May 2019

May 2019: Prize Quiz

Guest edited by Alex Knibbs, Division G Director


  • Email completed crossword to by Friday 28th June 2019
  • All correct answers will be entered in a prize draw. Winners and Answers will be published in the Late June Edition

Win Mini Notebook and Pen Set

Item 6850K

As Toastmasters we hear quite a lot about rhetorical devices (did you know you can even obtain a Master’s degree in Rhetoric?)

The quiz below focusses on a range of rhetorical devices. The first two clues are straightforward cryptic clues; for the rest I provide actual examples of each rhetorical device.

Rationale I’ll amend for rhetorical device (12)







Pear moth squashed for figure of speech (8)






‘Nice to see you, to see you, nice’ is an example of this type of rhetorical instrument (8)






ML King’s “I have a dream … “speech made great use of this technique (8)





‘I’ve told you a million times not to exaggerate’ is an example of this rhetorical instrument (9)





Cuckoo, woof woof and screech are examples of (12)






‘He was as graceful as a fridge falling down a flight of stairs’, is an example of … (6)




Kate and Sidney … not steak and kidney!, is an example of a … (10)






Education, education, education (8)






An understatement in which an affirmative is expressed by negating its opposite is the definition of this rhetorical instrument e.g. ‘I was not a little upset’ (8)





Solve each clue and then rearrange all the letters in the green shaded squares to reveal the name of the US city where the very first Toastmasters meeting was held in 1924

Answers to April Newsletter Quiz

With the distraction of the District conference the quiz setter Elizabeth Jordan beat the District with no completely correct submissions.

1.    Engaging ……. is the name of new Pathways path that was introduced in February 2019? Answer: Humour (6)

2.    The month in 2018 in which Pathways was rolled out in Region 11, including D71. Answer: March (5)

3.    The number of semi-finals that will be held at the D71 Norwich conference? Answer: Eight (5)

4.    The D-Day ……. are the special Guest Act appearing at the Norwich Conference? Answer: Darlings (8)

5.    Lark Doley has declared this Toastmaster Year, The Year of the …… Answer: Wow (3)

6.    The 2018–2019 International Speech Contest is the first to include ……….. quarterfinals. Answer = Region (6)

7.    One job of the Base Camp Manager is to ……… level completion. Answer: Verify (6)

8.    One of the four Toastmasters Core Values. Answer: Excellence (10)

9.    The number of paths now available in Pathways. Answer: Eleven (11)


Special Section: Membership building case studies

By Daniel Sandars DTM, Public Relations Manager

It is obvious when you think about it! Across the District we have a diverse range of clubs appealing to different catchments and these each require and have evolved different Public Relations strategies. I’ve decided to seek some best practice examples to help provide ideas that others could take inspiration from. This is not a complete typology of model PR strategies, far from it.

  • The big city club: Manchester has a population of c.510,000 and Manchester Orators came to my attention because they had already added 34 new members by mid-February. I was impressed by their website with online joining facilities.
  • The county or county town club: Prominent open or guest nights and an earlier open night case study by John Cox brought clubs like East Midlands Speakers to my attention. There are c. 250,000 people living within their 30-mile radius catchment. A similar number live near Northampton Speakers club where I have personal experience
  • The rural town club. Speak Easy Mallow, Ireland came to my attention with the most robust press coverage. Mallow has around 12,000 people. I’ve also been able to get Naas Toastmasters in Ireland to tell me about what they do, and they have c.22,000 living in their area.
  • The campus club: Another club I have experience with is Cranfield Speakers, which is a campus-based community club and the fresher’s fair open night is the heart of their PR strategy.

A pattern, if it exists, across the top three categories goes from most new members finding the club for themselves via good web presence to the club going out finding the new blood with boots on the ground community PR.

Big City

Manchester Orators

By Jim Gregory DTM

After I had presented a session at the division contest in Leeds, Daniel Sandars asked if I would write an overview of Manchester Orators to share with readers of the magazine, and here it is…

Manchester Orators chartered in 2003. It was set up by me and 2 others. Only one of us had ever heard of Toastmasters and the ‘expert’ who had visited clubs in the US was a German guy called Thomas Bungard. From the very earliest days the club embraced diversity. The club always had a welcoming, casual but committed atmosphere.

Being based in Manchester meant that we attracted many students and people from all over the globe that were temporarily working in the city. We never ‘targeted ‘ any demographic or area but the club was targeted by all the people of all ages and backgrounds that wanted to develop their personal skills.

Today we do very little active promotion of the club. We are currently running a SpeechCraft course that will produce new members. In addition to personal recommendations and friends bringing guests, we do get visitors joining via Meetup and from their search of the Internet. For that reason, we have always had a website that is aimed at answering questions but telling them that the best way to experience and judge the value of Toastmasters is to visit the club.

When the club reached over 40 members we decided to have extra meetings each month. We now have 4 meetings per month. Two are open meetings and two are members only meetings. Attendance at the open meeting is usually between 40 and 50 people with 12-15 being visitors. The members only meetings have around 25 attendees and because we need less explanation we manage more Table Topics and 4 speeches.

All guests are welcomed at the door and available members then usually chat with them and give them the agenda. We never try to rush or push membership on them. Guests can visit an open meeting as often as they like without joining, but of course we do remind them that to get the full benefit of Pathways and all the club benefits, they need to join.

Signing members up at meetings used to be an issue. Factors such as the pro-rata effect (Which can delay some people signing up) and the need to read often bad handwriting caused delays and errors. Since we switched to an online sign up, using the services of Go-Cardless to set up Direct Debits (DD), we have had a very smooth sign-up process. The DD also means that we do not have to chase everyone at renewal time and club ‘cash-flow’ is always healthy. We usually manage to get the Beat-the-clock and Talk-up Toastmasters etc. awards.

With the old road to DTM we used to just use educational speeches and individual mentoring to ‘onboard’ members. The new Pathways has had an unexpected effect of some members becoming confused and reluctant to embrace the online system. We have had special training sessions and have produced videos to share with new members to get them started. Recently, we have set up a series of automatic emails using MailChimp. The auto generated emails are set to be sent out as a drip feed over an initial period. These introduce the new member to the club procedures in small digestible chunks. They introduce them to the use of EasySpeak and Pathways.

The club has always also had a strong social aspect for members to get together outside of meetings. There is the regular cinema club, and there have been fun runs, theatre visits, comedy club visits, restaurant visits, show visits, TEDx visits and hikes and even rock climbing to ‘enjoy’.

One area that the club has always had to work on is that of long-term retention of members. This is because of the nature of our base. Since the club has a high proportion of transient and student members there is always going to be a ‘churn’. Fortunately, we have always had a strong core of regular capable members to work on the committee and help. Some of our members leave to join other clubs and even start new clubs if they move to an area or country that does not have one. Some have remained members of our related online group Advanced Orators.

Another beneficial aspect of having a relatively high membership and a strong bank balance has been the club’s ability to sponsor and help set up new clubs. In addition to Advanced Orators, Manchester Orators sponsored and helped to set up Warrington Toastmasters, Didsbury Speakers and Salford Speakers. The club is now set to spin off another club and members are currently launching Manchester Communicators which will meet in rooms kindly donated by Manchester Metropolitan University.

Manchester Orators could be described as a successful club and with the continued support and dedication of key committee and general members it is certainly set to continue developing its members and new clubs. We all appreciate what Toastmasters adds to our lives and the joy of sharing the Toasties ethos.

If anyone reading this should want to ask any questions then I will be happy to respond via …Cheers.

County/ County town

Personal experience from chartering and running Northampton Speakers club (c. 215,000 population) taught me the power of a good Website and Meetup in coming to the attention of people we did not know already. Local Radio helped as well. Of the four of us that started Northampton only one of us had personal contacts, the rest of us came from away. Yet we had a steady stream of guests.

Word of mouth helps as well with guests coming in from training and networking groups. In the early days two of our members were socially active in Meetup and that helped make our meetup group popular and procure guests.

We are now adding open nights to our strategy and the most recent brought in 10 guests, four returning guests and two lapsed members. This year we have seen a better return from using paid for Facebook advertising than we did last year of trying to leaflet the train station, library, and café’s

East Midlands Speakers’ Club

Ian Joynes, Vice President of Education

1. What is your target market and what are the demographics of your target members?,

We have no target market. We cover a large area in the East Midlands with members travelling 30 miles to get to the club. We get a few members from Rolls Royce which is the biggest employer in Derby.

2. How is the club promoted? What works best?,

We promote via Club Website, Facebook, Meetup and recently Eventbrite. We ask members to try and tell people about the Guest Night.

3. How are guest welcomed?,

We have a special Agenda for Guest Nights which is a mini meeting format and we explain roles etc. We also have a Questions and Answers panel.

4. How are guests converted to members / how do they join (online, on paper)?,

Most guests join online. A few pay on the night.

5. Do you make use of the TI membership drives (Smedley Award, Talk Up Toastmasters, Beat the Clock) or the Individual Membership Sponsor program?

We don’t use TI membership drives. Turnover of members is high and it’s a struggle to get members to do roles and officer roles.

6. Are there limits to the number of times a member can visit as a guest?,

No limits I am aware of. 1 or 2 guests come a couple of times and then don’t join.

7. How does your club orient new members and get them involved?

We are not very good at orienteering new members as explained above. It depends on the Club Officers. VPE books the Ice Breaker speeches in. It’s hard to get a balance with new members between them volunteering for a role and pushing them to do one.

8. What does your club do to ensure longer term member retention?

Nothing, currently. We have nothing for retention. We are good at getting members but they seem to leave after a couple of speeches.

Rural town

Pat Sexton, the Vice President of Public Relations of Speak Easy Mallow (c. 12,000 population) has been rather too busy contesting at the District Conference of late. However, I’ve been really impressed with the Public Relations at that club. Every month, without fail, Pat has obtained coverage in two to three local newspapers gaining very many column-inches of coverage. In addition to this the club vigorously promotes and judges a schools speaking contest and takes part in the town literary festival. This community PR is backed up with an effective blog site and Facebook.

Literary Speaking Literary Speaking John B Keane’s The Letter is hilariously delivered by Sean Corcoran.

Pat’s mission has been to keep the club in the public eye at the heart of the community.

Naas Toastmasters

Stephen Mulvaney, Vice President of Public Relations

[What is very noticeable in contrast to the bigger city examples is the well-defined poster drop off run requiring boots on the ground to deliver them as well as local radio and press]

Social Media Tools

  • Website:
  • Facebook page
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • WhatsApp group (two groups; existing members and guests who have attended a meeting)
  • Hootsuite (can use to post to Facebook, LinkedIn & twitter at the same time)
  • Meetup (currently not used by Naas Toastmasters as there is ~€8 monthly charge to setup a group)
  • Agree PR budget with committee approval. Example expenditure includes flier printing costs and promoting Facebook posts

Start of year:

  • Prepare for first open night in September
  • Setup recurring Facebook event on Facebook and setup all meeting dates for coming year to end of your term on 30 June.
  • Setup dates in the calendar on the website calendar
  • Ensure visitors to website – see the next meeting date on website on the landing page. So, they know the club is active. I usually update the webpage once a month, for the next 2 meeting dates.
  • Prepare an open night flier and share it on social media. Print 20 copies and put up around Naas town (1 hour); Garda station, Supervalu, Kildare Co.Co. (side door often open), Tesco Extra, Library, Swans, GAA club, Tea Convent Rooms, Town House Hotel, your workplace.

Repeat for open night in January

Regularly post social media to keep potential guests and members up to date

Try make posts either educational or have a news factor (who won the gavel etc.). Best posts have pictures of members at the meeting, Christmas party etc. Gets more clicks.

Use Facebook and pay to promote posts (usually €2 is enough at a time). Do this ahead of big events only (open night (Sep & Jan), ahead of contest, unusual meetings etc.)

Do radio interview on Kildare FM

Write article in local newspapers (Kildare Now, Leinster Leader, Kildare Post)

Attend committee meetings and give update on PR activity

Respond to queries from potential guests received via social media. Link in with VPM where appropriate.

Ensure website ALWAYS shows next 2 meeting dates very clearly on first page (time & date). Webpage is designed to get potential guests to contact VP Membership & Eileen takes over from there in converting them to members. Front page of website is basic but is up to date and covers

  • Next meeting dates (time & place)
  • Reasons to attend
  • Benefits
  • Membership Costs
  • How to Join

Campus Club

There are two articles here. The first is a reprint that describes the Fresher fair and open night (District 71 Newsletter December 2016 p6-7) and the second is the emerging PR strategy that underpins it all

Cranfield Speakers Club: Fresher’s and demo night success!

By Vicky Lester, Mar Batista, Sara Fane, and Daniel Sandars

October for Cranfield Speakers club is without doubt the busiest month for both our PR activities and guest attendance at meetings.

It may be unique to our club but being located on the campus of Cranfield University gives us a peak interest period that starts in October when new students arrive on campus to start their studies.

The University is a research-intensive postgraduate university located just outside of Milton Keynes in Bedfordshire. The majority of the students are studying yearlong Master’s degrees, but there is a significant population of doctoral students studying for around three years.

The Cranfield Speakers club (District 71, Area H 44) membership base is drawn from community members, staff, and students. It benefits from being highly multinational and multicultural, but regularly expands to nearly 30-40 members or shrinks to 10-14 core members with the comings and goings of students.

There are fresher’s fair events that take place early October where students can find out about what’s going on in the area and sign up for things they are interested in. It is key for Cranfield Speakers club to be seen at these events. The earlier students can find out about us and how Toastmasters can help them with both their communication and leadership skills, the better, they can make sure it’s in their schedule from the start!

A focus we must peak their interest is highlighting how the club can help them prepare for presentations, practising to deliver their message to their tutors and peers confidently.

Along with promoting our club at the fairs, we advertise that we are having an open demo meeting in October that they can come along to and find out more about the club and exactly what happens at a meeting.

On average we receive 200 names/e-mail addresses signing up as being interested, this helps us also e-mail them all prior to our demo meeting as a reminder of when it’s taking place and where.

Our committee members work brilliantly at the fresher’s fairs talking to students, and then also networking at the club meetings ensuring we’re speaking to as many students as possible and answering their questions.

We are also very lucky to have faculty on campus that mention our club when doing their own lectures on communication skills as they know the benefits it can bring to their students.

Both last year and this year we had approximately 100 students at our open demo meeting, and of course we welcome guests to come to any meeting, therefore some of the following meetings usually have high numbers too where some were unable to make the main demo evening. For these meetings we ensure we book a lecture room that can cater for more people!

At the open demo night, we focus on a shorter program with an example of an experienced speaker and a beginner as well as fun accessible table topics, well explained roles, and a strong well led evaluation team. We also allow ourselves more time for networking with our guests all helped along with an exciting range cakes and refreshments.

The relatively few core members of the club are helped by half a dozen or more visiting Toastmasters from Area G44 along with a few former members. On behalf of the Cranfield Speakers club I would like to thank those wonderful Travelling Toasties.

When the students have completed their studies, they leave to go back home and hopefully continue their Toastmasters journey at another club near to them. We hope we are helping raise the profile of Toastmasters internationally with the diverse member base we have each year!

A key benefit we find with having a high turnover of members is that you regularly have a different audience to talk to, never getting too ‘comfortable’ with the same faces looking at you.

One of our aims as a committee is to try and increase our percentage of members to be from local businesses, this will help reduce the risk of having too few members to keep the club running particularly during the Summer when students leave…and then having more of us to network at the demo meeting, it’s an absolutely fantastic night, but we all need plenty of rest after it!!

If you’re in the area we’d love to welcome any passing by Toastmaster to visit us!

We meet every 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month, 6pm, L&D room, building 33, Cranfield University campus, Beds.




At Cranfield Speakers PR is everybody’s responsibility

By Anita Devi, VP of PR #TeamCranfield and is developing a growing team of individuals to support succession planning and club growth.

Whilst the Toastmasters calendar runs from July to June for Cranfield Speakers (#TeamCranfield hereafter), situated on a university campus, they need to think about the academic year cycle. In this article Anita Devi, walks us through their recruitment drive and on-going Public Relations (PR) activities.

#TeamCranfield consists of members who are in employment and locally established, as well as visiting students at the university. We strongly believe PR is a team effort and involves four key stages:

  1. Event Information

We all lead busy lives, so informing members and prospective members about upcoming events is a vital part of the on-going cycle of PR. It builds momentum and excitement. We communicate this through five different social media channels using a combination of designed graphics, suitable text and our #TeamCranfield hashtag. The platforms are used interdependently too. For example, a link to Meetup is placed on other platforms. We avoid using a branded template, as each message we want to be specific to the event to demonstrate creativity and diversity. Toastmasters set the themes and are given creative licence to suggest any suitable graphics. On some occasions, the PR Team take on board the theme, but create their own graphic, suitable for the audience. Our messages are designed to invoke curiosity, awe and wonder. Many involve a ‘call to action’ to get involved or respond to a question. The consistent branding element of our campaigns is our use of colours and #TeamCranfield.

For our Open Demo night each year (held in October), we also produce an A5 flyer that is distributed at Freshers’ Fairs and other university events. Club members volunteer to stand at stalls and talk to new students. We host a main open night, which usually attracts over 100 students … food being the main attraction! The format of the meeting models a usual club meeting with an X-Factor edge. The club meeting following open night is also demo night, so students still thinking about joining can come again.

  1. The invite

All #TeamCranfield members know they have a responsibility to invite people to the club, throughout the year. So, in addition to sharing our social media posts, many share their stories on their timelines. This has led to people within their network asking questions and sometimes joining #TeamCranfield as well as clubs in other parts of the country.

  1. The experience

To start the recent storyboard for our #WowFactor Film, we asked members and guests how they would describe #TeamCranfield These are the words that came forward:

  • Welcoming
  • Friendly
  • Multicultural / Diverse
  • Intergenerational
  • Encouraging
  • Supportive
  • Motivational
  • Enthusiastic
  • Safe to share vulnerability
  • Hospitality

All these words describe the culture of our club, that is a collaborative responsibility to embed and sustain. Giving feedback is a regular part of the club and often used for social media messages. Guests at our everyday meetings, all receive a welcome ribbon and are invited to briefly share how they found the meeting.

  1. Follow-up

Follow-up, after a meeting is critical. At #TeamCranfield this operates on three levels:

  1. From a PR perspective, we share photos, videos and animations on our social media outlets, usually within 24 hours. This is particularly useful for keeping connected with #TeamCranfield Alumni. Members are tagged in and so they too share and celebrate club successes regularly.
  2. Our Vice President of Membership follows-up with guests, encouraging them to either join or come again.
  3. Finally, new members are allocated Mentors, who support them through their first three speeches.

At #TeamCranfield, we are very proud of our members, club ethos and team approach. So, what’s next? We are currently exploring the use of video recording of speeches. We’ve invested in some equipment and are now experimenting in how we can use this effectively. Watch this space for updates.

Richard Branson is often quoted as saying, “A good PR story is infinitely more effective than a front-page ad.” For #TeamCranfield this is SO true because we believe PR is everybody’s responsibility.

Cranfield Speakers Club have recently produced a #WowFactor Video

Guest Division B (South West Ireland)

By Barry Lyons, Division B Director

Hello fellow toastmasters. You are very welcome to Division B guest contribution to this Month’s D71 magazine. I had the great honour of attending the D71 Conference in Norwich which took place recently. What a wonderful occasion it was and congratulations to all involved in running a super conference. Well done to the local Norwich club and the district leadership team in producing a wonderful event. Our division B contestants Jane Sheehan and Pat Sexton did their families, clubs, areas and division proud. They surely gave their personal best performances on stage and I am very proud of them as our Division B representatives. I had the privilege of interviewing the candidates during the candidate showcase and I also had the honour of being contest chair for the Humorous speech final. The power of the toastmasters’ programme helped me to perform this role and I am living proof that anything is possible once you put your mind to it.

Division B straddles most of the province of Munster in the South West of Ireland comprising counties Kerry, Cork (North of the river Blackwater), Limerick, Clare and North Tipperary. Noted for its tradition in Irish folk music, and with many ancient castles and monasteries in the province, Munster is a tourist’s paradise destination. Of course, rugby has also put the province on the map and hopefully this will continue.

The Division is divided into 4 areas:

  • Area 13 – Shannon, Raheen, Kilrush and Ennis. Area Director Donnacha Smyth.
  • Area 17 – Fermoy, Failte, Speak Easy. Area Director Helsa Giles.
  • Area 24 – Limerick, Nenagh, Thomond, Killaloe, Roscrea. Area Director Rose Walsh.
  • Area 36 – Tralee, Killarney, West Limerick, Listowel, Dell, Fexco. Area Director Derry Butler.

Listowel has just chartered this year and I spent a wonderful evening in their company last Friday night the 3rd of May as they celebrated this great achievement. Home of the late great playwriter JB Keane Listowel should thrive as a Toastmasters club due to the natural talent that I witnessed on Friday. More on this below from the clubs VPPR Tom Dillon.

All clubs are trying their best to keep toastmasters alive in their area and it can be difficult at times to keep the momentum going especially if you lose some members. There is a lot of transition nowadays in the work scene and this can be felt when it comes to membership retention. The decline in rural population is also posing difficulties as is the new Pathways programme. Clubs might struggle to reach goal targets for the next year or so while the transition takes place. Tom O Keeffe President of the Limerick club has put a lot of work into promoting Pathways. We also held area information nights between clubs with members bringing along their laptops and going through the process live. This was very helpful to members.

However, there are ways to enhance recruitment of members and word of mouth is probably one of the best ways to do so. Another great way to spread the word is the youth leadership programme. See below the article from the Nenagh club in relation to this. Nenagh is one of the top clubs in the Division now and I’m sure they are getting a spin off from all their hard work.

At this stage of the season I would ask all clubs to take stock of where their club is at right now and consider the following: Is your club in good standing, are you fulfilling the toastmaster promise and mission, are you doing everything possible to promote the benefits of toastmasters and opening your club’s doors to the possibility of recruiting new members. Are you looking to put a strong executive in place and shake things up a little so that each member gets a chance to grow and develop?

Is there an element of – all is fine, we have adequate members, we have a cosy set up, we don’t want to change the present situation.

New members bring energy to a club and it is important that we all do our best to reach out to the huge potential of possible members that reside in and around our clubs.

Two very successful Divisional Contests were held over the year and a very high standard was witnessed by all who attended. Toastmasters is playing a huge part in developing our members in their public speaking, presenting, creativity and excellent leadership skills development. It was great to have Brenda Lannon and Daniel Sandars along as District representatives at our contest Finals.

Listowel Toastmasters raise a toast to their new club

By Tom Dillon, VPPR

Listowel Toastmasters held a charter dinner on Friday May 3rd to celebrate its establishment as a new Toastmasters club.

The charter dinner was attended by over 30 people including members of Listowel Toastmasters and friends from other clubs in Killarney, Tralee, West Limerick and Shannon.

Renowned for writers and poets such as John B. Keane and Brendan Kennelly, the creativity which has earned Listowel its distinction as the literary capital of Ireland helped make the night one to remember.

Members gave poetry readings specially composed for the occasion while there were also songs, jokes, funny poems and magic tricks.

President of Listowel Toastmasters John O’Connor paid tribute to the committee, club members and members of the neighbouring clubs who helped bring about the foundation of the new club which was officially chartered in March 2019.

Encouraging words for the future were given by Patricia O’Reilly, District 71 Director, who addressed the gathering along with Larry Lyons, Division B Director; Derry Butler, Area 36 Director and Gerard Mannix, Club Growth Director.

Listowel Toastmasters meets on the second and fourth Thursday of each month with a number of open nights held each year in the iconic John B. Keane’s bar.

Youth Leadership Program

by John Spillane Nenagh Toastmasters Club

Nenagh toastmasters have been delivering a youth leadership program for almost 30 years. The program was started by members who recognised the benefits of the Toastmasters communication and leadership program for transition year (TY) students.

This year a team of 7 toastmasters delivered the course to 130 students across 6 classes in two schools. Two toastmasters typically take one double class per week in place of the students regular English class. The first class is an introduction to the various toastmaster roles, combined with a talk on the benefits of being able to communicate effectively. All subsequent classes are conducted by the students as per a normal Toastmasters meeting with the Toastmasters limiting their input to short speech evaluations and guidance. We give a certificate at the end to each student. The success of the course is obvious by the time its finished as each student will have delivered two or more short 2-3-minute speeches and answered several topics. Others will have had leadership roles such as Toastmaster or Topics-master.

Our experience over the years means that we have streamlined the course to be easy to deliver while making it a rewarding experience for both the toastmaster and the students.

The A Team that deliver the Youth Programme in Nenagh

Heading to Norwich

Representing Division B at the Norwich Conference are Jane Sheehan, Killarney Toastmasters in The International Speech Contest and Pat Sexton, Speakeasy Toastmasters in the Table Topics and Evaluation Contests. Pictured with Sean Corcoran, President Speakeasy Toastmasters.

Going’s on at Speak Easy Mallow

Literary Speaking

Speakeasy Toastmasters annual Theme Night was an absolute treat for bookworms and members alike. Club members presented wonderful interpretative readings from famous Irish writers and former Club members who had stories published.

From Left – Liam Flynn, MC, Bobby Buckley, Sean Corcoran, Noel O’Connor, Michael Cronin, Pat Sexton, event curator. Seated – Anne Buckley, Loretto Barry, Bridie O’Connell and Deirdre Linehan.


I wish to thank all who helped me throughout the year and to the Area Directors for their input in keeping the wheel turning. To the clubs for their continuous leadership and commitment to the toastmaster mission. To my assistant Tom O Keeffe for his support throughout the year and to the District team for all their time and effort.


History #13 The 1990’s

History #13 The 1990’s

By Ted Corcoran DTM, Past International President

In the three years following the setting up of the district in 1972, all the elected district officers came from England. This was followed by four years of Irish leaders, followed by four more of English. It should be noted that there were no divisions at this time and area governors were appointed. There were just two areas each in Ireland and England. From 1983/84 onwards, the senior team alternated annually, between Ireland and England. This management structure, although understandable from a cost, communication and travel point of view, meant a complete absence of senior leaders for that year in the alternate country. It also meant that the new DG every year had not been involved at a senior level the previous year. Add in the various challenges listed earlier and any success was a miracle. This was never likely to lead to exponential growth and success at international level. However, this problem was well recognised by district leaders and, in 1987/88, DG Harry Knox (DLS Waterford) proposed, and the District Council approved, a split District Executive to take effect from July 1st, 1991.

Then, decisions by TI presented an opportunity to introduce such an arrangement. The Board decided that all districts, from July 1991, would include a Public Relations Officer on their District Executive teams and, in the case of D71, approved a split executive between Ireland and England. At the 1990 Autumn District Council meeting the following three proposals were passed, almost unanimously.

  1. “That with effect from the District administrative year 1991/92, the position of Public Relations Officer be subject to election, by the District 71 District Council and, subject to satisfactory performance, be in line for progression through higher Executive offices.”
  2. “That the structure of the split District Executive be divided equally between England and Ireland in such a way as the District Governor and Lieutenant Governor Marketing be elected from the alternate country to the Educational/Training Lieutenant governor and Public Relations Officer, and that this will take effect from the District year 1991/92 as previously approved by the District 71 District Council in Spring 1987/88.”
  3. Where, for any reason, an elected District Officer is unable to continue his/her term of office, his/her replacement shall be a qualified member, selected from the same country as the officer retiring, and be subject to the ratification of the District 71 District Council.”

Member Spotlight: Tanya Barad

Member Spotlight

Name: Tanya Barad DTM

Date Joined Toastmasters: Mar 2013

Home Club – Heart of England (also a member of Walsall Speakers and New Street Speakers)

Journey Highlights:

  • Been Secretary, VPPR, VPE, President and Area Director (Area 39 inc new 42, Division E)
  • Organised multiple training days including the one for Elizabeth Nostedt, Regional Advisor, in Jan 2019
  • Pathways Ambassador
  • Easyspeak Guru for D71
  • Realignment Committee Chair in 2017-2018
  • Got my DTM July 2018
  • Finished 1st path in Pathway (Presentation Mastery)
  • Received District 71 Toastmaster of the Year for 2017-2018
  • Founding member of Walsall Speaker and New Street Speakers
  • Club Sponsor for Godiva Speakers and Walsall Speakers, Club Mentor for Deutsche Bank Birmingham and New Street Speakers
  • Got to Division E contest level in Evaluation 2019

Why did I join Toastmasters?

I had an unusual start to Toastmasters. I was 21, in my first post-education job and working mostly on conference calls with people in other countries. My manager received a lot of complaints that certain cultures struggled to understand me – I literally got introduced as “the girl you can’t understand”! So, my manager strongly encouraged me to go to Toastmasters and that is how I found my home club, Heart of England Speakers.

Over the months I focused on my communication skills and colleagues started to understand me better. I gained my confidence, invited my mom along as a hobby for her and we both got drawn into the Toastmasters world. As I progressed with my career as a Project Manager, I found myself requiring leadership skills, so I started to focus on these and joined the committee as VPPR and then VPE. I absolutely fell in love with the VPE role! I progressed on to President and Area Director but always find myself coming back to VPE.

How has Toastmasters helped you?

The obvious answers I would say are being a better speaker and leader. But Elizabeth Nostedt explains that we should describe the benefits of Toastmasters with your story of how it has helped you. I started Toastmasters as an immature, young adult who didn’t really know much about the real world. Whilst I have grown up as a person in general, Toastmasters has been the real cause of how I became what I like to think of as a fully functioning adult. I can speak better, so I can say what I really want to say whether at work, with large crowds or with radio interview opportunities. I have a real understanding of leadership which has enabled me to have a career, allowed me to practise skills like organising events and take on managerial roles which I will soon need to use at work! I have confidence, meaning I now want to do more with my life, make my mark on the world and make an impact. But mostly, Toastmasters has given me opportunity. There are very few places in life where you can try something out of your comfort zone AND receive support whilst you do it. If it weren’t for Toastmasters, I would never have organised my first club officer training, which has led me to organising a training day which opened into charity events. I would never have spoken in public, which has led to presentations at work, being a guest speaker at events and then radio interviews. Without Toastmasters, I would probably still be a shy, quiet girl who was nervous making a phone call at work, not organising international events, speaking to hundreds of people and doing what I love in life.

What are you most proud of about your club?

I am a member of multiple clubs and it is the same answer for all 3: the members. There is something amazing about watching a member do something for the first time or do finally something they said they would never be able to do. When you see a member suddenly overcome a hurdle and give a good speech or especially Table Topic, that’s when I smile and am proud of my clubs for being able to help the member achieve this.

Bonus questions:

Highlight of the week: Receive Toastmaster of the Year at the Norwich Conference

Best advice you’ve ever been given: Think of all the great people in the world. They started where we are now. If they can do it, why can’t we?

Hobby: Fundraising and raising awareness of Endometriosis UK

#Norwich19 Contest and Election

#Norwich19 Conference Contests

Huge congratulations to our winners and all those who participated and helped! We did it! We held 12 contests over three days.

Eight of those contests were the semi-finals held on the Friday with some contestants being in two or more contests. One of those, Pat Sexton, described Friday as the most exciting and inspiring day he had ever witnessed at a conference. The semi finals were organised into paired contests each placing three into the finals. The 12 Division winners were allocated randomly across the paired contests. The finals of the Table Topics and International Speech Contests were held on the Saturday whilst the finals of the Humorous Speech and Evaluation Contests were held on the Sunday.

For 2019-20 District 71 will continue to run all four of these contests to a District final. On a Saturday at the District Council business meeting various alternatives of cutting back to three or two District contests, to ease financial and practical burdens, were discussed in a passionate debate, but no change won 117 out of 153 ballots cast with one spoilt ballot.

International Speech Contest

  1. Phillip Khan Panni
  2. Gerry Dunn
  3. Thomas Micklewhite

Table Topics Contest

  1. Vinette Hoffman-Jackson
  2. Pat Sexton
  3. Jon Carvel

Evaluation Contest

  • Simon Day
  • Vinette Hoffman-Jackson
  • Eileen Fleming

Humorous Speech Contest

  • Dermot Carey
  • Kate Trafford
  • William Feek

Images by James Warnes Photography

#Norwich19 Conference District Officer Elections

Images by James Warnes Photography

District Leadership Team 2019-2020

Left to Right:

  • Finance Manager Martin Foran (reappointed),
  • Administration Manager Jane Craggs (appointed),
  • District Director John Cox (elected),
  • Public Relations Manager Brenda Lannon (elected),
  • Club Growth Director Daniel Sandars (elected),
  • Program Quality Director Gerard Mannix (elected),
  • and stepping down Immediate Past District Director Patricia O’Reilly

Division Directors

Division A: Phillip O’Brien (elected)

Division B: Tom O’Keefe (elected)

Division C: Eileen O’Neill (elected)

Division D: Anthony Phelan (acclaimed)

Division E: Danny Banks (elected)

Division F: Rob Partridge (elected)

Division G: Natalie King (subsequently appointed)

Division H: John Kendall (elected)

Division J: (To be appointed)

Division M: Adrian Harney (elected)

Division N: Tina Norbury (elected)

Division S: Moira Beaton (elected)

May ’19 Welcome New Clubs

On the 20th of May two new corporate clubs chartered into District 71, bringing to 12 the new clubs chartered this program year. Very many congratulations to all involved and their hard work.

  1. Toastmasters Takeda (11 on the map below) is based in Dublin within the pharmaceutical company Takeda Ireland. It is aligned in Division J Area 7 and the sponsor and mentor was/is Mairead Murphy
  2. Cambridge Assessment and Cambridge University Press (12 on the map below) is aligned in Division G Area 41. The sponsors were Sultan Kus and Luc Moreau and the mentors are Robert Brooke and Martin Harnor

New Clubs in Dublin 2018-19 with latest addition, 11 Toastmasters Takeda

12 Cambridge Assessment and Cambridge University Press

Club growth is one of the most rewarding activities for our members. As a rule of thumb there are opportunities to found new corporate clubs in companies with 200 hundred or more professional and managerial staff. A second good starting point is a company that already has a Toastmasters Club at another location and this is the case with Toastmasters Takeda who have at least one sister club Takeda Toastmasters, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.

Another starting point are the connections between clubs or members and the company. Cambridge Assessment and Cambridge University Press Toastmasters Club grew from connections between the Cambridge Speakers Club and Cambridge University. Last year Cambridge Speakers ran a Speechcraft for a group of accountancy students at the University.

June ’19 Member Incentives

District Directors Member Incentive

By Patricia O’Reilly

Before I hang up my boots as District Director, I’m running a membership building campaign open to all members to strengthen our clubs before handing over to the incoming committee. This campaign runs in conjunction with the “Beat the Clock” and “Open Night” campaigns.

Between 1st June and 30th June:

Bring 3 new members into your club and win a Portable Bluetooth Speaker worth $37 or its monetary equivalent from the Toastmasters International shop together with a Member Badge with Magnetic Back and a Membership Pin (full colour).

Bring 2 new members into your club and win a Directors Notebook worth $14.50 or its monetary equivalent from the Toastmasters International shop together with either a Member Badge with Magnetic Back or a Membership Pin (full colour). 

Bring 1 new member into your club and win a Member Badge with Magnetic Back worth $8 together with a Membership Pin (full colour) worth $6.50 or the monetary equivalent from the Toastmasters International shop.

a new member can be:

  • a new member to toastmasters,
  • a dual member (an existing member of another toastmaster club) or
  • a reinstated member (a former member who is now ready to come back to toastmasters)

Remember: any member who joins a club in June pays an apportioned subscription to Toastmasters International of $30 (+$20 new member fee for brand new members).

To qualify for your prize, the new member(s) must be registered with Toastmasters International no later than 30th June. Send the name(s) of the new members(s) to me before the 7th July and I’ll check the membership list as at the 30th June.

The 11th Month! MEMBERSHIP GROWTH Beat the Clock

1ST MAY – 30TH JUNE 2019

By Gerard Mannix, Club Growth Director

We are currently on our 11th month, with just one month until the conclusion of our Toastmasters year 2018-2019.

Congratulations to all in District 71 who have achieved great results so far, and thank you.

A growing club and subsequently a growing district, is dynamic, and everyone benefits. With a final push for more new members we may regain distinguished status.

The aim remains to have membership numbers in a strong position at the end of the Toastmasters year, on June 30th.

Officers are encouraged to check that all renewals have been returned to Toastmasters headquarters.

This 11th hour push for new members has the following incentives.


  • Add 1-2 members ………..$ 50 voucher to purchase goods at TI store
  • Add 3-4 members…………$ 100 voucher to purchase goods at TI store
  • Add 5+ members………….$ 150 voucher to purchase goods at TI store
  • Add +5 members to enter a draw for a ticket to the Killarney conference, May 2020

PLEASE, PLEASE never lose that momentum. CLUB GROWTH Director, Gerard Mannix

Open Night Pull-Up Banner Incentive

By Daniel Sandars DTM, Public Relations Manager

They stand Two Meters tall and offer high impact portable branding at your club events.

To Do

  1. Hold an Open Night between now and 30th June 2019
  2. Add one new member from that Open Night before 30th June 2019.
  3. Email a copy of an Open Night promotional item (e.g. flyer) plus a copy of guest list highlighting who joined.

Closing date for applications Sunday 7th July 2019

Open Night Tips: