Meeting 10th September 2018

The first Phoenix-Tara Toastmasters meeting of the new 2018 – 2019 Season took place in our usual location, the salubrious surroundings of Dunboyne Castle Hotel on September 10th at 7.45.  A total attendance of 28 including 7 visitors was great to see and was a very encouraging start to the season. Visitors are always most welcome to our meetings and affords those interested an opportunity to see just what happens, enjoy a cuppa tea or coffee during the break and make some new friends.

Tom Harmon was our ‘Toastmaster’. Tom co-ordinated, hosted and ran the meeting and acquitted himself very well indeed. ‘Fáilte Officer’ Tracey Wall warmly welcomed members and visitors alike. ‘Club President’, Marian Brennan, reiterated this welcome and spoke enthusiastically about the year ahead, pathways and on the key area of membership renewals. Our visitors were invited to introduce themselves briefly, and the new Committee Members duly  presented themselves to the meeting. Contributors briefly explained their roles to give visitors a sense of structure and expectation.

We were very pleased to have ‘Area Director’, Marie McNamee present at the meeting. And even more pleased when Marie shared a very entertaining holiday ‘mistaken car’ scenario during the topics section!

Carol Kehoe, ‘Wordmaster, Grammarian &  Ah Counter’, introduced and explained the word “ubiquitous” which some contributors incorporated within their contributions. ‘Poetmaster’ Stephen Downey recited well a nostalgic poem on ‘homework’, and Joke/Storymaster Martin Farrell related a ‘monkey’ story on greed and fraud. Martin also spoke earnestly on ‘story telling’ being an option to ‘joke telling’.

The speeches then began with Mary Conway’s icebreaker speech. Mary spoke very well on others’ opinions of herself, Mary Conway.  This proved most revealing though alas no great secrets were disclosed. Angela Katinka Turtoczki  spoke most sincerely on ‘What Matters’. It was terrific to see Angela present after a period of absence and a standing ovation followed her heartfelt speech. Tony McIntyre, a toastmaster for many years, spoke on, ‘Can the best improve’. Tony, a long time, well experienced and very well established member spoke passionately on his chosen subject.

After the Tea/Coffee break, with biscuits!, attendees were invited to share unexpected or surprising or negative summertime scenarios during the meeting’s ‘topics’ section. As a wise woman once proclaimed, “anyone can have a good time!” So ‘Topicsmaster’,  John Doherty, requested and encouraged the sharing of ‘not so fab but very real’ summertime happenings. The meeting was thus entertained by several such tales. All true it goes without saying, and no tale of more than 90 seconds duration – give or take.  Laughter ensued. Enough said!

Evaluations of the three main speeches then took place. Michael Connolly, Margaret Ryan and Mairéad Murphy evaluated respectively. Evaluations, as is the norm, highlighted the positive aspects of all three speeches, complimented accordingly and suggested very constructively & diplomatically areas of improvement where or if appropriate.

The meeting ‘Timer’, Deirdre Healy, advised the meeting of times of speeches and evaluations. Deirdre McDermott, who undertook the ‘Listening Post’ role advised the meeting of frequency of usage of the word ‘ubiquitous’, the number of ‘oohs & aaahs’ and checked out just how attentively we had all listened with well chosen questions. Eamon McPartland was the ‘General Evaluator’ for the evening. Eamonn expertly summarised the meeting which was duly closed by ‘Toastmaster’ Tom Harman and ‘President’ Marian Brennan on schedule at 10 o’clock.

Next meeting Monday 24thSeptember 7.45 in Dunboyne Castle hotel. Visitors most welcome.

J.D.