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An informal meeting with His Excellency Mr Ilija Psaltirov

On February of 8th, all members of Astana Toastmasters Club were invited by the ambassador of Macedonia to Kazakhstan, Mr. Ilija Psaltirov, for an informal meeting.

“Welcome to my home!” – that’s how  the ambassador greeted us at his residency. Next to him was his assistant, a representative from Kazakhstan, and his wife, Slavitza. We were among the first comers and were pleased to chit-and-chat while other guests were on the way.

“We heard that Macedonians and Kazakhs share at least one similarity: hospitality. However, Kazakhs are also known for being late to dinners or any other events. Do Macedonians share this characteristics with us as well?” – I asked Mrs. Slavitza Psaltirov. 

To that she replied: “No, we are very punctual, but I already get used to late dinners, because diplomats all over the world are always late to the dinner.” Little by little I got to know more about Macedonia and its culture.  

Mr. and Mrs. Psaltirov have been living in Kazakhstan no more than two years. The embassy of Macedonia has opened in the end of 2014 and Mr. Ilija was its first ambassador. When he started the  night, he was honest when said that he applied to three other locations and Kazakhstan wasn’t his first choice. He then added that when he needed to make that decision (to accept the invitation) he agreed without really knowing much about Kazakhstan because he knew for sure that he was eager to represent Macedonia no matter where he was. As for me, I am very glad he became the ambassador, because I haven’t met anybody who was so passionate about his country and strived to share his passion with everyone around him. Mr. Ilija is also very contemporary. When you meet any diplomat, you expect him to be all serious and conservative, but Mr. Ilija is the opposite: he likes to make jokes a lot, he is honest and generous.

After a brief introduction the ambassador continued by saying thanks to all volunteers who helped to facilitate events hosted by the embassy. Although our club has not yet got a chance to assist in those events, we also got a certificate of appreciation.
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You might recall that we hosted a Country Day meeting at the end of January where Mr. Ilija made a presentation about Macedonia, its people and culture and similarities to our culture.

When the official part was over, Mr. Ilija came up with the idea to hold a karaoke competition. He started the competition by singing first with his own song “Ti si vulkan” – a beautiful song of his singer repertoire. The guests were grateful for the joyful event and spent the night singing and dancing to their favorite songs.

Indeed, it was a fun night that we will not forget. To feel the joy of the evening, you can find photos on Facebook (click here).

Yours,

Damira Kulakhmetova

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Behind the Curtain: ATC Bowling Tournament 6th February

Have you ever wanted to be surrounded by active and interesting people around? As someone said, surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher. Astana Toastmasters Club is a great way to enhance your communication and leadership skills as well as to develop by interacting with different people.

Astana Toastmasters is the club not only oriented at public speaking and leadership skills, but also does socializing. One of the socializing events was bowling, held on the 6th of February. Members and non-members of ATC attended this event. It was a great chance to meet people outside of formal meetings and get to know each other better. Joining ATC will open up your possibilities and make your life a vivid adventure with interesting people around.

Yerlan Meirbek, our active member, organized the event. Let’s have a look how organization of such event can be great and fun. Yerlan was happy to share his insight and lessons learned from his first organization of a social event.

  1. Did you enjoy organizing this event?

Yes, of course. I really enjoyed the whole process. I faced with different questions: how to do it in a right way? Who can advise? What potential difficulties can I face?

The main point was to ask myself different questions and try to answer them honestly. Every situation is unique, so you will get different answers.

  1. What difficulties did you face while organizing this event?

The first one was regarding making key points (“checkpoints”), I tried not to forget anything because you don’t have a second chance to impress people (smiles) 😉

  1. How many people did you expect to attend the tournament? How many did actually turn up?

I expected that there would be 20-30 people. It was really difficult to predict the actual number of people, because some of them click “Yes, I go” on the Facebook event, but don’t show up.

Altogether we had 16 people who actively participated at the tournament and 3-4 guests who came to support the players.

  1. What strategy did you use?

First of all, I asked experienced members – ATC current officers. I asked their expert opinion and their answers really helped me with a strategy. As a club we organize many social events. For this particular event I used a “cost minimize” strategy, in order not to strain members’ monthly budget. We used 2 bowling lanes and participated “in the special offer” from the bowling administration. As a result, all these actions helped us to minimize costs.

  1. Overall, the event went great, but in your opinion for the next time will you organize things differently?

In future, I want a better use of delegation in organizing this kind of event. However, I really enjoyed the whole process.

That was Yerlan’s first experience and I’m glad it went well, because I very much enjoyed it. As for the winners, my biggest congratulations to the best male player – Assylan Akimbayev and the best female player – Assel Mussina! The best team award went to a team “Chocolate”. You can feel the essence of fun on photos on Facebook and also a video made by our lovely Dzhamilya Serikbayeva.

Thanks!

Aigerim Akiltayeva

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Educational report – January 2016

Here is a monthly report from our Club Secretary, Indira Kyilybayeva. Take a look and feel free to add your comments!
1) 5 regular meetings, one speech marathon;
2) One guest speaker: Ambassador of Macedonia Ilija Psaltirov;
3) Best prepared speakers of January: Asset Abuov, Korlan Bektassova, Yerlan Meirbek, Elmira Tulbassiyeva, Anuar Zhumabayev, Kamila Dagilova;
4) Best evaluators: Asset Omirzhanov, Kanat Bazaraly, Assel Stambekova, Damira Kulakhmetova, Korlan Bektassova, Yenlik Nurasheva;
5) Best table topic speakers: Anuar Zhumabayev, Nagima (guest), Ambassador Ilija Psaltirov, Yerzhan (guest);
6) Attendance: 30 – 26 – 40 – 28 – 18 – 35, thus average attendance is 29.5 people (33.25 on Saturdays and 22 on Thursdays); range 22;
7) Ice-breakers had 6 slots in January. 4 ice-breaking speech were delivered;
8) Words of the day in January: stranger, fashionable, incessant, picturesque, hyperpolyglot, formidable.
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Future Events of February

Hello members and guests!

February has started and here ATC prepared a calendar of events: regular and special meetings, fun events and holidays! Follow us on social networks for all updates!

  • Instagram: @astanatoastmasters
  • Facebook Group: /groups/AstanaToastmastersClub
  • Facebook Page: /AstanaToastmastersClub
  • Periscope: /AstanaToastmast
  • Website: http://astanatoastmasters.kz/

Februaryevents

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Meeting followup 23 January by Assel Stambekova

Dear Toastmasters,

As a Toastmaster, I’d like to provide a follow up note about yesterday’s meeting.

Yesterday’s meeting was the first in 2016 in the series of Country day at ATC. The country we learnt yesterday about was Macedonia, and its true representative and our guest speaker is IlijaPsaltirov, PhD, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Macedonia to Kazakhstan. 

The meeting room got busier ten minutes before an official start and it was great to see happily smiling people and calm confident speakers. We started the meeting right on time (if I’m not mistaken :) and this is our biggest achievement. Many thanks to all role-takers and speakers for showing up in advance. Your attitude was at a high level yesterday!

Our agenda was complete- a full house of five speakers. Our guest speaker- Mr Ilija Psaltirov- could possibly start his journey with Humorously Speaking manual in ATC! His country presentation, impromptu speech during Table Topic session and “Award goes to…” talk entertained the audience- we laughed, we smiled, we took a selfie, we got common gifts and individual presents for exemplary speeches… Well, Macedonian flavor in the meeting was a blast!

Then our prepared speaker Elmira Tulbassiyeva touched our hearts and made us sit at the edge of a seat. Her “Story”- project #6 Vocal Variety- was elegantly delivered as if by Maya Angelou which brought her Best Speaker award. Well-done!

Our next speaker- a long-awaited speaker Marzhan Amanazholova, officer from 2014-15 team- opened up her story of how she climbed a career ladder. “Working for money or for dream” speech made many of us recall our professional journeys and ask touch questions. As a result,the ambassador awarded Marzhan with a special prize – Macedonian ehtno music CD. By the way, I’m listening to one right now here.
Samat Panov, the next speaker, presented Speaking to Praise project from Special Occasions manual. He praised Jack Welcsh, a former CEO of GE who, during his leadership,increased GE total revenue 400 times! Some other lessons learny by Samat from Welcsh were about sustaining values, eliminating weak people from the team and leadership.

Our final speaker was a prospective member Aigerim Akiltayeva with her passionate ice-breaking speech about running. It was interesting to learn where running takes Aigerim, and believe me, her passion to this energetic outdoor activity was in the air! By the way, Aigerim’s speech evaluator, Damira Kulakhmetova was recognised as Best Speech Evaluator.

Table topic session led by Zhanna Kussainova was authentic. Zhanna was face-painted with Macedonian symbols and her questions made us hear and repeat Alexander Macedonian name many times :) As a result :) the audience voted for the ambassador as the Best Table Topic speaker.

A good police officer in the presence of General Evaluator Assiya Babayeva and her evaluation team. Speech evaluators- Anuar Unaibekov, Anuar Zhumabayev, Kanat Bazaraly and Damira Kulakhmetova- noted speakers’ best moments in speech content and delivery. Additionally, they’ve recommended a few things to consider/improve them in their future speeches.

Overall, the meeting was rich of fun, energy, originality and male-dominated in “Let the guests talk” session :)

Last but not the least, the ambassador announced that ATC community would also be invited for one of the Macedonian events. Let’s stay tuned and wait for this cultural occasion.

Many thanks for your time to finish reading this long note.

AsselStambekova,
Toastmaster

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Meeting followup 12 DEC 2015 by Anuar Unaibekov

The Canadian flag embellished a background of the stage of Astana Toastmasters Club in 12th of December. Yes, that day was devoted to this wonderful country. It was absolutely unusual meeting; even the time-table was extraordinary, because the first session was not Prepared speeches session, as usual, but Table topic session.

These alterations were due to really an exciting speech of our Guest speaker, very pleasant and “plain” person, who loves hockey, as all the Canadians: His Excellency Shawn Perry Steil, the Ambassador of Canada to Kazakhstan. After his speech our almost advanced speaker, Yerlan Meirbek prepared some very interesting facts and questions about Canada, particularly the PPT that Yerlan prepared was very beautiful, thank you a lot for that!

However, it was only first session of our amazing meeting. In the Prepared speeches session we were witnesses of 3 magnificent speeches. The first was lovely by all of us, Korlan with her very interesting and sincere speech about a story that was happened to her and her niece. Using only her pleasant voice and body language she managed to create an atmosphere as we were there in the reality. It was amazing speech Korlan, thank you very much! By the way the contribution of Korlan doesn’t finish here, as u will see a little bit later. )))
The second speaker was Assel with her LAST speech from all the projects that are need for receiving the GOLD COMMUNICATION CERTIFICATE. I don’t know about others, but at least u motivated two people: Anara and me as well. AlsoAssel said that finally she doesn’t need to fight for a spot in the role chart. )) So, thank you Assel very much not only for this speech but for all the speeches that we’ve heard, it is always a great pleasure to listen to u, my congratulations!
The last but not the least speaker was Olessya (or Alice how one of our guests wrote on voting) who delivered her speech about how to deal with criticism. It was very useful speech, I guess for all the people who were present. Thank you so much for such a clear tips, which, for sure, can help all of us in our daily lives. But I’m sure that u couldn’t manage to do it so well without Korlan’s helping, an acting of Korlan in this speech was just great, thank u for that too.
If Indira does something, she does it perfectly, I’ve said it because she was a General evaluator and she did that job perfectly on the meeting as well as before meeting dealing with all the roletakers. And also thanks a lot for inviting such a respectful guest to our meeting. U absolutely made that meeting, myriad thanks to u!
Other thanks for all the evaluators: Kanat, Anara and Anuar, u did also great job. Even though Kanat and Anuarare considered as the best evaluators of our club they stayed as gantlemen that day cuz they gave a way to our Anara to take the best evaluator award, nobody doubts in her though.))) Darmen, Yernar, and Damira performed their roles very well too as timer, ah-counter, and grammarian respectfully. Damira is one of the best grammarians of our club and this meeting wasn’t an exception. Thank you guys very much!
The best speaker award was deserved by Assel Stambekova and it was a perfect completion in achieving your Gold Speaker Certificate.
I wish all the meeting will be like this one, thanks all of the people who helped us with organization. It was the great honour for me to lead it.
See you on the next meetings!

Yours, sincerely!
Toastmaster of the meeting,
AnuarUnaibekov

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Meeting Follow-up 5 December 2015 by Korlan Bektassova

Dear Toastmasters!
On Saturday December 5th Astana Toastmasters Club hosted a meeting dedicated to a beautiful country – Italy. Our guest – Ambassador His Excellency Mr. Stefano Ravagnan – gave a short speech about his diplomatic mission in Kazakhstan and current and future relations between our countries. His speech was followed by Q&A session from the audience. Questions varied from “Are there places in Astana where you can have genuine Italian food?” to “What are perspective spheres of Italian-Kazakh economic relations except energy?”

The regular Prepared Speakers Session began with Azamat Khamza giving his speech number 6 on Vocal variety. He talked about the importance of health using different vocal techniques.
Anuar Zhumabayev gave an after dinner talk about relationships between men and women and the importance of falling just not for the looks.
Azamat Makhsudov gave his second speech in ATC and it was about juggling and how using juggling techniques one can tackle a problem.

Our Ice breaker Gulzhanat Bekkaliyeva gave an ice breaker and we were surprised to know that this was not her first one. We hope that Gulzhanat will stick around and stay with ATC longer as we all look forward to hear her speeches in the future.
Everybody got votes but the majority (18 votes) went to Azamat Makhsudov who was named the best prepared speaker.

Table Topics Session was led by Diana Nutlessova who has prepared interesting questions about Italy and put them on colorful slides. Her questions were about Renaissance, culture, food and traditions, similarities between nations and so on. Our guest and active participant of Naiza Toastmasters Club in Kazakh language Fariza Makhai has won the best table topics speakers for describing her vision of Kazakhstan in 130 years where everybody speaks Kazakh and live in a prospering country.

Evaluation session was masterfully led by Yerlan Meirbek, whose team of ah counter Damira Kulakhmetova, grammarian Zhanna Kussainova and Timer Malika Kurmanalina did a good job and provided concise reports in the end of the session. Speech Evaluators Sholpan Keneskhanova, Asset Omirzhanov, Anuar Unaibekov and Yerlan Meirbek, provided their feedback to speakers and it turned out that Sholpan’s evaluation was most liked by the audience and the Best Speech Evaluator Award went to her.

Overall it was a wonderful meeting. We started and finished on time! I was glad to see former members of ATC (well there is no such word as former toastmaster) such as Chingiz Matayev and Aidyn Mambetov. There were many new comers and guests who hopefully will become future members.

P.s. Photos from the event are posted on ATC page on Facebook

Yours
Toastmaster of the meeting
Korlan Bektassova