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!