Author: Aisha Maukembayeva

Meeting on 17/08/2016

Quite a wide range of subjects were arisen during our meeting held on August 17. If you just look at the picture you might wonder how Tom could be afraid of Ilyas. The answer is hidden in a video where Tom conveyed his speech.


Greg led the meeting as a Toastmaster and Zhadra fulfilled the role of the General Evaluator.

Zhansaya presented us her project #4 titled “The Important Question to Ask Yourself”. She shared her personal story about setting up goals but not achieving them yet. To determine why that happened she surf the Internet and found out the article of a blogger Mark Manson called “The most important question of your life”. It was about people’s desires to attain their aims by focusing on the results and rewards only, but not enjoying the process and not willing to pay the cost of their dreams. So the most important question to ask yourself was “What were you willing to struggle for?” As Manson said a person was defined by the values he/she was willing to struggle for. Therefore, our struggles determined our successes.

Ainur delivered her project #6 on vocal variety called “My Beloved Almaty”. She came from Astana and told us about her impressions about Almaty. Ainur went through different stages of getting used to new environment, like honeymoon, cultural shock, adaptation and reverse culture shock. It was interesting to know what kind of experience people had when they start living in our city. In case of Ainur, she went through favourable, challenging and funny situations. All of that taught her to be positive, flexible and open-minded.

Tom demonstrated his storytelling ability on his speech “Pay it Back”. Everyone was captured by his story as it was very exciting and gripping! The moral of the tale was about treating other people as you wanted to be treated.

Gaukhar Axakalova continued the meeting as a Table Topics Master with a presentation “Love is around us”. She asked different questions on love between men and women, people and their pets and other manifestation of love that surround us. She encouraged the audience to love and support each other.

Congratulations to our winners: Tom and Yermurat, who became the best prepared and impromptu speakers respectively and Ilyas, who gained the vast majority of voices for the speech evaluation!

Gaukhar Axakalova was determined as a new VP of Events after the voting process. Best wishes for you in this new stage!


Meeting on 08/06/2016

I was very glad to see everyone on the 8th of June as a Toastmaster. My decision was to dedicate that meeting for summer time. As you know Children’s day is celebrated on its first day. Maybe because summer time is usually associated with holiday, when people want to relax, some of them tend to go for adventures, experience new things and emotions. At that time they get the same courage, curiosity, passion and zest for life as children. It was nice to hear the best childhood memories and dream holidays of our speakers. That allowed knowing them from very different perspective. The speakers in turn impressed me with their positivity, determination to change the world, creativity and sense of humour.

The first speaker conveyed his Ice Breaker Speech called “Changing the World Begins with Changing Yourself”. He started his career in the military as a Chinese interpreter. However, after serving for several months he realized that it was not his path. Furthermore, Alibek decided to be a businessman in order to change the world, as Steve Jobs, Elon Mask, Mark Zuckerberg and others. He compared his business career with sine graph with its ups and downs. After taking a number of trainings and courses Alibek deduced a set of successful people. First set was about managing four resources: time, money, health and connection. The following one was managing soft skills: language, public speaking and fast reading. The third one was mastering professional skills. Alibek completed his speech with a quote: “Changing the world begins with the very personal process of changing yourself. The only place you can begin is where you are, the only time you can begin is always now”.

IMAG0685Second speaker Ilyas demonstrated his story telling ability on his project #2 “Most Memorable Trip” from an advanced communicator’s manual. It was interesting to listen to him, as his story was full of adventure, some danger, reckless decisions and the unpredictable end. There were a lot of details, descriptions of the environment as it was easy to imagine the situation happened with Ilyas several years ago. Also the elements of humour and amusement made his speech lively and funny.

Aiym delivered her speech #8 called “Enjoy the Process”. She explained about the difference on how people perceive the information. Aiym comprised of four different types of learners: visual, auditory, reading/writing and kinesthetic. This aspect should be considered carefully especially at school. Teachers ought to find an attitude for every child according to their ways of absorbing given information. Aiym said that enjoying the process was a key in learning anything. It was nice to see her notes taken before to learn song lyrics. That was a really good idea to choose artists whose songs could really enlarge one’s vocabulary if they wanted to learn foreign languages. Aiym learned how to sing rap songs by combining different types of learning: listening, writing, reading and singing out loud. She demonstrated that skill at the end of her speech by singing Nicki Minaj’s song “Super Bass”. That was incredible!

Zhansaya continued the meeting as a Table Topics Master presenting the speech “Working at Work”. She gave different suggestions on how to be productive and efficient at work. Additionally, Yadykar shared her own tips of productivity at work. They were switching off mobile phones and social networks’ notifications, announcing others not to distract you and concentrating on your work only.

Congratulations to our winners: Alibek and Yadykar, who became best speakers and Begzod, who was declared as the best evaluator!


Stay tuned to our news and enjoy every moment of summer!


Meeting on 25/05/2016

We had a memorable meeting on the 25th of May. Yernar Kossamanov joined to our club as an official member. There were four prepared speakers delivering different projects: an Ice Breaker, a soon-to-be Competent Communicator and two other prepared speakers. Each speech was unique. All of them brought their own piece of wisdom and food for thought. To find out more keep reading the articles on our website, watch videos on our youtube channel and leave your comments.

IMAG0597Our Ice Breaker Erkebulan managed to break the ice between him and the listeners telling about his inclinations and hobbies. That in turn shaped his mindset and played a major role in choosing a career path of a Math teacher. He demonstrated openness sharing the experience about the difficulties he faced during his study at Master’s course. A video from a social network motivated him to overcame that obstacle and let him to carry on. Erkebulan wished to achieve a Competent Communicator’s level. Congratulations on making your very first step forward towards your goal! Keep moving on with the same or even more interest and eagerness!

Next speaker Yernar delivered his second project about “The Legend of a Little Dragon”. It was about Bruce Lee’s biography. Bruce was a martial artist and a man, who broke the barriers. Bruce’s family kept him up when he was not able to walk and stand properly. That support let him to surmount the hardship time and continue his mission with even more courage and enthusiasm. By the end of the speech Yernar replicated Bruce Lee’s “Be Water” moral, which taught everyone to be flexible and adaptive to any situation.


Gaukhar Zhunussova presented her project #5 called “Morals and Manners” starting from the story taken from her childhood. Also she took an excerption from Johnston’s article where morals and manners were distinguished clearly. In contrast, Greeks and Romans considered them as the parts of a whole thing. In addition to that Gaukhar gave an example of Kazakhstani people who returned to the motherland and found it hard to adapt to the roughness of the local people. However, many of those people were kind deep inside. In conclusion, Gaukhar left us with a choice to remain rough outside and kind inside, or to be limited by good manners only or as Plato said to unite both.

Begzod conveyed his tenth project titled “Selling Yourself”. He shared different tips on how to get a dream job. Begzod provided clear illustrations of how people sold a calculator and a comb to a bold person in the most smart and creative ways. It was great to hear Nelson Mandela’s wisdom, which Begzod used to encourage not suitable interviewees: “Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again”. Begzod said about the factors influencing to choose the right candidate on job interviews. Conclusively, he presented us a video taken from the movie “The Pursuit of Happiness”, where the main hero demonstrated himself from the best perspective and got his aimed job despite all troubles he had before.

IMAG0628Yernur carried out the meeting as a Table Topics Master giving a speech about “Social Networks”. This topic was very relevant for the audience and there were a lot of volunteers who wanted to express their thoughts. Gaukhar Balkassynova shared her own tips on how she overcame her addiction to social network by reading and running.

Congratulations to Begzod and Gaukhar Balkassynova, who became the best prepared and impromptu speakers respectively, and Yernur, who was announced as the best evaluator!



Meeting on 11/05/2016

We had very interesting meeting last Wednesday. Our new member Yernur conducted the meeting as a Toastmaster. There were two Ice Breakers and a guest speaker from New York City.

The first Ice Breaker Aziza shared the facts from her life on her speech titled “The Fluke”. She shared her experience on how she found her destiny and passion by fluke, which were perfectly interwoven in her job. It was nice to see Power Point slides illustrating how it looked like. There were a lot of enthusiasm and smile on Aziza’s face when she was telling us about her occupation.Very good start, Aziza!

The following speech was delivered by our dear guest from New York Toastmaster’s club – Dilber Shatursun. The title of her 9th project was “The Attitude of Gratitude”. The key idea of her oration was strengthening the quality of relationships, increasing the level of fulfillment by affirming people, helping them and not complaining. Dilber presented bright examples from her own life experience to demonstrate how these methods could be implemented in practice. Applying all of those things would definitely create the atmosphere of gratitude and increase the quality of our lives.

Another Ice Breaker Yernar told us about his experience studying in the UK and his passion for boxing.  He shared about the moments of proudness that he had there: when a Kazakh boxer Serik Sapiyev beat his opponent in Olympic Games in 2012 and when Yernar obtained his degree from the UK University. He said that we need to act with dignity like an ambassador of our country in any case especially when we were abroad. Yernar gave an excellent example of such kind of person – Gennady Golovkin, who was a humble, confident and professional boxer. The speech was completed by Muhammed Ali’s quote: “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee, hands can’t hit what eyes can’t see”.

Andrey took a lead for carrying on the meeting as a Table Topics Master presenting the topic called “Our Great World”. Tair answered to the question about the challenge he overcame recently. That was running 42 km at Almaty Marathon. Tair explained that it was important to continue despite the difficulties in pursuing your dreams and goals.

Congratulations to Yernar and Tair who became the best prepared and impromptu speakers respectively. Begzod was announced as the best speech evaluator. Well done, guys!

Meeting on 20/04/2016

There were a number of updates on our club meeting last Wednesday. We accepted a new member Zhansaya Edilkhan and had the president of Astana Toastmasters Club Anuar as a guest. He participated actively at the Table Topics Session.

The meeting was opened by our club president Tom Bartkoske who then led the meeting as a Toastmaster. We had two prepared speakers Gaukhar and Zhadra.

Gaukhar Axakalova presented us her project #3 “What is Sport for Me”. She started her speech with the ancient Greek’s aphorism: “If you want to be healthy – run, if you want to be handsome – run, if you want be smart – run”. Her passion for volleyball taught her to be confident, do not afraid of failure and to work in a team. It was great to hear the cases taken from her own life experience to support her statements. Personally for me, it was exciting to listen to Gaukhar’s speech as I am also passionate about volleyball. I am very lucky to be a part of that volleyball team and very thankful to Gaukhar for inviting me there. This game really brings a lot of joy and opportunities to develop different life skills.

Our second speaker Zhadra delivered her project #4 “Everyone is a Genius”.  The title of her speech was taken from Albert Einstein’s quote: “Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish with its ability to climb a tree it would live its whole life believing that it is stupid”. She gave an example from her work experience and childhood. At the same time Zhadra outlined that sometimes our weaknesses could become our strength. It was fascinating to hear a story about Steve Jobs on how his criticism assisted him to make breakthrough and innovation. By providing these evidences Zhadra allowed me to affirm that everyone was unique and genius.

Greg and Aliya evaluated the projects of our prepared speakers. They provided very detailed and comprehensive analysis of the speeches according to the tasks given for each project. It is always great to have a good evaluator, who provides a constructive feedback and combines praise and suggestions for further development skillfully rational and appropriate. Aliya and Greg demonstrated these abilities prodigiously well.

The Table Topics Session was devoted for the school theme called “Back to School”. Assel Bekbulatova arouse very interesting questions recalling our memories of school time: teachers, lessons, grades and worthiness of that period. Ernur answered to the question about the qualities of a good teacher. He told a story from his school experience on how his teacher’s encouragement and belief motivated him significantly to study better.

Congratulations to our winners of the meeting: Zhadra and Ernur, who became the best prepared and impromptu speakers respectively; Gaukhar, who demonstrated the most improvement, and Aliya, who was recognized as the best evaluator. All of our winners were awarded by special Toastmasters ribbons. Great job, guys!

Meeting on 13/01/2016


We had quite interesting very first meeting of this year. The session was opened by our regular member Daulet who congratulated everyone with New Year. After completing the formal introduction of the volunteers and everybody who came to the meeting, the prepared speakers presented their projects.




Elizabeth gave her ice breaker speech called “What Makes You a Stronger Person”. She started her speech saying that it was common that everyone faced difficulties. The differences were in their approaches to handle those tough situations. One can play safe and ignore what that experience was going to teach him/her, whereas another one could learn a lesson and become stronger, self-sufficient and positive. Elizabeth showed the benefits that we could get from a hardship, such as new opportunities, appreciation of the good things and development of our personalities. Elizabeth gave the perfect examples of persevering people: J.K. Rowling, Tomas Edison, and Walt Disney. They took many attempts and failed several times before they succeeded. Elizabeth suggested not to give up and said that challenges could help us to become better.

IMG_0343Sholpan also delivered her first speech with a title “Trip through the Atlantic Ocean”. She shared about the crucial experience she had crossing the Atlantic Ocean during her practice. That trip helped her to determine whether she could to be a mariner or not. It was delightful to see how Sholpan was telling about that trip and her profession. This experience was full of adventure and some little troubles. Also Sholpan described the beauty of the ocean and its inhabitants. It was very interesting to know the peculiarities of such uncommon job. Sholpan was very enthusiastic about her amazing experience and occupation. In conclusion she advised to love what we do and enjoy life.

IMG_0345Next prepared speaker was our regular member Assel who conveyed her fifth project “Some Wise Stories”. She presented two stories that might help to change one’s attitude and serve as New Year resolutions.  The first one was about an Indian water bearer who had two pots. One was perfect and whole, while another one had a crack. The second one was ashamed because of its disadvantage and apologized for that. The wise water bearer showed flowers to the pot that he planted on one side of a road where that pot was spilling water. So he took the advantage of the pot’s crack and decorated the master’s house with those flowers. The parable taught us that everyone was unique and differed with their disadvantages. She encouraged us to accept ourselves and take the advantages of our weak points. The second story was about the son who wanted to buy an hour of his father’s time borrowing 25 dollars from him and adding the same amount of his own money. Assel asked us to add two resolutions to our lists. They were to accept and love ourselves, and spend more time with our families.

Aliya, Begzod and Andrey evaluated the prepared speeches. They outlined the strong points of every speech and gave suggestions for improvement according to the task of the projects. Thanks to our evaluators who help prepared speakers to grow and develop further!

I led the Table Topics session about Oprah Winfrey’s biography. She an American media proprietor, talk show host, actress, producer, and philanthropist. I decided to choose her biography because she is one of the people who motivates me with her interviews and talk shows. Her initial name was Orpah, but due to the mispronunciation of her name as Oprah, she was renamed later on. In my opinion, the meaning of her initial name has had some influence on her life. The first question was about the influence of people’s names on their lives. Akbar explained the meaning of his name, which was “The Great”. That was also one of the names of Allah. Many people told his parents that it could be difficult for a child to have that name. However, Akbar outlined that it was not his case. He added that there was some influence of the names on people’s lives but it all depended on their attitudes and priorities. Arailym also shared about the meaning of her name reasoning out why she was named like that. She said that the meaning of her name was “sunset”. Being the last child in her family she became like sunset for her parents when she was born.

IMG_0366Oprah was impressed by the book “The Color Purple” as it exactly reflected her life. The following question was about the book that mostly influenced and changed somebody. Ernur said that “An American Tragedy” written by Theodore Dreiser impressed him very much. He suggested his relatives to read it in order to understand what kind of difficulties young people might have. Also that book inspired him to organize a reading contest to his family members. The challenge lasted a year and around 10 people participated. The surprising fact was that eight of them were not keen on reading books at all. So they were interested by the prize – IPhone 6. As a result Ernur’s accomplishment was 34 books, but his younger brother read 35 books. So he won the contest and got the prize. Ernur concluded that many people read more than 10 books by the end of the year and now he could see the change in those people.

Considering biographies of famous people on Table Topics Session helps to reveal their secrets of success and use them to achieve your own. Our heroine became wealthy due to her strong desire to fulfill her dreams, persistence, belief and purposefulness. Additionally a human factor comes first for her. She says that success is not final. Everything is changeable in this fast growing world. So according to Oprah “What is real and what is lasting is who you are and what gift you meant to bring to this world and nobody can take away that from you”.

IMG_0374The winners of the meeting were Sholpan and Ernur. Congratulations guys!

Thanks our volunteers Zhadra, Gaukhar and Ilyas who fulfilled responsibly the roles of Ah-Counter, Grammarian and Timer correspondingly. Also I would like to thank Tom for being the General Evaluator and Daulet for performing the role of the Toastmaster. Thanks everyone who participated during the meeting and Farin for bringing us such delicious cakes!



Thanks Tom who kindly provided the photos of the meeting.


Meeting on 02/12/2015

DSC01231Last Wednesday we had a wonderful meeting. There were talks about different topics, like education, lessons learned during some life period, a soul, family, career, betray and forgiveness. It was great to know other people’s opinions, their life experiences and pieces of advice on life and self-improvement.

The meeting was opened by the president of our club Tom Bartkoske. He gave everyone the opportunity to introduce themselves at the beginning of the session, which was followed by the prepared speeches.


DSC01204I delivered my project #4 titled “Vessel”. The main idea of my speech was to let people think about what they fill their souls with. Many people care about their appearance, health and hygiene, but they usually do not care about their soul conditions sometimes filling it with not pleasant confirmations and emotions. This is why I found it useful to raise the topic of soul care. In my view, exactly a soul defines a lot of things: whether we are happy or unhappy, feel hurt or depressed, love or hate. I drew analogies between a soul and a vessel, and between mind and a filter or a channel. Firstly, I offered to achieve mindfulness in order to refresh your mind. After that to filter thoroughly what to pass in your soul. That is also called emotional or mental hygiene. As for me, the following parable really helps to keep the mental hygiene and personally for me to concentrate on things that really matter. It is about an old Indian who revealed one life truth to his grandson. He said: “There is an inner fight in everyone. It is very similar to the fight of two wolves. One wolf represents evil: envy, jealousy, egoism, judgement, lie, etc. Another one represents good – peace, love, hope, kindness, fidelity and so on. The story touched the grandson’s heart so deeply that he became thoughtful. After some time he asked: “So which wolf wins?” An old Indian smiled and replied him: “The one you feed!”Knowing this truth might really help managing your life. We direct our energy towards where we keep our focus on. It is everyone’s own choice what they would fill their vessels with and the vessels of their beloved ones. also presented project #4 with a title “Education First”. He talked about the stumbling blocks and vicious circles in education. He raised the issues related to discriminations and racism, which led the increase of crime level. Andrey conveyed really thorough research on this topic and gave a lot of examples from real life. Further he supported his findings with statistics. He compared the problems of education in Kazakhstan and the USA. Also he mentioned about the scarcity of funds investing to the education by the government. In conclusion, Andrey said that he raised his eyebrow when he heard Condoleeza Rice’s saying that she was able to see the high level of education of our nation. Education really defines a lot of things in our lives. Thank you Andrey for making such a detailed presentation about the problems in education. The issues you said should really be solved. So that would definitely increase the quality of our lives.

DSC01223Aiym presented her project #6 on vocal variety called ”Things I Learned in 22 Years”. There were a lot of useful lessons to learn from her speech. The most memorable ones were: “family is first and nothing can be compared with it”; “forgiveness is the road to happiness”; “the only person to whom you should prove is yourself”; “nothing lasts forever”, “appreciate the current moment”, “there is no bad experience”, “we attract what we think” and so on. Aiym added her creativity by singing a song of Bruno Mars “Just the Way You Are” when she said about uniqueness of every person. Also she sang Eminem’s song when she suggested not losing your chance. The last thing she said was that there were a lot of things left to learn for her. It is always wonderful to hear your singing Aiym. When you add songs to your speeches it made them vivid, colourful and memorable.

Yadykar, Gaukhar Zhunussova and Greg evaluated prepared speeches. Their feedbacks were very relevant and supportive. They said about strong and weak points of every speaker in a most encouraging way. It is very important to have a constructive and appropriate evaluation. That really helps speakers to develop further. Thanks Yadykar, Gaukhar and Greg for fulfilling your roles responsibly and thoroughly.

DSC01233Table Topics Session was led by Gaukhar Axakalova. It was dedicated to the biography of Donald Trump. He is a billionaire, entrepreneur, businessman, investor and writer. Also he is the candidate to the president of the USA in 2016. The first question was whether you agree or not with the following Trump’s statement: “There are too many ways to make career. The best way is to be born in the right place and right family”. According to Zhansaya’s opinion it did not matter in which family you were born. The most important thing was when parents gave the opportunity to their children to express themselves. Dauren answered to the question on what inspired him in hard times. The best quote that motivated him was his father’s saying: “It could be worth. I am alive. So I can beat my problems”. Aray answered to the same question with Gandhi’s expression: “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” Her suggestion was to do what you want and like despite others opinions. There were a lot of volunteers who answered to the question: “Would you give a second chance to a person who betrayed you”. Many people replied that it all depended on a person. Everyone could change. So if that person felt sorry about it sincerely and really want to correct his mistakes, then the second chance should be given, because everybody made mistakes. Gaukhar completed her presentation with a quote: “World is like a big mirror reflecting all our thoughts and actions”.

IMG-20151203-WA0002The voting process and the result were different this time. We also voted for the best evaluator. This idea was brilliant, because evaluators play one of the important roles in Toastmasters. Giving a comprehensive analysis of any speech, noticing all worthy and weak points of speakers and motivating them to work on their imperfections are challenging and not easy. So evaluators really deserve the approvement. Congratulations to Aiym and Greg who became the best prepared speaker and evaluator! The opinions of people were different on the best table topics speaker.

Thank you Zhadra, Zhanar and Meruert for fulfilling the roles of an Ah-Counter, a Grammarian and a Timer. I would like to thank Tom for leading the meeting and Gaukhar Axakalova for being a Table Topic Master. Thanks everyone for sharing your thoughts and ideas. Some of them were similar to mine, whereas others vice versa. Everyone is different. This diversity makes our lives brighter and better. Every our meeting contains something to learn and grow. What really connects all of us is the willingness to make our lives and community happier and much better!

Thanks Greg and Tom for capturing interesting moments and providing the video of the meeting.

How can Toastmasters help your career

Toastmasters club was designed to help people improve their communication and leadership skills…but it is most widely known to develop one’s public speaking skills.  It is an excellent training ground for anyone seeking a career or looking to improve their overall skills. Toastmasters experience can offer you the following advantages:

  1. Presentation Skills – Being an excellent presenter is by far one of the best advantages a person can possess. The training focuses on effective use of voice, eye contact, gestures, timing, handling nerves and using visual aids to add to your presentation. Whether you are in the boardroom looking to justify your position during a company meeting, or in front a room full of people, you need to inspire and persuade the audience to get in to your message. The presentation skills you acquire from toastmasters will give you that edge.
  2. Leaderships Skills – Leadership skills can help position you as the expert in any field. Toastmasters take on challenges, make things happen and get things done. The Toastmasters program has a parallel track to the communication path which will provide specific training applicable to advancing your career, especially if management is a goal of yours.
  3. Credibility – Toastmasters are known for continuous self-improvement. Your association to Toastmasters will be a powerful contributor to your resume. It is an excellent topic when answering the question, “Tell me about yourself” during your next interview.
  4. Confidence – soaring confidence is a tremendous advantage. As a Toastmaster, you are required to step out of your comfort zone every time you tackle a new speech, plan a contest or put yourself up for evaluation. Toastmasters are conditioned to work through fear, which ultimately builds confidence. As your confidence grows, the challenges you take on will become easier.
  5. Organizational Skills – Organizational skills are important in work for follow up, managing your database, preparing proposals and presentations, managing your daily activities, meeting preparation…etc. The skills you receive from your Toastmasters experience will improve your organizational skills. Drafting speeches in a concise, yet logical format that is both informative and entertaining takes excellent organizational skills which can easily be applied to your career.
  6. Sharper Listening Skills –In Toastmasters, members learn techniques for delivering constructive, yet positive evaluations. They are also evaluated regularly. Receiving and giving evaluations help us hone our listening skills and accept constructive feedback more easily. Toastmasters are well equipped to listen reflectively to their clients/colleagues and provide relevant solutions which will give them yet another advantage in their career tool belt.
  7. Networking Opportunities – Toastmasters are a supportive group. They will make an effort to help each other because they all have something in common. In most cities, there are a lot of clubs, so the opportunities are vast. A lot of networking goes on within the Toastmasters clubs, especially during the contests. Fellow toastmasters feel comfortable sharing their knowledge with each other


Welcome New Member – Togzhan ^^

Dear Fellows Toastmasters!


Autumn is a rich with harvest season. And autumn in our club is rich with new members.

I want you to join me welcome our new member Togzhan^^~. So happy to see you as a part of our family and we wish you good luck!

Also it was Thanksgiving day last week, I want all our members as well as visitors to be healthy and in a good mood. Stay inspired and self-development aimed.

I believe great success and amazing future awaits all of us.





Meeting on 25/11/2015

DSC01060We had wonderful and amazing meeting last Wednesday. Many speakers were distinguished with their creativity, artistry and enthusiasm. This post is more detailed than previous ones, because there were a lot of worthwhile moments to learn and discover that might broaden your outlook.

Begzod led the meeting as a Toastmaster. He gave everybody a chance to introduce themselves and to say where they heard about Toastmasters.



DSC01066First prepared speaker Greg delivered project #6 on vocal variety with a title “We Are Different”. He opened his speech with addressing to the whole mankind, which grasped the attention of the audience immediately. He mentioned how our race has evolved from the beginning, but despite that there were some things which we did not do well. One of them was marriage. He defined it as the building block of our future. In his opinion the main reason of why we still made mistakes on that was the difference between men and women. Greg said that they were simply engineered differently. He described typical features of an Australian and an Italian men showing their swings and roundabouts. Greg pointed out that every man had some errors which compete with the interests of their wives, families and relationships. He encouraged moving on despite that fact. Greg reasoned it out by saying: “Marriage is worth making every effort no matter how many attempts you have to make, because when you get it right, when it works, it is better than anything in the world”.

DSC01078Second prepared speaker Yadykar presented her project #10 on inspiring the audience titled “Fear Teacher Diamond”. She asked everyone to close their eyes and to imagine a newborn baby. When we opened our eyes Yadykar showed white paper comparing it with a toddler. She said that exactly parents write on that paper showing what was right for a kid sculpturing a human being. Additionally Yadykar explained that a baby learned a sense of fear during the first years. Parents tought them a sense of fear in order to prevent grave consequences. Further Yadykar gave her own example by saying that teaching let her to overcome the fear of public speaking. She explained that her work allowed her to realise that everyone was unique, everyone was a diamond. It was nice to hear when Yadykar asked us to repeat: “I am a diamond!” during her presentation. She suggested repeating that every morning. Then Yadykar sang inspirational and motivational little song with Begzod dedicated for the anniversary of our club. In conclusion, she motivated us to keep coming to our club, combatting any fear we had, not just public speaking and to become a diamond in our own way.

TDSC01087his time I evaluated Greg’s speech. My task was to assess the effective use of vocal variety in order to convey the main message. As we go further in doing different projects it gets more sophisticated and interesting at the same time. So I paid my attention to so many different aspects of Greg’s voice, like volume, pitch, rate, quality, pauses and expressiveness. He did well on all of them. It was great to hear some humour in his speech when he pretended to speak with an Italian accent. Greg met the objective of the project showing wide range of emotions from excitement to thoughtfulness and he used his voice efficiently. Daulet evaluated Yadykar’s project. He said about the strong points of her speech and indicated some aspects for further development. Thank you Daulet for your positive and encouraging feedback.

DSC01089This time Table Topics Session was led by two speakers Aliya and Olya who were inspired by John Gray’s seminar. As you know he is the author of the bestseller “Men Are from Mars and Women Are from Venus”. The session was devoted for the most interesting topic for many of us – relationships between men and women. Olya asked the first question on how you realise that a person was your Mr or Mrs Right. Before knowing someone’s opinion she gave an example on how people in Korean society choose their life partners. Before going to get married they usually get drunk to see the real personalities of each other. During the explanation both Aliya and Olya played the roles of that couple. Also they were dressed appropriately showing that Aliya was a woman and Olya was a man.

At the next part of the session they gave 30 seconds to the audience to describe their ideal partners. Smart, clever, ambitious, intelligent, handsome, funny, creative, strong, brave, childish, rich were the main features that ladies wanted to see in their life partners. Adil volunteered to ask this question. He said that this discussion looked like Market Economy. In his view we had a lot of requirements, but did not think about what we could offer to our partners in exchange. Adil added the popular saying: “Behind every great man there is a great woman”. Then he outlined  the main feature of his partner – gratefulness. He supported his opinion by saying that a man sacrificed a lot of thing aspiring to achieve his own and his woman’s dreams. That was why; being grateful was the main feature that he was looking for in his Mrs Right.

Consequently Aliya and Olya invited Zhanar and Greg to the stage to play the roles of a wife and a husband. The wife came home late. She was frustrated, upset and started complaining about her day. In contrast, her husband was in a good mood and reading a newspaper. Greg played the role of an Italian husband who was watching TV, while Zhanar was an Italian wife. It was funny to look at them. Greg were speaking with an Italian accent, asking where his pasta was and calling his mama. They played the typical situation that happened between a husband and a wife. After that Table Topics Masters gave a suggestion that if a man listened to his woman without getting frustrated and nervous, that would be a gift for her. The more she could express herself the more she felt understood. So she would give more love, trust, acceptance, admiration, appreciation and encouragement, that he needed. After that Aliya and Olya played the same roles and showed how it should be according to Mr Gray’s opinion. In this case a husband gave a chance to his wife to express her emotions. Then her tone became lower and lower. Further, the wife told him that while she was stuck in a traffic jam she worried that she would not be able to come earlier to cook a dinner for him. Surprisingly the husband already cooked a dinner for both of them. Olya and Aliya concluded their preformance by saying that men were motivated when they were needed, whereas women were motivated when they cherish.

DSC01190At the final part of the Table Topics session the pictures of a happy lady, an angry girl, a woman listening to music, a punk girl and a rock girl were given for gentlemen as options for making a choice among them. It was tempting for them to choose several ones. The images of a smart guy, a biker boy, an angry guy and an achiever were the options for ladies. Gaukhar chose a nerdy guy. She added some funny moments to her speech. Gaukhar gave a reason of her choice by saying that he looked intellectual and he had nice prospect in the future. She imagined that he was a hardworking person and he would become a professor one day. So she would be happy if her husband would become a professor. Aliya and Olya completed their performance by the proverb: “Do not judge a book by its cover” and said that any person can be angry, sad or happy. They wished good luck in a search for a compatible life partner for those who still single. For those who already found their Mr or Mrs Right they suggested to be patient and grateful.

Congratulations to Yadykar who became the best prepared speaker, and to Adil and Gaukhar who were chosen as the best Table Topics Speakers! Well done guys!

Thanks to Andrey and Gaukhar and Aiym for fulfilling the roles of an Ah-Counter, a Grammarian and a Timer. It was great to hear beautiful phrases, proverbs and metaphors, which Gaukhar outlined from the speakers’ speeches. It really allowed us to remember those phrases and enrich our vocabulary.

Thank you Begzod for leading a fascinating session! Thanks Yadykar and Greg for consummate speeches!  I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Aliya and Olya for such a brilliant Table Topics session. I learned a lot during this meeting and had a lot of fun at the same time. Thanks everyone for their active participation, positive energy and amusing speeches!


Thanks to Greg for kindly providing the photos and a video of the meeting.

Meeting on 18/11/2015 was another interesting meeting last Wednesday full of good ideas and suggestions on how to make our lives better and happier.

Greg opened the session as a toastmaster. He asked everyone to leave their worries and anxieties behind the door. It was very motivating to hear the phrase: “You do not have to be great to be a toastmaster, but if you become a toastmaster you have a chance to be great”.



DSC01041The first prepared speaker Alena delivered her first ice breaking speech “Inspiration in My Life”. Her number one inspiration is her grandmother who had difficulties in her life. Despite that she had strong personality even when she became almost blind. In order to get inspiration from other sources Alena made a list of things that inspired her.  She completed her speech by encouraging everyone to be inspired and to do extraordinary things. (1)Next speaker Zhanar also conveyed her first ice breaking speech called “When I was Young and Twenty”. She started her speech with the fragment taken from a love poem. Zhanar took the message from the poem that many young people do not follow the advice of older generation as she also did before. She shared about her youth mistakes made because of her hot temper and touchiness. That led to the loss of several friends. So Zhanar learned a lesson that can be quoted as “Choose your battle”. She gave a receipt of avoiding conflicts by giving constructive feedback on people’s opinions. In conclusion, Zhanar said: “Step with care and tact, and remember that life is a great balancing act”. The message that she delivered was personally quite relevant for me. Our energy directing to unnecessary things is the waste of time and resources. Choosing your battle also helps to achieve our goals faster with minimum loss. (2)The following speaker Tom presented everyone his project #8 on using visual aids with the title “What is Wrong with You?”. He showed the popular dress which was widely discussed because of its colour. Those people who considered its colour as blue and black thought that something was wrong with people whose views were different. Then Tom showed the diagram of how people react to somebody’s opinion. That was “seeing/hearing –> telling yourself a story –> feeling –> taking action”. Further he told the story taken from Stephen Covey’s book and showed how that diagram worked. It was funny to watch a short supporting video when a man smashed and flooded one’s car because he thought that its owner was his wife’s lover. After couple of minutes the man released that the car was his lottery prize. Tom encouraged everyone to ask a question: “Why would a reasonable, rational, and decent person do what this person was doing?” before taking any action, which would help you to make proper and right decisions.

I hope you would be inspired by Alena’s speech, choose your battle as Zhanar suggested and try to understand other people’s opinions as Tom recommended.

Meruert, Daulet and Aliya gave appropriate evaluations and recommendations for our prepared speakers to develop their public speaking skills. It is always difficult to evaluate somebody’s speech and to give useful tips especially for experienced speakers. Thank you very much for giving constructive feedback which would definitely help the speakers to grow further! (3)

DSC01048Olya presented the biography of Aung San Suu Kyi who was a opposition politician of Burma. She was a fighter for human rights and justice. Aung San was also a good leader. So Olya asked a question about the main features of a leader in appearance and a character. Tom defined the skills of a leader as follows: ability to direct people, setting the goals and achieving them. He added that a good leader has charisma and has good ability to speak publicly. Also the key thing Tom added was serving others and wanting the best for your teammates. Quite unusual question was about the attitude towards freedom and prison. Danyar gave an example of Nelson Mandela who fought for the rights of Afro-Americans pointing out that sometimes it could bring problems like the increase of crime level. Also Danyar said that in case of Aung San Suu Kyi her fight catalyzed the improvement of human rights. He concluded his speech with the saying that if you do right things they would have right outcome, whereas wrong things would bring wrong results. Meruert replied to the same question that sometimes being in a prison can be unfair, since people could also be there for their opinions to improve the government. Meryert was very active this meeting and become the best table topics speaker, while Tom was recognized as the best prepared speaker. Congratulations to our winners!

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Togzhan, Rapiya and Gaukhar were an Ah-Counter, a Grammarian and a Timer correspondingly. Thank you for fulfilling your roles responsibly and giving us helpful reports.

The atmosphere of the meeting was warm welcoming and friendly. Our club meetings are getting better and better. We got a lot of useful, inspirational and interesting tips from many speakers that would definitely develop our minds comprehensively. Thank you for everyone for devoting their time and putting efforts to run our weekly meeting at a high level!


Thanks to Greg who provided the photos and the video of the meeting.

Welcome New Member – Zhadra ^^

Dear Fellow Toastmasters!


Our Almaty Toastmasters club becomes bigger and I want you to welcome our new member Zhadra.

Zhadra presented herself as a truly active and goal aimed person from the very first day.

I’m glad to realize that every member of our community is like a shining diamond.

I hope all of you will agree with me that it is much more easier to continuously develop yourself when you are surrounded by comrades like Zhadra.

Best regards

Olya ^^


Meeting on 11/11/2015


We had another wonderful meeting this week full of useful tips, positive energy and smiles!

The meeting was started by the president of our club Tom Barkoske. He used a little ball as a baton to give a turn for club officers to present themselves. It awoke the interest of the audience even more and that added some dynamics to the meeting. Further there was a procedure of accepting a new member of our club Togzhan. You are very welcome, Togzhan! Look forward to hearing your next projects!



It was nice to hear Assem’s first ice-breaking speech “The Reason I am Here”. She started her speech by saying that she was KIMEPian. Her speech allowed us to know more about Assem’s hobbies, inclinations and lifestyle. She did a lot of volunteering work and she was improving herself from different sides by involving into many different projects. Well done, Assem! Keep going! (1)

It was really interesting to hear Aliya’s project #5 called “Point of View”. She said that people’s points of view differ depending on their gender, culture, generation and other factors. Aliya shared a lesson that she learned from John Gray’s presentation, the author of a book “Man Are from Mars and Women Are from Venus”, that we need to value the differences of each other. Also she added Stephen Covey’s advice about improving listening skills and giving a chance to listen to everybody’s point of view. Aliya completed her speech by encouraging us to learn the lessons from those examples she gave on her speech and stay connected to our hearts.

DSC00999Zhadra presented her second project “The Importance of Smiling”. She gave interesting scientific facts about smile and five reasons to smile. It was great to hear the quote of Lance Armsrong that “if you smile to the world, the world will smile back at you”. Zhadra said about the benefits of smiling and how that can make our lives happier.

Togzhan, Gaukhar and Olya gave very constructive and appropriate evaluations to the prepared speakers and suggestions to develop their public speaking skills further.



DSC01014Ilyas continued the session by presenting the biography of Tim Ferris, an American writer, orator and guru of efficiency. Ilyas asked very interesting questions about tips how to be more effective and whether it was possible for everyone to circumvent the rules. Abylay answered to the question what was better to focus on one thing or on different things. His response was the second one as it made his life more interesting. Zhazira replied to the question about what she would do if failure was impossible by sharing about her future plans. This time we had two winners of Table Topics Session: Abylay and Zhansaya. Aliya became the best prepared speaker. Congratulations to our winners!


Thanks to the volunteers Abay, Daniyar and Daulet for being an Ah-Counter, a Grammarian and a Timer correspondingly for their responsible attitude towards their duties. I would like to thank Tom, Begzod and Ilyas for organizing this meeting and running it enthusiastically. Thanks to Greg for taking a video and photos, which assists me to write weekly reports.

The number of our guests and participants has increased significantly. It really helps to know more people from different spheres, which in turn allows us to broaden our outlook and make more friends. I express my gratitude to everyone who has contributed to make our network wider, brighter and stronger!

Face Everything and Rejoice

Everybody knows that you need to be brave enough to speak in front of people. Public speaking is considered to be the second fear after death. It is a type of social fear. I recently delivered speech about social fear and how that can be defeated. So this article is mostly taken from my performance. For those who attended that meeting it might be helpful to consolidate main points of the topic in your memory and for those who could not come to discover new things about fear. You can explore how it appears and influences physiologically, how to analyse that and prevent its adverse effects. All of that could make a contribution to become braver and overcome your fear of public speaking.

Have you ever been scared by someone who suddenly bumped into you or by a car moving fast towards you? Quite often in those situations we are shocked, blanch with terror and cannot move at all. Alike to an insect which stops instantly when it feels danger. Similarly we all have been gifted by nature with the instinct of self-preservation in order to be hidden from wild and dangerous animals.

When we have fear two hormones adrenalin and noradrenalin start releasing. They allow us to mobilize ourselves, our blood flows towards our hearts and muscles. Thus, the heartbeat becomes more frequent. Also vessels become narrower, which increases arterial pressure and decreases brain activity. That is why; it is hard to make rational decision when we have fear. This condition helps us to fight or to run away. However, there can be tremble and numbness of limbs when we feel fear, which is explained by energy redundancy. So if a human being does not fight or run away his energy released by fear is directed into the wrong way.

Modern humans usually do not have any hazard from dangerous animals. Apart from having threat from other people our modern fears are more related to social fears (misunderstanding, blame, public speaking and so on). In those cases the aforementioned reactions to fear are quite irrelevant and they cause negative effects. Additionally, there is one factor that chases a person who has fears. I would like to give you an example from my life to explain it clearly. I worked as a volunteer in a shelter house for orphans in Malaysia. Anyone who has ever been there should know that there are a lot of lizards. They can creep into houses as cockroaches into our houses before. Another volunteer was very afraid of them as she was sleeping on chairs in a library with lights on. Nevertheless, lizards pursued her everywhere. By giving you this example I would like to say that the objects of our fear usually chase us and our apprehensions become real. To prevent that we need to get rid of our fears at their beginning stage.

So how to struggle with them?

First of all, we need to reveal the real reason of fear. In case of a lizard, it might be the pain from its bite.

Secondly, to assume the worst outcome and possible consequences that might be. In many cases they are not fatal and there should be some ways out.

Thirdly, to find solutions in order to prevent those consequences and apply them in practice.

I explained you three questions those need to be answered in order to analyse your fear.

If your fear is very strong that you cannot think properly and you have adverse effects like palpitation, tremble or extra sweating you can use the following methods:

  • utilize your extra energy: run until you are tired, breathe deeply for several minutes or do some energetic physical activity.
  • repeat affirmations: “I am brave” ; “The audience is waiting for my speech”; “ I always ready to take a risk” and so on.
  • recall inspirational examples or brave heroes to your mind and think about what they would do on that situation. Further try to fake it until you make it.

If you find it hard take little steps to overcome your fears, which would help you to get used to them. For example, if you are afraid of height, try to look down from the second floor, then after some time from the third floor, etc.

Studying the topic of fear a little bit wider helped me personally to analyze my own fears and to conquer some of them, such as uncertainty and height. When I defeated my fear of height I felt endless happiness, pride and the expansion of my limits.

There are many different ways to rise above of your fears. All of them are based on analysing and practicing to confront them. I presented you how to analyse your fear by asking three questions: what is the real reason of fear, what is the worst thing can happen and how that can be prevented. Three methods to escape adverse effects of fear: utilizing your energy, repeating affirmations and being inspired by brave heroes.

After that I am sure you will be able to conquer your fears. If you know fear stands for Face Everything and Rejoice. I am not an expert on overcoming fears, since I have some of them. Public speaking is still among them but I fight with it every time when I deliver my speech. Courage is not the absence of fear but it is about struggling with it. By doing it once we will become braver and our horizons will certainly become wider!


Lucky Chance ^x^

Dear Fellow Toastmasters,

It’s not a secret that all of us nervous when we come up to the stage in front of audience while we deliver prepared speech. But it is even worse when comes up impromptu speech.

When I visited Toastmaster club in Almaty for the first time, Table Topic Master called me and I failed my performance so bad. I was confused and embarrassed a lot.

I want to believe that since that day I overcame my stage fear. But that is not true.

The only thing that happened I changed my point of view. Now coming up to the stage is something like a challenge for me, which I’m curious to accept.

I asked about impromptu speech one of the experienced members  of our club Ilyas, what does he usually feel.

He told me that he always worries. It is not usual thing that he presents perfect impromptu speech. But every meeting he says himself: “Iliyas, that is great opportunity!”. And he volunteers to come up to the stage. This thought makes his performance existing and unusual first of all for himself.

That is what I want you to do!

Start to enjoy the every moment on the stage. Realize how lucky you are, you may speak and people are listening. Finally you will enjoy yourself on the stage. Your confidence will increase and message delivery will become smoother.

As a result the audience will enjoy you and your performances.