Chamber Toastmasters Club Turns 15

IMG_4339-00115th Anniversary for Chamber Toastmasters Club is not the same as 15th Birthday for a teenager. Why? Because by  this age the  Club’s community  has gathered so many human assets and collective wisdom that instead of receiving presents it is ready to give, share, inspire  and support.

So where and when  did  it all take place?  Chamber Toastmasters celebrated its birthday on  10th of September 2014, at the premises of our founding fathers,  the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine. High class welcome was given by our old devoted friends: Nataliya Plikha, Juliya Mincheva and Borys Kuleshov.

Unexpectedly impressive was opening of the official meeting part by a joint bang of hammer performed by the team of five Chamber Toastmasters presidents: President 2007 – Tanya Lukinyuk, President 2010 – Gleb Krivenko, President 2012 – Ilona Postemska, President 2013 – Jenia Poluektova- Dehghani and President 2014 – Olena Krynychna.

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IMG_4312-001The Toastmaster of the evening was one of the Club’s legends Tanya Lukinyuk, who  bedazzled the audience with masterful lead of the event. We caught for a minute  Sergiy Kolomiychuk,  our Club’s member, cause we saw how much impressed the guy was. And here is what he said: “Let me please tell you a bit about the Toastmaster of the evening Tanya Lukinyuk. This charming lady in red dress is a real ace in public speaking. Her skill of leading a meeting is so bewitching that you should repeat yourself from time to time: “This is not a TV-set… Not a TV-set… Not a TV-set…I am not watching a British TV-show at prime time, am I?”. No you are not, dear. It is happening in Ukrainian reality. You are present at Toastmasters meeting in Kyiv! This is 15-th anniversary of Chamber Toastmasters Club and you are part of it!”

IMG_4229The team of our host company PwC, headed by  Ron Barden, Tax and Legal Partner PwC Ukraine,  came to support us too.  Immediately catching the theme of the evening (and it was about efficient communication and finding understanding between people and nations)  Ron Barden made a welcoming speech about the experience and knowledge of people that he gained while  living in more than 10 countries of the world (and travelling to nearly 100 countries).

What followed after that? Chamber Toastmasters Club team sheds the light for those who had to skip the event.

IMG_4249-001VP PR, Vlad Kisselev: “ Our Club member Iryna Piven has presented her Project  5, brilliant as always. Iryna is a balanced speaker with exquisite command in English. She delivers her speeches in a uniquely soft and confident manner, ornamented with smooth and vivid gestures. This time she persuasively disproved common stereotypes about Ukrainian people being passive and subject to fatalism and obedience. Amusingly enough, while she has given numerous highly intellectual arguments, she has totally overlooked one that laid on the surface, from what the story started: how people inventively squeezed the broken doors of a regional train car. The fact that Ukrainians were quite active in resolving that particular problem with stuck doors, that they did not bear with the obstacle and challenged the destiny of not getting into a car, was probably the strongest argument to prove the Ukrainians are creative and persevering.”

By the way, as a call to action Iryna inspired us to write greeting cards in support of  Ukrainian soldiers fighting for our country  in the East, and we did this right after the event.

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And as a devoted member of our “mutual appreciation society” Iryna Piven tells you how well other members performed: “As it usually happens at every Toastmasters’ meeting, the prepared speech was followed by the Table Topics session, only this time, it was a real marathon. Conscientiously prepared by two (!) brilliant Table topics masters – Vlad Kisselev and Yuliya Poliakova – the marathon was engaging and challenging, kept the audience on the edge of their seats in anticipation of being called on stage. The session was devoted to the topic of cross-cultural communication, with brain-teasing questions about culture shock and differences in mentalities. Still, nothing is too complicated for the confident and brave toastmasters, so all the speakers who participated in the session totally nailed the task! Alex Chichikalo, Jenia Poluektova, Andrey Gryshchyk, Gleb Krivenko, Aleksei Aleinikov, Timur Berezhnoi – to name just a few – made the audience roll in the aisles by their amusing anecdotes, kept everybody on tenterhooks by the intriguing stories and provoked a lot of thoughts by their profound insights. The winner of the Table Topic Marathon was selected by voting, and the prize went to Iryna Grygorieva, who conquered the hearts of everybody in the room by her inspiring and patriotic speech about the Ukrainian language. All in all, the Table Topic session was a pure pleasure to watch and to listen to.”

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Jenia Poluektove-Dehghani, past-immediate President, about surprises of the evening: “Any birthday should be full of gifts and surprises, and our party was not an exception. It opened with a video taking us on a trip across time – from 1999 to today. The official part was followed by real birthday cake with the club’s logo and 15 candles. All members were invited to offer toasts and drink delicious wine provided by TM Kolonist. The biggest surprize was energizing performance by “Good. Bad. Ugly” rockabilly band. They played some hits for us hoping we would sing along but people couldn’t hold themselves from dancing.”

We send most sincere words of appreciation and recognition to our Club’s partners the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine, PwC Ukraine, EPAM Systems, to event sponsors and partners  – video partner Art-Line Video and Yuriy Ruzhytsky, toast-making partner TM Kolonist, music band “Good. Bad. Ugly” and Philipp Belyaev, designer Mariya Sasina and Mago Ukraine, supplier of sweet happiness Julia Gvozdeva (the cakes were most delicious).

See you at our regular meetings every Wednesday!

P.S.: The picture gallery is one more surprise from friends of the Club – Igor Chernikov and Bohdan Trotsenko.

Please enjoy.

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