Sunday, February 24, 2013

Six Brilliant Speeches

This week at Speakeasy, a packed program was ably managed by Toastmaster Bridie O’Connell, aptly described by General Evaluator Claire O’Connell as “cool, calm, collected and classy”.

There were six speakers. Angela Sheehan made a most beautiful speech entitled “The Big Fellow“, paying tribute to her father, Michael Madden who died recently. A passionate sportsman, skilled in many codes but especially as a rugby player, who played on the Munster team against the All Blacks in 1954, his club was Sundays Well. Once when injured and bleeding profusely, he didn’t want to leave the field of play, saying “leave me be, I’ll die for the Well”. A man dedicated to his family, friends and social circle, he moved with the times, and had an iPhone, used Skype, even had a face book page. Angela’s words were a wonderful tribute to her father, a man who lived life to the full.

There was more evidence at this week’s meeting of the vibrancy of Speakeasy, with two new members, making their first speech, -the icebreaker speech, where they introduce themselves to the club.
Anne Walsh, in her lovely speech gave us an entertaining insight into how a fun loving person like herself came to settle down and through reading about the work of Maria Montessori develop a deep interest in Special Education. Pat Connolly evaluated Anne’s speech.
Brendan Foley delivered a fine colourful icebreaker describing a great variety of work and travel and educational experience in a lovely humorous style. Michael Cronin evaluated Brendan’s speech.

Marie Lynes told us the fascinating and appalling story of Mara Linga, in Australia where in 1953 UK scientists tested the effects of the detonation of Atomic bombs. Afterwards, with no strict security implemented besides the erection of signs that locals could not read, there were terrible health consequences for the local people and the servicemen who were sent in. As Marie effectively conveyed in this important speech, the paltry compensation package and the length of time it took to deal with any aspect of this tragedy is testimony that good people need not to remain silent about such terrible deeds. Pat Duggan evaluated Marie’s speech.
Cait Murray’s objective was to do a demonstration speech and she used a compass and a route card of a walk in the Galtees to pay tribute to leaders in hillwalking clubs, a popular pastime these days, who put a lot of work into leading groups safely on the mountains. James Kelleher evaluated Cait’s speech

President Jerry Mulcahy told the fascinating history of the hunting of the Wren, which he explained originally developed out of fear of the Wren. He brought us back to his youth in West Limerick. A Batch was the title of the group and the Cashier carried the holly bush. There was a dress code and they met in the rambling house. They called to people who couldn’t actually come out to them. Sadly from the late 1940’s on emigration took a toll on these traditional practices but for us who heard this speech, the history of the occasion will come to mind, next time we hear a knock at the door on St Stephens Day. Bill Martin evaluated Jerry’s speech.
David Roache was Topicsmaster and provided a fine array of topics from St Valentine’s Day to the question of whether Mallow Town with its Folk Festival has a 25 years head start on “The Gathering”.

Ray Ryan as Grammarian praised efforts to avoid crutch words when speaking. Tom O’Connor kept a watchful eye on the timings as Timekeeper.

All were warmly greeted as usual by the cheerful guest greeters, Mary Moynihan, Marie Lynes and Ronan Condon.

A particularly interesting meeting to look forward to will be the Club’s Speech and Evaluation Contest which will be held at 8pm Hibernian Hotel on March 21st.

This year is the Club’s 20th Anniversary and tickets are now available for this unmissable night on Saturday March 23rd in the Hibernian Hotel. Non members are most welcome. Contact Ronan at 0862758501.

Speakeasy Toastmasters meets every 2nd Thursday in the Hi-B. next meeting at 8pm Hibernian Mallow, Thursday 7th March. Non members are most welcome and are never asked to speak. Contact Jerry 0863752895,or Noel 0872427485.
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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Variety Is The Spice Of Life

Michael Cronin, the author of this weeks article, is a long time supporter of Speakeasy Toastmasters, President of the club more than once and has represented the club successfully at international contests.

Variety is the spice of life

Not only does toastmasters improve our communication and leadership skills it also provides us with other advantages which are not so visible. By becoming a member you come in contact with people from all different walks of life. Within the club you get opportunity to meet people whose work and life is totally different to our own and who have very interesting stories to share. My recent favourite is when a member told me that as a young person he left Ireland and became a train driver in Rhodesia.

We are also very fortunate in The Speakeasy club to have a have a very wide age profile in our membership, our youngest being in their 20's to our oldest being in their mid 70's. It gives a great variety of stories and insights into different topics and its wonderful to see how everyone learns from each other.

It is also important to note that the Speakeasy Club is not just a Mallow club, the continued success of the club has been built on the fact that we have members not only from Mallow and its locality but also from a much wider area which include places such as Kanturk, Millstreet, Boherbue and many more. This adds greatly to the mix within the club.

While toastmasters has a lot to offer regarding communication skills it also has a lot to offer from a social aspect. Come along and see for yourself and enjoy.

Speakeasy Toastmasters meets every 2nd Thursday in the Hi-B. next meeting at 8pm Hibernian Mallow, Thursday 21st Feb. 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 our blog"http://speakeasytm.blogspot.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Fish don't climb trees

This week at Speakeasy, Rona Coghlan as Toastmaster and Anne O’Donovan as Topicsmaster joined President Jerry Mulcahy at the top table.

Rona had the pleasure of introducing two guest speakers, two transition year students whose youth belied the absorbing speeches they made. Honor O’Flynn made a wonderful speech on the importance of music. Honor ’s speech was indeed uplifting in the way she touched on so many different types of music from Bob Marley to Mozart and the great uses music has, from improving the mood on a personal level to fund raising for worthy causes. Anne Buckley evaluated Honor and strongly encouraged her to continue both her music and her public speaking. Jordan O’Callaghan made a very effective plea in his speech for people to devote their lives to doing what it is they love and therefore are good at. Fish don’t climb trees well,-so Einstein pointed out, -one of Jordan’s very convincing quotes. Kieran Butler evaluated Jordans’ speech and complimented him on a very impressive style of presentation and a great speech that made a strong impression on the audience.

Speakeasy’s James Kelleher gave a very illuminating speech on practical first aid, - explaining how to use what one has at hand to deal with unfortunate incidents such as having a knife slip and stick in your arm. Only James could get quite a bit of humour out of some quite traumatic sounding incidents!. James Bond comes to mind and his speech title was indeed“ First Aid Tips like the Movies”. He definitely created some memorable images as his evaluator Marie Lynes pointed out.
Mary Moynihan’s speech,-”Medicine for the Mind” was a thought provoking reflection on the delight of reading. Mary looked at reading and its benefits from childhood onwards and there is no doubt that the audience members were keen to get reading as a result of this lovely speech.
Finally Ronan Condon gave a delightful speech on thoughts that come to him as he looks at the Map of the World he has hanging on his wall. In essence the map is to him a memory map as it brings to mind places he has visited and places he would like to visit. It was a speech guaranteed to turn the mind to dreaming of far flung places.

Anne O’Donovan had a very successful evening as Topicsmaster. With topics as diverse as Operation Transformation to Drink driving, Anne drew a lot of response from the audience.
Marie Fitzpatrick was General Evaluator for the night and gave a comprehensive evaluation of the meeting as a whole as well having the difficult decision to make as to who to award ribbons to, for best speaker, best topics speaker and best evaluation. This is just the General Evaluators decision on the night and a personal choice of the General Evaluator whether they want to award these or not.

Pat Connolly did the duty of Grammarian and complimented good usage of the English language. His “word of the night” was Toast and he got many humorous uses of this throughout the evening.
David Roache kept a watchful eye on the time in his duty as timekeeper.
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 21st Feb. 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 our blog"http://speakeasytm.blogspot.

Monday, February 04, 2013

"I Expected Suits"

Angela Sheehan is a long-term member of Speakeasy Toastmasters who has served the club in a range of roles including that of President.
I expected suits.
I expected suits, I expected a room full of suits, maybe lots of business types and I wasn’t too sure about this Toastmasters business anyway. It might be awfully serious. I might not like it. Maybe no-one would talk to me. I had arrived on my own and was new to Mallow - I probably wouldn’t know anyone. I needn’t have worried. I met farmers, lots of farmers and teachers, nurses, engineers, students, landscape gardeners and the list goes on…from all walks of life, all ages and all very friendly and very welcoming. That was more than 12 years ago and I’m still a member of Toastmasters and I’m really glad that I went along to that first meeting. It wasn’t what I expected. It was much, much more.
I expected serious speeches and ‘cerebral’ topics – and while some speeches are serious many are amusing, light-heated, informative and always very varied. The speeches are never boring and all original with much research or life learning included. This means that you leave a Toastmasters meeting on a Thursday night, possibly still giggling at a funny episode you heard about or certainly having learned something new and it’s quite likely you will have been provoked into thinking more deeply about some very varied issue.You would be surprised what you would hear at a Toastmasters meeting.
I really didn’t expect to learn so much and laugh so much.
I never anticipated tapping into my creative side. But of course! You write your speeches yourself. I certainly enjoyed that. Included in the nearly 40 speeches I’ve given over 12 years have been serious speeches, informative speeches, entertaining speeches (well I thought they were). They are not taken out of the air and decided by whim. Typically the nature of the speech will depend on the type of manual you are currently working on e.g. at the moment I’m working through the ‘Special Occasion Speeches’ manual and my next speech will be in praise of someone I know or someone famous. I have also given speeches from a range of other manuals including ‘The Entertaining Speaker’, ‘Storytelling’, ‘Speaking to inform’ and ‘Specialty Speeches’. I might try ‘Persuasive Speaking’ next.
Each speech has been ‘evaluated’, which means that someone from the club offered some very constructive feedback and suggestions for improvement. This leads to continuous improvement. And the role of evaluator allows members to develop their ability to listen, analysand and critique in a very positive way.
I didn’t expect to enhance my CV and include Toastmasters experiences in a successful job interview. But that did happen. I was able to include the years of experience in PR, marketing, event management, and advertising which I gained through numerous roles in the club. Getting involved with the club committee and taking on all types of roles over the years, including President, resulted in opportunities to gain experiences in many areas of personal development.
Someone once said that Toastmasters is one of the best kept secrets around. They were right. There’s a wealth of knowledge and experience to be gained, at very low cost. What more can I say.
You get much more than you would expect from Toastmasters.
Speakeasy Toastmasters meets every 2nd Thursday in the Hi-B. next meeting at 8pm Hibernian Mallow, Thursday 7th Feb. 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.