Carmel opened the meeting with her customary safety and mobile phone address— keep phones switched off or on silent. Toast Master for the night was Tony O Callagan who made sure the meeting went smoothly. Plenty of praise for each speaker, which was good to see. Tony gave Mary Sands and Chris McCabe some Toastmasters coins for their fantastic progress on Speeches throughout the years.
Word Master for the evening was Philip Robb using the word Peccable, meaning flawed. The word was very commonly used in the 18th century but not so much today. The word was used 4 times over the duration of meeting.
Poet Master was Oliver Quinn. Oliver delivered a very thought provoking poem called Who You Are by Erin Hanson. Perfect set up for the evening.
Who You Are
By Erin Hanson
You are not your age,
Nor the size of clothes you wear,
You are not a weight,
Or the colour of your hair.
You are not your name,
You are not your sweet fake smile.
You are all the books you read,
And all the words you speak,
You are your morning sleepy voice,
And all the smiles you try to hide,
You are the sweetness in your laughter,
And every tear you’ve cried,
You’re the songs you sing so loudly,
When you know you are all alone,
You are the places you have been to,
And the one you call home,
You are the things you believe in,
And the people you love.
You are the photos in your bedroom,
And the future you dream of,
You are made of so much beauty,
But it seems that you forgot,
When you decided that you were defined,
By all the things you’re not.
"Life is sweeter"
First up on the night was Andrea Burns with a speech called “Life is sweeter.” Andrea talked about the sugar problem the world now faces. A lot of shocking facts were shared, I was surprised at some of the foods that there was high levels of sugar in.
The great myth that the slimming world has got everyone believing is that fat is the problem, when it is really sugar that puts on weight. Andrea talked about how must of the foods that are packaged health and fat free are laced with large amounts of sugar.
Andrea had a few examples of food products that she handed around the room, one small bar was 90% sugar. The sugar problem is starting to get into the mainstream but it can't be fast enough.
People need to be made aware of the harmful effects of sugar in the long term. Another impeccable delivered speech from Andrea. Always a great joy to hear her speak. Very professional and someone to aspire to.
Second on the night was Seamus Laverty who was just off the plane from an AI meeting in Zimbabwe. His speech entitled, “Should We?” talked about the imminent concept of AI. Seamus delivered an Ted Talk standard speech, his power point presentation was of the highest standard.
Words were kept to an absolute minimum with images taking centre stage. It was clear that Seamus was very passionate about the subject and this was soaked up from the crowd.
Seamus left no stone unturned, looking at AI from every perspective, the pro and cons and what it could mean for the world. On the plus side, test have already been done to help stimulate areas of the brain, which would help with diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer's.
Alittle over the standard time but Seamus really held the crowd throughout, there was even some Q&A at the break. Well done Seamus.