Contest night was my first time in the new venue and I didn't know what to expect; overall feel of the building, location was good. The room had excellent acoustics and gave a professional feel for those that are using Newry Speaker’s to forward there career.
Carmel opened the meeting with her customary safety and mobile phone address (keep phones switched off or on silent).
Humorous Speech Contest
Then the night soon got underway; up first was the humorous speech competition with Edel Nolan acting as contest chair. She talked about the upcoming competition saying that she was looking forward forward to hearing everyone's speeches, and wished everybody the best of luck. Edel introduced the contestants for the competition,
Mary Sands and Oliver Quinn.
Mary Sands started the night off; her speech was entitled 'Technology' Mary talked about the effect of technology on society today, how it is both a blessing and a curse. An entertaining speech, and got a good few laughs from the crowd. I have great admiration for anyone that puts their name forward for the humorous speech category, as I personally think it’s one of the hardest to pull off. Well done Mary for a great opening to the night.
Oliver Quinn was up next, with his speech entitled: ‘What’s what.’ Oliver told a story of a new wedded couple’s first night of marriage, his topic took the audience on a tightrope until the end. People in attendance will know what I mean. Judges on the night were from the Dundalk club and were all suited and booted, representing their club to the highest standard. They stepped outside to decide on the winner. Both contestants were given certificates of participation. On the return of the judges it was announced that Oliver Quinn won. Well done Oliver and good luck in the next round. Details of that at the end.
Oliver Receiving his Award from Humorous Speech Contest Chair Edel Nolan
Table Topics Contest
Second up was the table topics competition, which had a completely
different set-up to typical speeches, with Tony acting as Contest Chair. All contestants were asked to leave the room. Then the topic was introduced to the judges and audience. Then one by one contestant’s were taken in and given the topic when they were at the back of the room, which was;
"All Is Fair In Love And War"
Contestants on the night in order of appearance were;
Each participant when given the topic all looked equally confused, A difficult topic picked by Tony but all talks were very well delivered and I really didn’t have a clue who would win.
Mary Sands up for the second time in the evening, talked about how there needed to be more love in the world as there was nothing but war. Delivered with great conviction.
Oliver Quinn also up for the second time took a different approach, the comedy element coming into play, referring back to his younger days when someone would go in rough on a tackle on the football field, they would just say, ‘all's fair in love and war,’ as a way of justifying what they did.
Marian Delduca disagreed with the statement, giving a compelling talk, saying that there was nothing fair about war as it brings nothing but heartache to all involved.
Edel Nolan was the most taken back by the title of the topic and took the longest to compose herself, then said she knew nothing about war but knew love was fair as she and her husband took equal responsibilities in the household.
The judges, for the second time went outside to deliberate. Again each of the contestants were given certificates of participation. Upon there return, the winner was announced. When Edel's name was called out she nearly fell off her chair in shock; she was overjoyed and rightfully so as she will now go on to the Area 19 final with Oliver at the Carrickdale Hotel.
(Area 19 comprises, Belfast Toastmasters, Citi Belfast Toastmasters, Lagan Valley Toastmasters, Newry Speakers Club, Dundalk Toastmasters and Drogheda Toastmasters)
Edel Nolan Receiving her Trophy from Contest Chair Tony O'Callaghan
The night was ended with the giving of some gifts to the guest judges and Daniel, a guest member from Germany. If you are reading Daniel it was good to have you in attendance; you made some good points when you took the floor. Hope to see you again in the future.
Winding Things Up
In summary, an excellent second meeting at the new venue. Nice to be part of the competition, so I know what is expected to compete. Tea, coffee, and biscuits was a nice little bonus and excellent for bonding the group. Well done Seamus for sorting that out. Thanks to all that attended, making it another excellent night. Let's make the next one even better.