Killaloe/Ballina Toastmasters Blog

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Killaloe/Ballina Toastmasters Meeting 25th October 2017

Posted 140 weeks ago
Posted 140 weeks ago

Competition night!

It was competition night in the Lakeside Hotel in Ballina on Wednesday the 11th Oct. It’s a night where we try to compose our best speeches and experience a different type of night. Even with public speaking you get used to your environment, so its good to sake things up with a competition now and then. This time around we were competing in the Humorous Speech competition. We had three speakers competing for pride of place, Aine Bailfe, Theresa Hegarty and Tom Melly. It was good night, and Theresa came second, but Aine took game set and match with a hilarious Tennis Story. In the second part of the night, we have the second competition, yes two in once night, our Club Topics competition, and once again Aine came first with her topic. AIne went forward to represent the Killaloe/Ballina club at the next level up in Nenagh on Friday the 13th, but while some might feel unlucky, Aine, was placed in both the Speech and Topics competitions, coming home with plenty of glassware.I would like to congratulate Aine Bailfe on doing a great job representing the Killaloe/Ballina Toastmaster club, and congratulate her on getting placed at the Area final.We are back to our regular meetings, so the stress levels are back to normal. If you are curious, we meet in the Lakeside Hotel Ballina, at 8 pm every second Wednesday and every fourth Wednesday of the month. 

- Tom Melly

Posted 140 weeks ago

The Adventure of the Nuclear Boy Scout!

Welcome to Ballina Killaloe Toastmasters. The title comes from part of a story told by one of our speakers during our open night in the Lakeside Hotel in Ballina, Co Tipperary.

The Ballina Killaloe Toastmasters started off their season with an Open Night on Wednesday 27th of September. The club runs from September through to May, meeting on the second and fourth Wednesday of the month. We start at eight, and we’re done by ten. 

Everyone was welcomed by club President Jim Hegarty, and Toastmaster of the night Theresa Hegarty took us through the night. Our first speech came from Dominic Burns, and covered his adventures experiencing Wunderlust, and his time in a nuclear submarine as a boy scout. Next up was Theresa Ryan Feehan, with an inspirational speech. Third was Tom Melly, telling of his Toastmaster experience so far. Evaluations were provided by Fiona Cahill, Ger Mannix, and Colm Breen. We were ready to break for tea and biscuits when we had a request from the audience! One of the guests asked if he could run through his Best Man speech as he was speaking in three days. So up he went, behind the top table and ran through the speech. I guess it demonstrates what we’re all about. You never know when life will call you to speak in front of a crowd, and how it is so much easier if you’ve had had a chance to practice.With our Best Man all finished up, we broke for tea, coffee, and some biscuits. Theresa managed to drag the chatters away from the biscuit tray, and took us through the less nerve-wracking topics, a lighthearted part where everyone is invited to comment on statements from our Topicsmaster Colm Breen. We finished up with words of encouragement from Our Area Directer Helen Spillan and District Directer Ger Mannix. Mary Murtagh kept us in line with her general evaluation, commenting on how the evening went.

The next meeting will be held in the Lakeside Hotel, Ballina, Co Tipperary on Wednesday next, October 11th, at 8pm. We will be running our Humourous Speech contest, so if you want to laugh, while watching our competitors battle it out, drop in this coming Wednesday.

By Tom Melly 

Posted 143 weeks ago

My Toastmasters experience by Colm Breen

Posted 147 weeks ago

My Toastmasters Experience... by Lorraine Markham

A colleague had subtly mentioned the benefits of Toastmasters a number of years ago after I had made a far-from-perfect speech at a work event. I was intrigued but that’s as far as it went.

I work in adult education and part of my role involves making presentations to groups of people and I always dread it!

In autumn 2012 a flyer was dropped in my door about an open night at Toastmasters in Killaloe and I decided to make a phone call to see what it was all about. I spoke with Jim Hegarty and he was so enthusiastic and open that I decided I would attend the open night. At the open night, I was taken aback at how friendly, supportive and good-spirited the TM members were – I was hooked!

After about a month, I made my first ‘Ice Breaker’ speech which was very daunting but after I delivered this speech I wasn’t as frightened any more. Little by little I grew in confidence, spurred on by the support and the feedback of my TM colleagues.

I put my name down to evaluate a speech one night and received a lot of positive feedback on it. I then started focusing more on the area of evaluation and was lucky enough to win a club-level competition in evaluation. It was the first time I had ever won anything competitive before, I was thrilled. I took part in the area competition against four other skilled evaluators and it was an excellent learning experience for me. I didn’t win but I did learn an awful lot and grew so much in confidence.

I have just completed my fifth speech and work colleagues have commented on how much my presentation skills have improved since joining Toastmasters. Every meeting is different with plenty of laughs and loads of learning! I have made friends and look forward to every meeting. I would recommend joining Toastmasters – you will never look back!

Posted 298 weeks ago

Killaloe/Ballina Toastmasters ... a year in review by Noel McGovern

It has been a great year for Killaloe/Ballina Toastmasters. As we start back with a new season what better time to look back on the past year.

We had several Special Events this year…

  • We welcomed an excellent guest speaker, Harry Reburn from Cavan, who shared his story with us and spoke to us about the suicide awareness/prevention group that he founded
  • We held a Christmas themed meeting and party with lots of treats and fun.
  • We hosted and competed in the International Area speech and evaluation contests
  • We had a very fun Salon Du Chat style meeting
  • We had a summer gathering in Ponte Vecchio, Killaloe with pizza, wine and lovely conversation

Many of our  Members achieved Toastmasters awards this year:

  • Competent Communicators: Tanya Romanovich & Fiona Cahill
  • Advanced Communicators:  Jim Watkins
  • Competent Leader:  Noel McGovern
  • Advanced Leader:  Noel McGovern
  • Because of these member achievements, paying club dues on time, the committee attending officer training events & the number of new members, we are a President’s Distinguished Club

Also it must be highlighted that:

  • The winners of our own club speech and evaluation contests were Janet Gooberman and Lorraine Markham.
  • Tanya Romanovich was voted our club toastmaster of year for all her hard work and dedication.

In May we sent out our Member Survey. Some positives that were mentioned about our club are:

  • Supportiveness and friendless of club members
  • A relaxed feel to the club, great social outlet
  • Experienced members always willing to encourage and give constructive advice

Of course we also received some constructive feedback which is always appreciated and will be taken on board with changes made where possible:

  • Very important that meetings start and finish on time!
  • Vary the meeting format and room layout from time to time to change things up

Thanks to all the Committee for doing an excellent job! In particular:

  • Our VPE Tanya who organised all the club meetings and presented many excellent educational items, managed our Facebook page and organised many PR initiatives in addition to her VPE role!
  • Lorraine and Jim Watkins who set up the room and welcomed the members and guests each week
  • Kate as immediate past president

I am honoured to have been able to take on the Club President role for the last year. Our club is a fun and friendly place but also a wonderfully supportive place to learn and grow which I’m sure we will continue to do in the coming year. Many thanks to all the members and guests who have made this year such a memorable one.

Noel McGovern
President Killaloe/Ballina Toastmasters 2013 - 2014

Posted 304 weeks ago

New season about to begin!

The first meeting of the 2014/15 season is less than 2 weeks away now and will take place on Wednesday September 10th at 8.00pm (sharp) at the Lakeside Hotel, Ballina. 

If you haven’t been to a meeting before do come along to see what it’s all about. There will never be any pressure to speak and a guest’s first meeting is free!

Posted 305 weeks ago

Summer Break

Our last official meeting of 2013 - 2014 took place last Wednesday. We had a Salon du Chat format which was both different and very enjoyable. We even had a few guests who joined in the fun and there were lots of yummy treats to enjoy as well. 

Our first meeting of the 2014 - 2015 season will take place on September 10th and we look forward to meeting old friends and new after our summer break.

Posted 316 weeks ago

Last meeting of the 2013 - 2014 season

Our last meeting of the 2013 - 2014 season takes place on June 11th.  Please join us for what should be a fun and very enjoyable evening.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Posted 318 weeks ago