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Letter from the Editor: Newsletter, December 2016


December 2016


2016 has been another great year for Dublin 18. There were plenty of notable achievements the most significant of which was the awarding of Distinguished Toastmaster to three of our members, Colm Roe, Brendan Haughton and Karen O’Donnell.   Both Karen and Colm were awarded President’s Distinguished Awards for excelling in their roles as Division Director and Area Director respectively. Karen topped a very successful year by winning Toastmaster of the Year for District 71, a district that includes 4,500 members in clubs across Ireland and the UK.

These awards are a reflection of the depth of experience that exists in our club. They are also a reflection of the culture of our club and the dedication of its members. For me, the culture of a club such as Dublin 18 is hugely important. It is the glue that binds us together. The core values of our culture have got to be about respect and trust. In this trusting and safe environment, we feel valued & protected and learn the skills of public speaking.

The reason why I joined was that I wanted to learn how to be a better speaker and overcome my fear of speaking in public. To achieve this, I needed an environment that I felt safe and comfortable in; an environment that allowed me to grow in confidence and learn how to be a better communicator. Dublin 18 has proven to be an excellent club to build one’s confidence. By working my way through the ten stages of my Competent Communicator manual I tackled my fear of public speaking and built up my confidence to stand up and speak in the process.

The achievements of our more experienced members act as a motivator to spur us all on as we look on in awe at what they have achieved and what they contribute to our club and Toastmasters.

William Cotter


How to write a speech in 10 minutes

 Ted Corcoran Workshop

By Mairead Haugh and Andy Ellman CC

This format is not just for a 5-7 minute speech, but can be used for a speech of any length –  the only thing that changes is the amount of content you choose!

The Golden Rule – Pick something Simple, which will be Heard, Understood and Remembered!

The problem that most new and even long term members of Toastmasters encounter is that they pick way too complicated a topic. As a result, it can be difficult to convey the message in the required amount of time.

Three Objectives –  Persuade, Inform or Inspire

These are the three main premises for any Toastmasters speech, when you have settled on a topic for your speech.

 This “Write a speech in 10 minutes” template can be split into three segments, each consisting of three parts.  These nine points that are easy to remember and make up the spine of any good speech:  

Segment A)  – Parts 1, 2 and 3 cover the preview of the speech

Segments B)  – Parts 4, 5 and 6 represent the body of the speech

Segments C)  – Parts 7, 8 and 9 form the conclusion of the speech

Let us now explore the key elements of each of these 9 segments – let the fun begin!

Segment A

Part 1)   Getting Attention –  Opening lines:

The opening few seconds are crucial to grabbing the audience’s attention – use a quote, ask a question – something that is going to make everyone sit up and listen!

Part 2)   What is the subject matter? Is there a simple message you want to convey?

Clearly state the message you want to leave with the audience.

Part 3)   Preview – What is going to be discussed …brief overview of points 4, 5 and 6.

Segment B

Outline the main thrust or elements of your speech. The body of your speech should be organized as follows:

Part 4)   First piece of information

Part 5)   Second piece of information

Part 6)   Third piece of information

By selecting just three pieces of information – the power of three – you will find that is enough to make the point, but not so much that the listeners will forget the points by the end of the speech.

Segment C

Part 7)   Summary

Now briefly summarise the speech

Part 8)   Tie the summary of the speech back to the simple, succinct message set out in speech point 2.

 Loop the point you made in point 2 – to part of your conclusion. Repetition and resonation are important elements of public speaking.

Part 9)   Refers back to point 1 (getting attention).

Use the same quote or question you used at the very beginning to round of the speech.

In essence,  the preview (segment A) explains what you go are going to tell them.

The body (Segment B) tells them.

The conclusion (Segment C) tells them what you told them.

Other pointers from Ted: don’t write out your speech in full! Unless you have a fantastic memory, you may forget a word, and this could throw your speech into disarray. If you have the nine points clearly in your head, you will have a good speech.

“Too many people spend too much time trying to perfect something before they actually do it. Instead of waiting for perfection, run with what you’ve got, and fix it along the way…”

― Paul Arden (Marketing guru & author)

The Belfast Experience

By Mairead Haugh

After two false starts I finally arrived in Carrickmines, where my lift awaited me. Larry Power had kindly offered to give me a lift to Toastmasters International District 71 conference in Belfast on 7-9 November 2014.

We hurried up the M1 at great speed, my capable companion and driver wasted no time and arrived at the Europa Hotel at approx. 6.30. We were not sure where to park the car, but were delighted to hear the hotel staff would park it in their overnight car park for a reasonable fee. After checking in and a quick change of clothes we met again in the bar to quench our thirst after the speedy journey. We were not long in the bar when William Killeen arrived in to help us order a second round. He appeared relaxed and as had arrived a bit earlier and was excited at the prospect of the final of the humorous speech competition the next day.

We then attended the buffet dinner where a roomful of Toastmasters were settling in for the evening. The buffet was basic but hit the spot. The Evening commenced with a question and answer session hosted by the Area Governors for District 71. A question from the floor highlighted the difficulty where a club splits.  One recommendation from the top table suggested not hosting both clubs in the same venue; this is of particular interest to Dublin 18 and Dublin South Toastmasters clubs as we both meet on alternative Tuesday evenings in the same venue.


The Grand Ballroom at the Europa Hotel, Belfast

We’re obviously the exception to the rule. Hopefully we’ll keep the close link we have, and continue supporting each other.

The evening’s entertainment was a local Irish Dance school who took us though some of the steps from Riverdance and Lord of The Dance. An excellent show with participants from age 8 to age 18.

The weekend comprised of workshops and two Competitions, The Humorous Speech Competition and The Table Topics Competition. As I was only staying for 24 hours I did not have time to attend any of the workshops, but had the privilege and excitement of attending The Final of the Humorous Speech Competition, where William Killeen represented us with his fantastic Speech ‘ The Aqua Park ‘.

Toastmasters International District 71 Conferences are fantastic events, I attended one day and met so many interesting, positive, friendly and empowered people. The next Conference is on May 15-17 2015 in Nottingham, so book your place now!

According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than delivering the eulogy.”

– Jerry Seinfeld (Comedian)

December Newsletter

Letter from the Editor

It is a privilege to write the editorial for the inception Christmas 2014 D18 newsletter.

I joined Dublin South Toastmasters about two years ago, without any real preconceived idea of what the organisation was and how it might benefit me, or indeed the enjoyment it might bring. The journey has not been an arduous one, and I strongly believe that the passage has helped my personal development enormously.

Like most new joiners to Toastmasters, my first sense about my ‘form’ in public speaking, be it face to face or phone calls, was my self-consciousness with my tendency towards “ums” and “ahs” at each utterance. After listening to a few of my own (recorded) speeches, and hearing the corresponding evaluations, I realised that it sounded awful – it makes you sound indecisive and nervous. Furthermore, I realised  it detracted significantly from my essential message.

After joining, my next milestone was the ice breaker; for some reason I wasn’t nervous and I didn’t write it down – I thought ‘what is all the fuss?’, but it was a story about me, so of course I knew it quite well – then came the other speeches to complete the CC manual.

I agonised constantly about how I am going to remember these brilliant speeches that I had spent ages writing.

I had a ‘eureka’ moment between (I felt) my disastrous 8th speech and my 9th speech. I decided that memorising speeches was not my forte. What was I to do? In essence I decided what I wanted to say, but I didn’t have to be word perfect as the only person who would know I had missed anything would be me. Once I got my story/ideas across…that is the main objective. A few months later Ted Corcoran explained to me how I could do this very thing.

We are all members of a new, vibrant club and the potential for our success is only limited by our ambition and attitude. The exemplary work carried out by Colm and Karen in establishing the club can only be applauded.

Thank you for reading this article and enjoy your time in TM.

Andy Ellman CC- Editor