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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: 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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Talk like TED or What ATC speakers already do (Part 1)

In one of her speech evaluations, Assel Stambekova mentioned a book she recommended to read to master the art of public speaking, “Talk Like TED” by Carmine Gallo. I followed her advice and thank her for this recommendation.

 

“Talk Like TED” is a book about emotional, novel and memorable presentations and how to give them. The author referred to many TED talks that excelled the art of effective communication. Having watched most examples of exceptional speeches, I thought to myself that our members do possess and masterfully apply these techniques in their speeches. In this post I will go through the 9 chapters of the book with a brief description and my own examples.

 

The most popular TED presentations share nine common elements that can be grouped in three parts: emotional – they touch our heart, novel – they teach something new, and memorable – they present content in ways that’s hard to forget.

 

EMOTIONAL

Chapter 1: Unleash the master within

This chapter is about passion in speeches and that sharing and expressing it is what makes your audience listen to you. “Passion is not a passing interest or even a hobby. A passion is something that is intensely meaningful and core to your identity.”

 

I see many ATC members express their passion in presentations. A recent example is of Indira Kyilybayeva when she talked about her project Pro Bono, a service that lets professionals provide services to those who are unable to afford them. In her speech, Indira showed her passion in being able to offer unpaid help to other people by doing something she was best at. Her message was so clear and powerful that motivated other people to join the project.

 

Chapter 2: Master the art of storytelling

The power of stories is indisputable. Stories help to appeal to audience, make a point, deliver a message and persuade.

“Persuasion occurs when three components are represented: ethos, logos and pathos. Ethos is credibility. We tend to agree with people whom we respect for their achievements, title, experience, etc. Logos is the means of persuasion through logic, data, and statistics. Pathos is the act of appealing to emotions.”

 

The best storyteller that I know in ATC is Korlan Bektassova. I love to hear stories she shares and extremely liked her speeches from Storytelling manual. The most memorable of them was a story about King Arthur and his search for an answer to “What do women want?” The story was very intriguing, was beautifully performed and had an unexpected twist. No wonder on that day Korlan was awarded as the best prepared speaker.

 

Chapter 3: Have a Conversation

This chapter was the most eye-opening for me and it changed the way I prepare to speech presentations now. It says that to appear natural and be authentic I should practice for hours, not particularly memorizing every word that I am going to say, but giving my speech as often as I could. Practice it in front of people, change content if it’s needed depending of their reaction, record it, watch it back. It might sound like a hell of preparation but I believe it will pay off.

 

I realized that almost every time I prepared for my speech I did my work in half: worked on my content, but lacked its rehearsal. The author compares it to “having a ferrari, without knowing how to ride it”. That is what my mentor also commented on when I presented my last project, very emotional for me that at one point I struggled to handle my emotions, thus, felt nervous and exceeded my time limit.

 

NOVEL

Chapter 4: Teach me something new

Some presentations that I watched had a message that contradicted or questioned the conventional wisdom. Those were the speeches that I liked the most, those that taught me something new. According to the author, the information can be not that new, but “packaged differently, or offers a fresh and novel way to solve an old problem”.

 

The example that I want to give is not of a prepared speech, but from a table topic session, when speakers answer a question related to one theme in 1-2 minute time frame. The theme of that meeting was related to book reading. I don’t remember the question itself, but remember how the speaker, Asset Omirzhanov, caught everyone’s attention by saying that he thought reading was not that important. He then later explained his view by talking about meditation and I’m sure if he had time he would masterfully make a whole speech on this topic.

 

Chapter 5: Deliver jaw-dropping moments

Every presentation has or should have a jaw-dropping moment, a shocking, impressive, or surprising moment. It is “so moving and memorable, it grabs the listener’s attention and is remembered long after the presentation is over”.

 

Azamat Makhsudov in his second project talked about schools and how he would make a class on joggling to teach children a lesson of learning. Azamat used some prop: he brought tennis balls and joggled while giving his speech. At one point at his presentation it looked like he dropped the ball because he didn’t play that well and we already started to feel sorry for him. But after a while the audience realized it was made intentionally to show how it might be hard at first to make something work and learn a new skill. I remember this moment very clearly, because it was an “emotionally charged moment”.
These jaw-dropping moments can be some shocking statistics, props, a video, a rhetorical device or personal stories so impactful that everyone remembers it long after your presentation.

 

End of Part 1

by Damira Kulakhmetova

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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.