history of Mallow to life.

Five tips for any kind public speaking, making a presentation or just making sure that you are heard in any situation.
(from by An article on Public Speaking by Patricia Fripp, CSP, CPAE)

1. To Sound More Intelligent:
Speak just a bit slower to allow yourself to select your most appropriate vocabulary and to give the impression of thoughtfulness.

2. To Sound More Powerful:
Use short, simple declarative sentences. You say what you mean and you mean what you say. Cut out any useless connectors, adjectives and adverbs, especially superlatives.

3. To Sound More Polished:
Never answer a question with a blunt 'yes' or 'no.' Append a short phrase of clarification. For example, "No, I did not see it." "Yes, I know Mary."

4. To Sound More Articulate:
Make a special effort to pronounce the final sound in a word and use its energy to carry over to the following word. Pay special attention to final 't' and 'ng.'

5. To Sound More Confident:
Carry your body up. Hold your head as if you had a crown on it. Don't let your arms and legs have side to side motion when you move. Keep your elbows and knees close to the midline of your body.

With the above in mind why not come along to any of our meeting in Speak Easy Toastmasters and see for yourself how we practice the skills of prepared speaking, speaking “off the cuff”, listening, and leadership.

We meet on alternate Thursdays, September to May in The Hibernian Hotel, Mallow at 7.50 for an 8.00pm start. We would be delighted to welcome you as our guest and guests at our meetings are never asked to speak.

Our next meeting is on April 16th which is the club’s Tall Tale Contest night.
Further information on Speak Easy Toastmasters can be had on our website at or contact our club PRO, Seán on 086 6054784