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!


Almaty Toastmasters Spotlight Series: Greg Heaver

Almaty Toastmasters Club – Member Spotlight Series will be featuring all the current members of the Club. Stay tuned to learn more about our fellow Toastmasters, why joined the Club, what they like about it and what is their life like outside of the Club activities!

Today’s “spotlight” features Greg Heaver, the founding member, Treasurer and recently appointed Vice President of Education of Toastmasters Club in Almaty, Kazakhstan, which was established in December 2013. We are delighted to present this interview.

Greg is an avid follower of Australian Football. This photo was taken at the Kangaroo Bar in Almaty in 2014 on the day of the Grand Final. His team Hawthorn won of course.
Greg is an avid follower of Australian Football. This photo was taken at the Kangaroo Bar in Almaty in 2014 on the day of the Grand Final. His team Hawthorn won, of course!

1. What is your happiest childhood memory?

Each summer when we would spend a few weeks down at a caravan park on the beach together with our cousins and their families, just running around barefoot through the sandhills, eating icecreams, and swimming in the ocean.

2.  When did you join Toastmasters? What made you join?

I think it was in 2011.

Even though I already had some unsucessful stints at public speaking clubs in Australia on my resume, I thought I would give it another shot, simply because I knew that I needed to change.

3.  Life outside Toastmasters or what do you do for a living?

I work for a mining company.

4.     How do you use communication skills in your daily life?

Well, communications is required at some level to just survive in this world. And the better you can do it, the better your life, and the lives of those people around you, will be. So I try and use my skills to create better relationships, and better experiences.

  1.   What do you like best about our Club?

The comradeship, the energy, and the passion of our members. It is infectious.

  1.   What have you learnt since you joined? Do you feel that you had grown as a communicator or a leader since you joined Toastmasters?

I can say without doubt that I have become a better speaker. I know that simply from watching some of the early speeches that were recorded.

But despite saying this, when I watch some of the other incredible Toastmasters in our Club, I realise that I still have a lot to learn in this art.

What I have also learnt is that public speaking is like any skill. No matter how much you progress, if you don’t continuing practising on a regular basis, then you quickly unlearn things and find yourself going backwards, which is not fun.

  1.      What are your personal hobbies and interests?

I love riding my bike, and I love playing poker.

When I was younger I had serious aspirations in the former. Now that I am a little older, I have serious aspirations in the latter.

  1.      Can you share random or surprising facts from you biography?

One of my first jobs was as a ‘checkout chick’ (in case that is Australian terminology, then ‘Person who scans the grocery items and works the cash register in a supermarket’), three times a week after school.

  1.      If you could have a lunch with anyone, who would that person be and why?

No-one in particular comes to mind.

  1.   What is the most important thing you would tell your friends and family about Toastmasters?

That it is never too late to face your fears in life. And if those fears are speaking in public then Toastmasters provides a friendly, encouraging, non judgemental forum which will be able to help you succeed – providing of course that you have the courage to try.

Greg is the current Vice President of Education at Almaty Toastmasters Club. Previously, he held the role of a Treasurer since the Club’s establishment in December 2013. He remains the key member of our Leadership team and recently established a Mentorship Program within the Education Committee that he chairs. Members, guests, fellow Leadership teammates and the founding members and officers of Almaty Toastmasters Club all treasure Greg’s excellent organizational skills, positive energy and enthusiasm for the Club! 

Thank you for this interview, Greg! We all appreciate your leadership and commitment to Almaty Toastmasters Club and your previous role as a Treasurer (which expanded to interim roles of Secretary and Sergeant of Arms a number of times) as well as mentor to so many members of the Club – was both inspiring and encouraging! We wish you all the best with your tour as a VP of Education starting in July 2016, where all your amazing efforts so far – already gather high praise from all members and guests of the Club.

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!

Almaty Toastmasters Club Highlights: January-June 2016


News Digest for January-June 2016

Here is a quick overview of some of the highlights on what’s happening beyond our regular weekly meetings within this past half-a-year at Almaty Toastmasters Club – dedicated to those of you, who don’t want to miss our news!

Xmas 2015-16Christmas dinner on December 30, 2015: our year kicked off with an amazing hosted by our Club’s President, Tom Bartkoske and his lovely wife, Michele at their home here at the foothills of Almaty mountains. Click this link to our YouTube Channel to watch the video made by our regular member and video blogger – Aiym Nurseitova. Thank you, Aiym for this crafty video: Almaty Toastmasters Member New Years Dinner in December 2015

Thank you to our wonderful hosts – Tom and Michele for the warm and cosy atmosphere of your home, delicious meals, fun games, impromptu holiday speeches during this unforgettable evening!


Movie Night on January 4, 2016: over 15 members and guests went on to watch “The Little Prince” in English in the first days of this year. A legendary classic prose, where every line is a deep, beautiful metaphor that provokes and provides food for thought for people of all ages created discussions about favorite movies, books and set forth an establishment of our reading club as a consequence a few days later! Facebook Event: Movie Night “Little Prince” – January 4, 2016

“25 Books” Reading Club established on January 15, 2016: a book club was created among Toastmasters Club members and guests with an idea of reading at least 25 books a year! We are all set. This Club’s opened from the strong initiative, full coordination and our book-reading tracking of Yernur Satybaldiyev, former member of Astana Toastmasters Club, who had officially joined our Club here in April 2016! The reading club also, enjoyed strong support and enthusiasm of Ilyas Batyrov, founding member and Sergeant at Arms of our Club. We appreciate it. Here is a video made by Aiym, again, for a glimpse at one of those meetings: video: “25 Books” Reading Club Meeting on April 2, 2016


Social Event on March 20, 2016: Hiking trip to Butakovka Waterfalls. Hiking enthusiasts at Toastmasters cannot forget that last spring trail to Butakovka waterfall – thanks to Daulet Mukanov, our newly elected Sergeant at Arms – for organizing this picturesque hike!

March 20 - group

Hike 20 -snow

March 20 - snow







April 6, 2016: Business Meeting hosted by the Leadership Team of the Club for its members: training, tips and motivation to be a better public speaker and a great Toastmaster. Follow the link for a video of a Business Meeting for Members on April 6, 2016

Our after-regular-meeting get-togethers every Wednesday are always fun! Come join us for networking, games, good conversations with our Club members – stay up to learn where we are going after the regular meetings end! Here is the video link to one of Aiym’s wonderful vlogs about it:


Some of our Club’s events in photos:

Honored to host Astana Toastmasters Club President - Anuar Zhumabayev!
We were honored to host Astana Toastmasters Club President – Anuar Zhumabayev!
Our members and guests bike-n-drinks ride in May 2016!
Our members and guests bike-n-drinks ride in May 2016!

Stay tuned for our new Member Spotlight Feature posts on this website blog!

Stay tuned for our new Member Spotlight Feature posts on this website’s blog!



Hosting a visitor from Toastmasters Club in New York City - Dilber Shatursun!
Hosting a visitor from Toastmasters Club in New York City – Dilber Shatursun!

May 4, 2016 marked the visit from USA: Dilber Shatursun, Secretary of Flushing Toastmasters in New York and on May 11, 2016 for the first time in its brief history, Almaty Toastmasters Club had the priviledge of a fellow Toastmaster from another club (all the way from America!) deliver a speech during our regular meeting. Dilber Shatursun, New York’s Flushing Toastmasters Club, gave her Competent Communicator Manual’s Prepared Speech Project #9.

Follow the link to view Dilber’s warm and touching speech:




Gallatin Valley Toastmasters Club in Bozeman, Montana, USA says hello to Almaty Toastmasters Club!
Gallatin Valley Toastmasters Club in Bozeman, Montana, USA says hello to Almaty Toastmasters Club!

Meanwhile, this April and May, our President – Tom Bartkoske became the Best Table Topics Speaker at the Toastmasters Clubs he visited in China and USA! We are so proud of you, Tom!






Our Toastmasters participated in Almaty Marathon on April 24, 2016 and made us proud!
Our Toastmasters participated in Almaty Marathon on April 24, 2016 and made us proud!
March 8 2016 celebration
Toastmasters Club Men Congratulated Ladies with International Women’s Day – March 8, 2016. Thank you, Gentlemen!
After-regular meeting outings are held after each Wednesday meeting!






Ladies of Toastmasters Club in Almaty congratulated the Gentlemen with May 7 Day! Here is the video link:
Ladies of Toastmasters Club in Almaty congratulated the Gentlemen with May 7 Day! Here is the video link:

April 27, 2016: our Club held its elections and a new Leadership Team’s term commences on July 1, 2016. Stay tuned to learn who is now on board!

May 15, 2016: some old and new Leadership Team members held a meeting to discuss Club Success Plan. Follow our Facebook and Instagram account updates to learn more! We also, had the privilege of a fellow Leadership Team Toastmaster from New York, NY – Dilber Shatursun join us for feedback and advice! Lots of ideas were flowing and decisions made. Stay tuned for the announcement of our new Leadership Team and of novelties we jointly came up with! Here is a photo from this meeting on our Instagram page:

As you can see, our Club had a busy few months (this is only a few of the highlights!) and it looks like there are more exciting surprises ahead. Here are some ways you can learn our news and receive updates:

Meeting Review Blogs: follow our blog posts on this website for an overview of the meetings – created for you by our lovely – Aisha Maukembayeva and Gaukhar Zhunussova, PR Committee’s very own bloggers and new Leadership Team members! Also, we have launched Member Spotlight Series to feature our members and why they love Toastmasters!

Almaty Toastmasters Club on Instagram since April 2016: we are excited to have this new photo & video social media outlet for our news and updates! Follow our Instagram account: @Almaty.Toastmasters and here is the link to our life in photos! hashtag us along to spread the word out #AlmatyToastmasters

Our Facebook page contains regular updates and news of our Club or if you want to be friends with us there, here is our account to add us on

Stay tuned for more news and a schedule of social events! Also, shhhh….don’t tell anyone but we are working on developing news digests into a full-scale newsletter. Please send us your comments, feedback and suggestions – we always welcome ideas and contributions from guests and enthusiasts of Toastmasters! Feel free to e-mail them to us at

Our Regular Meetings are held every Wednesday from 7:30-9:00 PM at Turan University, room #207 at the following address: 16a-18 Satpaev St. Look forward to seeing you there as you embark on your Toastmasters journey with us!

How To Be A Great Toastmaster! Almaty Toastmasters Club – Business Meeting for Members

Business Meeting Agenda on April 6, 2016 (click on the image for an enlarged picture)

On April 6, 2016 – our Leadership Team hosted a Business Meeting for the official members of Almaty Toastmasters Club!

The members of Leadership Team (their term ending on July 1, 2016) made presentations about Almaty Toastmasters Club that included the information on how  to be a great and efficient Toastmaster! We covered topics such as the brand of Toastmasters, our values, what are the benefits of membership, what each project  and role means and how meetings are set up and ran in Almaty, what our Toastmasters Club strategy is and more importantly, our Leadership team shared some  tips and advice for its members.

Here is an agenda and the video of the meeting below.

We hope this was a helpful event for you, our Fellow Toastmasters Club members!


Almaty Toastmasters Spotlight Series: Daulet Mukanov

Almaty Toastmasters Club – Member Spotlight Series will be featuring all the current members of the Club. Stay tuned to learn more about our fellow Toastmasters, why joined the Club, what they like about it and what is their life like outside of the Club activities!

Today’s “spotlight” features Daulet Mukanov, the founding member and recently appointed Sergeant of Arms of Toastmasters Club in Almaty, Kazakhstan, which was established in December 2013. We are delighted to present this interview.

1.      What is your happiest childhood memory?

When I first went abroad to Saint Petersburg, Russia at the age of 10

2.      When did you join Toastmasters? What made you join?

I joined in 2013. I wanted to maintain and improve my English level, presentation skills and meeting new people

3.      Life outside Toastmasters or what do you do for a living?

I am an engineer geologist

4.      How do you use communication skills in your daily life?

It helps my interpersonal skills and being able to present in front of the public

5.      What do you like best about our Club?

Friendly atmosphere,  structure and decent English

6.      What have you learnt since you joined? Do you feel that you had grown as a communicator or a leader since you joined Toastmasters?

I think that it has definitely helped to my personal growth as a communicator. Even though there is still a room to improvement

7.      What are your personal hobbies and interests?

I like going to the gym, reading books in various fields and mountain hiking.

8.      Can you share random or surprising facts from you biography?

I have 25% of tatar blood in me. When I was a kid I liked watching soap operas

9.      If you could have a lunch with anyone, who would that person be and why?

I think meeting with Kanysh Satpayev would be a good idea for me

10.  What is the most important thing you would tell your friends and family about Toastmasters?

If you will be diligent enough Toastmasters will surely help you to grow up as a person

Daulet is the current Sergeant of Arms at Almaty Toastmasters Club. He has been a very active member of the Club, helping previous Leadership team from the time of the Club foundation. He was organizing many hiking trips for Toastmasters community in Almaty, and our official members, guests and friends have all appreciated his excellent hiking route guidance.

Thank you for this interview, Daulet! Your teammates and Club members appreciate your calm personality and commitment to our Club and we rely on you for more hiking trips in the future. Good luck with your new Leadership Team role!


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 16/03/2016

Dear fellow Toastmasters and readers! We had another exciting meeting led by our regular member, Andrey, the Toastmaster of the evening! We were glad to have many guests and our dear Club President, Tom Bartkoske, is finally back in Almaty from his travel. He visited a Toastmasters club abroad and even brought their greetings along. Stay tuned to find out more!

IMG_3846 IMG_3849IMG_3834

Our fellow members and guests

Prepared speeches

We had two Ice-Breaker speeches given by two beautiful Zhansayas’.
 Zhansaya Edilkhan and Zhansaya Toktarova from left to right respectively


Zhansaya Edilkhan spoke about the differences in educational systems of Kazakhstan and the United Kingdom. She shared  interesting facts about her experience at university as well as the life in England in general. If you consider studying there, check out her speech as it is definitely helpful.
Zhansaya Toktarova was also speaking about her about  academic and career path. She spoke about working versus doing PhD abroad, a tough decision to be made! Zhansaya also encouraged us not to have any fears of making mistakes. Great speech! We look forward to hearing more speeches from both speakers!
Assel Bekbolatova is delivering her project 2

Our third prepared speaker was Assel Bekbolatova who did her project 2 “Organize your speech”. Assel made a speech about our musical tastes, what determines them and how they evolve over time. It was funny and very touching at the same time. As she was listing some of the tracks on her Ipod, I rediscovered my love for U2 song “With or without you”. Fantastic speech, Assel! Best prepared speaker award well-deserved!

Preparing and delivering a speech is challenging but evaluating it is a lot of work too. Diligent evaluation was made by our experienced speakers and evaluators Aisha, Daulet and Yermurat! Thank you for taking the task seriously and congratulations to Yermurat, our Best evaluator for this week.

Table topics session

Table Topics was themed around the Great Wall of China! Tom visited Tianjin Toastmasters club no 1. We were very happy to watch the video salutation made by our fellow Toastmasters from China! Tom returned very excited about the trip, shared some  pictures and of course came up with brilliant questions for our impromptu speakers. First of all, would you want the Great Wall of our own? I certainly would, we could have our very own Wall Street (or Great Wall Street!) Sorry, New York, we love you but we love Almaty more! =) Also we learnt a traditional Chinese character for the word ‘To listen’. When we look at separate parts of the symbol we can understand better what’s involved when you are fully engaged in listening.
The traditional Chinese character for ‘Listening’ and Kuralay giving an impromptu speech.


Again, we had amazing speakers, our regular members and our dear guests, Kuralay, Yernar, Dauren. This week I became the Best Table Topics speaker (counting votes does pay off! =) joking, we don’t mess with the votes). Thanks to everyone who spoke. It takes courage to come up with a speech without any preparation and we encourage you to use Table Topics as an opportunity to practice.
Best prepared speaker, Assel, Best evaluator, Yermurat, and Best Table Topics speaker, Gaukhar


General evaluation and conclusion

Thank you, Ilyas, our general evaluator, and his team Zarina, Gulnisa and Olya who took roles of Ah-Counter, Timer and Grammarian respectively. Special thanks to Greg who uploaded the meeting video on Youtube!
Gulnisa (our regular guest and Timer of the meeting):  What I liked about the meeting is the friendly atmosphere and good persuasive speech topics.
 Arailym (our regular guest, soon-to-be member): Toastmasters meetings are always unique. This meeting was especially unique because our Club President, Tom, arrived from China. He prepared a great Table Topics session with greetings from another Toastmasters club from China, amazing photos of the Great Wall and of course interesting questions. I’m happy that it’s a world-wide community and we all help each other to step out of our comfort zone.
 Our regular guests Gulnisa (Timer of the meeting) and Arailym  (from left to right respectively) are sharing their thoughts on the meeting


Hope everyone enjoyed holidays! Don’t forget to join our club’s social events (announced in the social media, sent by e-mail)! See you all on March, 30th.

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.


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.

Is it your first visit to our club?

Hello dear new comer!

Probably you found our club on the Internet by using search engine or maybe you were called by your friend. It does not matter. We glad to see new people in any case. Here below I will describe some meeting features that would make your vision about our club much clearer and help you to adapt quickly to the new environment.

Where are we located?

Currently (November 2015) our meetings take place at Turan University located along Satbayev street every Wednesday. We strongly recommend  you to check the location on our website before your visit, because it can be changed sometime. Do not worry, it does not happen  so often.


What language is used there?


The main language  in Almaty Toastmasters club is English. All speakers deliver their speeches in English language. So you should also speak English during the meeting.

Usually club meetings start at 7:30 pm and end by 9:00 pm. When you come to the meeting, have a seat, get meeting’s agenda and stickers for  voting.. A Toastmaster opens the meeting and introduces Evaluators, an Ah-counter, a Timer and a Grammarian (volunteers). Then prepared speakers deliver their speeches (20-25 min). Further they are evaluated (around 10-15 min). After that, all participants vote for the best prepared speaker by writing a name on the sticker.

Then, probably the most attractive part of the meeting starts – Table Topics session. Every participant can give a short speech (1-2 min). The session is led by Table Topics Master, who makes presentation for 15-20 minutes and invites participants to the stage to ask questions. Everyone tries to answer the questions with creativity, deep meaning or in a funny way, because the best impromptu speaker is also voted after the session.

Meeting is concluded by presenting the reports of the volunteers and announcing the names of the best prepared and impromptu speakers of the meeting.

That is all. I wish you all the best in our club . Be brave by giving your own speeches and be positive by motivating other people.