Press Releases

Invitation to Tullamore Toastmasters 20th Anniversary Celebration

Invitation top

Calling all Toastmasters who have had association with Tullamore Toastmasters over the past 20 years.

This is a huge opportunity to gather up the richness and skill of the expression of the spoken word over the past 20 years. This is an open invitation to all who have graced a Toastmasters meeting in Tullamore in its relatively short but significant history. All are equally welcome, whether you have been a guest and came as an interested observer or you have held high office or you have reached the top of the ladder in speech craft and delivery. The invitation also goes out to people who have an interest in Toastmasters for the future.

A celebration is when people come together in lightness and fun to enjoy each others’ company and friendship. And it is also in this case, to extol the benefits of Toastmasters in all our lives, and these are manifold. In this comfortable non-judgemental gathering of people, Toastmasters has been able to bring out the best in us. This has ranged from people who want to prepare for the wedding speech, give the job presentation, break the ice with someone you fancy or simply have a love of the spoken word in and of itself.

The written word is only one way of sending a message to people, but Toastmasters have always relied on the warmth and personal connection of the spoken word, so if you know anyone who has been in Toastmasters or have an interest in it please mention it to them to come along on the night. This unique gathering takes place in The Tullamore Dew Heritage Centre, on Friday, June 12th. We would be grateful if people would contact us for numbers on the night. Please contact Timothy at 0863617092 or Eileen at 08660875102 Many thanks.

After New Year break, we meet on Thursday 15th January

Tullamore Toastmasters would like to welcome you to a new year with new experiences of being inspired and educated through the use of words. That’s what we do in Toastmasters, through speeches and impromptu topics. It helps us to grow in the skills of language use and to become confident presenting in front of other people. It is one of the few settings that speakers get a warm gentle reception, there is no heckling. Constructive feedback is also offered to help people improve. Many people are at different levels. Toastmasters meets you where you are at. For some it can be an enjoyable social outlet, for others it could be the means of helping you deliver that wedding speech or that awkward presentation at work. For whatever reason, you are heartily welcome. Our next meeting is in The Tullamore Court Hotel at 8.30pm on Thursday the 15th of January. Feel free to join us. Great value for a fiver with light refreshments thrown in.

International Speech & Speech Evaluation Competitions 2013

Our last meeting at Tullamore Toastmasters, on Thursday the 28th of March, was the International Speech Competition and the Speech Evaluation Competition. These competitions were held within the club to decide who would go on to represent Tullamore Toastmasters in the next round in Ballymahon on Monday the 15th of April.

The meeting ran smoothly, with the experienced Pat Kilroe as contest chair. Jennifer Dillon, who organised the competition, was also the Topicsmaster, giving the audience things to talk about during the pauses in the competition. John Murphy, the chief judges, ensured that all Toastmasters competition rules were properly adhered to.

To enter the International Speech Competition, you must have previously given five speeches in the club. The order of speakers is chosen by random draw. The three entrants, in speaking order, were Timothy Green with a speech entitled “Stonewall”, Patrick Hynes, club president, with a speech entitled “Golden Slippers”, and Nuala Murtagh-Carton, vice-president membership and a past-president of the club, with a speech entitled “Silence in the Court House”. In the competition, speakers choose their own topics, and these were three very different speeches: one on a 1969 riot in New York which was historically important in the struggle for gay rights; one on the life of a nun, a relative of Patrick’s, who worked tirelessly for the rights of poor and homeless people; and one on the importance of making your voice heard. Nualah Murtagh-Carton won the competition, and will go on to represent Tullamore Toastmasters in the next round, in Ballymahon on Monday the 15th of April.

Jennifer Dillon presents the award to Nuala Murtah-Carton, winner of the International Speech Competition in Tullamore Toastmasters

Jennifer Dillon presents the award to Nuala Murtah-Carton, winner of the International Speech Competition in Tullamore Toastmasters

Jennifer Dillon presents Patrick Hynes with the 2nd place award for the International Speech Competition.

Jennifer Dillon presents Patrick Hynes with the 2nd place award for the International Speech Competition.


After a break for coffee, we had the Speech Evaluation Competition. This is open to all members, and one of our contestants, Paul Stephenson, was a new member who has given one speech and had not before given an evaluation. The other contestant was Patrick Hynes, club president. Our test speaker was Tom Murray, who had travelled from Athlone to present a speech entitled “King of the Road”. It was an interesting speech about the history of drug use in competitive cycling, and was quite technical in places, but it was also a speech about the importance of whistleblowers more generally. Paul Stephenson and Patrick Hynes then left the room and were given time to compose their evaluations, Jennifer Dillon keeping the audience engaged with topics the meanwhile, then returned in order, Patrick first, then Paul, to evaluate Tom Murray’s speech. Patrick Hynes won the Speech Evaluation Competition, and will go on to represent Tullamore Toastmasters in the next round, which is held along with the International Speech Competition in Ballymahon on Monday the 15th of April.

Jennifer Dillon presents Patrick Hynes with the 1st place award for the Speech Evaluation Competition

Jennifer Dillon presents Patrick Hynes with the 1st place award for the Speech Evaluation Competition


Jennifer Dillon presents the award for second place in the Speech Evaluation Competition to Paul Stephenson

Jennifer Dillon presents the award for second place in the Speech Evaluation Competition to Paul Stephenson

Tullamore Toastmasters next meeting is in the Tullamore Court Hotel at 8:30 p.m. sharp, on Thursday the 11th of April. This is a standard meeting, not a competition.

Toastmasters Officer Training

Tullamore Toastmasters is a local group, but it’s part of Toastmasters International, a worldwide body which provides educational material, coordinates competitions and other forms of inter-club cooperation, and provides training. A training session for club officers in our district was arranged for Monday night, so four of us — Nuala Murtagh-Carton, Donal Hogan, Jennifer Dillon, and Timothy Green — travelled to Ballymahon. The meeting turned out to be useful and informative. Club officers were in attendance from Athlone, Longford, Mullingar, and the newest club in the area: Carlow.

First, we were educated on the structure of the organisation. Most of us had an idea how Toastmasters was organised, but there was plenty of fine detail which was new to me, at least. There was also education and sharing of ideas on how to attract new members to Toastmasters. That can be tricky, because different people come to Toasmasters for different reasons: some people want to improve their public speaking skills for business reasons; some people find the many and varied topics discussed at Toasmasters meetings engaging and interesting, and come because they always learn something; some people want to learn how to chair and manage meetings, and to improve their leadership skills; some people come for the social evening. And no doubt there are many other reasons I’ve not thought of. A Toastmasters club can serve all these goals and more, and the same club can serve different goals for different people. A large part of both the fun and the learning come from the fact that the membership is quite varied, with different ages, different levels of experience, different jobs. For myself, the initial reason for coming was actually the social evening — and Tullamore Toastmasters provide a good social evening —, but my skills and my self-confidence at public speaking have also received a massive boost.

I’m glad I went to the officer training night. It was interesting, and we all learned something. I always learn something at Toastmaster meetings.

Next club meeting is at 20:30 in the Tullamore Court Hotel on Thursday the 14th of February.

Welcome to 2013!

It’s a new year, at least in the calendar we use in this part of the world. And, in the Mayan calendar, we’ve been in a whole new b’ak’tun for a few days now. I haven’t checked where we are in the Jewish, Islamic, and Chinese calendars.

Anyway, for us in Ireland, this is a new year. And after a brief break, Tullamore Toastmasters are back in action, with our first meeting of 2013 on Thursday the 3rd of January, at 8:30 p.m., in the Tullamore Court Hotel.

See you there!

Tullamore Toastmasters 2013

Tullamore Toastmasters will resume meeting in the new year on Thursday the 3rd of January. See you all then!

11th October 2012: Competition Night

Tulamore Toastmasters’ next meeting is at 8:30 p.m. on the 11th of October in the Tullamore Court Hotel. This is a special meeting, being the Humorous Speech and Table Topics Competition Night. The two competitions are open to all Toastmasters. And, as usual, anyone and everyone is welcome to come along and watch.

Successful Open Night

There were many new faces at last night’s Open Night at Tullamore Toastmasters. After being greeted with wine and canapés, they enjoyed a lively meeting. First, Fred Dolan led an interesting topics session, with subjects as varied as the first day of school, which supermarket is dominant, and whiskey. Then, after a break for tea and coffee, we had three prepared speeches. In “Tick Tock (goes the clock)”, Claire O’Brien, giving her third speech for Toastmasters, presented an interesting idea for a citizen’s basic income scheme. Then Patrick Hynes gave an entertaining speech titled “Sekora’s Shop”, in which he recounted some stories from his time in Romania. Finally, we had a guest speaker. Des Doyle, former president of Tullamore Toastmasters, came back to the club to talk to us on the subject “What Toastmasters did for me”. He told us how Toatmasters had helped him in his personal and professional life, and about his career on the radio and in teaching communication skills.

All in all, it was an enjoyable evening, and it presented an excellent demonstration of what Tullamore Toastmasters is all about: a supportive, friendly learning environment, enlivened with good humour and wit.

Open Night, Thursday 27th September 2012

Tullamore Toastmasters is having an Open Night this coming Thursday (the 27th). Come along to the Tullamore Court Hotel at 8 p.m. for wine and a friendly chat before the meeting. The meeting itself will be tailored so that newcomers will feel welcome and included.

Tullamore Toastmasters meet every second Thursday, and every meeting is open to the public. Anyone who wants to join, or wants to have a look, or is mildly curious, or is just at a loose end on a Thursday evening is always welcome to come along. But the upcoming meeting on Thursday the 27th will be particularly good for first-timers. Do come and join us!

Great Start to the New Year for Tullamore Toastmasters Club

Tullamore Toastmasters club commenced into the New Year on an optimistic note with positive viewpoints on topics featuring throughout the night. There was great attendance and everyone was in high spirits. For many the Tullamore Toastmasters Club is much more than a place where they can develop their public speaking and leadership skills. It is also a social outlet; a place to meet new people and exchange stories and laughs from the humorous topics that always feature at our meetings.

Speakers at our last meeting included Patricia Dunne who brought us on a virtual journey throughout Poland with her speech entitled ‘ my visit to Poland’ and Nuala Murtagh-Carton with a thought provoking speech entitled ‘the state of the nanny state’. Fionnuala Galvin gave her advanced speech ‘speaking off the cuff’ on the iconic Titanic disaster and really portrayed her skills gained at Toastmasters as she confidently spoke and quoted facts.

Our next Toastmasters meeting takes place in the Tullamore Court Hotel this Thursday 26th January at 8:30. As always, we welcome guests to come along and see what its all about or bring a friend for support if you’re feeling apprehensive.

Tullamore Toastmasters can be emailed at or can be found at and on Facebook. We’ve also just joined Twitter and can be twitted at tullamoretoastmaster@tullamore.