On Saturday 10 November, at the Maldron Hotel, Oranmore, the Toastmasters of Area 12 came together for the divisional finals of the Humorous Speech and Tabletopics® Contest, in which Galway Pride’s Rob Partridge was competing.
Loughrea Toastmasters, a new chapter of Toastmaster International, having only chartered earlier this year, took first and second place in the Humorous Speech contest and second and third place in Tabletopics®.
Ann O’Malley, a member of the Galway club, regaled the audience with a tale of walking the Camino de Santiago and proudly took third place while Sean Thompson took second after telling the audience about his escapades while driving a campervan and ending up an unlikely entry in a St. Patricks Day parade.
Ultimately, it was Galway Pride’s Rob Partridge, a dual member of Loughrea and Oranmore Toastmasters, who wowed the judges, and took first place, by telling the audience about his experiences of his first love and drunken confessions.
“Knowing who I was up against I knew it was going to be a challenge but who knew unrequited love and heartbreak could be so funny?!” said Rob.
He will now go on to represent Loughrea (and Oranmore) and Area 12 at the Divisional finals on November 24 at the Loughrea Hotel & Spa. The event, hosted by Loughrea Toastmasters, will see competitors from all over Ireland coming forward to represent their clubs and areas and hopefully win a place in the District final.
The day will also see contestants take part in the Toastmasters Tabletopics® contest.
Each speaker is given the same topic and asked to speak for up to two minutes on that subject. After being given the topic “Your value is not based on your productivity,” at Saturday’s contest, Marcello Deidda, a Loughrea Member, took third place, while Rob Partridge took second. Gerry McNulty, a long-time member of Oranmore Toastmasters, took first place in what is said to be one of the hardest public speaking contests out there as contestants get no time for preparation and are disqualified for not talking long enough or for talking too much!
The official results of the contest, hosted by Corrib Oranmore Toastmasters, were:
Humorous Speech Tabletopics
1st Rob Partridge (Loughrea) 1st Gerry McNulty (Corrib Oranmore)
2nd Sean Thompson (Loughrea) 2nd Rob Partridge (Loughrea)
3rd Ann O’Malley (Galway) 3rd Marcello Deidda (Loughrea)
With Loughrea taking four of the six places at Saturdays contest the club can be proud of the achievements they’ve accomplished. Only becoming an official club in June of this year, Martin Foran, the founding member and incumbent President of Loughrea Toastmaster, has put some phenomenal work into getting the club up and running.
“I’m very proud of what we’ve achieved so far and grateful to the hard work of the members who help make the club so successful” said Mr. Foran.
“I’m absolutely delighted with the success of our members this weekend and as a new club we’re very proud of Rob, Sean and Marcello and look forward to supporting Rob in the Divisional Finals on the 24th.”
Toastmasters International is a non-profit educational organisation that teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network of meeting locations. The organisation’s membership exceeds 313,000 in more than 14,650 clubs in 126 countries. Since 1924, Toastmasters International has helped people of all backgrounds become more confident in front of an audience. For information about local Toastmasters clubs, please visit www.toastmasters.org