Welcome to Tralee Toastmasters

Looking to improve your speaking and leadership skills?

Since 1924, Toastmasters International has helped more than 4 million people just like you, become more confident speakers and leaders.

Tralee Toastmasters is dedicated to providing an encouraging, positive and supportive environment where you will learn how to overcome nerves, and speak with confidence and clarity.  You will also learn how to listen to fellow members and offer suggestions for improvement.

The atmosphere at our meetings is fun, friendly and relaxed, leading to an entertaining and educational experience.

We meet on the first and third Monday of the month in Kerins O’Rahillys Clubhouse, Strand Road, oppostie the Bon Secours hospital. The meetings start at 8pm and finish at 10pm. We have a short break at 9.

On arrival you will be welcomed by the Guest Greeter for the night. You will also be given a Guest Pack with information on our club and on Toastmasters. There is a 5 euro charge to cover the cost of room hire and tea and coffee. Then you can sit back and enjoy the meeting.

You will not be asked to speak, however, if you wish to do so, there will be an opportunity during the topics session to contribute! After the meeting we retire to the bar where the debate often continues till the small hours. We look forward to welcoming you to one of our meetings.

A message from Anthony Garvey, President, Tralee Toastmasters

It was with trepidation I attended my first meeting at Tralee Toastmasters. The president, a young woman in her mid-20s, chaired the proceedings more effectively than most CEOs I have worked with, and the meeting started bang on time, at 8pm.

Madam president outlined the menu for the evening: table topics (impromptu speaking) for starters. The main course would be a selection of three prepared speeches.

After coffee, to finish, more table topics and an evaluation session.

“Don’t worry, guests aren’t asked to speak,” a member beside me whispered reassuringly, as the topicsmaster rose to his feet. “But you can add-on to a topic, if you wish.”

The topicsmaster peered round before fixing his gaze on a middle-aged lady at the back of the room. “Would you care to share with us a moment in your life when you were embarrassed, Maureen?” he said.

Maureen told us about the evening she sat at a parish dinner, in the company of a well-known bishop.

The bishop turned to her during the meal and said: “I think my leg has gone to sleep, I can’t feel it.” He was rubbing his leg vigorously to stimulate the blood flow. “I think bishop,” Maureen said, “that’s my leg you’re rubbing.”

The first of the prepared speeches was delivered by a young man. He told us about exotic locations where he had scuba-dived.

He was followed by a middle-aged man, who shared his experience as father-of-the-bride and gave his top tips on how to prepare for the wedding day.

The final speech, by a woman in her 20s, was about the fear of speaking in front of an audience you have never met before:

“Turn up early,” she urged. “It will help you establish rapport with the audience, by meeting and greeting them as they arrive, and they will seem friendlier when you begin your speech.”

After coffee, the toastmaster adopted a different tack with a seasonal set of questions: “what type of lights did you like best at Christmas?” he asked.

One person said he liked the icicle-shaped lights that hung from the eves of houses. Another said she liked the strawberry-shaped, mini lights that twinkled on and off. When the two speakers had finished, there was still one hand raised at the back of the room, to which the Toastmaster gestured. An elderly man rose to address the topic.

“The lights I like best at Christmas,” he said “are the tail-lights of the visitor’s cars going back down my driveway.”

Looking back on my first meeting, I was impressed by the standard of the contributions and the warmth of the welcome. The speeches were interesting, the evaluations encouraging, and members young, and more mature, were keen to contribute on a wide range of table topics. Just as importantly, for me, though, was the atmosphere — it was electric. Spurred on by the excitement, I rose to speak for one minute, to add-on to a table topic about soap operas. When I sat down I was shaking, but I knew I belonged.

I came to Tralee Toastmasters to improve my communication and leadership skills and I succeeded, but I got far more than I expected.

Standing in front of a class, or a group of business people, is now a far less onerous task and I learned exactly what to do during those awkward silences when the presentation goes awry.

I discovered these secrets by listening to other members and watching how they tackle the same problems in a safe, Toastmasters environment.

But more rewarding than my own personal development has been building other members’ confidence.

Seeing someone you have mentored deliver a first-class speech or evaluation is just like being a proud parent watching your child shine — it really is a most fulfilling experience.

Tralee Toastmasters 1