Spotlight Series

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.

Almaty Toastmasters Spotlight Series: Begzod Hakimov

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 Begzod Hakimov, the founding member and Vice President of Education of the first official Toastmasters Club in Almaty, Kazakhstan, which was established in December 2013. We are delighted to present this interview.

Begzod Hakimov
Begzod Hakimov

1. What is your happiest childhood memory?

When I made my first bicycle by various used spare parts at the age of 12.

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

I joined the club in 2012. I wanted to develop my communication and leadership skills. Moreover, I wanted to meet a lot of interesting and like-minded people and I was right!

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

I am a Language School Director.

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

Communication skills are very useful in my daily life. I use them to get acquainted with new people. To attract new potential clients and strengthen my network. It also significantly helps me to communicate well with my wife and relatives.

  1. What do you like best about our Club? 

The club is really a unique place to grow both personally and professionally. Well-structured self – development program makes the organization quite useful and attractive to many knowledge seekers.

  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 strongly believe that I have benefited greatly by being a part of this wonderful club. I learnt how to work in a team, how to be a proactive person and how to be a good listener. In addition to it, I had a chance to feel how wonderful it is when you help other people to grow and become more successful individuals. Certainly, I developed both communication and leadership skills which nowadays help in many ways in my daily life.

  1. What are your personal hobbies and interests?

I like reading autobiographical books and playing table tennis.

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

At the age of 4 I tried the first and last cigarette in my life. At the age of 9 I started making my first money.  At the age of 10 I tried to drive the tractor.

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

It is really a good question. I think I would like to meet with my grandfather from my father’s side. Since he was for a long time the Mayor of the city, I would like to ask many questions regarding his management style and secrets of being outstanding person.

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

If you want to feel special, join the club and grasp the opportunity the club provides.

Begzod is the current Vice President of Education at Almaty Toastmasters Club and held this role since its establishment in December 2013. He remains the key member of our Leadership team, albeit, his role as VP of Education is wrapping up in July 2016 after our elections. Official members, guests and fellow Leadership teammates have always been acknowledging Begzod’s excellent communication skills and appreciate his belief in Toastmasters programs and its benefits!

Thank you for this interview, Begzod! We appreciate your commitment to Almaty Toastmasters Club and your upcoming work as a Mentorship Program Lead within our Education Committee!

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!