Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Club Contest Night.

 Night of Fun and Laughter!

Bob Dylan once sang -'It takes a lot to laugh, it takes a train to cry'. At last week's Speakeasy Toastmasters Humorous Speech contest there were no trains to be seen anywhere and there was certainly no tears, except tears of laughter.It was a night when imaginations ran riot and creativity shone brightly.

Six very brave Club Members took on the huge challenge of entertaining a large audience and boy,did they entertain! Costly coffee, cawing crows, coal bunkers converted into nuclear fallout shelters, hormonal cows, Christy Ring and communication blackouts were all thrown into a wonderful cocktail of humour and wit, greeted with generous appreciation of a capacity crowd in the Hibernian Hotel's Garden Room.

Under the guidance of Ann Buckley, genial MC for the evening, the comedy commenced with Brendan Foley's - 'Excuses, I've made a few'. He regaled his audience with the litany of excuses that insulated him from doing anything at all. From telling porkies to his teacher about having to convert the coal bunker into a nuclear fallout shelter as the reason for his lack of homework to the myriad of sporting injuries that excluded him doing anything useful, Brendan emerged as the genius of excuses!

Next up was Jason Fitzgerald with the tall tale -'Bridie's Julie won't  hold!' Jason, a recent recruit to the Club, related the sad tale of the Kerry farmer whose prize cow, Julie, refused to go back in the family way after a lifetime of producing calves. It was causing a huge nightmare for the AI technician whose wedding day was fast approaching! Would his nuptials be overshadowed by a frisky and extremely noisy cow? Jason's speech concluded with a wonderful punch line that brought all the strands of the story together, much to the audience's amusement.

Sean Corcoran gave us a scare with 'Terror in Two Pot House'. The terror began at 5AM every morning as a big old grey crow would tear his house apart.Despite Sean's best efforts,  the cawing pest wouldn't budge, it simply 'gave him the talon'.With greedy magpies and grey crows, poor old Sean's life has become a misery. But, would the story have a happy ending for the the noisy crow? Or did Sean jilt a woman in a previous lifetime who has returned to haunt him?

Next to the lectern was Michael Cronin with an equally sad story 'The trauma of being dumped'. He told us about his painful divorce from his Broadband provider! It seemed that for '3', his service provider,two was too many in their romance. 'It's not us,it's you', they told him. Now, he is trawling his farm to find the 4G spot in his relationship with his Broadband!  That place where he can say 'yes, yes, yes'. Alas, it seems the path to true love seldom runs true.

Bobby Buckley entertained us with -' A Corkonian in Dublin '. He spoke about his lack of a real Cork accent and how  he could go undetected in Dublin for all those decades. He attributed it to the Tipperary side of his family and described how the mere mention of Christy Ring,the 'Ronaldo' of Hurling would send his Tipperary comrades into a state of deep shock. He also eulogised Jimmy Barry Murphy - Cork's Lionel Messi - and how his daughter used a Hurley in a fashion that JBM wouldn't approve! Perhaps,the real reason he lay undetected in Dublin is that the Dubs are not the brightest!

Finally, Claire O'Connell, asked the burning question-'Where does my money go?' She gave us a weird and prudent insight into the world of personal finance,without mentioning Eddie Hobbs even once. Cups of coffee,clothes size and 'living with the parents' adults were all part of Claire's miserly modus operandi.Paschal O'Donoghue take note!

In conjunction with the Humorous Speech Contest, the Table Topics Contest  also took place. Without any prior notice,all contestants were obliged to address the question- 'Is retirement wasted on the old'? Bobby Buckley, Claire O'Connell,Ray Ryan, Pat Sexton, Sean Corcoran, Brendan Foley and Michael Cronin responded with different perspectives on the subject.Nevertheless, the words of Dylan Thomas came to mind as a common sentiment -'Do not go gently into the good night,but rage against the dying of the light'.

After two nail biting and exhilarating verbal jousts, white smoke emerged. In Table Topics, Pat Sexton emerged as winner,closely followed by the second placed Bobby Buckley.
                                               Table Topic Winners with Club President Helsa Giles.

In first place in the Humorous Speech Contest was Michael Cronin.The runner up was Sean Corcoran.These Contestants will now go forward to the North Cork Area Final which will be hosted by Fermoy Toastmasters Club. We wish all our competitors the best of luck.

                                                     Humorous Speech Contest Winners.

The prizes for this year's contests were kindly sponsored by Liam Flynn,Landscaping Services,Millstreet. We thank Liam for his continued generosity.

Normal service resumes at our next meeting on the 19th October in The Hibernian Hotel, Mallow at 8.00 PM. As always,a wide range of speeches will be presented on that night as members seek to acquire and fine tune their communication skills.The Speakeasy train leaves at every meeting and it is never too late to hop on board. Communication skills bring benefits in all aspects of life - at work or at home,in both frivolous and formal occasions, from the wedding reception to the retirement party, from the boardroom to the dressing room. If you are looking for 'something different' or merely curious, or just a good night's entertainment you are more than welcome at our Meetings. We look forward to seeing you on the 19th October.

For further information, visit www.speakeasytoastmasters.com or Facebook.Also, you can contact Helsa-083-8858848, or Anne - 087-7774604.




Monday, October 02, 2017

What's in a name

'What's in a name? That which we call a rose
Would by any other name smell as sweet'. Shakespeare.

A frequently asked question about our Toastmasters Club is about our name -Speakeasy.What is the story behind it and why? In 1992,when a Toastmasters Club was being established in Mallow, the aim was to have a Club to serve a very large portion of North Cork and beyond,from the Kerry Border in the West to Castletownroche in the East.Our aim was to choose a name that signified that we were open to members from all walks of life and from all parts for our catchment area, not just Mallow Town.
The members of our fledgling Club enthusiastically nominated a broad variety of names.
Some were symbolic,others nostalgic.The name 'Blackwater' suggested that speeches would flow, just like the river.'Majestic' evoked nostalgia for a famous dancing mecca. Avondhu reflected the GAA region of North Cork . However, Noel O'Regan wrote a wonderful letter advocating an unusual idea -Speakeasy.He cogently argued that Toastmasters would assist members to speak more easily  to 'speak easy' and that it implied that members might enjoy a beverage after a wonderful meeting.And so Speakeasy became our official name.To refute Shakespeare,a Club by any other name wouldn't sound as sweet!

Throughout our twenty five years,Speakeasy has drawn it's members from all over the North Cork area ,from all the outlying towns and villages be it  Ballyclough,Bweeng, Buttevant, Boherbue,  Castletownroche , Cecilstown, Dromahane, Doneraile,  Kanturk, Killavullen, Kiskeam ,Liscarroll and Newmarket. We come from all walks of life;farmers, teachers,chefs, sales reps and retirees. We come from different communities,we may support different GAA teams, but we all unite with one common aim in Speakeasy- to foster and develop good communication skills.Year after year,more members acquire a myriad of skills of speaking,listening and thinking. In turn,these skills prove enormously helpful in work situations and in leadership roles in voluntary organisations. .

As always, our doors are open to guests and new members. So if you have yet to witness the transformative power of Toastmasters in action,why not come along to our next meeting in The Hibernian Hotel, Mallow on Thursday, 19th October at 8.00PM.
For further information check out www.speakeasytoastmasters.com or contact PRO,
Pat Sexton-086/1564567.