Humorous Speech & Table Topics Contest

Beautiful landscape lake - Public Domain Picture

“Comedians are people who embarrass themselves in style” – A.D. Posey

This Tuesday Cogito Toastmasters will be hosting its Humorous Speech & Table Topics Contest.

If you fancy having your ribs tickled them come along this Tuesday.

When: 7.30pm, Tuesday 26th September

Where: The Lantern Centre, 17 Synge St (click here to see a map)


Toastmaster Selfie

Toastmasters Meeting.JPGCogito Toastmasters would like to thank all members and guests who made our last meeting such a success. Especially our special guest Jack who came all the way from China.

Keep up the great work!

Next meeting takes place 7:30 Tuesday 12th of September, in the Lantern Centre, 17 Synge Street (click here to see a map)

Want to entertain your audience?


“We aren’t in an information age, we are in an entertainment age.” – Tony Robbins

It doesn’t matter how good your ideas are if nobody listens to them. If you want to learn how to captivate, inspire, and convince others then come along to our next meeting.

We will have speeches from Karl, Hazel, Liam and John. While our Table Topics Master will be testing member’s impromptu speaking skills.

Why not join us this Tuesday between 7:30 and 9:30 and let us entertain you.

When: 7.30pm, Tuesday 22nd August

Where: The Lantern Centre, 17 Synge St (click here to see a map)

Want to be a great speaker?

Martin Luther King, Jr. and Harry Belafonte near podium at Montgomery March

“90% of how well the talk will go is determined before the speaker steps on the platform.” – Somers White.

Becoming a great leader and speaker takes practice. “It takes one hour of preparation for each minute of presentation time.” – Wayne Burgraff

If you want to improve your leadership and speaking skills why not come to our next toastmasters meeting. This weeks meeting will take place in the Carmelite community centre but we will return to the lantern centre from the 22nd of August onwards.

At Tuesday’s meeting we will have speeches from Eimear, Rebecca, and Alan along with evaluations from Fionntan and John. While our Table Topics Master Victor will be putting members impromptu speaking skills to the test.

“A Journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” Lao Tzu. Take your first step on your Journey to becoming a better communicator and leader by attending our next meeting.

When: 7.30pm, Tuesday 8th August

Where: The Carmelite Community Centre, 56 Aungier Street, Dublin 2

Happily Ever After? Find out this Tuesday

our special day

This Tuesday our Toastmaster Victor has chosen the theme of weddings. “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” – Henry Ford.

We will have speeches from Alan, Eimear, and Michael. While our Table Topics Master Brian will be popping the question to our members, testing their impromptu speaking skills.

Why not join us this Tuesday between 7:30 and 9:30 to see if its a match made in heaven.

When: 7.30pm, Tuesday 23rd May

Where: The Lantern Centre, 17 Synge St (click here to see a map)

Where Can Your Daydreams Take You? Find Out This Tuesday

Symphony of Love (9553767064_2af64cc8cd_b)

It’s summer, a time when anything seems possible and you daydream about the changes you can make to your life. Join us this Tuesday as our Toastmaster Selina explores the theme of “Daydreams”, we’ve got speeches from Victor and Miguel as well as an educational about Mentoring from Michelle.

See you on Tuesday!

When: 7.30pm, Tuesday 27th June

Where: The Lantern Centre, 15 Synge St (click here to see a map)

To sign up or see the agenda of the meeting, click here


image: Symphony of Love (Flickr)

6 Bad Habits to Avoid when Delivering an Evaluation


To be a great speech evaluator one of the most important lessons to learn is  how not to evaluate. In this post I’m going to share six common habits to watch out for and avoid doing.

Being Too Thorough

It’s natural to want to talk about every success point and area for improvement when you give your evaluation so that you give the best feedback to the speaker but you only have 2-3 minutes so there simply isn’t enough time, choose the key points and save the rest for after the meeting when you follow up with the speaker.


Whitewashing is when you spend the whole evaluation praising the speaker, listing all the many ways that the speaker is wonderfu. This is very supportive but it’s not genuine, nobody is that good, every speech can be improved. Talking only about positives without any recommendations will not help a speaker improve and grow. Give a sincere, balanced evaluation and show the speaker how they can become evem better.


One common mistake is when an evaluator gives a summary of the speaker’s speech as part of their evaluation. This isnt very helpful, firstly the audience has already heard the speech so they don’t need to be reminded of what was said and secondly you only have 2-3 minutes for your evaluation and giving a summary takes up precious time.  You can refer to phrases or sections of the speech  in your evaluation but do it to illustrate your points, there’s no need to retell the speech.


Should is a strong word, it’s an instruction, it’s tells people what to do. When you give an evaluation you make suggestions, and then the speaker decides if which suggestions they want to use so don’t tell people what they “should” do, instead suggest what they “could” do.


Another dangerous word is “but” in your evaluations, it can have the effect of negating all the positive language you use and focussing the speaker’s and audiences attention on a negative aspect of the speech, for example saying “Jack had amazing body language BUT…” means that even Jack’s amazing body language isn’t important, isn’t worth celebrating it’s part of a problem and in Toastmasters we don’t talk about problems we talk about areas to improve.


Sometimes we fall into using the same set of phrases when we give an evaluation and it can sound a bit impersonal and insincere so instead of using clichés that everybody uses like “Overall it was a great speech and I look forward to your next one” make every evaluation special for your speaker, personalise your language and phrases just for them.


This post is part of our series of tips to help you become a better evaluator to learn more about evaluating check out these posts:


image: Nic Redhead (Flickr)