On February 9th Blarney Toastmasters held an open night via zoom. Guests from as far away as Canada came along to experience a Blarney Toastmasters meeting. Meetings consist of three parts: prepared speeches, impromptu speaking and evaluations. For the open night they had two prepared speeches. The first was by stalwart member Ted Mellamphy entitled ‘Opportunities’ and was, as ever, entertaining and uplifting. This time next year Ted would like to be walking down a promenade in shorts and t-shirt with 20 degrees on his back. Next, titled ‘I’d like to be dead for one day’ was an honest and moving speech by Robert Stephens. Robert, a member of Blarney Toastmasters for just over a year, says he joined Blarney Toastmaster because he always believed in the art of conversation. He loves to talk but also saw opportunities to gain leadership skills for his business Stephens Display Solutions. When asked what he has gained in being a member of Blarney Toastmasters Robert acknowledged listening skills, preparation for speeches and even more confidence. By this time next year Robert hopes to have visited his son in Australia. The impromptu speaking section ‘Table Topics’ gives members the opportunity to talk for up to two minutes on a topic with no preparation in advance. On the open night, Eddie O’ Mahony led the session with a selection of topics related to Covid 19. Surprisingly this gave rise to many upbeat, humorous and memorable impromptu speeches. This time next year Eddie hopes to be able to meet his fellow toastmasters in person! The evaluation section of the meeting was led by the very diplomatic Mary Walsh. The purpose of this final part of the meeting is to help all speakers to improve but is done in a positive and encouraging manner. This time next year Mary hopes her sister in Spain has been able to visit Blarney. Blarney Toastmasters meet the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month at 8pm via zoom. Why not join us and see what it’s all about? See www.facebook.com/blarneytoastmasters/ for more details.