Speakeasy Toastmasters – Claire and Jillian sweep the boards!

Claire O’Connell, winner of the Speakeasy Toastmasters Humorous Speech Contest.

Jillian Harris, winner of the Speakeasy Toastmasters Table Topics Contest.

“Laugh and the world laughs with you”.
When the poet Ella Wheeler Wilson wrote the above oft-quoted words, she never imagined that we would find ourselves laughing into a device called a computer screen? But that’s the world of Zoom.
At last week’s Speakeasy Toastmasters meeting, club members took up the challenge of making a Zoom audience laugh! Indeed, the winner of the annual Humorous Speech Contest, Claire O’Connell, built a speech around that theme. ‘How to Lose a Competition on Zoom’ dealt with all the little tricks we try to project ourselves in front of an online audience. The runner-up, Bobby Buckley decided to ‘Keep it Simple’ and recount a shaggy dog tale about a greyhound trainer in a Rolls Royce stopping on the busy road outside Bobby’s house and attempting to teach an old dog new tricks. Did it really happen? We can only take the speaker’s word on that one. But we need to remember the old maxim – ‘never let the truth get in the way of a good story’.
In the Table Topics Contest, contestants were presented with the challenge – ‘If you could do something dangerous,  just once and with no risk, what would you do?’ It elicited a wide array of daredevil ideas, ranging from horse riding at an age when it might seem unwise to do so, or learning how to swim and engaging in the Wild Atlantic. The attractions of flying and falling loomed large, be it jumping from an aeroplane with a functioning parachute or paragliding off a cliff, graceful and in control. Jillian Harris emerged as the winner with her paragliding picture, and Bobby Buckley was once again the gallant runner-up with his aquatic ambitions.
Jillian, Claire and Bobby will now go forward to represent Speakeasy at the North Cork Area Final which will take place at our next meeting on Thursday 21st October at 8.00pm on Zoom. Here, the Speakeasy club will welcome participants from our neighbouring clubs, Fermoy and the Fáilte Club in Charleville. It promises to be a night of humour and quick responses and everyone is welcome to attend. Competitions are a small aspect of the Toastmasters programme. For the most part, members aspire to achieve their ‘personal best’, to be as accomp-lished as they can be. It is a self-paced programme,  designed to assist the member to gain the necessary communication skills and to grow in confidence. Participating in Contests is an optional extra for those who dare to put their skills to the test. We wish Claire, Jillian and Bobby every success on October 21st in the Area Final.
As always, guests are welcome to attend our meetings and are never obliged to speak unless they wish to do so. Log-in details for the next meeting will be published next week.
For more information about our club, please check out our website speakeasytoastmasters.com or our Facebook page.   Alternatively, contact our club PRO Pat Sexton 086-156 4567.