Sunday, January 27, 2013

Presidents Distinguished Club 2012

Speakeasy provides a warm and supportive environment for people who want to improve their communication and leadership skills. This week, the second meeting of the new season, President Jerry Mulcahy and Toastmaster Celine Cremin took the opportunity to inform new comers at the meeting that membership at this stage of the year is half price, -35 euro.
As Toastmaster, -Celine fulfilled the duties of explaining the running of the meeting, introducing the officers, and introducing the speakers with ease and with great humour. James Kelleher joined Celine and the President at the top table in the role of Topicsmaster. James produced a great range of topics over the course of the evening which engaged the audience.

There were four excellent speeches. In a speech entitled Taking a Stand, Michael Cronin took us back to the dramatic year of 1968, and told the stirring story of two Black athletes, -John Carlos and Tommy Smith who were recipients of Gold and Bronze medals. These brave men in the times when Black people struggled to get basic Human Rights, raised their fists in the Black Power Salute, as their National Anthem played. They were not alone, but accompanied by the Silver Medallist, an Australian, Peter Norman, who did not raise his fist, but stood with them, also wearing a badge symbolising Human Rights. They all 3 suffered the consequences of being ostracised for years to come. With the great visual aid of the 3 on the podium to contemplate, this speech gave the audience much to think about. Pat Sexton evaluated Michael’s speech.

Tom O’Connor gave a wonderful speech, with the title of “An Elusive Truth”. In this most absorbing speech Tom paid homage to a great human being, called Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish Diplomat, who saved the lives of many Hungarian Jews in World War Two. Rona Coughlan evaluated Tom’s speech.

Liam Flynn’s speech was called “You’re not Alone”. This was a heartwarming, uplifting and beautifully crafted speech, where Liam encouraged us all to look to our own ability in terms of self sufficiency to get through the present day economic crisis, but most importantly ,-to help others. He cited local strengths, our agriculture, our tourism potential and most importantly, our youth, who could lead the way forward to a return to prosperous times. Claire O’Connell evaluated Liam’s speech.

Finally our immediate ex President, Tony O’Regan had the objective of giving a speech to accept an award, and as it happened Tony really did have an award to accept. Speakeasy Toastmasters under Tony’s stewardship have been given the award of President Distinguished Club by the international Toastmasters Organisation for the amount of goals they achieved last year. These goals are set out in the interest of having a well run, productive, successful club which Speakeasy is. Tony accepted the award graciously on behalf of all the members and paid special tribute to one person, our Educational Vice President of last year, -Jean Sayers, for the quiet and unassuming manner in which Jean did so much work behind the scenes. He encouraged new members to join up and to be relaxed in knowing that this club gives people the perfect opportunity and place where they can safely fail on the way to improving their public speaking and leadership skills. Ray Ryan evaluated Tony’s speech.

Bill Martin evaluated the meeting as a whole and evaluated the evaluators, keeping a strict eye on timing which is an important focus in Toastmaster meetings.
Angela Sheehan was the grammarian for the night. She watched out for the use of “crutch words”, such as ah and um and pointed out nice use of English, such as Tom’s use of a quote-
“The midnight fear, the knock upon the door,
the brutal face behind the gun, on the icy Danube shore."
Angela’s word that she chose to promote was “Bravo”, and there was certainly plenty of occasion to use this word!.

Pat Duggan as Timekeeper kept a watchful eye on timings. All were warmly welcomed to the meeting by Guest Greeters,- Marie Lynes, Mary Moynihan and Ronan Condon

Speakeasy Toastmasters meets every 2nd Thursday in the Hi-B. next meeting at 8pm Hibernian Mallow, Thursday Feb 7th. Non members are most welcome and are never asked to speak. Contact Jerry 0863752895,or Noel 0872427485.
"Follow us on Facebook "Speak Easy Toastmasters", on Twitter "@speakeasytm" and on
our blog "http://speakeasytm.blogspot.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

"What do ye do?"

Pat Connolly has achieved many Toastmaster awards in his long association with the organisation. He is one of the founder members of Kinsale and District Toastmasters Club, and over the years has helped a number of clubs throughout Munster to develop. In this article he outlines the purpose of good speech structure and speech making and introduces his readers to the first speech that a new Toastmaster would make - The Ice-Breaker. Pats' personal goal for this year is to complete the penultimate award in Toastmasters, that of Distinguished Toastmaster.

As a member of the Toastmaster Family for almost thirty years now, the most common question people ask me on a regular basis is 'what do ye do'? The simple answer is we continue to strive to improve our leadership and communication skills, through making speeches, evaluating speeches and speaking 'off the cuff'.Why do people want to make a speech? Well there are many reasons, – accepting an award, a retirement function, presentation in the workplace, Father of the Bride, etc.
Where can we get material for speeches? Absolutely everywhere. Look around you where you are presently situated, reading this article, and I can guarantee you that there are at least four or more items that could supply ideal material for an interesting speech. Reading is invaluable.
In some club meetings they have a long established tradition of having a reading. This is usually just before the interval. Reading is the best way to find material for any speech a person wishes to make. However taking somebody else’s material and using it as your own is a non starter in Toastmasters, as in other walks of life.
So where can you get superior support, enthusiastic encouragement and very willing people who will help you to develop the skills you already have? Yes! You’ve guessed – your local Toastmaster’s Club of course.How can this be done? It can be done by following the ten projects in the first manual you will receive when you become a club member, which will help you to become a competent communicator.

Speech number one, the Ice Breaker. The first speech a member will present to the club is called the ‘Ice Breaker’, – you speak about yourself and if you think about it, you will certainly have a huge amount of material to work with. Your presentation can be as personal or as impersonal as you wish. You can use some information on your background, interests and perhaps what you would like to do in the future, maybe how many speeches you will make in the club year.
There are a number of points to consider in your preparation stage. Firstly, read the details of the entire project before preparing your talk. Then mentally plan the outline and only then begin writing down the material. There will be many changes in structure and content, with additions and deletions, before your are completely satisfied with your presentation. You many use notes during your speech.
Timing is very important in speech making. While all sections are important, the time taken by the speakers helps them to monitor how well or otherwise they did in their presentations. In your preparation always factor in your timing in your practice sessions. Speak at a reasonable rate, so that your audience can enjoy your presentation and this will allow you time to think, and reference your notes. Always practice giving your speech to family or friends and don’t be afraid to practice in front of a mirror – remember what you see in the mirror, is what your audience will see when you present your speech. As eye contact is a very important part of giving a speech, you should begin to use it even at this early stage. Eye contact makes you at one with the audience and helps to bring them into your space. And finally, always finish your speech before you begin it. This means that you have everything prepared and fine tuned long before you present your speech to your fellow club members.

In summary, the objectives of a Stage One Speech are to prepare a speech, to helping you begin speaking before an audience by introducing yourself to your club members, and to begin to understand the strengths you already have and identify the areas that require particular emphasis in your speaking development and finally the time allowed for this project is four to six minutes.
Our next meeting is tonight so do drop in and you may hear an Ice-breaker being presented, either way, you will have a very educational and entertaining evening. Oh, and do bring a friend or two.

Speakeasy Toastmasters meets every 2nd Thursday in the Hi-B. next meeting at 8pm Hibernian Mallow, Thursday 24th Jan. Non members are most welcome and are never asked to speak. Contact Jerry 0863752895,or Noel 0872427485.
"Follow us on Facebook "Speak Easy Toastmasters", on Twitter "@speakeasytm" and on
our blog "http://speakeasytm.blogspot.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Playing a typewriter with expression

The new year started off well for Speakeasy with a lovely meeting chaired in the capable relaxed style of Toastmaster for the night, Anne Buckley. It was a special pleasure that we were joined on the night by two speakers from the Nice and Easy Toastmasters Club, which is a club that Speakeasy President Jerry Mulcahy is very committed to.

Helen Buckley of the Nice and Easy is a frequent visitor to Speakeasy and yet again gave a lovely speech. It was on a topic of personal relevance to Helen,- the Special Olympics, as Helen herself has participated in golf in the Olympics, but also she incorporated some very interesting information about a Special Olympics group in Orange County South California who also have a Toastmaster Club called The Gavel Club. The confidence developed by members of this club is very useful in publicising the Special Olympics, and they have the great title of Global Messengers. Helen’s speech was very warmly received and evaluated by Angela Sheehan.
Brid Broderick of Nice and Easy was paying her first visit to Speakeasy and gave a delightful, humorous as well as informative speech on camels. Brid was complimented on her lovely delivery of this speech and great use of vocal variety which really brought out the humour in the speech. Brid’s evaluator was Marie Fitzpatrick. Speakeasy look forward to another visit from Brid and Helen.

There were two speakers from Speakeasy. Claire O’Connell gave a speech with the objective of persuading the audience. She chose the topic of political correctness, highlighting amusing examples such as maintenance hole for the politically incorrect manhole. The only PC in Claire‘s life is her laptop and she made a convincing appeal for abandoning political correctness. Her speech was evaluated by Michael Cronin
Rhona Coughlan gave a lovely speech with the delightful title;-” The typewriter when played with expression is less annoying than a piano played by a sister or near relative”. In it Rhona described her enchantment with learning the piano, with much humour and a great use of vocal variety. Her evaluator was Tony O’Regan.

The Topicsmaster for the night was Tom O’ Connor and he certainly excelled with many imaginative topics, such as the end result of 4 famous personages who shall be nameless, a hungry Bengal tiger, and a boa constrictor on a journey from Mumbai and what the end result would be! Of course club member Pat Sexton had an able answer.
The meeting was charmingly evaluated as a whole by Marie Lyons. Mary Moynihan provided the “word “of the night,- Ballyhoo, which indicates exaggeration and there was happily a bit of that.
All were welcomed to the meeting by our Guest Greeters,- Marie Lyons, Ronan Condon and Mary Moynihan.
Speakeasy Toastmasters meets every 2nd Thursday in the meeting at 8pm Hibernian Mallow, Thursday Jan 24th. Non members are most welcome and are never asked to speak. Contact Jerry 0863752895,or Noel 0872427485.
"Follow us on Facebook "Speak Easy Toastmasters", on Twitter "@speakeasytm" and on
our blog "http://speakeasytm.blogspot.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

From the Hi-B to the Indian Ocean

From the Hi-B to the Indian Ocean
Pat Duggan was President of Speakeasy Toastmasters 2003-2004. He has been actively involved in setting up another Toastmaster club since,-.Guardian Toastmasters in Cork City but still remains loyal to Speakeasy.

When I came to live in Mallow I had already been a member of Toastmasters for a couple of years so I intended to find the nearest club when I was settled in my new job and had somewhere to live. The research wasn’t difficult – I was walking past the Hibernian Hotel one day and spotted the Speakeasy Toastmasters plaque. Job done! I called into reception to get some details and the following Thursday night I went along to a meeting of Speakeasy Toastmasters.

On the night I received the warm welcome I had come to expect from Toastmasters. Nearly 14 years later I still attend regularly to meet old friends, make new ones and mostly to hear about all the wonderful things that Toastmasters get up to.
From second-hand cars that broke down regularly but “had a space for a radio” to how not to turn an oil tanker in the Indian Ocean to what can be kept in a biscuit tin to most recently, the rearing of free range organic geese. Where else would you get it?

Not only is Toastmasters very sociable and good fun it is a great place to learn – usually unbeknownst to yourself. After a year or two I was invited to join the committee and later had the honour of being club president. Along the way I learned how to take notes, plan a meeting, run a club, compose a speech, gather my thoughts and most importantly how to breathe when the nerves threaten to take over. All this learning happens because everyone has a different role and goal every year or at every meeting. This year’s president can be all about having fun at the meetings, next year’s may want to work on achieving club goals to gain recognition in the wider Toastmaster community. One member’s role might be to chair the meeting; another’s goal to deliver a speech without displaying their nervousness.

Speakeasy Toastmasters still meets every 2nd Thursday in the Hi-B, come along and check it out.
Speakeasy toastmasters next meets at 8pm Hibernian Mallow, Thursday Jan 10th..
Non members are most welcome and are never asked to speak.
Contact Jerry 0863752895,or Noel 0872427485.
"Follow us on Facebook "Speak Easy Toastmasters", on Twitter "@speakeasytm" and on our
blog "http://speakeasytm.blogspot.