Assel-Stambekova

Success Story: My ACG story with Assel Stambekova

Why I joined ATC

I joined ATC in February 2014 because initially I wanted to make friends in Astana. I’ve already known about Toastmasters so my motivation to join the club was not linked to public speaking per se. However, as time goes, thanks to the club I’ve met a good number of smart enthusiastic and hilarious young people that shape ATC accordingly. Interesting young people and their hobbies is still the main source of my motivation to come back to the club from time to time.

What manuals I have chosen for ACG and why

Last two manuals I’ve chosen to complete during ACG were Interpreative reading manual and Professional Speaker. ACG is the last step in Communication track in Toastmasters which means that by this time you are expected to have grown as a speaker, as a professional speaker. You are able not only to conquer stage fear but also deliver great public speaking experiences both for the audience and for yourself. I knew my strengths and weaknesses as well as my personal goals in public speaking, that is why Interpretive Reading was chosen on a basis of pampering myself and Professional Speaker to test my public speaking skills.

My favourite speech from ACG manuals

My favourite speech among all ten for ACG was The Sound of Silence from Interpretive Reading manual. The first challenge was to recite a poem which demonstrates differences between poetry and prose, and recognise how poets use imagery, rhythm, cadence, and rhyme to convey the meanings and emotions of their poetry. Additionally, I had to meet time requirements of up to eight minutes. The second challenge was in the choice of the “poem” which originally was a four-minute song, and I twisted it differently to meet all project  objectives and also to have fun.

My preparation to speeches

In February 2014 I made a draft planning of delivering 2 speeches per month without skipping or missing an opportunity so that by 2016 I’d finish the Communication path. The rationale of this planning lies in experiential learning, seeing progress or if there is no progress, working on how to improve my public speaking skills and at the same time enjoying participation. In other words, my goal-setting on the whole and speech preparation process in details were connected to these values. Having understood that, it was clear for me to see my strengths and weaknesses. Thus, for example, I wrote one of my 46 speeches only once simply because speech scripts never work for me.
During my officer’s term in 2014-15 I was delivering slightly more speeches connected to my officer’s responsiblities as well on the topics of Success Leadership , Better Speakers or Success Communication.
The way I choose topics for speeches is based on many perspectives. It depends on the manual I’m doing, external reality, audience age range and their interests, etc. So I never choose topics from my self-perspective only.

What was the easiest and the hardest part in projects

There was never the easiest or the hardest part in projects I did. I believe apart from the stage fear that many speakers experience, the audience and how they will swallow and digest the speech is the ultimate challenge that speakers shall always keep in mind. Whether you’re a successful speaker or not depends on how the audience reacted to your speech content and delivery. If you made a difference at least in one person’s life, you’ve already done a lot!

What advice can I give to all members who want to complete or struggling to complete this manual

I’m not the best advisor 😉 However, I’d suggest to anybody who’s decided to do public speaking. Eventually we all want to be remembered for doing good things and delivering great speeches. Great speeches is a very vague notion. Define for yourself what you want to be remembered for and Why, and do your best to accomplish it.

 

I’d like to thank members of Toastmasters worldwide because they can make you feel home and treat you as a friend even if you do not know them very well or they’re complete strangers for you.

Enjoy your TM journey and have excellent speeches ahead!

Regards,
Assel Stambekova
ACG, ALB

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Recipe for Success: Hey You! by Yerlan Meirbek

Hey you!

You, who is reading this post.

I was asked to write my success story for getting CC (competent communicator) and CL (competent leadership) certificates; because VP PR Damira said that I had to do it!

Actually, I finished my CC in record 5 months, which means that I never lost the chance to give a speech.

We have strict rules In Astana Toastmasters Club, regarding speeches. Namely each member can give only 2 speeches per month, and we have more than 60 members and only 30-35 speakers’ spots each month. I’m sure you all know the high level of competition in booking speaker’s spots every time VP Education opens the Role Chart.

So, it was short background information for potential new members. But my target is current members, especially those who are one or two speeches away from completing CC. Those who stopped giving speeches after their 8th or 9th projects. Yes, I’m talking about you, Aikorkem Nurzhanova, Assylan Akimbayev, Aliya Zhumabayeva and others. I want to ask you: “Why are you delaying?” I’ve heard many complaints that it was difficult to choose a topic for the next speech. You know what? Sometimes I chose topics for my previous speeches just in 3 hours before the meeting. Now let’s stop here, you will say that the quality of the speech will be terrible and your speech evaluator will criticize you. To that I want to say this: “Practice makes perfect”, you should be ready for criticism, and you should be ready for challenges. Every step forward is difficult. You can finish last 2 or 3 projects. You have all resources for doing so. Just prove yourself that you can finish what you have started.

If you want to succeed in life, you should finish every project and every deal!

Just do it!

Watch the following video –

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Recipe for Success: How I got my Advanced Communicator Bronze with Korlan Bektassova

On April 2nd 2016 I delivered my tenth speech towards receiving Advanced Communicator Bronze award. It took me 198 days in comparison with 903 days in which I did my CC. Of course doing projects in ATC is no competition and there is no need for rushing when quality may suffer for the sake of quantity.

But the difference in my pace made me think what was different this time. It was the same amount of 10 projects as required in CC. But this time it felt so much easier. I wonder if I became more professional than I had been before, because now I have all skills acquired during CC completion.

I chose Storytelling and Speeches by Management Manuals, these two were delivered free of charge from Toastmasters International when I became CC. Speeches by Management offered projects which could be used in my work experience, like giving briefings, delivering bad news or motivate the employees, and good Storytelling skills were something I admired in other people and wanted to learn for myself. I’m sure you all have that one friend who can describe his morning routine in a way it is an adventure of his lifetime.

Preparing for speeches was easy, at least much easier than before. I used to have troubles choosing the topic of what I wanted to speak about, but this time various themes just popped in my head when reading the project assignments. I think it could be due to the fact that these manuals are not that broad as in CC and give you specific instructions of what you should do. And I guess I have always been a person who abides instructions. And when there is a theme in your head it’s easier to write and prepare. By the way I always write my speeches, thus I remember them better and I rehearse many times before I feel I don’t need notes.

My favorite speech among ten was one from a Storytelling manual – Moral of the story project – when I talked about What Women wanted. The moral of the story was quite humorous and meant that ALL women are witches no matter if they are beautiful or not, smart or silly. I think the audience received it quite well.

I think these two particular manuals are a must-do for any Toastmasters member. If you need some advice from me I’d say explore your surroundings, observe your daily life, there is always something happening which can be eligible for these projects.

P.S. I’d like to thank Anuar Unaibekov who assisted me during my 2nd project from Speeches by Management manual.

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Recipe for Success: Being Thankful with Anuar Unaybekov

Last Saturday, 26 March of 2016, our dearest member of ATC, Anuar Unaybekov has completed his CC manual. Anuar is a sunshine of our club, whenever I see him, he smiles and radiates joy and happiness! If you haven’t met him before, you can feel his kindness and passion for ATC in this message where Anuar thanks all of our members on a way to comleting CC:

Dear Toastmasters,

I’m very sorry guys. It is really a long read, but you can skip some parts and read only those, where you see your names. ))

In this message I want to share with you what I’ve learned during this just over half-a-year journey and from whom I’ve learned all these things.

Actually, I’m thankful to all of the members of our club, because literally everyone somehow inspired me and everyone had a part in my improvement as a speaker. However, I want to highlight some of them, particularly.

The 18th of July, 2015 was the day, for which I’m very thankful to God, because after that day Astana Toastmasters Club had become one of the parts of my life. Hope that DAULET remembers that day, because he was the first person from ATC with whom I got acquainted with. He kindly answered all the questions that I asked, and now I’m honored to say that he is one of my closest friends from my beloved club. Daulet was near me till my 10th speech and even mentored me on the last project from CC manual. I’ve learned a lot from him, but the most important is how to be enthusiastic about whatever I do. Thank you Daulet, you are just great person, thank you!

The second person from whom I learned a lot is my namesake, ANUAR ZHUMABAYEV, the most sincere member of our club. (It’s really a great honor to have such a namesake.) ))) Anuar praised me when I did well and asked “Anuar, what happened?” when I did not so well. The latter was more often. ))) I don’t know why, but it actually mattered to Anuar that I was growing and I hope everyone felt it as I did. This is the point that I want to learn from Anuar, I hope that I’ve already started to build this character in myself. Thank you Anuar very much, I’m very glad that I’m acquainted with you!

The next is KORLAN BEKTASSOVA , the soul of our glorious club. Recently, I wrote to our whatsapp chat that when I prepared to this 10th project, I imagined that Korlan was in the room. I wrote it sincerely, because I really couldn’t imagine our club without her. Regarding her duties, she does it very responsibly and I definitely should learn a lot from her. Sometimes Korlan may appear as a person with kinda complex temper, but I know that it’s because she loves our club more than we all love it together. Thank you Korlan, we also love you very much!

SAMAT and ASSEM PANOVA. Firstly, I’m very grateful to both of you for starting this club. With regards to what I’ve learned from this wonderful couple is that dreams can really come true, and I believe that it was their dream, when they started this club, to hug each other as tightly as they could on the 10th speech of the boy, who 6 years ago they even didn’t know anything about. Moreover, I admire that Samat doesn’t live his life just for himself, but he tries to contribute to the society, to the country he lives in, for example, persuading us to be active on elections and showing his example of a fighter with corruption in this wonderful country. Besides, he is a great envy of all the men of our planet, because he has such a wonderful wife, who also believes in him and in all the crazy ideas that he bears in his mind. Girls, learn from Assem, she is a great example of a perfect wife. Thank you guys, I’m really proud to know you!

YERLAN MEIRBEK. During this time Yerlan has become for me as an elder brother who drives me to keep up with him, but I’m not able to keep such a high speed as you see. )) He is like a tank that doesn’t stop before anything. He just smiles and goes ahead. This is the character that I want to build in myself. Yerlan even made me become a bit physically stronger. (Remember that challenge?) ))) Yerlan gives me a lot of advice and he is one of those rare people who really cares about me and apparently not only about me. It’s all about my bro Yerlan, thank you, you are the best of the best of the best!

OLESYA AKIMENKO, YERMURAT NURGOZHA,ASSET OMIRZHANOV,KANAT BAZARALY and AZAMAT KHAMZA – people, who were always open to help me and even to share their valuable time, some of them spent hours listening to my boring drafts of speeches and trying to make them better. Thank you for those beautiful moments, guys, you did really a lot for me! Thank you for your support! P.S. Yerma and Azamat we are dying to see you as soon as possible.

The other people who inspired me with their dedication to the job they do are DAMIRA KULAKHMETOVA and AIGERIM SANAYEVA. These girls give really all their passion to our club, and it is what inspires me. For this relatively short period of time they did just unbelievable work in promoting our club and running NAIZA TOASTMASTERS project, respectively. Likewise, thanks to all the people who help them to do it so well: AIGERIM AKILTAYEVA, SOGDIANA AKHMETOVA, ASSEL MUSSINA, DAULET SABYR, BANU IBRAGIM, FARIZA MAKHAY and the other guys who contribute them. You all did just great job, thank you!

Yet, I want to express my gratitude to the following people who helped me, gave me a lot of energy, and somehow believed in me through this CC track:
AIDANA KENESBAYEVA, INDIRA KYILYBAYEVA, ASSIYA BABAYEVA, AIZHAN OSPANOVA, ELMIRA TULBASSIYEVA, DINARA KYDYRNIYAZOVA, AIGERIM KOSHEKEN, YENLIK NURASHEVA, ASSEL STAMBEKOVA, TANA SEISEMBAYEVA, SHOLPAN KENESKHANOVA, SOGDIANA AKHMETOVA, YERNAR ZHYLKAIDAROV, ANARA ISSAYEVA, BANU IBRAGIM, ZHANNA KUSSAINOVA, NUNI ASKER and YERZHAN OMIRKHANOV. I really felt your support from your words and from your sincere eyes guys, thank you a lot!!!

Finally, here is the list of the people who I want to get to know closer than I do, and I hope that I will. Some of them are just new members, while the others are experienced ones, but anyway, they all are very interesting and special people. They also somehow played their roles in my personal improvement during these beautiful 7 month-period:
AIDAR ABRAYEV, AIGERIM AKILTAYEVA, ANARA SERIKBAYEVA, CHINGIZ MATAYEV, BAIRAM ORAZOV, DARMEN AMANBAYEV, AIKORKEM NURZHANOVA, MARZHAN AMANZHOLOVA, ELMIRA BALTABAYEVA, YERLAN DURMAGAMBETOV, SEROB MANUKYAN, NURLAN APUSHEV, DZHAMILYA SERIKBAYEVA, MYRZKHAN OMARBAYEV, ASSET ABUOV, YURA KIM, DIANA NURTLESSOVA, ZHAKSYBEK NURTLESSOV, ZHANARA ZHAKSYLYKOVA, AIBEK BEKENOV, ANARA BADYRLENOVA, ASSYLAN AKIMBAYEV, AZAMAT ZHUNUSSOV, AZAMAT MAKHSUDOV and FARIZA MAKHAY.

Overall, my dear friends, dear toastmasters, as you see, all of you took your own part in this astonishing period of my life. I’m looking forward to those moments when I congratulate you with achieving those goals that you set and I’m also starving to make my first steps as an advanced speaker. Hope I can count on your support as I could throughout my unforgettable CC road. Thank you all guys!!!

Best regards,
Anuar Unaibekov (with your support, guys, already CC)

 

Below, you can also watch his 10th project!

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Recipe for Success: My CC story with Marzhan Amanzholova

My journey to ATC life began from a very simple question “Are you for the first time here?” from Aidana Kenesbayeva, who later became my friend. So, in 3 years of being member of ATC I managed to make friendship with many good people and successfully completed Competent Communicator manual. However, if you have a real desire to finish this manual in one year or in 6 months, it is possible.

The words coming from your heart will find a way to come out.

If you would like to hear the whole story, let me start from the very beginning. Well, my story began from an Ice-breaking speech and tiresome preparation. Speech structure, then content and then a great number of rehearsals, led to the joyful delivery and strict feedback. With every new speech I made I got new experience and polished public speaking skills.

My Projects

Talking about projects I made, I would like to mention that the easiest one for me was project #8 “Visual aids” where you need to use at least 2 aids to support your speech and make it more visible. I suppose here comes your “Why?”. I would answer that it is always easy to talk about something you love very much. I love my city that is why I delivered a speech about Astana. The most difficult was project #7 “Research your topic”. This project aimed to make research on the topic you have chosen and support your speech by adding statistics. Firstly, I could not choose an appropriate topic, then I felt that my research was not deep enough, and then I decided to change my topic. But one of my ATC peers helped me to come and see the project from another side and advised to look for some articles as a source of research. Although I delivered speeches rarely, I tried to make them “high-quality”.

My Mentors

Support and help are usual things for ATC members. Even more, there is a special system of mentoring in ATC. I myself had 2 mentors, Aidana and Asset who put a huge input and time to help me to grow as a speaker. They were open and shared all information they have gained from Toastmasters. For instance, Aidana taught me to not memorize speeches, but to associate every sentence I wrote with something. Asset has his own view and own approach, so he advised to rehearse speeches having TV switched on, as a disturber. They for sure have more tricks and knowledge to share and I can probably write a book about their technics, but I believe they could happily tell them to you at the meetings. Because one of the keys to become a better leader is to give opportunity to the less experienced club members to develop their leadership skills by sharing knowledge.

Our club is always very welcome to see you as a guest and if right now you are looking for a place where you could improve speaking skills, become a real leader and make new friends –  Astana Toastmasters Club is the place you could think of!

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Recipe for Success: My journey to ACS and CL by Indira Kyilybayeva

I started my toastmaster journey in June 2014 when I delivered my ice-breaking speech. Standing next to the lectern, I couldn’t imagine how Toastmasters club would transform my life in less that two years. Today I would like to share my experience with the readers of this amazing blog (thanks PR team for this initiative!)

I moved to Astana in October 2013. Desperate for new friends, I started to explore new opportunities which Astana offered to me. That’s how I came across ATC. I visited ATC on 8th of February 2014, but found courage to deliver my first speech only 4 months later!

Today I am a proud ACS and CL which stands for advanced communication silver and competent leadership respectively. It means that I delivered 30 speeches and completed 10 leadership projects.

My journey to ACS

The first ten speeches made me extremely excited (from CC manual¹)! I am a bookworm and love to share with friends what I learnt from books I had read. Usually, my audience consists of my dear husband, my close friends and social media followers. And now I discovered that I could share exciting things with new people who are eager to hear me! yay! )) Most speeches from CC manual were devoted to some book. For example, CC#2 – Defining decade, CC#3 – Food rules, CC#4 – Brain rules, CC#8 – The Honest Truth about Dishonesty, in CC#9 I used facts from John Maxwell’s book on leadership, in CC#10 – from Malcolm Gladwell’s book The Tipping point.
I love reading so I never run out of ideas for my speeches :)

As for advanced manuals, I chose the following:
– Entertaining speaker – because some people at ATC said that my serious speeches sometimes made them cry and I wanted to learn new public speaking techniques
– Storytelling – one of the most interesting manuals to prepare and to listen to
– Technical presentations – very useful for work
– Speeches by management – I am being a career girl, couldn’t resist the temptation 😉

Right now I am working on Interpretive reading and Speaking to inform manuals.
Upon completion of these two manuals, I will receive advanced communication gold award. That will be le fin of my communication track.

From all 35+ speeches I performed my last one from CC is the most valuable for me. Title was Joy Thief and the speech supposed to inspire the audience to stop comparing their lives with the lives of others as this comparison steals all the joy and happiness. 


How I prepare to my speeches

On average I deliver 2 projects per month (current ATC rules do not allow to perform more). The hardest part is topic selection, then I just prepare PPT if necessary and rehearse several times. I never write scripts (actually I did it only twice – with my ice breaking speech and with CC#10 because I was a contest participant and my team shared texts to get opinion from each other). Probably, some find writing a script a useful and important part of preparation but it never worked for me. On the other hand, during rehearsal I polish structure, think out new arguments and ideas. It also makes a big difference when it comes to time management.

Usually I start preparation well in advance, but sometimes I finish doing PPT just one hour before the meeting))) But I never skip rehearsal. I heard that on average it takes one hour of rehearsal time for every minute of speech for TED talk. It’s ideal, of course. It takes 30-60 minutes for me, overall, but it’s enough to prepare 7-10 minutes speech.

My journey to CL

Now let’s talk about CL².
At first I found it useless – indeed, how one could become a better leader by being a general evaluator, let alone, an ah-counter??
But then I decided to give it a try. It turned out that my three most exciting projects started as a part of CL!
First, I was an editor-in-chief of August newsletter³. Totally new experience for me. I appreciate that I learnt new skills (like inserting a video clip into a microsoft word doc!)
Second, the whole new Samruk-Kazyna toastmasters club* was born due to a leadership project of a Membership campaign!
Third, I was honored to organise speech contest which became one of the brightest meetings of 2015 year. Everyone got some prize and most importantly everyone was cheered up by this blissful event. I even received a certificate for organising the best speech contest of the year!
Understanding the importance of CL was the hardest part, everything else was easy! I highly encourage fellow toastmasters not to underestimate this first ten leadership project. After all, Toastmasters is all about leadership!Some people think that ATC is a bunch of nerds. Well, I definitely am and never ashamed to admit it)) Mind you we have normal people around us, though nerdic type prevails – how else would you explain that the most visited social event is Что?Где?Когда? )))
However, ATC is not only about learning, but also about making new friends, sharing ideas, helping each other, starting new projects together, growing professionally and becoming a better version of yourself. On top of that, it’s sooooo much fun!
You definitely need to be part of our big Toastmasters family! 😉

Editor notes:

¹ At Toastmasters the members have two tracks they can and should follow: Communication and Leadership Tracks. Here, Indira shares her experience on doing the first track, communication. Indira has completed her Competent Communicator (performed first 10 speeches from CC manual), Advanced Communicator Bronze (performed the other 10 speeches from two advanced manuals of her choice) and Advanced Communicator Silver (the other 10 speeches from two advanced manuals). Now, Indira has started to give speeches from two advanced manuals and after completing them, she will receive Advanced Communicator Gold. (more information on Resources).
² CL stands for Competent Leadership. It is the first manual to complete from a Leadership Track. As CC it has 10 projects that will help to improve the member’s leadership skills. After CL, Indira can and is working on her Advanced Leader Bronze. (more information on Resources).
³ From February, 1st as a club we do not make newsletters and have started this blog, instead.
* Samruk-Kazyna toastmasters club – is a new and soon-to-become an affilicated club of Toastmasters International. For more information on local clubs follow this link.