Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Invitation to Toastmasters

An invitation.

Speakeasy Toastmasters Club invites you to attend our opening meeting of the new season in the Hibernian Hotel, Mallow on Thursday,6th September at 8.00 PM.

It is that time of year again.The nights are closing in, there is an Autumnal feel in the air and we seek out meaningful pursuits to prise us away from that "box in the corner". Adult education classes become popular. Speakeasy Toastmasters is an adult education course with a lot of entertainment attached.

Like all adult education classes, Speakeasy helps it's members acquire and develop a skill. Our focus is on effective communication.The skill of speaking with confidence is hugely beneficial in work related presentations,in sporting and other voluntary organisations and in interpersonal communication.

Members of Toastmasters come from all walks of life and have varying skill levels. Some have prior experience of speaking in front of an audience and wish to develop their skills further, others join as inexperienced beginners and over a period of time become adept at communicating their ideas.The Toastmasters programme is self- paced, members present speeches when they feel they are ready.

Now in our 26th year, Speakeasy draws it's membership from the large hinterland area of North Cork - from "the County bounds" with Kerry to the Tipperary border. Our members hail from Kiskeam to Kildorrery, from Cecilstown to Castletownroche, from Banteer to Buttevant as well as the Mallow area. Our meetings have been described as hotbeds of education, entertainment and "the occasional gush of hot air".

Our incoming President is Sean Corcoran of Baltydaniel. Sean describes Speakeasy as "having a hugely positive impact on his life.Over a few short years,I became comfortable about speaking before an audience and at chairing public meetings. Toastmasters enables us to speak out". Sean believes that the biggest gift that Toastmasters gives it's members is "self-confidence.You get better all the time.You believe that you can do it.And the help and goodwill you get from other club members is inspiring".
Club President Sean Corcoran with immediate Past President Helsa Giles

Sean's aim over the coming season is to preside over " enjoyable and rewarding meetings where new members and guests will feel at home".

So,why not let Speakeasy be your night class and forthnighly workout.You are welcome to attend our first meeting in The Hibernian Hotel, Mallow on the 6th September at 8.00 PM.Guests are never obliged to speak unless they wish to do so.For further information, please check out our website Speakeasytoastmasters.com or Facebook.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

The gift of confident communication can be yours

Can you always say what you really mean? Are you confident about speaking in public? Do you need to speak a few well chosen words on special occasions? If you find that you are apprehensive about speaking before an audience take consolation.You are good company! In various surveys, almost half the people questioned listed speaking in public as their number one fear,outranking even the fear of death.

This is where Speakeasy Toastmasters comes in. We are devoted to showing our members how to overcome this fear and to express their thoughts,ideas and opinions through an enjoyable,yet professional educational programme."Learning by doing" is the most effective way of learning, and this is how Toastmasters works. You will start speaking and just get better and better.

The Toastmasters programme will help you overcome the initial nervousness everyone experiences when speaking before an audience.It will show you how to make "your butterflies fly in formation". The first speech a  new member delivers is called "the ice breaker", an opportunity to introduce yourself to your audience.From then on you work at a pace that suits you.You will practice techniques on constructing a speech and grabbing the audience's attention.You will gain valuable experience in vocal variety and the use of body gestures.

To assist each member, the Toastmasters programme includes evaluation. Every speech delivered is evaluated by another member, providing helpful and positive feedback, enabling the speaker to grow in confidence and competence

Thinking "on the spot" is another skill you will acquire in Toastmasters.Each meeting has an impromptu segment known as the"Topics Session" where you respond to topic and give your opinions .Speaking "off the cuff"in this fashion hones your inter-personal communication skills which are essential in job interviews, home and workplace situations.

All of this takes place within the format of a meeting which are always varied, educational, entertaining and friendly.The motto of Speakeasy Toastmasters is -"We learn most in moments of enjoyment".Since our establishment in 1993, Speakeasy Toastmasters has assisted hundreds of members to speak out in style and confidence. If you wish to acquire or improve your communication skills why not pay us a visit? 

The first meeting of the new season is on Thursday,6th of September in The Hibernian Hotel, Mallow at 8.00PM sharp.Guests are always welcome and are never coerced to speak unless they wish to do so.We look forward to seeing you.

In other news, Ray Ryan is this year 's recipient of The Jerry Mulcahy Award.
Jerry Mulcahy, former Club President and long term member,was a devoted club person, synonymous with his work behind the scenes. In presenting this award,outgoing President,Helsa Giles praised Ray for "his unseen work, his willingness to help in the smooth running of the club and his curating of the club's website and Facebook".,We congratulate Ray on receiving this coveted award.

For further information on Toastmasters, please check out our website, speakeasytoastmasters.com or on Facebook.Alternatively, you can contact President, Sean Corcoran -086-6054784. 

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Chicago here we come!

Speakeasy Toastmasters Club will watch with bated breath as Deirdre Linehan steps forward to compete in the semi-finals of The World Championships of Public Speaking at The Toastmasters International Convention in Chicago on Thursday,23rd August.

Deirdre's chosen speech "Dob's  Army' recalls​ her time as a young teacher when she successfully​ coached Kildare to victory in the All-Ireland Final of the Schools Basketball competition. This was an exciting speech, reflecting the rollercoaster  nature of a Basketball Final with a nail biting finale. Beginning when Deirdre competed in Club Competitions in the Speakeasy and Failte Clubs, Deirdre has displayed​ sufficient eloquence to win the various qualifying contests, culminating with her spectacular success in the District 71 Final last  May.
Here,she overcame strong opposition from the finest speakers in Ireland and Britain, becoming the second Cork representative to win top prize in the 45 years of participation in this prestigious competition.On a broader scale,the ultimate prize of winning The World Championships has been achieved on one solitary occasion - 1985 when Marie Pyne from Ennis was the winner.

Deirdre will compete against a very strong field in Semi-final 3, taking her place alongside participants from Maryland, Pennsylvania, Washington,Hong Kong and The Philippines.If she overcomes this challenging field,she will go forward to the World Championships Final on Saturday,25th August.Here,she hopes to perform another speech - "Satin Sandals".This wonderful speech, inspired by the Jenny Joseph poem- "When I grow old, I shall wear purple" is about aging disgracefully and slowing down only for the kids to "catch up".

Deirdre lists drama​ and golf among her many interests.She plays off a very creditable 13 handicap.She was inspired to join Speakeasy Toastmasters after witnessing Matt Lawlee ,a club member deliver a humorous speech about"Male post-natal depression" at a Mallow Golf Club function. As Deirdre recalls : "I was fascinated that you could write and deliver a speech about ordinary, everyday things and make them interesting​ and entertaining.I was really impressed that you could  continue to hone and enhance your speaking skills in such a helpful forum.Toastmasters helped me find a voice for my creativity.Reaching the World Championships in Chicago has been a fantastic achievement​ and great fun. I really want to enjoy this experience".

As part of her preparations for the contest, Deirdre delivered her speeches at "The road to Chicago" rehearsal evening in London.The 3 European​ contenders presented their speeches to much applause and an abundance of helpful feedback from a receptive audience." It was both a challenging and rewarding experience", said Deirdre.

Her preparations are almost complete,her bags are packed and along with her husband,Barry, she is ready to go.All that's left is for Deirdre to arrive in " the windy City" of Chicago and blow them all away with the whirlwind performances​ that she is accustomed to give. Speakeasy Toastmasters wishes Deirdre every success on her wonderful journey.

In other news, Speakeasy Toastmasters commence the New Season on Thursday,6th September in The Hibernian Hotel, Mallow at 8.00PM.As always,guests and new members are welcome.For more information about Toastmasters, please check out our Club website speakeasytoastmasters.com or on Facebook.