Maureen McCormack, Mags Healy-Donoghue and Alma Manny.

Ameliorating Toastmasters

Mullingar Toastmasters had a great start to the year as a packed room of members and guests raised the energy in The Greville Arms on Thursday January 9.

Maria Costello opened the meeting with flair and outlined the calendar of events. Mags Healy-Donoghue shone as Toastmaster and gave a masterclass in how to prepare for and execute the role. In full inspirational mode, she spoke of fellow Toastmaster Maria Bourke’s article, published in The Sunday Independent last year, on how to make effective new year resolutions, and keep them. She also told us about Maria’s life-changing work on, particularly of the 321 challenge starting this month.

Rosemarie Elliott and Linda Gavigan shone in Fáilte Officer and Timer roles. Old friends in the Soroptimists came with the local heat winners of their public speaking contest for girls. Rebecca O’Keeffe, Castlepollard, and Michaela Cox, Kilbeggan, spoke with confidence, passion and knowledge. Best of luck in the regional finals girls!

Our speakers included Alma Manny, who demonstrated how to engage your audience, and new member Maureen McCormack had us crying, laughing and clapping as she told us her life story. Evaluators Joan Heduan, Imelda Graham, Philip Howlin and Martina Murtagh excelled and delivered feedback that was encouraging, helpful and accurate. Grammarian Geraldine Smith brought us the word ‘ameliorate’, meaning to improve – an appropriate word for the night. General evaluator Pat Cavanagh gave great recommendations and Topicsmaster Billy Gough challenged us with great questions, as we tried to think on our feet.

We look forward to our Open night with guest speaker Dermot Carey on January 23. Everyone is welcome, and please bring a friend, as we encourage people to come along and see what happens inside the doors of a meeting. Dermot won the Division 71 Humorous Speech Contest in Norwich in 2019 and was the Britain and Ireland Toastmaster of the year in 2013-2014.

His tips include telling your own story, good eye contact, making a decisive entrance and to simply be yourself. We couldn’t agree more.

Toastmasters Mullingar meet every second and fourth Thursday of the month in The Greville Arms Hotel at 8.30pm. The next meeting is on Thursday January 23. Check us out on Facebook and at our website