Thursday, November 30, 2006

‘Come into my parlour said the Spider to the Fly’

Since September I have been inviting you into the Speakeasy Toastmasters Club Parlour to view the operations for your self - very altruistic on my part. However for the next few weeks that I have left wearing the P.R. Hat I am planning a different approach. They say give a man a fish and he is fed for a day – show him how and he is fed for life. So for the next few weeks I am serving you up life long food for thought. And a really useful weapon for everyone to have – ‘the gift of the gab’

I will start by telling you how to get your butterflies flying in formation. Call it what you will – nervousness; speech anxiety; stage fright; platform panic. It is known by many names, but it is a problem every speaker - even politicians - must confront. Actually feeling nervous before giving a speech is healthy. It shows that your speech is important to you and that you care about doing it well. But unless you learn how to manage and control nervousness – it can keep you from becoming an effective speaker. So here are a few suggestions to make your butterflies fly in formation.

KNOW YOUR ROOM - become familiar with the place you will speak in. In advance stand at the lectern and speak into the microphone (if you use one)

KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE - say ‘hi’ to people as they come in - then some of your audience will be familiar to you

KNOW YOUR MATERIAL – lack of knowledge is the greatest cause of insecurity in all aspects of life. So if you are not familiar with your material – your nervousness will naturally increase. Practice your speech and revise it until you can present it with ease.

RELAX. - You can ease tension by doing breathing exercises or by doing physical exercises.

WORK ON THE ‘AS IF’ PRINCIPLE - when you stand at the lectern. - Look around you and then say to yourself - ‘Yes – I’ve done a great speech’ and believe it. Then begin calmly from the heart and the head - while the poor knees are doing River Dance - no pun intended.

Having dealt with the nerves – now let’s move on to the actual programme. There are Ten Stages in the first Toastmasters Programme. But like climbing a ladder you can only take ONE STEP AT A TIME. The first step is called the ICE BREAKER. This speech should have a clear beginning, body and conclusion. The purpose of this stage is to introduce the speaker to the audience. You do not have to give your life history or the balance of your Anzbaacker Account. Just a few well constructed details of what makes you ‘tick’. The objectives of this speech are 1. To begin speaking before an audience. 2. To discover speaking skills you already have, and skills that need some attention. The Club is known for it’s caring and sharing attitude and members are always ready to mentor any prospective speaker, if he/she so desires.. Watch this spot – next week the hints will be for Stage 2.

On Thursday 30th November we are having our next Club Meeting. We are having an Icebreaker that night and a very full programme which promises to be entertaining. Come along – be brave- don’t leave all your resolutions to the New Year. Start now, and you will be on time for our Christmas Party Meeting which promises mulled wine, etc, etc. Bring your Santa Hat that night – the ‘craic’ will be mighty. See you all on Thursday. The kettle is on the hob. Enquiries to Loretto at 087/4118132 or log on to P.S. I nearly forgot. Speakeasy heads are swelled from all the congratulations and commendations received from The Schools Contest Successes Thank you one and all –it is very nice to get all those good wishes.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Schools Contest


Set the ball rolling

The song says ‘and it’s all over now’. Allow me to tell you - IT IS NOT. Speakeasy Toastmasters have just planted the seed and every year it will come to fruition. There will be another and another and another Public Speaking Contest. The precedent has been created. The first contest took off with a ‘bang’ last Thursday night. Nine contestants – three schools - what a fund of knowledge and expertise on a wide range of topics. Each contest was eloquent and entertaining, and in reality all contestants were winners. There were nine judges and they had quite a task. Unfortunately there can only be one first. The best individual speaker prize went to Emma Nyhan. And the team/school prize went to St. Mary’s Secondary School Mallow. All contestants got a Certificate of Participation. The individual and team winners got plaques.

That was not all. Mallow is a town which cares for, and fosters its youth – believing in the maxim that the youth of today are the adults of tomorrow. Speakeasy Toastmasters were extremely lucky in getting generous sponsors. The major sponsor was MALLOW CREDIT UNION. They presented a beautiful Perpetual Cup which was presented to the winning team by Mr Liam Sampey a member of the Credit Union Committee. A great big thank you to Mallow Credit Union. The next Perpetual Cup – another beautiful silver piece of art – was donated by the HIBERNIAN HOTEL, MALLOW. This cup was presented to the individual winner by Mr Shane Shortall, Manager of the Hibernian Hotel. Also thank you to our other sponsors. A hundred thousand thanks to the schools who presented the participants. The Sponsors; and President Mary Buckley and all the club members who made it all possible. The Perpetual Cups have just gone on the first leg of their long journey. Next year a new team of pupils will contest the Public Speaking Competition. A big ‘buala bas’ to everyone involved.

Now back to the housekeeping - yes – we will have another action packed meeting on Thursday 30th November. We have an interesting programme including an icebreaker. Please come along and hear for yourselves. There will be a ‘cead mile failte’ and a ‘cupan tae’ to lubricate the vocal cords. Guests please note – you will not be asked to speak unless you wish to do so. Further details from our PRO Loretto at 087/4118132 or log on to our up to date web page at

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Boys and Girls Night Out




A hundred thousand welcomes to the nine brave contestants from our three Schools in Mallow Town.

We have the silverware polished and the plaques chosen and the kettle boiling.

Do come along on Thursday l6th at 7.45 pm to the Hibernian Hotel and you will not be disappointed.

The students and teachers have been working hard on the prepared speeches, so fellow students and parents and families leave the warm log fire, button up your coats and hit the road running to the Hibernian Hotel to listen to the students of today who will be the future of our country. They are a great bunch of enthusiastic boys and girls.

We are waiting to greet you, and make you feel at home. We will provide sustenance in the shape of tea/coffee and biscuits on the night. Members of the public are also welcome. A great night guaranteed. Any further information may be had from Loretto at 087/4118132 or log on to

Conngratulations Pat.


Congratulate Pat Sexton

He has done it - yes he has done it not once but twice. In 1996 and again in Nov 2006 Pat has taken the coveted first prize in the Table Topics Contest at Toastmasters International District 71 Conference.

There were competitors from Ireland and Great Britian. Pat has come first on both occasions doing himself and his Club proud. We congratulate you Pat. You were absolutely outstanding.

The Conference was held over three days. There were two contests - Humorous Speech Contest and Table Topics Contest. Of course it was not all hard work - we had great crack too, and I don’t mean “drugs”.

We were hosted by the Nenagh Toastmasters Club at the Ormonde Conference Centre in the Abbey Court Hotel. Also a big thank you to the Manager - Ray and his great staff. We were wined and dinned and entertained. The great Tipperary musical tradition come to the fore, but being from Cork I must say the Piper who hailed from Boherbue was a dream to listen to also. To borrow a great Tipperary cliché - “it was the best”. “The icing on the cake “was when Pat was presented with the beautiful first prize trophy designed in Nenagh by a local craftsman.

Late nights and early mornings - where we attended work shops; guided tours; and retail therapy has exhausted my brain so I will move on to the next item on Speakeasy Toastmasters agenda - THE SCHOOLS PUBLIC SPEAKING CONTEST - we are extending an open invitation to everyone to our meeting on Thursday l6th November at the Hibernian Hotel Mallow where the youth of Mallow Town will be walking in the shoes of veteran toastmasters and getting a taste of Speaking in Public.

When their turn comes to speak at oral examinations, or making oral presentation at Third level Institutions or doing a speech at their off springs wedding (the years do fly) as father or mother of the bride - yes mothers are coming to the fore at weddings and saying the “cuapla focal” too - they will not have to start their speech by saying “ Unaccustomed as I am to speaking in Public”.

Instead they will think – thank you Toastmasters – I can now speak for myself. That is all for now… See you all on Thursday next. Any further enquiries may be made to Loretto at 0874118132 or by logging on to We are the best, long may it last.

Friday, November 03, 2006


Halloween has come and gone but Toastmasters go from Challenge to Challenge. Two big events coming up for us. We have the Autumn Conference in Nenagh Co Tipperary on l0lth to l2th Nov. This includes the final of the Humorous Speech Contest and The Table Topics. We are proud to say our club member Pat Sexton is representing our club at the Table Topics Contest and we will be there to wish him well. Good Luck Pat.

The meeting of November l6th at the Hibernian Hotel at 7.45 pm will be our SCHOOL PUBLIC SPEAKING CONTEST. Each contestant will speak for 5 – 7 minutes. This is a new venture in our Club and we are all very excited about it. We will have the three Mallow second level schools participating, and in all we will have nine speakers. We are presenting a really fabulous Perpetual Cup to the winning school and an individual best speaker plaque to the individual best speaker. Bring your friends and families to support you. We will greet you all with a cead mile Failte. It is our ambition to give the brilliant successes that can be achieved as members of a Toastmaster’s Club a local platform, and who better to introduce our club to, than the youth of our Town, who in this electronic age will need to be able to sell themselves in the work place. We hope this will be just an introduction to a long and fulfilling career.

Our Nov. 2nd meeting was well attended. We had four speakers. Three from our own club and we were delighted to welcome Joan Crowley from the Muskery Club Macroom. Joan not alone tried but actually convinced us that a night at a Daniel O’Donnell’s Show was a must. We look forward to seeing her back again. Denis Taylor – a new member since Sept gave his icebreaker speech. He was both interesting and witty. We look forward to his next speech soon. The topic session was conducted by Tim Ahrene. His topics were original, funny and got a great response. That is all for now. Do pencil the 16th Nov. for the Schools Contest. You will not be disappointed. A great night is guaranteed. Further enquiries to Loretto our PRO at 0874118132 or log on to our website