Monday, April 20, 2015

Division Final Report

The excitement in the room was palatable, as Division Governor Ray Ryan opened the Division Final at the Hibernian Hotel Mallow. Contest Chair Helen Hourican and Chief Judge Aileen O'Mahony ran the meeting, assisted by Anne Buckley and Helen Brunicardi. Topics Master Brenda Nestor warmed up the room with topics such as, "who is the boss in your house, " and "who should present Top Gear?" 

The International Speech Contest featured the following speeches. 

Anthony Garvey delivered a speech entitled, "Mature Student. " It was only ten days to exams when a rumour rocked the campus. The most head wrecking, brain twisting exam had been stolen and was available on line for the mere sun of 300 euro. Anthony had forgotten about exams during the cultural exchange of youth and adult, but he was here to tell us that education can not be bought. Anthony won first place. 

Holly Blake delivered a speech entitled, "A Good Sense Of Humour." Holly was climbing a mountain in Nepal, when life changed for her. Her father was diagnosed with motor neurons disease. There was no cure, but his sense of humour developed and kept everyone  laughing. During her absence, her father bowed out gracefully. Holly challenged everyone to grab life and live it to the full. Holly won second place. 

Tom O'Connor laid bare the mysterious link between music and the soul. The creative chemistry of artists who were held in one of the concentration camp in World War 2 produced a spectacular rendition of a requiem under the most atrocious of conditions. Tom won third place. 

Joey O'Leary delivered a speech entitled, "Tunnels. " In life there are different tunnels.  Tunnels that bring you from A to B, and tunnels that are emotional. Emotional tunnels are difficult to navigate your way out of. Joey encouraged everyone to reach out to those around them. The smallest gesture can provide a sign-post, guiding a person towards the way out of their own emotional tunnel. Toast Masters is an organisation which raises confidence, and can serve as a light in the difficult times. 

Christine Conway delivered a speech entitled, "Down, Down and Away. " Saint  Patrick's Day is celebrated world wide,  due in no small way to enforced economic emigration. Her own children were unable to climb the career ladder in Ireland, because there was no ladder. Someone had taken the ladder away. Three of  her children have emigrated and she was delighted by the surprise present of a trip to Perth Australia to visit her children. She was tempted to remain in the balmy heat of  Australia, but she decided to go home and say, not goodbye but see you soon, to her children.

Michael Barrett delivered a speech entitled, " First Date." When he was in college, Michael experienced that common difficulty, the lack of a partner for a ball.  By a stroke of luck he met a beautiful girl at the bus stop and made a date. They agreed to meet under the Mangan's clock. Unfortunately many a couple had the same plan. Michael tried to identify his date. Peering into the face of each girl,  he eventually identitied his date on round two. Poor Michael was left looking for that silver lining among the clouds as his dream evening fell apart. 

The Evaluation Test Speech was provided Brian McLoughlin. "The Ice Cream Cone." After a heart attack, a nun began to feel guilt about her style of teaching. People assured her that she had done her best  for her pupils. Her guilt centred around one girl. Enventually she came to realise that that girl had handed her a peace offering long ago, in the form of an ice cream cone. Through this moment of clarity she gained both peace and happiness. 

The contestants were awarded;  Olivia Dunne 1st, Pat Sexton 2nd and Anthony Galvin 3rd. Claire Maloney, Justine McCarthy and Ted Mellamphy provided competition.  

Congratulations and best wishes to our winners in the next round.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Food Glorious Food

Speak Easy hosted one of their famous theme evenings on 16th April. The way to the hearts of our members is definitely through their stomachs.
Anne O'Donovan delivered a speech entitled, "Chocolate. " M&Ms were created so soldiers could enjoy chocolate without it melting in their hands. White chocolate is technically not chocolate, as it doesn't include any cocoa. Anne provided milk chocolate and dark chocolate for us to try.
Liam Flynn delivered a speech entitled, "It's all around you. " He educated us on foraging. He brought four litres of nettle soup as well as a divine garlic preserve, all produced by his own fair hand. He also provided ostrich and kangaroo  meat for us to taste.
Angela Sheehan delivered a speech entitled, "Shirley Valentine's Egg And Chips." This was an interpretitive reading. It included some brilliant lines such as, "He's not bad my fella, but he's no good. " "Husband dear, the white blob is the cooker. The other white blob is the washing machine.  Don't mix them up or you'll end up with socks on toast. "
Toastmasters Don McSweeney,
Angela Sheehan, Dermot Kennedy
Helsa delivered a speech entitled, "Food Through The Ages." Food has a colourful and fun history. Caesar salad had nothing to do with Caesar.  During Prohibition in  America, a restaurant opened on the Mexican and American border. It proved so popular that they ran out of food and the final ingredients left in the larder were thrown together. The Caesar Salad was born.
Mary Buckley delivered a speech entitled, "A Slice Of Life. " She opened her speech in the best possible manner, by producing a large basket of food! She talked about the advantages and disadvantages of eating bread. She asked the audience to close their eyes and imagine our favourite  bread. This showed the emotional link we have to bread, as people looked both happy and hungry.
Marie Fitzpatrick took the role of Toast Master, which she fulfilled with wit and charm. Brendan Foley challenged us in his role of Topics Master, with a variety of impromptu topics. Tony O'Regan won Best Table Topics response. Dennis O'Mahony worked the lights as Time Keeper. Michael Cronin endeavored to stamp out our crutch words in his role as Grammarian.  Rona Coghlan evaluated the meeting, officers and evaluators, in her role of General Evaluator. Liam Flynn as President, closed our meeting with thanks to members and guests.
I would extend a special thanks extend to John Sherlock of Fermoy Toastmasters. He brought many beautiful home made treats with him.  All are invited to attend the Charleville celebration on  Saturday 25th April. A great night is assured with music and food. Please contact us to book tickets to this event. 
We would be delighted to see you at our next meeting, which is on Thursday 30th April at 8pm, at the Hibernian Hotel, Mallow.For more information go to or contact Liam on 087 6380053 or Marie 087-9746947 

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Sunday Afternoon- Sorted!

Come and see the heavy weights of the public speaking world, from clubs across Cork, Kerry and Limerick County, competing at the Division Final. Each contestant has already been victorious in two rounds of the International Speech Contest and is now fighting for the chance to go forward to the District Final, to take on speakers from across Ireland and England. Good luck to local Mallow poet Tom O’Connor, who is representing Speakeasy Toastmasters.
Francis Lowry, Marie Corbett and
 Eamon Winters at the Area Contest

The Evaluation Competition challenges the competitors’ ability to give good advice to a speaker, in a positive and constructive manner. A speech is delivered. All the contestants in the Evaluation Contest leave the room. They return one by one to appraise the speech which was just delivered.  The person deemed the best evaluator by the judges, wins the prize. Good luck to distinguished Speakeasy member Pat Sexton, as he represents the club. The event takes place in the historic Hibernian Hotel, and audience members are asked to be seated for 2pm. Tickets for this event are only five euro and available on the door.

We would be delighted to see you at our next club meeting on Thursday 16th April at 8pm. This is a food theme night. Samples of food will be provided, so if you have a delicacy which you would like to share, bring it along!
For more information go to
 or contact Liam on 087 6380053 or Marie 087-9746947 

Friday, April 03, 2015

Area 17 Final

It was a packed program on Wednesday 1st April for the Area 17 Speech and Evaluation Contest.  Eight competitors won a place in the Area Final in each competition.
Tom O’Connor representing Speak Easy gave a speech entitled, “Transcendent Requiem.” “We will sing to our captors that which we cannot tell them in words.” This was the message at the heart of Tom’s speech, which was set in a concentration camp during World War 2
. Under these dire conditions, a man was inspired to rehearse and train his fellow occupants in singing this amazing musical work. We would like to congratulate Tom on winning first place for his speech. Pat Sexton representing Speak Easy, gave a speech entitled, “On The Canvas.” Sometimes life throws so many punches that you won’t be able to float like a butterfly and sting like a bee. Sometimes all you can do is lean back on the ropes and protect yourself, until circumstances allow you to return battered but unbeaten. We would like to congratulate Pat on winning second place for his speech. Éilís Uí Bhríain representing Fermoy, gave a beautiful, nostalgic speech entitled, “Come Here ‘Til I Tell Ya.” Her musical lilt makes listening to her a joy, for Éilís is a West Cork lady and a story teller in the truest sense of the word.  Máire Corbett representing The Galtees, gave a call for action, entitled “Local Heroes.” As commuting times eat away at the heart of a community, leaving people no time for volunteer work, Máire wondered who will coach soccer and GAA in the future? Colette Noonan was unable to attend the competition. Steven Pendle, representing The Galtees, gave a speech entitled, “Change.” Are you reactive or proactive?
Are you doing what you love? The key to finding your true ambition could be in the sections of newspapers that you read, so what have you read so far? Eta Quinn representing The Fáilte Club, gave a speech entitled, “Preventative Steps.” This most practical and useful speech had tips on everything from how to block your phone if it is stolen to how to catalogue your items for an insurance claim. Eta’s speech was an eye opener. Kevin Walsh representing Fermoy, had us enthralled with a speech entitled, “Rope.” This speech was on a murder most foul. Premediated and calculated. This crime from 1940s Ireland was about a black heart and a black end. A man’s plot to have his wife killed succeeded but ended at the gallows for himself.
The Evaluation Contest couldn’t happen without a speech to evaluate and Máire O’Brien from Blarney Toastmasters gave a fantastic speech on diction. It is not often that one enjoys having their diction corrected, but Máire had us laughing and thinking of pronouncing our consonants clearly in the future. Contestants; Conor O’Brien, Johanna Hegarty, Frances Lowry, Eta Quinn, Michael Sheehan, Margaret O’Regan, Máire Corbett and Pat Sexton took part. Pat Sexton representing Speakeasy won first place and Máre Corbett representing The Galtees, won second place. We wish them both the best of luck in the Division competition.
The Division Final will be held in the Hibernian Hotel on April 19th at 2pm. Come and see the masters in action on your doorstep.
We would be delighted to see you at our next meeting, which is food theme night. Hibernian Hotel, Mallow on Wednesday  April 16th  800 p.m. For more information go to
 or contact Liam on 087 6380053 or Marie 087-9746947 

See all the photos from this great night on ouFacebook page 

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Guardian Toastmasters 7th Birthday 

There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve,  the fear of failure. 
When 2 Cork East members and Speak Easy toastmaster Pat Duggan came together, with the dream of setting up a new club, Guardian Toastmasters was born. 

Guardian Toastmasters has grown into a unique and vibrant club. Topics sessions and speeches are as fresh and fast as the River Lee which flows past the meeting room windows. Membership has grown rapidly, already reaching 24 members. 
John Kelleher Cork East, Liam Flynn Speakeasy President, Linda Harney Cork East President, Loretto Barry Guardian E.V.P. Mary Monihan Speakeasy, Anne Buckley Assistant Division Governor, Finbarr Harty E.V.P. Cork East

It was a pleasure to join with the Guardian Club and Cork East club to celebrate their 7th birthday this evening. Four speeches including Pat Sexton and Liam Flynn, all had an inspirational tone. Topics were light, witty and pleasant. 

EVP Loretto Barry extended an own invitation to one and all to return for another visit and I'm certain many will gladly accept the kind offer. 

Happy Birthday Guardian Toastmasters!

Is Toastmasters Right for You?

Do you want to become a confident public speaker and strong leader? If so, Toastmasters is the place for you. You’ll find a supportive learn-by-doing environment that allows you to achieve your goals at your own pace. Along your journey, you will work through Toastmasters’ proven program to help you reach your goals. You’ll receive supportive feedback and recognition from club members as you progress through the program.

The education program is an important part of every Toastmaster's journey and is a critical aspect of every club meeting around the world. The Toastmasters Education Program is based on a proven curriculum that enables you to develop your communication and leadership skills one step at a time.
Speakeasy Members; Pat Sexton,
 Rona Coghlan, Helsa Giles
The program is built on four guiding principles that have been in place since Toastmasters was founded in 1924:
  • Experiential Learning–we learn by doing; by giving speeches and fulfilling leadership roles, we practice and improve
  • Self-paced Program–we learn best at our own pace and comfort level
  • Peer Feedback–through honest and supportive peer evaluation, we grow and improve
  • Mentoring–experienced members encourage, guide and support us in our goals and help us to achieve more than we thought possible
David O'Sullivan, Eilis Aherne, Rona Coghlan,
 Trisha Delahunty Cllr Tim Lombard.
The program comprises two tracks: Communication and Leadership. The two tracks are not mutually exclusive; you may participate in both at the same time, if you wish. You progress through each track by completing a series of manuals that contain projects and evaluation guides. There are many opportunities for awards and recognition along the way.

Congratulations to Speak Easy member Rona Coghlan who won the All Ireland Debating Final last week along with her team mates Eilis Aherne, David O’Sullivan and Trisha Delahunty.
Why not come along to our next meeting at the Hibernian Hotel, Mallow on Thursday  April 16th  8.00 p.m. This will be a special food themed night with speeches from our resident chef and our food loving members! For more information go to
 or contact Liam on 087 6380053 or Marie 087-9746947