Jacqui Wiley, vice-president, membership, Mullingar Toastmasters.

Not a seat free for open night at Mullingar Toastmasters

There wasn’t a single seat free for open night at Mullingar Toastmasters thanks to a good turnout of members and a good number of guests.

Club president, Pauline McCabe, welcomed all, and Linda Gavagan, Toastmaster of the night, set the mood, telling the audience that it was possible to embrace both effective communication and silliness.

Three outstanding speeches were delivered. First up was Laura Gahan with her icebreaker speech, ‘Home Is Where the Heart Is’.

Laura charted her personal journey through illness, surgery and a kidney transplant; she said she had received the best gift a brother could give.

Next up was Tom Byrne with his speech, ‘A Trip to the Playground’ – a comedy of errors with a poignant twist.

After that, Pauline McCabe had people laughing with her speech, ‘Pure Fantasy’. She delivered a hilarious performance with her memories of revenge best served with chilli sauce.

The three evaluators of the night, Deirdre Bigley, Niamh Tubridy and Geraldine Smith, added their insights, showing how the speakers had managed to combine honesty, body language and humour.

They also stressed the need for time management and vocal reach.

After a break for coffee and craic, Lorraine Murphy, topic master, launched into quick-fire table topics.

With old sayings as a theme, the room answered questions on everything from cats and dogs to birds in bushes (a clear animal theme there).

Off the cuff responses, especially from newcomers and guests, did not disappoint.

As grammarian, John Waldron, asked speakers to employ the word of the night, ‘convivial’, and timer, Jacqui Wiley, cast her watchful eye, everyone was kept on their toes.

General evaluator, Derek Walsh, praised all Toastmasters who had roles, in ensuring such a well organised session.

Pauline closed the meeting noting member successes beyond the club. She congratulated Brian McLoughlin on the launch of his debut book, ‘When There’s a Fork in the Road… Take It’, Lorraine Murphy for hosting a successful Culture Night in the library and Anthony Viney for his forthcoming library workshops on self-publishing.

Pauline also presented a certificate to Laura for her icebreaker speech.

The next Mullingar Toastmasters meeting is on Thursday October 12 at 8pm in the Greville Arms Hotel. All are welcome.

Mullingar Toastmasters on Facebook.