Saturday, December 29, 2012


Speakeasy Toastmasters Club Mallow

Lorretto Barry is a highly experienced, infectiously enthuasiastic Toastmaster who in this article gives you an excellent plan for a New Years Resolution,- just join Speakeasy!
It is a fact. X factor viewers have dropped by 50%. So says the National News. That is not so with Speakeasy Toastmasters Club. This Club is celebrating its 20th year in existence and we are happy to announce that we have 100% bums on our chairs in the comfortable atmosphere of the Hibernian Hotel, Mallow. What makes the Club so successful? We offer a night’s education disguised in an atmosphere of friendliness; good humour; and to wet your whistle we have tea/coffee and biscuits at half time. What do people who come get out of a night? We all know that public speaking is high on the stress scale, but that stress can be overcome after a term at Toastmasters. We have had men who came to hone their skills in order to impress the in laws with their “best man” or “father of the bride” speech. We had students who developed the confidence to excel at presentations, and we had numerous people who wanted to succeed at that all important interview. Added to that mix we had people of all ages and occupations who came because they enjoy all that Toastmasters has to offer.

On becoming a member the Toastmasters programme provides a wide range of professionally produced educational material on speaking. The Club provides group support, helpful advice and most importantly genuine friendship. We help one another.
Everyone works at his/her own pace. No pressure.

The meeting is in two parts. The prepared speeches are in the first half, and the second half is devoted to table topics and evaluations. The table topics give members an opportunity to think on their feet. Guests are not asked to speak. The speeches are evaluated by other Toastmasters. This teaches one how to listen to the speech and then give feed back to the speaker. Every member is provided with a mutually supportive and positive learning environment in which they have an opportunity to develop communication and Leadership skills which in turn foster self confidence and personal growth. Opportunities are also available to improve ones listening skills by taking a job on the programme as timekeeper for the duration of the meeting. Accurate timekeeping is important. Speeches are allocated a specified time. This trains the speaker the importance of ‘stand up; speak up; sit down’. Knowing one has a limited time encourages them to use it to its maximum potential. Members also have an opportunity while enjoying a social night, to improve confidence, ability to hold a conversation, improve voice projection, and diction. There is an old Chinese Proverb which says
‘A single conversation across a table with a wise man
Is worth a month’s study of books.’

Another interesting fact is that meetings always have a top table and a podium, and all members can at some stage do the job of Toastmaster which is in fact the M.C. for the night. The topics master asks the impromptu questions from his/her position at the podium.
At the end of the meeting the evaluators give their analysis of the speeches at the podium, and the General Evaluator gives his opinion on the running of the meeting. These are all opportunities to make one better able to deal with situations in the workplace or deal with today’s teenagers in the home. Or to chair a meeting when asked to do so.

By now you must surely be convinced of the value of being a member of Speakeasy Toastmasters Club.!
Speakeasy's first meeting of 2013 is at 8pm on Thurs 10th at the Hibernian Hotel Mallow and every other Thursday after that, at 8pm, Hibernian Hotel.
Non members are very welcome to attend all meetings and will not be asked to speak
Contact Jerry 0863752895,or Noel 0872427485.
"Follow us on Facebook "Speak Easy Toastmasters", on Twitter "@speakeasytm" and on our
blog "http://speakeasytm.blogspot.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Christmas Bear and other yarns.

Speakeasy in recent times has created a Grammarian role at the meeting, a person whose role it is to look at use of English and optionally, choose a word too that they would like to see used. Advent was the word chosen this week by Grammarian for the night, Marie Fitzpatrick.

It was an apt choice, for this Christmas meeting, but also because the club for the second meeting running, heard 2 new members on the advent of their membership of Speakeasy, making their introductory speeches. Anne O’Donovan and David Roche both gave delightful entertaining speeches. Anne’s was full of enthusiasms and David is obviously good at planning because one reason he joined was to get the speech right for his daughters wedding, and she’s just 7 !. Marie had quoted from the Patrick Kavanagh poem, “Advent”, in introducing her word,- “Through a chink too wide there comes in no wonder”, and Anne and David’s speeches were beautifully judged, in giving an interesting glimpse on their lives.

There were 2 other excellent speeches. Marie Lynes gave a fascinating account of how pagan symbolism around Christmas Time was adapted by early Christian saints to help explain their faith. And Marie told us of one more thing we must thank the Germans for,- the origin of the Christmas Tree. Marie’s speech was so informative and full of her hallmark humour. Mary Buckley continued the Christmas theme with a delightful delivery of an old Christmas story, “The Christmas Bear”.

Michael Cronin as Toastmaster introduced every speaker with a story he had garnered from their own Christmases past, which added to the festive atmosphere. The member who shall be nameless, whose story involved Santa going off with her babies bottle forever, stole the show with her tragic tale. Noel O’ Connor produced some very thought provoking topics like the comparison between the mind and an umbrella which provided some equally thought provoking answers.

Anne Buckley kept a close eye on the timekeeping duties and Pat Sexton as General Evaluator evaluated the meeting as a whole in an encouraging manner.
President Jerry Mulcahy welcomed the Area Governor, Michael Sheehan who addressed the meeting, explaining his role and praised Speakeasy for its welcoming atmosphere and the continuing vibrancy of the club.

Speakeasy Toastmasters extends warmest Christmas Greetings to All and invites you to join us for our next meeting, the first of 2013, on Thursday January 10th, 8pm, Hibernian Hotel.

Speakeasy toastmasters meets at 8pm Hibernian Hotel Mallow every other Thursday,
Non members are very welcome to attend all meetings and will not be asked to speak
Contact Jerry 0863752895,or Noel 0872427485.
"Follow us on Facebook "Speak Easy Toastmasters", on Twitter "@speakeasytm" and on our
blog "http://speakeasytm.blogspot.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

"The Real Leader Has No Need To Lead"

The real leader has no need to lead--
he is content to point the way.

Margaret O'Regan, the author of this article, is a very experienced toastmaster and has assumed many leadership roles in Toastmasters.

When you think of a leader what do you think of? Maybe what comes to mind is a larger-than-life individual in charge of some group, team, company or country? It may be someone who impresses you or not. We all know that leaders need special strategies to create loyalty, generate persuasive messages, and even create opportunities for others to take over leadership. How this is achieved is another matter. I've encountered many leaders who are to be avoided at all costs. In fact, I have worked with some of them. They are the kind who look like they'd tear you apart if you said something wrong. And indeed, some of them do just that. In thinking about what helps a leader in the "likeability" stakes, I've found that a very effective way to enhance leadership capability is to simply change the manner in which information is communicated and dare I say introduce a little humour, in other words lighten up.

Now least you are thinking what has this article got to do with toastmasters, well read on. Toastmasters are well known to be effective in developing communication skills, standing up and giving speeches and well able to throw in the bit of humour too. Humour being part and parcel of every toastmaster’s tool kit. One of the lesser known facts about toastmasters is that membership not only helps members to become more confident in speaking in public it also helps develop leadership skills. Good, strong and professional leadership skills. The leadership programme within toastmasters, like the communications programme lets the member progress at a speed that suits him or her.

Members learn leadership skills by taking on various meeting roles such as toastmaster (chairman), topics master or timekeeper. Members also learn immense leadership skills by taking on various officer ship roles within the club or the region such as treasurer, public relations officer or president. Taking on officer roles within toastmasters differs from other clubs or organisations as toastmasters has a learn-by-doing approach, members are not lectured about leadership skills; rather they are given responsibilities and mentoring to help them lead in their own style. A structure is in place to support all officers and training is provided. In undertaking meeting roles guidance, mentorship and evaluation is provided. Officer roles are rotated yearly and meeting roles are rotated at each meeting. It is easy to see then that all members get an opportunity to progress at the rate they are comfortable with.

The leadership track within toastmasters is built on;
1 Credibility – toastmasters has built its credibility by providing guidance materials to ensure members have the knowledge to do what needs to be done and set appropriate goals
2 Purpose – every step within the toastmaster’s programme has a clear sense of purpose. Add to this the drive and determination members have to overcome obstacles and the result is that the leader achieves his/her purpose.
3 Energy – because officers rotate yearly and meeting roles rotate at every meeting, a sense of vitality and newness is always present.
4 Motivating people - the ability to inspire people has always been a core element of the toastmaster ethos. This doesn’t mean being a grand orator, it means conveying passion for what you are trying to achieve and tailoring how you motivate people to their individual needs by including them in solving problems.
5 Interpersonal sensitivity - being diplomatic and tactful rather than blunt.
6 Team building - fostering a team spirit by sharing information, creating a sense of group identity (we're in this together attitude) and involving people in major decisions rather than giving the impression that you have all the answers
7 Planning and organizing. This includes delegating and trusting people rather than micromanaging them.
8 Communication - making expectations clear, seeking members input while listening attentively, standing up for important values and delivering on your promises.
9 Equipping people – nurturing the incoming and future leaders of the club that they can successfully take on leadership roles. The essence of this involves letting people learn from doing even when that involves learning from mistakes.
We live in a world that needs good and strong leaders. Regardless of whether you are an employer or an employee; retired, unemployed or a manager each of us can benefit from improving our leadership abilities. One does not have to be born with such skills, they can be learned and honed with practice and mentoring.

Toastmasters International is a world leader in communication and leadership development. Our membership is 280,000 strong. These members improve their speaking and leadership skills by attending one of the 13,500 clubs in 116 countries that make up our global network of meeting locations.

Membership in Toastmasters is one of the greatest investments you can make in yourself. It is also one of the most cost-effective skill-building tools available anywhere. More than 4 million people have discovered the benefits of this proven learning formula. What are you waiting for? If you want to develop or improve your leadership skills in a no pressure atmosphere promise yourself to visit us at our meetings which take place on alternate Thursday evening at 8pm in the Hibernian Hotel, Mallow. All welcome.

Next meeting is on tonight, December 13th.

Non members are very welcome to attend all meetings and will not be asked to speak
Contact Jerry 0863752895,or Noel 0872427485.
"Follow us on Facebook "Speak Easy Toastmasters", on Twitter "@speakeasytm" and on our
blog "http://speakeasytm.blogspot.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Icebreakers and Mind Maps

It is a special occasion for a toastmaster club when an icebreak speech is being made. This is when a new member makes their first speech, introducing themselves to the club. Speakeasy toastmasters are indeed flourishing when they had 2 icebreaker speeches this week and 2 more promised on our next meeting on Dec 13th. Pat Duggan as Toastmaster had the pleasure of introducing the speakers.

Tom O’Connor’s entertaining icebreaker speech featured a very humorous and vividly described anecdote from his childhood. His speech was evaluated by Jerry O’Callaghan. James Kelleher really awakened the curiosity of the audience with his passionate interest in motor rallys. His excellent speech was evaluated by Liam Flynn. Their participation in the club is warmly welcomed.

Their were 3 other speakers on the night. Bill Martin gave a fascinating speech on “mind mapping”, a technique that aids memory and brain function, with the glorious title, Mr Martin’s martian view of the brain. His speech was evaluated by Mary Moynihan. The objective of Tony O’Regan’s speech was to sell a product, and he achieved this effortlessly, maybe because he was selling his own home grown geese! Michael Cronin gave a very interesting historical speech about a local “first lady”, -Eliza Lynch, who in the 19th century travelled to South America amongst other places and was a famous consort. His speech was evaluated by Jerry Mulcahy.

Claire O’Connell produced an eclectic and entertaining list of topics in her role as topics master and got a great response from the audience.

Ronan Condon had the task of General Evaluator whose main job is to evaluate the evaluators, but also to assess the meeting as a whole.

Bridie 0’Connell as grammarian gave positive feedback on the use of English in the meeting. Mary Buckley, though she declared herself distracted by the superb quality of the speeches, performed the time keeping duties well.
The President Jerry Mulcahy, thanked all involved for the success of the Inter Schools Public Speaking Contest last week.

All were warmly welcomed to the meeting by guest greeters, Marie Lynes, Mary Moynihan, and Ronan Condon.

Speakeasy toastmasters meets at 8pm Hibernian Hotel Mallow every other Thursday. Next meeting is the very special Christmas meeting on Dec 13th
Non members are very welcome to attend all meetings and will not be asked to speak
Contact Jerry 0863752895,or Noel 0872427485.
"Follow us on Facebook "Speak Easy Toastmasters", on Twitter "@speakeasytm" and on our
blog "http://speakeasytm.blogspot.