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Meeting Follow-up by Yerlan Meirbek

Hello my dears!

Today we had another great meeting. We started a little late, because of unexpected big number of guests. Personally, I believe this is a good reason 😉

Meeting started with guest speaker Mr. Jukka Maksimainen, managing partner at McKinsey Kazakhstan. Every time, when I learn we have a guest, I’m confident it will be a topnotch speaker. Today I was impressed by the depth of his thoughts. My favorite one – “Nothing is sure, everything is possible”. I will use this idea, as a positive affirmation for the morning.

 

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The next speaker was Assiya Babayeva. Her storytelling is at high-level as usual: strong vocabulary, unique voice variety are her hallmarks.

We also had two icebreakers: Indira Kyilybayeva and Chandan Sarma. Indira talked about the choice that every woman in Kazakhstan should take when she grew up. It can be either a housewife or a business lady. When I look at Indira, I see the person who can and will achieve both things.

Chandan, on the other hand, is an example of an impulsive person. He agreed to come to Kazakhstan in 10 minutes! This is a real fact. I think that is an example of courage.

Anara Serikbayeva presented her “Naked facts” about the vegetarian life style. She showed advantages and disadvantages of this nutrition. The best part of her speech was the reaction of Bairam, I really liked itJ

Table topic session was led by Anara. She prepared a bright and positive presentation. My favorite answer was from Chingiz Matayev. Chingiz is a very shiny speaker. I wish he would read these words and come back.

Yerzhan Omirkhanov led evaluation session. The team of ah-counter (Aigerim Kosheken), timer (Chandan) and grammarian (Assiya) made and excellent job: vivid points and a lot of useful details.

The best speaker was Indira Kyilybayeva.

The best table topic speaker was Chingiz Matayev.

The best evaluator was Aigerim Akiltayeva.

In the end, we still have room for improvement. We came here to learn and become better, so this is a part of education.

P.S. Today we had 40+ guests.

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A Word From President: September

Dear Toastmasters!

The beginning of autumn has always been associated with the beginning of school. Though most of us have already passed this stage, I can say that we all feel a little nostalgic when the 1st of September occurs.

However, September is also the time when the days are still long and night are still warm. So don’t wait till September ends, enjoy its every moment.

Astana Toastmasters Club is a great place for anyone to learn new or enhance skills one already has. That is why it attracts many people from different spheres. As my toastmaster experience shows, September is a very busy season for ATC. People return from their summer vacations, full of energy and breath taking stories to share.

Officers’ team of Astana Toastmasters Club has prepared a great schedule of meetings for September: hosting a guest speaker– a managing partner at a well renowned consulting company, demonstration meeting at national holding Zerde, orientation session for freshmen and soon-members-to-be, where everyone can get answers to questions they always wanted to know but were too shy to ask, and many more. Stay tuned.

Sincerely,

Korlan Bektassova

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Behind the Curtain: VI ATC Summer Olympic Games 2016 by Yerzhan Omirkhanov

Here is the quick follow up note from project leader of VI ATC Summer Olympic Games 2016.

ATC Olympic Games of 2016 were scheduled to start at 12:00 on 21 of September in the schoolyard. We had all facilities we needed: football field, basketball and tennis courts. Overall the Olympic Games consisted of three parts sports activities, picnic and family dinner. We had 5 different team sports games: relay race, snake, mine field, carpet folding and sculpture. Games required a considerable amount of energy and flexibility that my muscles ached afterwards.       

The ATC Olympic Games kicked off with a nice warm-up session delivered by Asset Omirzhanov and Korlan Bektassova. During the games Bairam Orazov was in charge, our MC made sure that sports activities went smooth and well. We had two rival teams Batyrs Squad and Cockroaches. Cockroaches had their own slogan “we crawl, we bite, we eat you alive” ughh! Despite being undefeatable everywhere on Earth Cockroaches team were unable to beat Batyrs Squad. Squad won the VI ATC Summer Olympic Games and was awarded a Golden  Cup of ATC. The Games were closed with an old and good game from our childhood – Bouncer (Вышибалы).

As for the picnic, Zhantuar Yertayev has arrived just on time with food supplies purchased on a city fair. Melon and watermelon were so sweet and juicy that we have craved even more of it. Also we have got some descent “lakhmadjun” from the Turkish restaurant nearby. We had some chit-chat and enjoyed our meals during the picnic. Soon after we were all exhausted and decided to take a nap and sunbathe.

In the end we had dinner at café Rafe, the one close to Akorda. I enjoyed a veggie pizza while others had some salads and soups. I would like to say thank you: to Damira Kulakhmetova for her diligent work in planning and executing the Games; as well as to our Ex-Sergeant at Arms, Asset Omirzhanov, who shared not only his wisdom of organizing the previous game, but also shared his own sports tools; to Bairam, for stepping up as an MC of the Olympic Games at the last moment; and to Zhantuar, who went to the city fare and bought the best melon and watermelon we have ever tried, it was worth coming just because of it. I am grateful to Astana Toastmasters Club for the opportunity to spend this Sunday in a warm atmosphere of nice people. Live long and prosper!       

Enjoy your last days of summer,

Yerzhan Omirkhanov

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Brickell Toastmasters in Miami

During our trip to Miami, Fl we were so lucky to visit a regular meeting of Brickell Toastmasters Club.

And here is why.

It was our first visit of a Toastmasters club abroad. We were looking forward to see how meetings are conducted in the USA, the homeland of all toastmasters clubs.
So on the 8th of July we came to the Bank of America building in downtown Miami. The venue is a Merrill Lynch conference room with a stunning view of the ocean.

The Brickell toastmasters club has 54 official members, attendance was about 20-25 members which is very good considering the time (12.15 on Friday)

We came a bit earlier so the room was empty. But colorful agendas were already printed.
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What was unusual about Brickell Toastmasters and impressed us the most:
1) Time-management. According to the agenda, duration of the meeting was roughly one hour. We were a bit skeptical initially because we know from experience it’s very hard to organize meetings during lunch time. However, to our surprise the meeting had started at 12.15 sharp as planned. At exactly 12.14 everybody became silent and watched the hand of the clock on the wall to reach the beginning time!
Throughout the meeting every participant demonstrated excellent time-management skills – almost no one was over the limit.
Two interesting details: Instead of cards, Brickell Toastmasters has a special device for a timer. It looks more like a toy traffic light.
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However, it’s amazingly convenient to use. The timer’s role was masterfully performed by Korlan Bektassova who was recruitted by the toastmaster of the meeting on the spot..
Another interesting thing is a 30-seconds-rule – amazingly cool technique! Once speakers reach a maximum time limit, a timer counts until 30 and then begins to clap and everybody joins. Yes, it’s that easy and genius! No long boring speeches, no brandishing a red card! Though only one speaker during the table topic session was granted an applause from Korlan – everyone being so cool staying within the time limits! Also the club saves time on writing feedback. At ATC the toastmaster of the meeting usually gives one minute to write feedback note to the speakers. At Brickell all members write feedback during the next speech.
Here is a timer’s report form:
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2) New roles. Not only Brickell Toastmasters has a joke master – a separate role which is combined with the role of a grammarian in our club – but also they have two quite unusual roles:
 Vote counter. Actually, I took this role without even thinking – just wanted to try something new. But anyway how hard could be counting votes for the best prepared speaker, best table topic speaker and best speech evaluator?! In reality, I was overwhelmed by the flow of votes!Brickell Toastmasters uses the standard ballot for voting and brief evaluations. The Vote counter collects all feedbacks and votes, counts votes for the best prepared speaker, second best and most improved,  and also sorts feedback notes for the prepared speakers and distributes them at the end of the meeting.
– CL evaluator – Brickell Toastmasters assigns a special member to fill CL manuals of all the role takers. This is quite unusual, however, I suspect this practise leads to a very high rate of competent leaders in the club :-)
3) Little details:
– Ah-counter has a special clicker which he uses upon hearing filler words and sounds. I was SO annoyed at first – what the guy is doing?! He is DISTRACTING the speakers! But then it became obvious that the clicker has a powerful effect: after several clicks the speakers started to control his/her speeches and consiously decreased the number of filler words.
– Sergeant-at-arms opens and closes the meeting.
– The meeting begins with everybody saying a short oath.
– We’ve met an area director. It was the first Toastmasters high official I’ve ever met in my life. ))) It’s cool that area directors visit toastmasters club which they supervise.
We are very grateful to all toastmasters of Brickell club in Miami for their hospitality. As a token gift from ATC, we presented a bar of Kazakhstan chocolate to the best prepared speaker. He was so happy! :-)
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Everyone was kind and genuinely interested in Astana Toastmasters Club. They all asked questions about us, about Astana and Kazakhstan (- Do you all speak fluent English? – Of course! :)) And the area director even promised to visit us one day.
Overall we were extremely impressed by the Brickell Toastmasters CLub. How effectively it is organized, how time wise and productive.Korlan as a president promised to implement some tools in our club. Looking forward seeing best practice in our beloved Astana Toasmasters Club!
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A word from President: August

Dear Toastmasters!

It is the last month of a rainy summer in Astana, and if you need a life hack on how to survive a gloomy weather, here is one: Surround yourself with sunny people, such people can be found in Astana Toastmasters Club. I cannot stop being amazed with how kind, friendly, creative and supportive the people of ATC are. Every time you need support or advice there they are.

Last month we hosted a country day, went to a super-duper trip to Burabay and had 7 meetings overall with more than 20 speeches. Can you imagine? We heard 20+ different stories and learnt something new or maybe remembered something we knew but forgot long time ago.

In August we plan to continue to stay awesome and have a super guest speaker (fingers crossed), have an outside meeting-picnic (fingers crossed) and have our annual VI ATC Summer Olympic Games (everything will be as real as in Rio).

You need to be a part of all of this, don’t miss out all the fun.

Lessons I personally learnt in the past month is that your team is important and when you can rely on people everything is achievable. I’d like to once again thank my wonderful team for an amazing job they’re doing.

P.S. “The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.”
― Phil Jackson president of NY Knicks (NBA)

Sincerely,
Korlan Bektassova

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Follow-up on the Burabay trip by Korlan Bektassova

It became a good tradition that members and friends of Astana Toastmasters Club gather together in the mid-summer in Burabay to celebrate the beginning of the new term.

Last weekend July 16-17 Astana Toastmasters Club held its annual Burabay Trip. The first event in the 2016-2017 Officers’ Term were organized by the officers Assiya Babayeva, Anuar Unaibekov, Yerzhan Omirkhanov, Yerlan Meirbek, Damira Kulakhmetova, Kanat Bazaraly and me, Korlan Bektassova.

There were 29 people, mostly members, but there were a few guests who have never been to an ATC meeting before. I hope they will decide to join the club shortly.

Most of the people took the train and gathered at the railway station at 7 am. Three-hour-trip ended very quickly while people were chatting, playing boarding games and even sleeping.

The weather played with us that day; heavy rain was pouring from the early morning but soon after the lunch the rain surprisingly stopped giving us the opportunity to go hiking to Bolektau mountain, from the top of which there is an amazing view to Burabay. After hiking the Sun came out and people rushed to the beach to sunbathe.

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We stayed according to the Agenda and had an irregular meeting dedicated to National Treasures and I’d like to thank the Toastmaster of the meeting – sunny Zhanna Kussainova – for conducting the meeting in an easy and cheerful manner. We had three speakers:  Assiya Babayeva telling us a touching story “The Last Leaf”by O’Henry, Damira Kulakhmetova reading The Egg by Andy Weir , and past immediate president Anuar Zhumabayev who decided to redo his Competent Communicator award with his ice breaker. The best speaker award went to Anuar Zh.

The table topic session was prepared by Aidana Koptleuova who not only prepared thought-provoking and creative questions but also gave some facts about national treasures of Kazakhstan. She gave valuable gifts for best Table topic speakers and we had three of them Anuar, Yernar and Rakhilya. My personal favorite question was “Describe your day if you were a Golden man” and “How to win your lady’s heart with a dombyra”.

The best speech evaluator was Olessya Akimenko who gave a very constructive feedback to Damira’s speech.

While we were having a cozy meeting around the fire Aibek Bekenov- the chef together with his team was cooking shashlyks. After the meeting we had lots of meatand veggies followed by a lively outdoor disco.

Overall we did everything we had on the agenda: eating, dancing, performing speeches, playing games till 5 am, singing, hiking, cooking, swimming, sunbathing, playing ball, and etc.

I’d like to thank my amazing team for a wonderful job they have done and everyone for volunteering for preparing meals and cleanup.

Photos form the trip are posted on Facebook page.

P.s. The Budget is attached

The Budget of the Event 240 th. KZT(13 th. ATC budget 227 th. from participants)
Accommodation -70 th
Transportation -66 th
Food -83 Th
Balance 21 Thousand

 

The remaining balance will be rendered to ATC budget and spent for upcoming events.

Yours,

President of Astana Toastmasters Club

Korlan Bektassova

 

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Meeting follow-up on July 7th from Marzhan Amanzholova

Dear fellow Toastmasters,

It is my short reflection on the meeting we conducted at Nazarbayev University on July 7th. Well, to my fortune, we started almost in time and held the meeting according to the agenda. Separate thankgoes to the role takers who made their duties very accurate!

As for prepared speeches session, there were three different speakers:

Aidana Koptileuova, delivered project # 3 from CC manual, with a speech title “My life lies in ruins”. Aidana had her own style of presenting the speech, with a distinctive voice pitch and various examples from field work.

Anuar Zhumabayev, speaker # 2 with a project title “Keeping the commitment” from Successful club series tried to encourage us to fulfil meeting assignments, increase our preparation before delivering the speeches and be a proactive member of the club by regularly attend the meetings.

Yerkenaz Zholymbayeva, told us two stories about popular water/rice experiment and new project dedicated to orphans growth “Nastavniki” in herspeech “The importance of care”, SP # 3.

Those two stories were completely different, but led to one important point, that we all are responsible for the things beside us, and so if we would like to see the growth of that things we should take care of them.

BPS: Aidana Koptileuova

Table topic session:

The table topic session devoted to “Favourite cities” led by Anuar Zhumabayev was highly motivational. In the very beginning, TTM promised to give delicious cookies (made by Tana) to speakers who will follow 2 simple rules: to speak from 1 to 2 minutes and use the word of the day. Mentioned rules gave results and almost all the TT-speakers were awarded by cookies.

Many answers were provided, however the best one came from a person with hands made of gold.

BTTS: Tana Seisembayeva

Word of the day “Concrete jungle”.

Evaluation session:

During the evaluation session which was coordinated by Tana Seisembayeva with a team of 3 speech evaluators – Anuar Zhumabayev, Assiya Babayeva and Kanat Bazaraly who provided evaluations to Aidana, Anuar and Yerkenaz. From the tips given from our proficient evaluators, I have memorised next ones: to re-hearse more, to repeat the speech for the bigger audience and work on the structure.

BSE: Assiya Babayeva

Meeting evaluation ended up by reports provided by ah-counter- Akbota, grammarian – Yerzhan , timer- Assel and general evaluation of GE, Tana Seisembayeva. The only suggestion from Tana was to prepare carefully for the chosen role.

In the very end we welcomed meeting new comers, giving them some questions regarding our club and receiving some interesting answers.

Toastmaster,

Marzhan Amanzholova

 

 

 

 

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Follow-up from Damira Kulakhmetova

Dear Toastmasters,

Below is a recap of the meeting on 9th of July.

On Saturday, we had a regular meeting with a theme “Top holiday destinations in the world” . We started a few minutes late due to the late arrival of some role takers. Two of the speakers, Anara Serikbayeva and ice-breaker Abylakhain Ganiyev canceled their speeches. Other than that everything went pretty smoothly.

At the meeting we were delighted to hear our three prominent speakers. The first speaker Olessya Akimenko did her project # 2 Speaking in praise from Special Occasions manual with the title “Speaking in memory of Millicent Fawcett”. Many of us did not know who Ms. Fawcett was, but thanks to Olessya we got to know a little about a suffragist of XX century who literally made a history and impacted the way we live now.

The next speaker, Anuar Unaibekov, introduced his HPL (high performance leadership) project called “Food Drive”. His speech was from the Persuasive speaker manual, project #5 – The persuasive leader. In the presentation, Anuar, touched our hearts by sharing a story supported by statistics on how unfortunate some people are in terms of food supply. Therefore, to solve this issue he presented his project “Food Drive”. A food drive is a form of charity to donate foodstuffs or money to people who cannot afford food. Contact Anuar if want to become a volunteer +7 707 709 9920.

The third speaker, Aigerim Akiltayeva, delivered her, believe or not, 9th project from the Competent Communicator manual! She’s been a member of ATC for not that long but already so close to getting her CC. Keep the speed, Aigerim. In her project she needed to persuade with power and she did by breaking the stereotypes of social dance. At the end Aigerim invited all of us to practice social dance in the Social Dance Academy “Bailamos Salsa” for beginners, +7 707 4694777.

Of all the prepared speakers, the award of the best speaker went to Aigerim Akiltayeva.

A table topic session was led by Olessya Akimenko. Her questions were about top places that we wanted to visit, advantages of staycation, disadvantages of being a top place to visit, etc.

The best table topic speaker was Yerzhan Omirkhanov. Yerzhan talked about his favorite city New York and how people there try to avoid crowded touristic places, like Central Park or Times Square.

The evaluation session was led by charming Aigerim Kosheken. Her team of a timer – Daniyal, an ah-counter Aidana, and a grammarian – Yerzhan, did a good job.

I’d like to thank speech evaluators of the prepared speakers, Assiya Babayeva, Asset Abuov and Zhanna Kussainova. The award of the best evaluator went to Assiya Babayeva.

At the end of the meeting, the vice president education of ATC, Assiya Babayeva thanked everyone for coming and invited us to the Burabay trip next weekend.

Thank you all,

Damira

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Follow-up note from Anuar Zhumabayev – Country Day – Spain

2nd of July was the special day for Astana Toastmasters Club in many regards. It was the first meeting for the new officers’ team. We opened the speeches session with the guest speaker – his Excellency Pedro Jose Sanz, the ambassador of Spain in Kazakhstan and it was the first meeting, when we did not have paper agenda.

The last fact was not a plan, but rather an improvisation, since toastmaster of the meeting got under 10 minutes of heavy rain on the way to the meeting, which destroyed copies of agenda in a split of second. Therefore, we decided to put agenda on the projector.

Five minutes after 12:00 pm guests started to fill the room and we started. After toastmaster’s routine in the beginning, we had a chance to listen to the ambassador, who spoke a lot about his country’s economics, culture and place in this ever-changing world. During questions & answer session, enquires about ambassador’s opinion on football, education and Kazakhstan-Spain relationships were coming from members and guests passionately. Overall, this session went quite well and got interest of members in guests in Spain.

What helped to induce this interest with additional spark was table topic session. Though some of the questions were quite tough and challenging, resulting in long pauses of awkwardness, when no one wanted to come to answer them, we had a revelation during the last two questions, when Kanat sang and Asset danced. The best table topic speaker award went to Asset Omirzhanov.

Then the “diamond part” of the meeting came around – prepared speeches session. Our ice-breaker, Assiya Kurmanova, shared her flame of love to Spain; Zhantuar Yertayev delivered science fiction story with human essence in what seemed were 1000 different words; Sogdiana Akhmetova showed us again that she is “one of a kind” girl with sharing her experience on climbing the mountains; and Yerlan Meirbek delivered bad news (his manual project) in the manner, which only he could.

The best prepared speaker was Sogdiana Akhmetova.

Evaluation session was led by Yerlan Meribek, and all speaker received useful feedback which I personally hope they will take into account for their next projects, but the “best” title went to the rising star of the club, recent competent communicator, Asset Abuov.

In its entirety, the “Country Day: Spain” meeting was a good example of one of our club’s main ideas: learn by practice, strive to excellence, but always remember – there is a room for improvement in even the most “ideal” performance anyone can deliver, and it is our job to not forget about it, when we step up on the stage, which ATC provides us.

Toastmaster of the meeting,

Anuar Zhumabayev

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A word from President: July

Dear Toastmaster!

Today is the start of a 2016-2017 officers’ term in Astana Toastmasters Club. Seven people, devoted toastmasters were elected by you to serve for the best interest of the club and its members.

As the president of Astana Toastmasters Club I’m thrilled to begin a new chapter in the life of the club and together with you I’m willing to write a great story of success.

Toastmaster’s path is pretty straightforward; take roles, give speeches, speak up and step up whenever it’s necessary. The more you do – the more you learn. And the main goal of any toastmaster club is in providing the Encouraging environment where this path is possible.

Most of you consider ATC as a family. The place you feel at home. And I want it to keep that way.

Every member should be able to strive for excellence in what he/she is doing, have respect from fellow toastmasters and be ready to serve for the club and the society. But the most important thing, that I’ve learnt from my toastmaster and officer experience, is that nothing can be achieved without a Teamwork. No wonder is that Integrity is one of the toastmasters’ values, which means not only honesty but also unity, being whole.

The first month of the term July will begin with a Country Day dedicated to Spain thanks to the efforts of the previous officers’ team and especially Secretary Indira Kiylybayeva who had been negotiating with the Spanish Embassy for several months. Later we plan to invite another important guest speaker and have once-in-a-year event in Burabay dedicated to the beginning of the new term.

There are many adventures ahead us, and as practice shows there may be some ups and downs along this way but I’m sure that together we will overcome all of them and in 12 months from now we will look back and say: That’s been a wonderful year!

ATC is definitely the place to be.

Sincerely,

KorlanBektassova

P.S. Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success. Henry Ford