Variety of topics at
Portlaoise Toastmasters

Portlaoise Toastmasters’ Club President Mark Bastow, opened the meeting on Monday November 26th by reading the Mission Statement.

Portlaoise Toastmasters’ Club President Mark Bastow, opened the meeting on Monday November 26th by reading the Mission Statement.

“The purpose of a Toastmasters Club is to provide a mutually supportive and positive learning environment where everybody can develop their oral communication and leadership skills. This in turn fosters self-confidence and personal growth”.

He then introduced the Toastmaster for the night, Esther Bastow. In her warm, friendly and calm manner, she presided over the meeting with such finesse, that she deservedly received the Geraldine O’Loughlin Award at the end of the evening.

First speaker was Aengus Burke with his speech dealing with “Restorative Justice”. Through the use of charts and role play he described to the audience a system which exists to help both the harmed and the wrongdoer when minor crimes are committed. This gave a great insight into how victims can be supported, and Aengus delivered his speech with great clarity, conviction and confidence.

He was followed by Cora Cahill who both amused and inspired those present with her timely speech “Controlling Self-Control”.

As Christmas fast approaches and so many high calories beckon us, Cora suggested a four point plan to bolster our self-control. First we should Pause – and think, then we should Fast Forward – and evaluate our options, thirdly we should Re-Wind, going back to choose a healthier option and finally Play – go for it!

It’s just like using the TV remote control. She concluded her speech by earnestly hoping that none of us end up fatter than the goose, a sentiment shared by all!

Last but not least, Mark Bastow in his speech entitled “Man about the House”, regaled us with tales of his last New Year’s Resolution. Back then he resolved to be more helpful in the home and has since hurtled from one disaster to another.

While gardening he was attacked by wasps and tripped up by rabbits, and his attempts at painting and chimney cleaning were equally unsuccessful. These tales of his DIY disasters were hilarious but we strongly suspect that this man is being far too modest about his accomplishments in this area.

Helpful evaluations were delivered by Mary Heaney, Bryan Holland and Meree O’Sullivan. All emphasised the positive aspects of each individual speech and provided one suggestion which would help make their next speech even better. Topics master, Carmel Kelly, supplied a veritable cornucopia of entertaining topics ranging from Christmas visits to soccer success, and from celebrity break ups to the TV series ‘Love Hate’. The audience eagerly responded to each topic and some lively discussion ensued.

Orlagh McCrory was General Evaluator and she revealed that, regardless to how you feel prior to attending a meeting, you always leave on a high having laughed and learned in such a friendly group.

She praised Esther for her fine stewardship of the meeting awarded her the Geraldine O’Loughlin prize, for her overall contribution.

The next meeting is on Monday, December 10. This will incorporate the Christmas Party from 8pm in the Killeshin Hotel so a great night is guaranteed for all.