Thursday, March 29, 2018

Vivien talks up for Toastmasters.

Local artist, Vivien Buckley will be among the speakers at Speakeasy Toastmasters 25th Anniversary Celebration Night which takes place in the Hibernian Hotel, Mallow on Saturday, 14th April.
Vivien Buckley

Among her many talents, Vivien was an accomplished member of Speakeasy Toastmasters Club in Mallow. Vivien was renowned for her quick wit and her dramatic timing in her many speeches in the Club. For the Speakeasy Celebration Night, Vivien plans to revisit her experiences at parachute jumping which detailed the madness required to jump out of an aeroplane in mid flight. 

Speakeasy Toastmasters was founded in 1993.Though based in Mallow, it draws it's members from all over the North Cork area - from Sliabh Luachra in the West to Castletownroche in the East. Many members, both past and present, hail from the Duhallow area. These include the late John Dillon, Kanturk, former President, Joe O'Connor, Boherbue and Jason Fitzgerald, Kiskeam. 

Also speaking at the Celebration Night is Kieran Butler of Cecilstown. Kieran is a past pupil of Scoil Mhuire, Kanturk who initially participated in a Toastmasters Public Speaking class in Transition Year. Kieran will present his ode on the single life. The Secondary Schools in Kanturk participate in the Speakeasy Toastmasters Annual Schools Public Speaking Competition. Scoil Treasa were adjudged the Winning School and Dara Healy - Fitzgerald of Scoil Mhuire as Best Speaker at last November's competition. 

Speakeasy Toastmasters 25th Anniversary Celebration Night promises to be a wonderful occasion with a selection of some of the "most memorable" speeches presented at Club meetings over that time - speeches that entertained, inspired and evoked emotion. Guests are welcome to attend. The dress code is informal and refreshments will be provided on the night. 

Speakeasy Toastmasters extend an invitation to the greater public to our 25th Anniversary Celebration Night in the Hibernian Hotel, Mallow on Saturday, 14th April at 8.00PM.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

April Showers of Celebration!

Preparations are at an advanced stage,speeches are being polished and the welcome mat is being laid out for Speakeasy Toastmasters 25th Anniversary Celebration Night on Saturday 14th April in the Hibernian Hotel,Mallow at 8.00PM.

To commemorate this important milestone,members past and present (and hopefully,future)will gather together to be entertained by a stellar cast of speakers.It will be a night where we wear the rose tinted spectacles as we travel down memory lane.An outstanding lineup of memorable speeches is promised.Renowned speakers like Matt Lawlee,Michael Cronin, Gerry O'Callaghan will regale us with Humorous Speeches from their outstanding archives.They will be joined by three members of the extended Buckley Clan, Vivienne ,Bobby and Kieran with further memorable contributions.The programme will be rounded out by Joan Linehan,Deirdre Linehan, Kieran Butler and Michael Walsh.

It promises to be a night of reflection, motivation and laughter, a night when members will bask in the achievements of the club and a night when guests can see Speakeasy Toastmasters at it's finest. We extend an invitation to the everyone to join us on this special night.The dress code is casual and refreshments will be served.

Meanwhile, Speakeasy Toastmasters' Meeting Season continues relentlessly.At our recent meeting we were treated to four fine speeches encompassing humour,fashion,history and poetry.Claire O'Connell presented a wonderful slice of absurdist humour entitled- "Do you live in the Douglas area?" The advantage of waking at 8.30 AM and being at work at 8.45 proves irresistible to Claire.But, she must find a man with similar passions tor Douglas and marry, not for love, but for a shared mortgage.And it seems that doing the "downward facing dog "at Yoga in the local gym is a good way to attract a man.Alternatively, she can try the "pen pals " page in "Ireland's Own".We wish  Claire every success in her dual quest for man and house in the Douglas area!

Helsa Giles did a relaxed talk on fashion and confidence - "Hints and tips". Don't follow fashion, create your own was her core message.She described how W.B. Yeats' muse,Maud Gonne could bring a presence to any room with her sense of style.She detailed a number of practical ideas which found favour with both genders at the meeting.

Liam Flynn dealt with the tragic fallout of Civil War in "Brother against brother".He described the broken lives it leaves in it's wake, the refugees it creates and the long term bitterness it causes.He dealt movingly with our own Civil War which divided Irish families and communities.To conclude,he wished for a commemorative "Day of reconciliation" to close the chapter on Ireland's tragedy.

Mary Moynihan presented a "Monodrama".Her brief was to present an Interpretive Reading of a writing that is filled with an inner drama and self - questioning.Her chosen piece was "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufreck" by T.S. Elliot.This well known and hugely influential poem was delivered with style and aplomb by Mary who captured the inner conflict of the piece.
Mary Moynihan & Evaluator Pat Sexton
Each speech was evaluated comprehensively and sensitively by the assigned evaluators, Kieran Butler, Theresa O'Reilly,John Brennan and Pat Sexton.The evaluation section of our meetings plays a significant role in assisting members as they strive to develop and improve their speaking skills.

Topicsmaster of the meeting was Sean Corcoran. He encouraged participants to engage in a game of bluff and,as a result,this session ended up having more hot air than a Dáil Éireann Seanad Debate and more "bull" than you'd find at Kanturk Mart! Kieran Butler eloquently sold the prototype of a device to hijack elections.On the subject of aliens,Bridie O'Connell asserted that "it's calmness out there in space, the aliens are us". Gerry O'Callaghan was given the onerous challenge of spending a thousand Euros while Ray Ryan fantasied about traveling into space with Elon Musk. Don McSweeney confessed that when he reaches the ripe old age of eighty he will wonder " how will I spend the second half of my life?"
Mohammed Omar, Mary Moynihan & Pat Sexton.
At the meeting's conclusion, awards were presented to Liam Flynn - Best Speaker; Pat Sexton - Best Evaluator; Kieran Butler - Best Topic.The motto that is mentioned often in Speakeasy is "We learn most in moments of enjoyment". By that yardstick, our last meeting was a richly rewarding experience.

To experience "The Speakeasy Experience" for yourself, why not drop in to our next meeting which takes place in the Hibernian Hotel,Mallow on Thursday,5th April at 8.00PM. Guests are always welcome and will not be obliged to speak unless they wish to do so!

For further information about our Club, please check out our website or on Facebook.Alternatively,contact Helsa Giles -083-8858848.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Theresa talks her way to the top!

Speakeasy Toastmasters Speech Contest Night is an opportunity for members to apply their skills in a competitive arena. This was evident in our recent Contest Night where emotion, entertainment, enthusiasm and good old fashioned rhetoric were on the menu. 

Bobby Buckley was the starter with a powerful speech - "My strange world of cups and mugs". He reflected on the stereotyping imposed by a teacher in his school days and it's impact on the lives of the pupils who were demeaned by his casual cruelty.

Brendan Foley's speech - "Go left or right" was not a commentary on political trends but an account of his G.A.A. Career. As a forward or a back, he was straight and direct, never going around an opponent when he could go through him. But, alas, his scoring skills always seemed to desert him at the crucial moment! Years later, he discovered why he never hit the target and it was a life changing moment.

Pat Sexton spoke about "A chance encounter" which turned out to be completely different to what he had envisaged. This speech highlighted the danger of rash judgments. On the other hand, Claire O'Connell gave a talk on self contentment and self acceptance - "The Greatest".

Theresa O'Reilly's speech "Choices" was a wry look at the very modern addiction of Social Media and  the way to overcome it by going "cold turkey".

The final speaker, Deirdre Linehan gave an exhilarating talk on "Dob's Army". She recalled the tension and excitement of The All-Ireland Schools Basketball Final. Would the contenders from Kildare overcome the favourites from Limerick in the nail biting cliffhanger? The clock is winding down and they are losing by a basket!

In a keenly fought contest, there can only be one winner and Therea O'Reilly emerged victorious, with Bobby Buckley finishing in second place.

The Speech Evaluation Contest was interesting, fascinating and informative. The test speaker was former Club President, Pat Duggan. His demonstration speech - "I have a Dream" followed Pat's ambition to bring a District Toastmasters Conference to Cork. He detailed the forthcoming District Conference - The Safe Haven Conference which takes place in May.

Five contestants, Brendan Foley, Claire O'Connell, Bobby Buckley, Pat Sexton and Ray Ryan all presented detailed feedback to the speaker, covering important areas like body language, voice projection and speech structure. Once the judges ballots were counted, Pat Sexton took first place with Ray Ryan as the runner up.

The top two contestants in each competition will go forward to the Area 17 Final which takes place in The Hibernian Hotel, Mallow on Thursday, 19th April.We wish them every good fortune.
Theresa O' Reilly, Bobby Buckley, Ray Ryan & Pat Sexton.

Meanwhile, planning goes on for the Twenty Fifth Anniversary Celebration Night which goes ahead on Saturday, 14th April in the Hibernian Hotel.More details soon. Watch this space! 

In the mean time, the next Speakeasy Toastmasters Meeting takes place in the Hibernian Hotel, Mallow on Thursday, 22nd March at 8.00PM. As always, guests are welcome to attend and observe proceedings. Visitors are not obliged to speak but are welcome to do so!

For more information please visit our website or on Facebook. Alternatively you can contact President, Helsa Giles - 0838858848. 

Monday, March 12, 2018

Importance of Leadership

Don't follow leaders, watch your parking meters". Bob Dylan.

Whatever about Dylan's rather scathing commentary, good leadership can make an enormous difference in our community. Speakeasy Toastmasters is dedicated to enabling our members to acquire the skills of confident communication, skills that, in turn, are essential for all leaders in our community - from the coach of the underage team to the Chairperson of the local council.

Moreover, Toastmasters also provides invaluable leadership training to our members. At each Club Meeting, different members are given the opportunity to acquire and develop a range of skills in both communication and leadership. The Toastmaster of the evening performs the role of Chairperson, introducing each speaker and ensuring that the meeting is run in an orderly, time efficient  manner.

The Topicsmaster plays the role of Discussion Leader, ensuring that members are given the opportunity to speak impromptu on a range of subjects. The Topicsmaster sets the scene for members for members to develop the vital skills of speaking "off the cuff" in a confident and coherent fashion, skills that are essential in all areas of interpersonal communication, job interviews and work situations. 

Each speaker is assigned an evaluator who provides mentoring and support to the speaker. Mentoring is an important part of the Toastmasters programme ensuring that newer members can avail of the experience of long established members. In the world of work, more companies are focusing on mentoring as a means of team building. 

Within the Toastmasters Club, leadership plays a huge role. The Club President is the captain of the team, providing direction, guidance and support to the leadership team. The Education Officer plans each meeting and ensures that members are provided every opportunity to participate at Club Meetings, acting as part counsellor, part motivator and part strategist. The Pro ensures that the Club maintains a media profile. 

Within the larger Toastmasters organisation, there are several opportunities to serve in leadership roles - as local Area Director or Division Director who oversees a larger geographical area or as a member of the District 71 Executive which directs all Toastmasters activities in Ireland and Britain. Over the years, several members of Speakeasy have served as Division Directors, including Jeremiah Ronayne, Tony O'Regan, Seán Corcoran and Ray Ryan. One member, Jeremiah Ronayne served as District 71 Director in 2003-2004.

Many members of our Club have used their leadership skills to positive effect in various voluntary organisations from the G.A.A to Community Councils to Day Care Centres. Speakeasy Toastmasters is an enabling organisation, enabling it's members to develop a broad range of communication and leadership skills. And all of this is achieved through participation at Club Meetings. Indeed, the Toastmasters banner includes the motto - where leaders are made.

To witness Speakeasy in action, we invite you to attend our next meeting on Thursday, 22nd March in the Hibernian Hotel, Mallow at 8.00PM. As always, guests are welcome to attend and can sit back and observe proceedings with no obligation to speak, unless they wish to do so.

In other news, Speakeasy congratulates Club Members, Margaret and Tony O'Regan for their success in coaching Awbeg Macra na Feirme Debating Team who emerged victorious in The National Final last weekend. The team of Niall O'Regan, Niamh Curran, Breda O'Keeffe and Kate O'Regan achieved a spectacular victory over their opponents from Bree, County Wexford.You can take the Cork out of the bottle but you can't take the bottle out of Cork! 
Breda O' Keeffe, Kate O' Regan, Margaret O' Regan, Niall O' Regan & Niamh Curran

For more information on Toastmasters, please check out our website, or Facebook. Alternatively, please contact President, Helsa Giles - 0838858848. 

Sunday, March 04, 2018

The Ides of March!

Beware the ides of March - Shakespeare.

Like thousands other sporting and social events, Speakeasy Toastmasters 25th Anniversary Celebration Night fell foul to Storm Emma and was postponed. Sadly, the Red Weather Warning was issued after the Print Deadline for publication. Thankfully, this event is now scheduled to take place on Saturday 14th April in the Hibernian Hotel, Mallow. Hopefully, by that time the bitter winds of March will be a distant memory.

In the meantime, it's full steam ahead for Speakeasy Toastmasters. On Thursday, 8th March, we are hosting our Annual Speech and Evaluation Contests. Toastmasters prides itself for hosting meetings that are friendly and relaxed. Speakers compete only with themselves - improving their communication skills step by step. However, twice a year we turn up the temperature and host competitions which both challenge and entertain. 

The International Speech Contest which ultimately leads to the World Championship Public Speaking Finals in America requires the speaker to present a speech with a strong message. In the past, Speakeasy has been well represented at the District 71 (Ireland and Britain) Final. In 2016, Kieran Butler finished Third with his ode to a single life. In 2004 and 2005, Deirdre Linehan finished in the top three with fine performances. In 1999, Pat Sexton represented the club in the District Final. 

In this year's competition, a range of speakers will cross verbal swords for the honour of representing the club in future rounds in Cork and Munster. In the Evaluation Contest, evaluators will pitch their skills and evaluate a guest speaker and provide him with appropriate feedback. Over the years, several members have reached the District Final, including Michael Cronin and Pat Sexton who both finished in Second Place. 

So, if you are looking for a night of entertainment, inspiration and reflection, look no further than Speakeasy Toastmasters Speech and Evaluation Contest Night on Thursday 8th March in the Hibernian Hotel, Mallow at 8.00PM. As always, guests are welcome to come and watch and will not be obliged to speak.

For further information, check out our website, or Facebook. Alternatively, please contact President Helsa Giles - 0838858848.