Meeting January 26th 2022

Our President Claire welcomed members and guests to another great meeting with a full agenda as usual  — combining education and fun. We had a bit of  ‘malarkey’ (our word of the day) while working on improving our speaking and listening skills. 

One of our members, Ellen, took on the role of Toastmaster for the first time and did a great job presiding over a smoothly run  meeting. We started off with a wonderful poem from Noel – “Mid-Term Break” by Seamus Heaney, a very personal and moving account of loss and grief. 

This was followed by Patricia’s  lively Table Topics session which gave us  lots of food for thought. 

Our speeches section got off to great start with another entertaining speech from Aoife as she reflected on her cultural experiences living in South Korea. This was followed by a more serious discussion on leadership styles from João as we learned about the lasting impact that a great leader can have on a young company manager. 

Our President treated us to a speech on successful event management and we all gained a few tips on how to plan meetings and encourage participation. 

Towards the end of the meeting our three speech evaluators delivered constructive feedback to help our speakers and audience to further improve their skills and also benefited themselves from the very constructive evaluator feedback from our esteemed longest-serving member Peter. 

Judging by the  quick responses to our Listening Post questions posed by Eileen before the meeting wrapped up everyone had been listening attentively over the two hours. 

Looking forward to our next meeting already!

Viking Voices Meeting Note 22nd Sept 2021

This week’s meeting was both fun and motivating, as we all tried to further improve our
speaking skills in a friendly and supportive place.
Following Our president Claire’s opening remarks, Una B presided over our meeting as
Toastmaster with a fun and friendly demeanour that easily rivals Ryan Tubridy.
We heard a wonderful poem from Oonagh, and Eileen engaged us with a useful word of the
day – ‘shimmer’. I still think it was used in the meeting more times than you claimed Eileen,
but I will let you off that one!!
Natalia’s table topics went down a treat, with an autumnal theme throughout.
We were treated to a wedding speech by Noel, father-of-the-groom, that would rival any
wedding speech I have ever heard. It again shows the value of Toastmasters to help people
improve their speaking skills in a practical way.
This was followed by an example of how to handle mishaps as Ellen coped with unexpected
sound issues, and still managed to deliver a cracking speech. This reflects well on her
progress to date.
Then Patricia held the rear-guard, delivering a fun and high-class speech that grabbed her
audience’s attention, and puts a maker down for Vincent to match!
Our general evaluator Aine held court very well, showing her skills in a role that is
particularly challenging in our club.
Our evaluators delivered constructive feedback to help our speakers, as well as our audience,
to further improve their skills. And congratulations to Aoife for taking those first challenging
steps into evaluations!
Also, we had a lovely club moment. Our president Claire awarded an honorary membership
for this year to one of our longest-serving members and the heart-beat of our club – Peter
Kieran, DTM. It was a moment of warmth and celebration for our club, and reflects how
Toastmasters can help bring out the best in us all.

All Things Pass – Lao-Tzu

All things pass
A sunrise does not last all morning
All things pass
A cloudburst does not last all day
All things pass
Nor a sunset all night
All things pass
What always changes?


These change
And if these do not last

Do man’s visions last?
Do man’s illusions?

Take things as they come

All things pass

Viking Voices Meeting Note 8th Sept 2021

Our President welcomed members and guests to another great meeting at Viking Voices Toastmasters on the 8th September. We had a full agenda with lots of members taking on roles to contribute to the success of the meeting. 

We enjoyed a wide-ranging Table Topic session from Áine and were transported back to the Victorian era by our Poet Master Patricia with an Oscar Wilde poem. Our speeches section got off to a great start with a very entertaining first speech from Aoife with such amusing descriptions of cat behaviours.  We had a through-providing speech from Fionnuala as we heard about the experiences of a boy living though the North Strand 1941 bombing and 1954 floods. A very well researched speech from Karthik  got us thinking about the ups and downs of the COVID pandemic. The quick responses to our Listening Post questions posed by Diarmuid towards the end of the evening  showed just how closely everyone had engaged in the  meeting. A great start overall to our autumn 2021 sessions.

Below you can find poem that our Poet Master shared with us during the meeting:

Oscar Wilde – “The Harlot’s House”

We caught the tread of dancing feet,
We loitered down the moonlit street,
And stopped beneath the harlot’s house.

Inside, above the din and fray,
We heard the loud musicians play
The ‘Treues Liebes Herz’ of Strauss.

Like strange mechanical grotesques,
Making fantastic arabesques,
The shadows raced across the blind.

We watched the ghostly dancers spin
To sound of horn and violin,
Like black leaves wheeling in the wind.

Like wire-pulled automatons,
Slim silhouetted skeletons
Went sidling through the slow quadrille,

Then took each other by the hand,
And danced a stately saraband;
Their laughter echoed thin and shrill.

Sometimes a clockwork puppet pressed
A phantom lover to her breast,
Sometimes they seemed to try to sing.

Sometimes a horrible marionette
Came out, and smoked its cigarette
Upon the steps like a live thing.

Then, turning to my love, I said,
‘The dead are dancing with the dead,
The dust is whirling with the dust.’

But she–she heard the violin,
And left my side, and entered in:
Love passed into the house of lust.

Then suddenly the tune went false,
The dancers wearied of the waltz,
The shadows ceased to wheel and whirl.

And down the long and silent street,
The dawn, with silver-sandalled feet,
Crept like a frightened girl. 

Our first meeting of the year – 14 July

Viking Voices new year got off to a great start with our first summer meeting on the 14th July.

Members and guests enjoyed a night of education, entertainment and celebration.  It was also an opportunity to thank the out-going President John O’Halloran, and the Committee for all their dedication and hard work.
We welcomed in the new President Claire Wright, and Committee members who  explained their roles for the benefit of new members and guests.

As with all our meetings we had a packed agenda which included a lively Table Topics session, three excellent speeches, a beautiful poem and an induction ceremony for a new member.

An enjoyable meeting was had by all, whether just listening in or actively participating and, given the standard of the meeting, we can look forward to an exiting year for Viking Voices. With such enthusiasm we will be continuing our meetings throughout the summer.

P.S below you can find poem that our Poem Master Iria shared with us during the meeting:

Our Toastmasters’ Year

What a year! Led by John O’ Halloran, the President 2020-2021.


  • President’s Distinguished 10 Distinguished Club Program Points
  • 7 Level 1’s in Pathways, 3 Triple Crowns, 1 Path Completed and a DTM
  • Ranked 6th in District 71 for Educational Awards
  • 18 new members
  • Patricia Duffy 1st member to complete a Path
  • Vincent Delaney Distinguished Toastmaster
  • May Wong 1st Place in the Division C Evaluation Contest
  • Vincent Delaney 2 nd Place in the Division C Humorous Speech Contest
  • Oonagh O’ Farrell 3 rd Place in the Division C Evaluation Contest

Key to this success was Fun, Friendship, Support and Growth. Sixteen ice breakers, new
and experienced members commencing their Pathways’ journeys together sharing their
individual talents, experiences, and cultural heritage.

Highlights: Ana Niculae as Contest Chair, Úna Bergin impersonating Trump, Marion Bergin’s
interview on RTE news, Eileen Howe as Toastmaster and celebrating two weddings,
Congratulations Aoife McMahon and Fionnuala Duffy!!

Ice breakers from Ann Traynor, Noel Dolphin, David O’ Riordan and Una Wallace stood out
as the most memorable speeches of the year. Each sharing their vulnerability, humour and

Ending the year stronger excited to keep the enthusiasm and spirit of the club alive;-
Fun, Friendship, Support and Growth, Go Vikings!

Toastmasters – write your own story

Our Open Meeting on Wednesday 27th February was a great success. What struck me very forcibly in listening to the contributions at topics and also the three stage speeches, was the extent to which the Toastmasters organization provides members with the opportunity to develop their own personality and discover hidden strengths. This was particularly evident in the speeches by Lisa Rodriguez and Graham Dunne in which each, in their own ways, showed how they had grown and diversified their skills through their membership of Toastmasters. We then heard a masterful speech by Division Director Barry Lane which built on the story of the Wizard of Oz to show how the things we desire are often available to us if we can only recognize the opportunities.

Toastmasters is all about getting used to expressing yourself clearly in public. As you do so, your improved skills will help to bring out your true personality and reveal potential skills you may not have realized you possessed.

I found the evening thoroughly enjoyable and I look forward to more of the same at future Viking Voices meetings. Our next meeting is on Wednesday 13th March at 8p.m. in the Bonnington Hotel. Guests are of course always most welcome, and if you missed the Open Meeting don’t worry, we’d be delighted to see you on the 13th.

John O’Flynn

Vice President PR

The Viking Voices Toastmasters experience

In this post I am sharing accounts from some of our members of their experiences with the Viking Voices Toastmasters Club.

Orla Sullivan

I began attending Toastmasters because I wanted to develop my communication skills, particularly my comfort with public-speaking. I wanted to develop my ability to speak on the spot with less hesitation and to deliver more effective presentations in my job. I started my Toastmasters journey by arriving as a guest to a Viking Voices meeting in June 2017. I was greeted warmly by Club members who explained what to expect from the meeting. They reassured me that I was not expected to participate, that I could simply observe the meeting to get a sense of how a Toastmasters meeting typically ran. The warmth of the Club members supported me to feel comfortable to speak during the Table Topics session – and as a result I surpassed my own expectations for the first meeting. I formally joined the Club shortly afterwards and began the Competent Communicator manual. In my first year, I completed three projects from the Competent Communicator manual. I received great guidance from Club members in preparing for the speeches as well as clear, constructive and supportive feedback. I always felt good after delivering a speech – which hadn’t always been the case with my previous public-speaking experiences. I went away knowing I had completed my objectives and delivered a good speech, while also knowing what to improve for next time. During my year with the club, I also had the opportunity to take roles during the Club meeting, for example Table Topics Master, Grammarian, Ah Counter and even Toastmaster which further developed my public-speaking and organisational skills.e

Unfortunately I had to leave the Viking Voices club in June 2018 because I was moving to the UK. My experience in the Viking Voices was fantastic – the club could not have been more supportive. I would thoroughly recommend Viking Voices to anyone who wants to develop communication and leadership skills.

John O’Halloran

One of my best decisions in life was to attend my first Viking Voices meeting. That first step has since brought me on a fun and very rewarding journey.
The club has a positive, friendly and cosy atmosphere. We all help each other to overcome our fears step by step, to greatly improve our speaking and leadership skills, and to reach our own personal goals. The club feels like a team.

Public speaking training is generally very expensive. In contrast, Viking Voices gives me the opportunity to speak to as small or as large an audience as I want, to receive expert tutoring from very accomplished speakers, and to engage with a positive circle of friends who share similar goals to myself….and all for a ridiculously low cost. Importantly, the club allows you to learn, and challenge yourself, at your own pace. So if your life gets hectic for a while, no problem, you can continue pursuing your toastmasters goals as much as is possible for you at that time.

The more I immerse myself in it, the more I realise how beneficial it has been for me.


Sanja Trajkoski

I have been part of the Toastmasters journey for more than 2 years. Currently I am a member of the Viking Voices Toastmasters Club.

The main reason why I chose Toastmasters was that I wanted to improve my communication skills. As an immigrant, talking in English in front of a bigger audience was a big challenge for me.
Toastmasters means a lot to me. It is a perfect practice field for public speaking and leadership development. Toastmasters helped me to build my confidence – not only the confidence in public speaking, but confidence in many aspects of my life. Also, I met lot of nice people in the organisation who were going through the same challenge as me.

In Toastmasters we learn how to support each other and to believe in ourselves.  If you are in a foreign country and don’t speak the native language, Toastmasters can be a great place to learn.

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