Saturday, October 29, 2005

Speakeasy meeting

Speakeasy Toastmasters held their meeting on October 27th and after Club President Angela Sheehan’s opening remarks, control of the meeting was handed over to presiding Toastmaster Jerry O’ Callaghan. Jerry’s characteristic wit and humour contributed to the success of the meeting.

The first speaker was a visitor to our Club, Michael Broderick. Michael is a member of the Nice and Easy speaking club which is based at the COPE Foundation. Michael is an experienced public speaker, and this was evident in his assured delivery of his speech, “Tunnel Vision”. Michael described how a number of community groups and National Schools co-operated to launch a horticultural project. Michael’s speech was evaluated as a stage 2 project from the basic manual.

Following Michael was Kevin Walsh, a long-standing member of Fermoy Toastmasters. Kevin’s speech, “Elizabeth’s Letter”, began with a description of his Grandmothers’ excitement at the visit of Queen Victoria to Ireland in 1900. Kevin then traced his family’s varying relations with the British Crown, which culminated with Kevin writing to Queen Elizabeth on the occasion of her Golden Jubilee. Kevin showed us the reply he received from Buckingham Palace. After a century, Kevin’s family had achieved contact with the British Royal Family. Kevin delivered his speech as a stage 6 project from the basic manual.

The next speaker was Pat Sexton, who completed the impromptu speaking project from the speciality speeches manual. Pat replied to two topics of which he had no advance knowledge. The first topic was “Blood is thicker than water but boils quicker” and the second was “Beauty is….” Following Pat was Brian O’ Farrell, another member of Fermoy Toastmasters. Delivering a project from the Humorous Speech manual entitled “You’ve wasted your life”, Brian described, in a hilarious fashion, how we squander our time watching rubbish on the television rather than doing something useful. Finally Loretto Barry delivered an education session which described how to increase club membership.

After the speeches, Jerry Mulcahy delivered a range of interesting and entertaining topics. Finally Noel O’ Connor conducted a brisk and efficient general evaluation session. Speakeasy Toastmasters congratulate Pat Sexton and Michael Cronin for winning the Division Final of the Table Topics and Humorous Speech contests respectively. Both Pat and Michael will be competing in the District Finals which will be held in England on the 6th November. Speakeasy Toastmasters will meet again on the 10th November at the Hibernian Hotel Mallow at 8:00 pm. Non-members are welcome to attend and will not be asked to speak. Further details about the club are available at the Club Website,

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Meeting No.4.

Speakeasy Toastmasters held another successful meeting on October 13th. Following the opening remarks by Club President Angela Sheehan, Pat Sexton took control of the meeting as presiding Toastmaster. The first speaker was Pat Duggan, who delivered a speech entitled “The Meaning of Life” which was a stage nine project from the basic manual. Pat described his garden and the trees, plants and vegetables that he cultivates. Pat also shared with the audience the benefits of gardening. Mary Buckley evaluated Pat’s speech. Following Pat was Tony O’ Regan who delivered a speech entitled “Water, Water Everywhere”, which was a project from the Speaking to Inform Manual. After astounding the audience by estimating the average annual rainfall on the typical house, which amounts to 26,000 gallons, Tony outlined how rainwater can be utilised to supply our domestic needs. Jerry Mulcahy evaluated Tony’s speech.

The next speaker was Ray Ryan Jnr who read an extract from “Stone Mad”, the memoirs of the famous Mallow-born sculptor Seamus Murphy. This was a project from the Interpretative Speaking Manual, where the reader is expected to alter their voice to bring the characters in the extract to life. The extract read by Ray described the reaction of the Cork Stonemasons to the introduction of concrete. Michael Cronin was Ray’s evaluator. The final speaker was Loretto Barry who delivered a speech entitled “My sojourn at the C.D.U.” This was a project from the Storytelling Manual where the speaker had to recount a personal experience in a story-like manner. Loretto easily achieved this in describing her experiences as an overnight patient in a hospital( not local!), which ranged from the humorous to the hellish.
Jeremiah Roynane was Loretto’s evaluator.

After the speeches, Noel O’ Connor conducted an absorbing Topics Session, while Margaret O’ Regan as General Evaluator delivered her verdict on the meeting in a friendly and incisive manner. Speakeasy Toastmasters will hold their next meeting on Thursday October 27th at the Hibernian Hotel, Mallow at 8:00 PM. Non-members are welcome to attend and will not be asked to speak. Further details about the Club are available on the Club Website,

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Murder Mystery Night

Murder Mystery Night.
(Originally published in District 71 Newsletter, September 2005.)
Speakeasy Toastmasters, Mallow, Co. Cork, pushed the boundaries of the traditional
Toastmaster meeting by holding a Murder Mystery Night on May 12th 2005. The
meeting took the form of a mock trial, with one unfortunate club member accused of
murder! The roles of Prosecution and Defence lawyers, Witnesses and the Jury were
played by other club members. The Toastmaster and Topicsmaster for the night acted
as Judge and Jury Foreperson respectively. The mental faculties of the Jury were
tested as they had to decide a verdict, as in a real trial, but the Speakeasy Jury had
more fun in the process than a real-life Jury!

The night was planned and scripts for the characters were written by the then
Club PRO, John Dillon. The Murder Mystery Night was highly successful, with
Thirty Guests in attendance, including many members from other Toastmaster clubs.
Speakeasy Toastmasters would highly recommend that other clubs would hold a
murder mystery night and some of the contributions by the Trial characters can be
evaluated as manual speeches.
Ray Ryan, VPPR, Speakeasy Toastmasters, Division A, Area 17.