Sunday, December 4, 2011 help you break the ice - a prize for delivering an Ice Breaker

"Come to the dark side!.. We have cookies :-)"
// reportedly a motivational phrase by Darth Vader

The Ice Breaker is what a first speech of a Toastmasters Club member is called. As someone once said, a journey of thousand miles begins with a step, and in Toastmasters Club this step is an Ice Breaker speech. And as it is the first - it is the hardest one.

Our conscious mind and logic tell us that since one becomes a member of a Toastmasters Club he should waste no time and start delivering the speeches, but our subconscious mind often has different opinion. Knowing that we're about to go on a many miles journey we will most certainly hesitate to make a first step, even though it seems to be an easy step to do on it's own. Similar things happen to new members as they are about to deliver their Ice Breakers - there's always some fear or uncertainty in our subconsciousness that causes procrastination and evasion, while our conscious mind just makes up excuses like "I think I'm not prepared enough yet" etc. Life is full of situations like this, I believe everyone at certain times in their lives have to struggle with themselves to overcome this kind of "invisible barrier".

But, as often mentioned, Toastmasters Club is a positive and mutually supportive environment. And now as a part of this support we are introducing a new thing that should really help you on getting extra motivation for delivering an Ice Breaker and getting your subconsciousness to become eager to deliver it - a prize! A prize for delivering an Ice Breaker.

The prize itself isn't something extra fancy, yet we believe it is just the right thing to have an effect on your subconscious mind - this nice cup with Toastmasters International logo:

click to see bigger picture

Looks good, doesn't it? Want one? Than stop hesitating and deliver that Ice Breaker! :-)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

New Officers Team

Lemberg TM club has appointed a new team of officers for 2011-2012.
Please welcome:
Andriy Turak - President
Alex Sheremet - VP Education
Yustyna Holubets - VP Membership
Pavlo Maschak - VP PR
Secretary - Mykola Makhin
Treasurer - Dmytro Martynov
I personally wish these guys the best of the experience on the leadership position at the club, and truly devoted members and great achievements!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


You have probably noticed a strange phenomenon: sometimes a discussion can be hot and last hours, but other times barely a handful of sentences are dropped — and the talk is over, as nobody replies, let alone argues. Some blog posts collect thousands of links and comments, while other products of the same author can remain uncommented.

The skill to support the hot flame of discussion can be developed, this is why we make a Viewpoint section an essential part of our club meetings.

To cut a long story short, here are the basic rules. A speaker has 2 minutes to deliver a controversial viewpoint. His speech is aimed at splitting the audience in halves: supporters and opponents, and starting a hot dispute between them. Responders have 1 minute each to reply.

It is very important to clearly understand your stand point, and deliver it straight, with no disclaimers. There can only be black or white, and no shade. Do not try to analyse pros and cons of each side.

When you prepare a viewpoint speech, remember what causes the biggest urge to reply. I bet, nobody wants to answer a trivial question. But I want to stand up and speak up when someone is wrong. So, it is important to deliver a strong statement rather than a question.

Reading this, you may think: "Blimey, you are talking about Internet trolls!" — Right, I am! They know, how to make you boil, and extract tons of comments out of readers. Their methods are a good lesson for shy speakers, who protect each opinion with disclaimers.

So, here are my three major tips for a viewpoint speaker:
  • Pick a title that draws attention. It needs to catch their eye sights, and rise their eye brows a bit.
  • Deliver an intentionally limited, one-sided view point, which leaves no room for different mindset. Make their heart beat stronger.
  • Make a very controversial statement as a conclusion. Let the blood hammer in their temples!
Now you are ready to go. Let them release the steam. Let the debates begin!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Hot Rhythms of Summer Holidays

Summer in winter! Can it be possible? Definitely yes! At Toastmasters Summer carnival which took place in Kiev, on 22nd of January 2011!
The atmosphere of the beach, sea, sand and hot burning sun captured you as soon as you stepped inside the room. All the guests got a warm welcome on reception where they were provided with the sunhats to protect the heads from the sunstroke, with small bottles to blow soap bubbles and sugar candies to feel that cool sweet holiday carelessness.

You felt as if you were at real beach: all around there were umbrellas, towels with dolphins, and a slide show of participants’ best holidays’ photos in the background. Girls in their best dresses were beautiful and bright as flowers, guys in colorful shorts, shirts and sunglasses looked like real playboys. Everyone excited, merry, relaxed and energetic.
As soon as the company was rather big the team game was a good start indeed. Divided in teams we were to create the best holiday story. After exciting and loud discussions and preparation we felt much more relaxed and close to each other, so funny it was. We could enjoy the witty, eccentric performances recreating a deserted island with an exotic tribe, an Egyptian hotel with dangerous sharks, and a beauty contest with an unusual end.

After some time of pleasant conversations, delicious food, Kiev Toastmasters presented some pretty and interesting numbers. There was a song written by one of the members who played it on a guitar, another girl sang a romantic nice hit from the 80-s, and a group of six officers from the Area team performed a really funny yet very challenging and concentration demanding project.
And of course, what is the summer without dancing? Our party contained a really hot dance part. To inspire the audience and to present them with an exotic wind of orient there was a performance of Bollywood-belly dance numbers (presented by me, Yustyna Holubets, which was a great pleasure and honor for me). This was followed by a fascinating and energizing master class of Latin dance from a true professional dancer Gabriel from Cuba. And then it went! There was no person who wouldn’t dance that evening. Hot and romantic, rhythmic and slow music gave us all a unique feeling of holidays and took us back to such desired sunny days.
Three members from our Lviv Lemberg Toastmasters Club were lucky to be present there. Victor Medvedev seemed to be one of the most popular playboys among the others.

Our president Lena Koronenko with her unique self-made wreath of fresh flowers and her witty jokes created a summer mood from the very beginning as the host of the event.
As for me, the carnival became an excellent time of holiday, inspiring, amazing, great time…

Yustyna Holubets