Members of Mullingar Toastmasters with colleague Anthony Viney at the launch of his book (back) Derek Walsh and Brian McLoughlin; (front) Lorraine Murphy, author Anthony Viney, Jacqui Wiley, Mary Frances Cox and Damien Rooney.

Toastmasters: the Greatest Show on – the first floor of The Greville Arms Hotel!

If Toastmasters is a circus, Patrick Cavanagh was ringmaster Supreme on April 13 at The Greatest Show on… the first floor of The Greville Arms Hotel.

It was clearly signposted, and Damien Rooney extended a warm welcome at the ticket box where, for one night only (every night), all seats were ringside.

With two special guests, Charlie and Harry Rooney, the show kicked off in the kind and capable hands of Ringmaster Pat. Role players explained their parts, including time keeper Hijesh Lohidhakshan, grammarian John Coyne and topicsmaster Deirdre Bigley.

With four speeches on the programme, there was no time to lose. Jacqui Wiley lit up the stage as she asked what is that smell? In a beautifully delivered, advanced speech about how to wear perfume, this new grandma was on fire. Congratulations Nanny Jack! It was evaluated by Derek Walsh, who is going from strength to strength. This was his best evaluation to date.

Next up was Anthony Viney, fresh from the successful launch of his novel ‘On the Road to Damascus’ the previous night in the Annebrook House Hotel. Using props, Anthony took his audience through conceiving an idea to seeing it in print and to the marketing that follows. "We are proud of you Tony!" Legend Pauline McCabe evaluated the speech and let’s just say this scribe took notes. Bravo Pauline, a masterclass.

Linda Gavagan had a speech called Radiation, it’s invisible, so what should you know? Accessible and relatable as always, Linda gave just enough information to allow those listening to sleep better, and there was something about bananas too. Another club legend John Waldron evaluated, and everyone watched as he delivered suggestions and compliments as only a Toastmaster of his calibre can.

Tom Byrne took the audience through his leadership style in the final speech. It was light hearted and informative, and some guessed his style correctly and may still be gloating about that. Brian McLoughlin evaluated with his signature humorous and supportive style.

Throughout the meeting, Hijesh recorded and reported the times, keeping the show on the road.

Following an interval of tea and coffee with no popcorn or flashy items on sale, it was time for audience participation with Topicsmaster, Deirdre. Table topics are a chance for impromptu speaking, especially if the club member, or guest, hasn’t had a speaking role already in the meeting. There were laughs and entertainment galore.

All that was left was to deliver reports on the night and with that, another show was complete.

Toastmasters call that a meeting, but it is more than that. It is a show and, as with all productions, it takes great organisation, preparation and participation. A huge thanks to producer and director Mags Healy-Donohue, who does it time and time again.

The local Toastmasters would love to see you next time for The Greatest Show On… the first floor of The Greville Arms Hotel.*

The next meeting is on April 27 at 8pm. Everyone is welcome and there is no cover charge for visitors.

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* May not be the greatest show; depends on who has the other rooms booked.