JOINING Toastmasters is a life-changing experience, say its Killarney members. Toastmasters International was set up in 1922 by Ralph Smedley with the aim of improving public speaking, interview and leadership skills.
The Killarney Toastmasters Club hosted its annual dinner at the Randles Hotel on Saturday, where club member Debby Looney reflected how clubs have the same set of goals to this day – to help people improve their speaking and leadership skills so they can be more confident at work and socially.
“I went in myself hardly able to keep a conversation going, usually looking at my shoes, but now, though I am not a great speaker by any means, I do have the gumption to get up in front of people and have my say!” said Debby. “In terms of leadership, through taking on roles at a meeting you learn how to delegate, be fair and understanding, and what was important for me, how to say no without offending or feeling like you've let someone down!”
There are clubs in Killarney, Tralee and West Limerick (Newcastlewest) and a club is in the process of being formed in Listowel. “It is not formal, or stuffy which seems to be a common misconception. Our youngest members are 18, and we have members from all walks of life, retirees, farmers, manual labourers, accountants, pharmacists, shop assistants and home makers- the list is endless!” said Debby.
Toastmasters also organises community outreach programmes, for instance in St Brigid’s Presentation Secondary and St Brendan’s College, Killarney. Killarney Toastmasters Club meets every second and fourth Tuesday of the month, in The Dromhall Hotel; email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 086-6088156.
Above: Members of Toastmasters at the Killarney Toastmasters dinner in the Randles Hotel on Saturday. PICTURE: DYLAN CLIFFORD
Lissi’s love of nature nets prize
After a successful launch year in the Isle of Man in 2020, ‘The Young Nature Blogger 2021’ went international as Kerry Biosphere and Dublin Bay Biosphere joined the competition. Open to anyone under 21, entrants were asked to write up to 500 words about their favourite experience or place in nature. Each Biosphere participating awarded […]
After a successful launch year in the Isle of Man in 2020, ‘The Young Nature Blogger 2021’ went international as Kerry Biosphere and Dublin Bay Biosphere joined the competition.
Open to anyone under 21, entrants were asked to write up to 500 words about their favourite experience or place in nature.
Each Biosphere participating awarded local prizes with the top entry from each being submitted to the international competition between the three.
This week the two judges for the international element Author Dara McAnulty and Professor Martin Price, Chair of the UK Man and the Biosphere Committee, have unanimously chosen ‘The Otter’ by Lissi Nickelsen (Kerry) as winner of the inter-Biosphere Young Nature Blogger 2021.
“I absolutely love the observational detail in this piece,” Dara McAnulty, author of ‘Diary of a Young Naturalist’ and the youngest ever winner of The Wainright Prize for nature writing said:
“You can really feel that breathless excitement and tension of seeing an otter. The drawing shows how multimedia can be used to great effect in a blog.”
Professor Martin Price added that it “is a beautifully written blog about a very special encounter”.
“I really get the feeling of what Lissi observed so carefully, and her joy about spending time with an otter! And the drawing is wonderful too!”
Lissi will receive a young naturalist writing set from Dara McNulty, a framed otter picture from Wildlife photographer Vincent Hyland, Wild Derrynane, and a family kayak trip in the Kerry Biosphere.
The winning entry can be read on the Kerry Biosphere website www.kerrybiosphere.ie/news.
The only certainty is uncertainty
By Michael O’Connor “History is just one damn thing after another” – Arnold Toynbee Late last week, the emergence of a new COVID-19 variant in South Africa sent shockwaves worldwide, upending what had been a reasonably quiet week for the stock market. On Friday last, a steep sell-off left the S&P 500 and the […]
By Michael O’Connor
“History is just one damn thing after another” – Arnold Toynbee
Late last week, the emergence of a new COVID-19 variant in South Africa sent shockwaves worldwide, upending what had been a reasonably quiet week for the stock market. On Friday last, a steep sell-off left the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq down 2.2% and 3.5%, respectively.
This 147th twist in the pandemic tale got me thinking about how much we think we know when really, we know nothing at all.
At the start of the year nobody would have predicted that 2020 would have played out the way it did. Very few would have predicted that 2021, with promising vaccines and a return to normality would have represented so little change, but here we are.
Everyone loves to pretend like they fully understand what this all means and what will happen next. I get it; who doesn’t love the warm cozy allure of certainty. We all want to exist in a world where we know what lies around the corner.
History is a perpetual stream of mistaken opinions and unpredictable outcomes, but the predictions won’t stop. People will cast their views with deluded certainty about what to expect next by extrapolating the current conditions out into the future, but the current conditions aren’t a constant, and the game is always changing.
Unfortunately, the reality is, nobody knows what’s next, and the sooner you can discard any naive sense of conviction, the easier it will be in both life and investing. While this statement may seem morbid on the surface, loosening our grip on our need for certainty can be liberating.
Remember, while it is important to have expectations and predictions, predictions are not fact, and you will be wrong. Not always, but you will be wrong, so try not to be overly tethered to your current version of the truth.
Lean into the uncertainty
Accepting that nothing is certain can often be cast as an impotent statement in a world obsessed with knowing all the answers.
In an industry where uncertainty is the ultimate enemy, telling investors to submit to it is often met with disdain, but accepting the inevitability of uncertainty is so important if you want to avoid going stir crazy as you try and hold for the long term.
Of course, discarding uncertainty is easier said than done. Worrying about factors beyond our control is an inherent part of the human condition. However, simply being aware that the game is not predictable and nobody truly knows the final outcome may help you reduce your craving for certainty.
Stop reaching for perfection in a world of constant uncertainty. Stop obsessing about making the right decision one hundred percent of the time. Even the best investors in history have had their fair share of howlers. Ultimately you just need to be right more often than you are wrong.
Create an investment portfolio centred around what you believe to be the most probable outcome based on available information and incorporate enough diversification to function as a buffer.
In a world where anything is possible, all you can do is focus on what is most probable, allow for a margin of error to support you when your assumed outcomes don’t play out and simply let go of the rest.
Lissi’s love of nature nets prize
After a successful launch year in the Isle of Man in 2020, ‘The Young Nature Blogger 2021’ went international as...
The only certainty is uncertainty
By Michael O’Connor “History is just one damn thing after another” – Arnold Toynbee Late last week, the emergence...
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