Meeting on 13/04/2016

Hello everyone! Here is the report on our last meeting on April, 13. As always it was a great session: interesting speeches, many first-comers and a nice social hangout afterwards!


Prepared speeches

Our first prepared speaker was Ruslan Zelentsov, who gave his Ice-Breaking speech called “Change and Growth”. Ruslan told us an inspiring story how to change everything, move to another country, meet your love there (most importantly!) and come back. His story reminded me of a great movie “The Pursuit of Happyness”. Thank you, Ruslan! We look forward to hearing your next speeches.

Arailym B13023253_765807000185682_161978743_nainogayeva, our member, gave her speech on Project no.2 “Criticism”. How one should deal with criticising, how to give constructive feedback and how to benefit from it are all important questions, which Arailym covers in her speech. She also introduced an interesting approach to giving feedback called HL method (H for honesty, L for love). Definitely a tip for our evaluators! Check out Arailym’s speech here.

Yermurat Nurgozha, a soon-to-be a member, gave his Advanced Ice-Breaking speech. Has a random person ever affected your life so much? Do you think your hobbies can help you get a job? Yermurat says yes!

Our last prepared speaker was Greg Heaver who delivered a speech “Confessions of a Kazakh Taxi Driver”. What an intriguing name! His speech was for Project no.8, where he used visual aids to tell us what average taxi drivers in Kazakhstan know about Australia. Prepare to be surprised, maybe you didn’t know much about Australia either. 😉 Test your knowledge here! A great entertaining yet informative speech! Greg became the Best Prepared Speaker of the week! Congratulations!

Table Topics

Our Table Topics Master was Yernur Satybaldiyev who chose ‘Vacations’ as a theme for impromptu speakers. This gave us an opportunity to reminisce about our trips, interesting travels. Our speakers remember their best trips, their worst trips, and even the weirdest food they have tried during vacations. Ilyas, our regular member, and Sergeant-at-Arms spoke about how he’s always wanted to see a whale, and that stole our audiences’ hearts. He became the Best Table Topics speaker! Congratulations, Ilyas!


Thanks to everyone who took roles. Our evaluators: Andrey, Zhadra, Gaukhar and Daulet. Special thanks to our team (Ah-Counter, Timer and Grammarian) Madiyar, Zhansaya and Yadykar who did a great job at fulfilling their roles!

Here are some pictures from our traditional social hangout after the meeting. Hope you and your friends will join us very soon!

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Meeting on 30/03/2016

Spring has finally arrived to Almaty and we hosted another great meeting! As pointed out by the Toastmaster of the week, Greg Heaver, Toastmasters worldwide is a brand, centre of excellence, and it attracts many interesting people. However, it is the warm atmosphere of the clubs that makes people want to stay and be members of the community.


The Club President, Tom Bartkoske, welcomes new members

One of the examples of that would be Yernur Satybaldiyev and Arailym Bainogayeva becoming official members of the club. Both Yernur and Arailym were active during our meetings and Club’s social events. Welcome to the Almaty Toastmasters!

Prepared speeches

Sandu Baidosheva gave her Ice-breaking speech and we learnt ‘3 things about Sandu’ (well, at least 3). Her story was very inspirational as she once decided to change her life dramatically and move to another city. A great example of what a person can achieve if she is driven by her dreams and passion. Thank you, Sandu! We look forward to hearing more speeches from you.

Makpal Toleubayeva also gave an Ice-breaking speech. She suprised as all when she started to tell us about her career path. Who of you, dear readers, ever dreamt of becoming a seller in a chocolate store? (Not me, I wanted to be an astronomer/beekeeper). Next stop: dentist. The sequence of desires had a prosaic ending: she became an accountant and she loves it.

Speaker no.3 was Tom Bartkoske who gave his 10 speech from Competent Communicator manual. Congratulations! His speech ‘I Have a Dream’ was truly in line with the Toastmasters spirit. Tom has a dream that one day…No, it would be better if you watched this speech here :)


Tom delivering his project no.10 from CC manual

Table Topics session

This week Table Topics session led by Begzod Hakimov was about Sir Ken Robinson. He is famous for his Ted Talk about modern education system killing creativity. You can check it out here.

However our schools did not kill creativity of our impromptu speakers. Daulet, Tom, Aliya, Sandu and other members and guests gave interesting speeches when answering to the following questions:

What is education to you?

Every child is born an artist but as the child grows very often he/she loses the artistictic nature. Agree or disagree?

Some disciplines like Music or Arts are neglected in modern education. What do you think about that?

Please share your thoughts on this topic in the comments.

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Table Topics speaker, Daulet, and Table Topics Master, Begzod

The Best Prepared speaker was Tom Bartkoske, the Club President. The Best evaluator was Aisha Maukembayeva, our regular member and blogger of the Club, and the Best Table Topics speaker was Aliya Shaikhina, VP PR of the Club. Well done!


Best speakers and Best Evaluator

General evaluation and conclusion

Thank you, Aliya, our general evaluator, and her team Zhadra, Gaukhar and Yernur who took roles of Ah-Counter, Timer and Grammarian respectively.

We will see you on April, 13.


Almaty Toastmasters Spotlight Series: Tom Bartkoske

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 Tom Bartkoske, the founding member and current President of the first official Toastmasters Club in Almaty, Kazakhstan, which was established in December 2013. We are delighted to present this interview.

Tom with his family on a mountain hike

1.      What is your happiest childhood memory?

When I was young, we lived along the wild Missouri River in Montana.  One day, my brothers, sisters, cousins and I waded along the river from my cousin’s farm house to our home.  Along the way, we caught frogs, pretended to be pirates, made our own mudslide, and took in the wildlife and beautiful scenery.

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

One day at an American Chamber of Commerce event, I noticed someone wearing a Toastmaster pin.  When I asked Levon about it, he said that he had been a Toastmaster in Kiev and wondered if there was a club in Almaty.  I said that I had thought about starting a Toastmaster club for a couple of years but nothing had happened yet.   With confident optimism and energy, he said, “Let’s start one this week.”  And together we did.    Our club almost had enough charter members several times but it was not until December 2013 that we officially chartered.

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

I am involved in helping people improve their work and family relationships through business trainings in EQ (Emotional Intelligence), DISC (personality testing), strategic planning, life coaching, management skills training, couples seminars, conflict resolution and other tools.

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

I use communication skills daily when thinking about how to draft an email or helping teams work through conflict and tension or assisting an executive team to articulate their vision and mission or managers how to motivate their direct reports.

5.      What do you like best about our Club?

I like the people who are involved.  Come and you will see for yourself how wonderful, kind, engaging, motivated, and positive our club members are.

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 have definitely grown in my ability to lead meetings up front and be relaxed.  At first when I was the Toastmaster up front I would be so nervous, I would forget things, I would be constantly looking at my notes.   Now I feel more confident and relaxed in leading a meeting from up front.

7.      What are your personal hobbies and interests?

I enjoy bicycling along the Bolshaya Almatinka with my family, friends, and even our dogs.  I enjoy jogging either by myself or with our dogs into the hills and orchards near our home.  Our family loves to go up to Chymbulak and go skiing above the gray skies.  I love to go hiking in the mountains with family, friends and fellow Toastmasters.   We have fun sledding in the winter.   I enjoy playing basketball myself and help coach my son’s team.  I also enjoy gardening.

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

I grew up in the small town of Big Sandy, Montana, which has about 800 residents but have lived and worked in large metropolitan cities like Boston and Almaty.  Counting half brothers and sisters and step siblings, I was one of 11 children.

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

My father passed away when I was young, so I would like to have lunch with him and find out more of what he was like and let him know that I love and forgive him because we are all imperfect people in need of unconditional love and acceptance.

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

Toastmasters is a positive and friendly environment which proves a safe and encouraging atmosphere for taking steps to grow and develop both professionally and personally. And it is great place to make friends.

Tom is the current President of Almaty Toastmasters Club. He has been organizing unofficial Toastmasters meetings for many years that he has lived in Almaty, even before the Club became official. We owe it to him that we finally have a Club here in our lovely city!

Thank you for this interview, Tom! You are such an incredible inspiration to all of us at the Club. Your encouragement and true leadership are truly treasured by the current and former members as well as (and especially) the founding members and officers of Almaty Toastmasters Club!


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!

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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 02/03/2016

Best Prepared Speaker: Nursultan Ziyabekov and Best Table Topics Speakers: Gaukhar Zhunussova and Kuralay Karimbayeva
Table Topics Master: Assel Duisenbekova
"Spotlight" Speaker Ilyas Batyrov, Almaty Toastmasters Club Competent Communicator Graduate
“Spotlight” Speaker Ilyas Batyrov
Our audience: members and guests!











We had an exciting session on March 2, 2016!

Our March 2, 2016 Meeting’s Best (and the Only)Prepared Speaker: Nursultan Ziyabekov with Project #1: “Ice Breaker”. Thank you for the courage and great introduction to our Club!

The Best Table Topics Speakers were: Gaukhar Zhunussova and Kuralay Karimbayeva. What a tie that has been! Amazingly witty responses!

Congratulations winners!

This meeting also, included a new “Spotlight” Speaker element introduced by the Toastmaster Aliya Shaikhina. Ilyas Batyrov, became the first “Spotlight speaker. Ilyas is Almaty Toastmasters Club’s Competent Communicator Graduate, he gave tips on public speaking that we hope you all enjoyed!

Thank you, Ilyas for the tips and Assel for a great Table Topics session about the history of “Oscars”!

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.

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!

Meeting on 28/10/2015

AliyaThere was another warm-welcoming session at our Toastmasters club this week. The meeting was started by a Toastmaster Aliya by saying that many leaders arose from Toastmasters. She explained the structure of the whole meeting, a few rules of Toastmasters and responsibilities of the officers and volunteers.

There were three ice breaking speeches with different directions and themes.

TimurTimur started his speech called “Road to the Big Show” with the compliment
addressed to the audience for choosing Toastmasters that day. It was nice to hear his sincere confession about what he felt on the stage. He told everyone about his dream to become a great orator of all the time. Timur concluded his speech with the invitation to his motivational program that he was going to present in the not too distant future. Look forward to hearing it, Timur!

AsselNext speaker Assel Abilzhanova started her speech “Enjoy the present” with her personal story about her willingness to be on her prom ceremony very soon when she was only 7-8 years old. While her mother explained Assel that every age and time was beautiful and she should enjoy the moment. Assel said about all of her family members and compared them with her wings. She concluded her speech with Dan Brown’s quote: “Everything is possible. The impossible just takes longer”. Assel encouraged everyone not to waste their time and to enjoy the present!


The third speaker Togzhan delivered her project titled “Not just an elective subject”. Her elective subject was Sociology. She explained that Sociology could help us to understand ourselves, our places in the world and the world in general. As an example for that she said about Berger’s analogy that everything was planned. Togzhan showed everyone how interesting the Sociology could be.

The evaluators of prepared speeches Olya, Yadykar and Assel Duisenbekova emphasized the speakers’ strong points they had already had and gave suggestions and tips to improve their public speaking skills.

RuslanThe meeting was continued by Begzod’s presentation about “Egon Zehnder”, which was a global executive search company. The questions were more about business. There were a lot of volunteers to ask a question why Generation Y was not stable. One of them Aizhan reasoned it out with changeable time when Generation Y had grown (1990s). That was why; they were adapted to changes. Further, they were ready to challenge themselves by stepping out from their comfort zone. Ruslan answered to the question why it was difficult to achieve long-term success for family owned business. It was interesting to know that according McKinsey’s research more than 80% of companies led by family business owners. Then he gave examples of big family business companies: Walmart, Porsche, Volkswagen and Samsung. Further Ruslan gave the definition of family business. He explained why it was hard to achieve long-term success by the fact that children of those businessmen commonly became spoilt and as a result could not manage the huge company.

Congratulations to Assel and Ruslan who became the best speakers of the meeting!

Zhadra, Aiym and me fulfilled the roles of a Grammarian, an Ah-counter and a Timer correspondingly.

Thank you for a Toastmaster Aliya for a detailed description of every part of the meeting and outlining the importance of every role and giving tips for impromptu speakers! I am sure it was very clear what Toastmasters club is for those who came for the first time. Thank you Begzod for running interesting Table Topics session and everyone for active participation and positive attitude!

How to select a topic for a speech

Selecting a topic for a speech can be overwhelming. You may feel that you have an infinite amount of topics to choose from, but there are a few strategies that can help narrow down your choices. To select the perfect topic for a speech, you have to consider your knowledge and interests as well as your audience and purpose. If you want to know how to select a topic for a speech that will give you a standing ovation, just follow these steps.

 Method 1: Consider Your Objectives

1.1 Consider the occasion.


The occasion for the speech can go a long way in helping you determine the topic. Your speech topic will vary depending on whether the occasion is celebratory, just plain fun, solemn, or professional. Here are a few ways that the occasion can help influence your speech topic:

  • If the occasion is solemn, such as a funeral or memorial service, then your topic should be serious and relevant to the occasion.
  • If the occasion is fun, such as a toast at a bachelor party, then it’s time to bring out the fun anecdotes and stories and to make people laugh — not to share your passion for coin collecting.
  • If the occasion is celebratory, like a wedding, then you need to provide some light-hearted humor as well as some serious and sentimental points.
  • If the occasion is professional, then you need to stick to a professional topic, such as website design, and not focus on your personal experiences.

1.2 Consider your purpose.

1.2Your purpose is related to the occasion and is the goal you want to achieve through your speech. Your purpose can be to inform, persuade, or just to entertain your audience. A speech can have a variety of purposes, but it’s important to be acquainted with the most common purposes:

  • To inform.To inform your audience, you’ll need to provide relevant facts and details about a subject that reveals information that allows your audience to see an ordinary subject in a more complicated light, or to learn about a completely foreign subject.
  • To persuade. To persuade your audience, you’ll need to use rhetorical techniques, metaphors, and convincing evidence from experts to show them that they should do something, whether it’s to elect you for office, recycle more, or take the time to volunteer in their communities.
  • To entertain. To entertain your audience, you’ll need to draw on personal or anecdotal examples, tell funny stories, show off your wit, and make your audience crack up, even if you’re communicating an underlying serious message.
  • To celebrate. If you’re celebrating a specific person or event, you’ll need to show your audience what makes that person or thing so special, and to garner enthusiasm for your subject.

1.3 Know which topics to avoid.

1.3If you want to select a topic that suits your purpose and is relevant to the occasion, then you should eliminate a variety of topics before you even start brainstorming ideas. This will make it easier for you not to offend or just bore your audience as you move forward with your ideas. Here are a few things to consider as you cross those potential topics off your list:

  • Don’t pick anything so complicated that it would be impossible to inform your audience. If you pick something so complex that it can’t be explained in a short amount of time or without pages of charts or diagrams, then you will lose your audience.
  • Don’t pick something that’s so simple that your audience could understand it in just a minute or two. If your topic is so basic that you’ll only be repeating yourself after you’ve said just a few sentences, then you’ll lose your audience’s interests as well. You want to keep your audience members on their toes, not knowing what to expect next.
  • Don’t pick anything that’s too controversial. Unless you’re at a convention for controversial speeches, it’s best to avoid topics that are too controversial, like abortion or gun control. Of course, if your goal is to persuade your audience to agree with one side of these issues, then you should go ahead with your speech, but know that you may lose many people before you begin.
  • Don’t pick anything that doesn’t fit the mood of the audience. If it’s a celebratory occasion, don’t give a dry speech about irrigation; if it’s a professional occasion, don’t give an emotional speech about how much you love your mother.


Method 2: Consider Your Audience

2.1 Consider the knowledge of your audience.

2.1If you want to connect to your audience, then you should consider its knowledge before you select a topic. If you’re giving a speech to a group of aspiring writers, then you can comfortably reference other writers and literary terms; if you’re speaking to a group that knows very little about writing, be careful when you make more obscure literary references.

  • If you’re speaking to a group that is knowledgeable about a topic, then you don’t have to waste their time by discussing the most basic aspects of that topic.



2.2 Consider the level of education of your audience.

2.2If you’re speaking at a conference for young professionals, you can use more complicated terms and elaborate phrases, but if you’re delivering a speech to middle school students, you’ll have to change your terms and phrasing to connect to your audience.

  • You don’t want to lose your audience by speaking about something that is completely over their heads, or by delivering content in such a basic way that it sounds condescending.




2.3 Consider the needs and interests of your audience.

2.3What would your audience need to know, and what would interest your audience? Put yourself in your audience’s shoes and make a list of all of the things the audience would care about; an audience of teenagers would care about very different things from an audience of middle-aged adults.

  • Imagine yourself as one of the audience members. If they’re teenagers, pretend you’re a teenager. Try seeing your topic choice from their perspective. If it bores or overwhelms you, then it won’t be the right choice.




2.4 Consider the demographics of your audience.

2.4Knowing the age, gender, and race of the members in your audience can help influence your topic. If most of your audience is over the age of 65, then you probably wouldn’t talk about current fashion trends on the runway; if most of your audience is under the age of 20, then you wouldn’t talk about saving for retirement.

  • If there are many more males than females in your audience, for example, then it may be best to pick a gender neutral or male-geared topic.
  • Knowing the race of your audience can help pick a topic. If you have a diverse audience, then something about race relations or diversity can interest your audience, but if you’re talking about diversity, interracial marriage, or discrimination against one specific race of people that is not in the audience to an audience that is predominantly of one race, then your discussion may fall flat.
  • You should also consider where your audience is from. A certain topic may be more interesting to a person from California than a person from Idaho and vice versa.

2.5 Consider the audience’s relationship to you.

2.5If you’re giving a speech to friends or family, then you can be more personal than you would if you were giving a speech to an audience of strangers. If you’re giving a speech to your employees, your tone would be different than it would be if you were giving a speech to your superiors. Adjust the tone and content of your speech accordingly.




Method 3: Consider Your Interests and Knowledge

3.1 Pick a topic that you’re passionate about.

3.1If you pick something that you’re passionate about, then your audience will be able to see and feel your passion. This will also make you much more excited to generate ideas for the speech and to deliver the speech.

  • If you only have a limited amount of options and can’t pick anything you’re truly passionate about, you should at least pick something that you like or are interested in to make it easier and more enjoyable for you to write and deliver the speech.[3]



3.2 Pick a topic that you’re knowledgeable about.

3.2If you’re giving a speech at a professional conference, then it’s logical that you would pick a topic that you’re an expert on so you can give credibility to your speech. But even if you’re not delivering a speech in a professional setting or on a particularly complicated topic, you should still pick something you know a lot about, whether it’s baseball or your neighborhood. You can even start by making a list of the things you’re knowledgeable about, whether it’s your family, career, politics, gardening, pets, or travel.

  • You don’t have to know every single thing about a topic to deliver a great speech. You can pick something that you’re knowledgeable about, and can supplement that job with some careful research.
  • If you’re picking a subject you’re knowledgeable about but know you’ll need to research further, make sure the topic is easy to research. If you pick something fairly obscure, then it may be difficult to find more information about it.

3.3 Pick something that relates to your interests.

3.3It could have to do with literature, movies, sports, foreign languages, or even gender relations. Whatever it is, you may even be able to find a theme that carries through a variety of categories, such as “loss of innocence.” Make a list of all of your hobbies and interests and see what would make for an engaging speech topic.

  • You may find a large overlap between the things you’re interested in and the things you know.



3.4 Choose something timely.

3.4If there has been a topic that has been in the news again and again, you can use it as an occasion for a speech. It may be something controversial like gay marriage or gun control, but if the occasion is appropriate, you can give a speech about this current event, offering a nuanced perspective of the situation.

  • Read through popular national and local papers, listen to the radio, and watch the news to see what people are talking about and how the public is reacting to these events.
  • You can also pick something that is particularly timely for your community. If there has been controversy over a new policy regarding public schools in your neighborhood, you could use it as an occasion for a speech.
  • You can pick something that is timely for your audience. If you’re addressing high school seniors, you can talk about the next stage of life after graduation, and can bring in any relevant current information from the news.

3.5 Choose something that relates to your personal experience.

3.5If the occasion calls for it, you can give a speech about something personal in your life. It could relate to your experiences with your parents, siblings, or friends, to a personal struggle, or a formative episode in your life. Just make sure the information isn’t so personal that it makes the audience uncomfortable, or that the subject is so close to you that you can’t talk about it without getting emotional.

  • Remember that you can add personal information to a topic that doesn’t feel so personal; you can discuss an aspect of your career, for example, while throwing in a personal anecdote.




3.6 Pick a topic that you have the ability to speak about.

3.6You should be able to deliver a speech about the topic with clarity and conviction. This means that you should feel strongly enough about the topic to inform, persuade, or entertain your audience. It also means that your audience should trust you as an authority on the subject; if you’re an only child, you should avoid giving a speech on the importance of having a sibling; if you haven’t entered college yet, it may be difficult for you to give a speech on the importance of choosing a major.

  • Whatever the topic, you should be able to connect with your audience through the speech. At the end or even during the speech, a little light bulb should go off in your audience’s heads, and they should reach a new understanding of your topic. If you don’t have the ability to truly connect with your audience about this topic, then pick another one.




Meeting on 21/10/015

We had one more amazing meeting this Wednesday full of positive and inspirational speeches.

The president of our club Tom Bartkoske opened the meeting with his family story that we all come from different places. He outlined the importance of not where we were all from but what we got and contribute into different things. Further he gave a turn to a Toastmaster Ilyas who led the main part of the meeting. Ilyas encouraged everyone to live and act at the current moment to improve ourselves.



The first prepared speaker Assel Duisenbekova presented everyone her project #4 “How to say it” with a title “Minimalism”. She explained the benefits of minimalism and how that can change our lives. She was able to prove that it could save our time and money. Moreover, minimalism could really assist everyone to focus on their priorities and to avoid consumerism trap. So Assel explained  that minimalism was about being more with less.





Next speaker Zhadra delivered her first ice-breaking speech “My way to what I do know”. It was good to hear the plan of her speech at the beginning. Zhadra told the story of her life when she had to take a risk and to step out of her comfort zone by changing the city to study at a high school and choosing her future profession. She shared about the failure that enabled her to determine her current occupation. Zhadra had to quit the university where she had been studying for 2,5 years due to her wrong choice. However, she was able to choose her right path that also let other young people to determine their own future professions.




The following speaker Greg delivered his speech #5 on body  language called “Inspiration within”. He said that people were  all  different and they had different sources of inspiration. It  was  great to hear his personal and sincere story on how he  fought with his fear of public speaking. Greg shared that for  the first time he became an expert of how to avoid speaking  and he did not know how to trick his mind to come out of his  comfort zone. Nevertheless he managed to overcome his fear  and he has become an active member of our club. Greg added  that every meeting at  Toastmasters was his torture session to  confront his demons and that was his inner inspiration. He encouraged everyone to find their own inspiration.



Begzod, Aiym and Tom gave very useful evaluation for prepared speakers outlining their progress, strong points and suggestions for improvement.

IMG-20151025-WA0005-1IMG-20151025-WA0007-1Tom evaluator

The following part of the meeting was conducted by Olya who devoted her speech to Anatoli Bukreev’s life. (2)

He was one of the main characters on Everest movie who was very brave and hard-nosed person in achieving the highest peak in the world. It was interesting to know how people would act if they had high probability of hazard or death and whether they would come back to save another person or a friend risking their own lives. Elmira answered to the question what she would say to a person who was going to climb to the Everest. She said that she had an thrill seeker friend. She would not give any advice but just support those people because they were adults and mature enough to make such decisions. Elmira added that sometimes just a hug or clap on one’s shoulder was enough for a person to feel your support. The winner of a Table topics session Abylay was called to the stage as an adventure seeker to be told about his passion. So he said that adventure was our choice and usually people have adventures to make their lives much more interesting. He added that it was ok to be an adventure seeker and home-sitter as well. He completed his speech with examples of adventures that people may have: reading an interesting book, spending more money than before and going to another street.

Congratulations to Greg and Abylay who became the winners among prepared and impromptu speakers! (6)          (4)

Elmira was an Ah-Counter, Assel Bekbulatova was a Timer and I was a Grammarian. We all tried to give helpful reports on roles we were responsible for.

It is always challenging for me to be a Grammarian because I am not a native speaker. When I choose the word of the day I try to pick up a word with an interesting etymology as it really helps to memorize the word. Additionally it motivates people to use it when it is needed and appropriate. Also it allows us to use words consciously. This time I chose an adjective “hard-nosed”. For those who were not able to come it might be useful to know its origin. Firstly, “hard-nosed” was used in terms of a dog, which has inability to smell. Later in 1920s it was used for a type of a bullet. There are hard-nosed and soft-nosed bullets. The later one is mostly used to describe a bullet, while “hard-nosed” now can also be used to describe someone or something uncompromising, tough and stubborn. For example, hard-nosed criticism, hard-nosed researcher and so on.


As a Grammarian I would like to thank everyone who used the word of the day and as a member of our club to express my gratitude to everyone who organized the meeting, participated actively and added their energy and soul to run this session at a very good level!


Meeting on 14/10/2015

There was another interesting meeting this Wednesday full of positivity and inspirational speeches for self-development.

The session was opened by the President of our club Tom Bartkoske. He said briefly about Toastmasters club and asked everyone to introduce themselves, where they heard about it and things that they appreciate in Toastmasters. This kind of opening really helps to be familiar with everyone and to shorten the distance between unknown people.  Moreover, it allows to start being comfortable with talking in front of the audience and to reduce the fear of public speaking especially for those who come to our club for the first time.

Furthermore, Tom gave a turn to speak for a Toastmaster Greg Heaver. Greg encouraged everybody to participate actively and not to be scared to come up to the stage.


Speaker #1 Aiym presented her project #5 “Your body speaks” called “Are You Ready to Work?”. She shared main sources that could help you to get different things done. Those sources could even assist you to get motivation in such a boring or annoying stuff for many of us: housework and cooking. Bright examples for that are videos on the Internet, such as “Obsessive compulsive cleaners” and “Master Chief”. Aiym added that some people allow her to get motivation, while books let her to obtain relevant information and knowledge for her work. She fostered everyone to use these sources for inspiration and find other ones to set up their goals and achieve them. Aiym used her body language quite naturally without any unnecessary gestures meeting the main objective of her project.


Speaker #2 Tom delivered his project #7 on researching a topic titled “Life after Death”. Firstly, he shared about the occasion that made him to think about such a question. So that was a movie “Everest”. He said about the outcomes of the scientists who attempted to weigh the soul of a human being. Further, Tom gave examples of people who had NDE (near death experience) by saying about the movie based on true life story “Heaven is for real”.  In addition, he told us his acquaintance’s story who really had that situation. In both cases, they saw themselves soaring above their body and they met other people who already passed away. Tom was able to prove not scientifically but historically that our soul would leave our body and join to our loved ones after life.

Olya evaluated Aiym’s speech pointing out her strong points like good eye contact, confident voice and the absence of any nervousness and shyness. She suggested Aiym to use more gestures on this project as it was devoted to improve body language.

Ilyas gave evaluation on Tom’s speech outlining the good use of supportive materials, vocal variety and speech structure. The recommendation was using the space around him actively.

The following part of the meeting Table Topics Session was delivered by Begzod who presented the biography of a millionaire businessman Jeff Pearce. His actual name was James but later he was renamed by his mother. The reason was his inability to pronounce his own name properly due to dyslexia. Begzod and Yadykar explained that it was different type of mind accompanied by having difficulties in reading and writing.

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It was surprising to know that a lot of famous and successful people had dyslexia. They were Albert Einstein, Mozart, Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, Benjamin Franklin, Winston Churchill and John Lennon. There was a question whether dyslexia was a gift or a problem. Tom replied that it was a problem that brings a gift in a form of challenges. So these difficulties push a person to do, learn and work more than others. Consequently, all of those things can make that person successful further in life as he was adapted to overcome adversity from his young age. Another interesting question was “What triggers people to write autobiography?” Greg made a joke that the reason was people’s desire to make more money and added that the main cause was to inspire other people. The best Table Topics speaker was Ilyas who answered to the question about a lesson that he learned from Jeff’s life. Ilyas noted that it was doing things to attain your goals and completed his speech with Nike’s slogan “Just do it”.


Congratulations to Aiym and Ilyas who became the best speakers of the meeting!

Thank you for all volunteers who helped to run the meeting smoothly: the Club President Tom, a Toastmaster Greg, a Table Topics Master Begzod, a Timer Elmira, an Ah-Counter Meruert and a Grammarian Yadykar. Thanks everyone for coming, participating and adding amazing ideas to make life better!