dee_dublinnov2016-jpg-2I missed the starters on Friday, which included a smorgasbord of savvy speakers.  Thankfully, on Saturday, I arrived in time for the main course with nourishment and sustenance provided in wonderful workshops and keynote communication, as well as entertainment from the fabulous Humorous Speech contestants.  Sunday’s desserts gave us more workshops and were rounded off by the Table Topics contest.

As well as feeding our brains, each speaker gave us takeaways to chew over later.  Gayna Cooper raised the energy, then hit us with a truth, she had our attention, there was no “Blah, Blah, Blah” in her delivery.  Craig Valentine showed us why he became the winner of the International Speech Contest; he has certainly had “Remarkable Results in Leadership and Life”.  He cleverly entertained us while making positive pertinent points with every segment of his talks “Presenting with Impact and Persuading with ease”.  Jean Gamester eased us into “Sunday Morning Story-telling to make stuff happen”, showing us that we have a feast of personal stories we can use to help us deliver dividends in our lives.

There was the official business of the District Council Meeting, where we at club level get to have our say on issues that impact the entire district.  I’m glad to report that most of us must have been at the workshops, because nobody wasted their words and points were well made.

The Humorous Speech Contest on Saturday was a great result for Division S (Scotland) and the man himself, James McGinty, winning 1st place with “A Weighty Problem”.  James had the audience in stitches as did his other competitors in this side-splitting show of talent.

The weekend concluded with the Table Topics contest:  “Advice is like castor oil.  Easy enough to give, but not so easy to take”.  This was the first time I have seen, in a Toastmasters contest, ladies in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places.  Congratulations to Paula Kelleher taking the top prize.

I experienced three key elements that made it a fantastic weekend, namely the people that attended who were warm and friendly, the hosts who created a wonderful atmosphere and the food for thought provided by all of the speakers.

I left full of inspiration and ideas, and also anticipation for the Spring Conference in May 2017, I’m sure it will be magic.  (see

Post written by Dee Murray, founder member of Clyde Communicators and IPP of Glasgow Toastmasters