Saturday, May 30, 2015

Awards Night

It was awards night at Speakeasy with Pat Sexton as our jovial host. The Toastmasters Gold Award is awarded to speakers who have among other achievements, delivered forty speeches. Angela Sheehan and Liam Flynn, President of Speakeasy, each delivered their fortieth speech. These two speakers qualified for their gold awards with two very different speeches.
Angela Sheehan delivered a speech written by the director of the Body Shop in 1999 entitled, “Trading With Principles.” “People have suggested that morality is a luxury that business cannot afford, but try living in a world without morality. If we spend money where our heart lies, we could mould the world into a kinder more lovely shape.” This speech was very thought provoking and was a good reason to shop locally in Mallow.

Liam Flynn “roasted” our host Pat Sexton with a four minute “advice” session. This tongue in-check speech had the audiences’ eyes lighting up with amusement, as Liam “advised” Pat, an avid Geldof fan, to give up Bob Geldof. This would represent a fate worse than death to Pat. Liam’s other piece of “advice”, to give up philosophy, was equally unlikely to succeed, as Pat took the advice… philosophically!

Rona Coghlan earned her Bronze Award, on the completion of her twentieth speech. This comedy piece was entitled “Social Media Has Ruined Weddings.”  With photos linked, synced and shared, attending a wedding is like attending a media frenzy. How far would you go to avoid the cameras? Are a fake tan malfunction and a red face enough to throw off those pesky automatic “tagging” functions or are we all doomed to eternal “tag-nation”?
 Sean Corcoran, Liam Flynn, Anne O'Donovan, Jerry O'Callaghan

A Competent Communicator Award is earned on the completion of ten speeches. These ten speeches cover a range of speaking skills and act as speaking qualification. Two speakers completed this award, Helsa Giles and Brendan Foley.

Helsa Giles inspired half the audience to greatness with her speech entitled, “The Perfect Man.” Most girls dream of being a princess growing up, of having a fella who holds you when you’re upset and makes you laugh until you cry. This fella needs to be kind, thoughtful, well able, have a good sense of humour, be a good listener, be direct, have good manners, be self-confident, have integrity, be spontaneous and have family values.

Brendan Foley delivered a pitch worthy of “Dragon’s Den.” He described his new business. His unique service will be of benefit to any business which hires his consultancy services. The inspiration of an entrepreneur following his dream is a great example to all. He encouraged us all to take stock of what we are doing in our own work lives, because life is the main act, not a rehearsal. It was universally agreed that Brendan was hired!

For more information about Speakeasy Toastmasters go to 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

On The Clock

Michael Cronin, our toastmaster was charged with the mission of keeping our AGM running on time. Dermott Kennedy assisted him in this aim, in his role as time keeper. 

Marlene O'Mahony delivered a speech entitled, "Why live in a passive house?" 32% of global energy use was accounted for by energy use within buildings. Building wisely and energy passively, should be the aim of all. The passive house is one which maintains a comfortable temperature inside without use of a conventional heating system. The first passive house was built in Germany. An architect built the first passive house in Ireland, which he called the "Blue House." Marlene outlined the benefits of this system, which included low heating bills, low carbon emissions, no mould growth and reduced instances of colds within the family. 

Marie Fitzpatrick delivered a speech entitled "Let No Stone Unturned" For this speech Marie was tasked with presenting an award. She was able to choose both the award and the recipient  She presented an award for excellence to Marie Lynnes for her work as an Educational Vice President. Her work inspired us all this year with texts of organisation and encouragement. Marie Lynnes kept all programs for the year varied and interesting and her lovely way with people ensured a constant flow of volunteers. Marie Fitzpatrick delivered a truly beautiful speech. She presented a delicious cake to Marie Lynnes, home baked and topped with strawberries fresh from her own garden.The perfect award to accompany a perfect speech.

Rona Coghlan delivered a speech entitled, "Tinwhistle, recorder and flute for beginners." Tinwhistles have a long Irish history. A 12th century poem explains the seating plan for guests at the King of Tara's banquet. Playing a tinwhistle in the 12th century entitled you to the same ranking as smiths, shield-makers, jugglers, shoe -makers and fishers. The pigs thigh was the allotted portion of meat for people of this rank. Rona gave a lesson in playing the tinwhistle, flute and recorder. She also gave advice on how to solve basic issues such as squeaking, delay between notes and music being off key.

Liam O'Flynn our president was double jobbing and fulfilled the role of General Evaluator. Helsa Giles, Brendan Foley and Tom O'Connor evaluated the speeches.
We would be delighted to see you at our next meeting, which is on Thursday 28th May at 8pm, at the Hibernian Hotel, Mallow. For more information go to
 or contact Liam on 087 6380053 or Marie 087-9746947 

The Results Are In

Following our AGM here are the results of the committee election for 2015/2016
President : Marie Lynes
Educational Vice President: Brendan Foley
Treasurer: Anne O'Donovan
Public Relations Officer: Helsa Giles
Membership Officer: Michael Cronin
Secretary: Tony O'Regan
Sergeant At Arms: Noel O'Connor, Dermot Kennedy, Trisha O'Reilly
Past President: Liam O'Flynn 
Topicsmaster Noel O'Connor provided us with plenty to discuss in the Impromptu Section. What would you have answered?

1. Can you describe your perfect man?
2. What is the best way to enjoy a summer evening?
3. Are the Irish people becoming more self-conscious?
4. Role Play: You are shopping and you see an outfit that you plan to buy next week. Next thing you see. .another woman wearing your outfit.  What do you say to your friend?
The following are a very abbreviated set of responses provided during our meeting. Answers can be serious, funny, educational or abstract. They can be the truth or make believe.
1. Knows the answers to all problems but only provides them when asked. Never points out he was right. Has a bank balance which is never mentioned but is sufficient to cover expenses as required.
2. Cycling with a visit to the pub, walking with a visit to the pub, or just a visit to the pub. An alternative answer provided to this question suggested yoga in the garden with the caveat of not kicking the cat during cartwheels.
3. The economics of our country has resulted in people feeling under pressure to cover the gaps in our services through charity.
4. This is one of those instances which you needed to be there for, suffice to say, all compliments may not be what they seem.
We would be delighted to see you at our next meeting, which is on Thursday 28th May at 8pm, at the Hibernian Hotel, Mallow. For more information go to
 or contact Liam on 087 6380053 or Marie 087-9746947

Friday, May 08, 2015

Thinking On Your Feet

Thinking On Your Feet

Table Topics is a long-standing Toastmasters tradition intended to help members develop their ability to organize their thoughts quickly and respond to an impromptu question or topic. 
Speakeasy Toastmasters; Margaret O'Regan,
Marie & Gerard Lynes at
Fáilte Toastmasters 20th Anniversary Dinner Dance. 

Here is a sample of our Table Topics from the last meeting provided by our Topics Master. Tom O'Connor won best  Table Topics Ribbon at the last meeting. How would you have answered these? 
-      What is the number one motivator in your life right now?
-      Discuss this quote from Hilary Clinton, “When women get ahead, a country gets ahead.”
-      How would you suggest dealing with the Kerry football team, in our next match?
-      “Take the stones that people throw at you, and build a monument.”
-      The world’s first computer was discovered in Greece, two and a half years ago. Were the ancients more advanced than we realised?”
-      The European Union is encouraging its citizens to learn two languages, other than your own. Which two languages would you like to learn and why?
-      “Asking the right questions is more important than seeking the right answers.” What do you think?
-      Does the relationship between mother in-law and daughter in-law always present a challenge?
-      Dating, dating, dating. If at first you don’t succeed, is this a sign that you should give up?
We would be delighted to see you at our next meeting, which is on Thursday 14th May at 8pm, at the Hibernian Hotel, Mallow. For more information go to or contact Liam on 087 6380053 or Marie 087-9746947 

Saturday, May 02, 2015

“The Man From Mars”

“The Man From Mars”
Claire O’Connell was our fantastic Toastmaster this week. Tony O’Regan took on the role of General Evaluator. Kieran Butler was our Topics Master and Brendan Foley was our Timekeeper.
Don McSweeney delivered his ice-breaker speech. This ice-breaker was indeed quite a story. Don was out the back of his grocery shop working with a plaster. One of his employees called him with the words, “The man from Mars is here to see you.” His quick witted plaster responded, “you’d best go and speak to him. He has come a long way.”
Denis O'Mahony and Tony Regan
Denis O’Mahony delivered a tribute dedicated to his uncle. His uncle owned two types of transport, a donkey and a bike. On his way home from the creamery, his uncle read the paper, while his donkey navigated his own way home, a far superior system to any modern day sat nav.
Theresa O’Reilly gave a thought provoking speech on our health choices and their long time implications. The easy way out may seem attractive now, but the end result may be anything but easy. Choose your lifestyle wisely. Choose the right activities and diet and the pay-off will be worth the effort. Theresa won best speaker.
Jerry O’Callaghan is a legend in our club for a good reason. From the very first  word of his speech, Jerry had us laughing. His antics confounded a cold caller who rang to sell him a new telecom package. Alas! You have missed the chance to hear Jerry at Toastmasters but I would recommend cold calling Jerry to listen to his entertaining patter.
Rona Coghlan delivered a comic piece about the dangers of buying a second hand parrot. The former parrot of a beautician created mayhem, giving unsolicited advice as to the beauty treatments he felt people required. While an Irish speaking parrot provided lessons in Irish grammar, to his bemused new owner.
We would be delighted to see you at our next meeting, which is on Thursday 14th May at 8pm, at the Hibernian Hotel, Mallow. PR Rona Coghlan For more information go to
 or contact Liam on 087 6380053 or Marie087-9746947