On November 26, 2014, Chamber Toastmasters enjoyed their annual debates.
Traditionally, Chamber debates are incentive, thought-provoking and tough.
According to Toastmasters International:
A formal debate offers to the Toastmaster an outstanding opportunity to develop the three basic abilities that are the foundation of the entire Toastmasters program. It develops better listening, thinking, and speaking not only for participants but for spectators as well.
Participation in a debate develops your ability to make a quick response, present coherent arguments, and make a clear presentation of your views. Nowhere else can a Toastmaster find a more ideal method for learning competitive speaking in a “head-on” situation.
This time the subject for our business oriented Club was totally relevant:
Does Career Building Require Sacrifice?
The Affirmative team consisted of its captain Timur Berezhnoy (DTM), Vladislav Kisselev (VP PR), Yulia Poliakova, and Alexey Aleynikov.
The Negative team was lead by Tetyana Kisyelova (VP Education, CC/CL). Other team members were Anastasia Timofeeva, Anna Zelenetska (Sergeant at Arms), and Maya Tavluy from the fellow ArtTalkers Club.
The debates were led by Iryna Grygorieva (CC/CL) who is a brilliant speaker and leader and serves as the Club’s Treasurer.
The Debates started with the statement of the Affirmative team captain, Timur Berezhnoy. He reinforced the definition of sacrifice as something you give away in order to get something more valuable. Therefore, every effort requires sacrifice of time and physical resources, so one works hard instead of enjoying a football game but then gains much more in terms of position, salary, achievements and opportunities.
The Negative team captain, Tetyana Kisyelova, put emphasis on pre-requisites of a successful enterprise that don’t require painful loss, based on the example and principles of Jim Whitehurst, RedHat CEO. That is: be interested in everything, and you’ll get knowledge without being bored; build the team to work with smart and pleasant people together; finally, treat your job as a mission and feel the passion for what you are doing, and then you’ll enjoy it.
Then came the time of questions and answers. The Negative team posed a tricky task to define where is the sacrifice for a boss who has never shown any trace of workaholism, yet being continously promoted due to excellent interpersonal skills. Yulia Poliakova responded that career development does not imply the extreme of leaving everything for the sake of a job, rather it is a natural balance of planning and prioritization.
The Affirmative team asked how one could learn something without sacrificing his/her time on the subject. Anna Zelenetska replied that if you like what you learn, it’s not a sacrifice.
Then the Negative team wanted some positive examples of sacrifice. Vladislav Kisselev pointed out that sacrifice is in very nature of all change and transformation, and a beautiful flower or butterfly is but a few positive outcomes of sacrifice, by a seed or a caterpillar, in these cases.
The Affirmative team inquired of the way to achieve sacrifice-free career development, as if a question from a job interview on where do you see yourself in several years. Maya Tavluy has used the similar rhetoric as Yulia Poliakova to emphasize on the balance between the work you like and the things and people you love.
The final word for the Negative team was taken by Anastasia Timofeeva. She disproved that anything could be regarded as sacrifice if you enjoy it, so it’s up to you to find the job you like, rather than practice sacrifice.
The summary from Alexey Aleynikov from the Affirmative team was passionate, as he compares any work as a flame that, on one hand, hurts, but, on the other, shines.
While the judge Maryna Gotovkina analyzed the debate’s speeches and arguments, a witty Table Topics session was conducted by Lilya Klyamar who addressed the same questions about career and sacrifice to the audience.
At the end of the Table Topics, Lilya illustrated an insightful Oriental proverb about life priorities with the help of: tangerins, pasta, seeds, and water.
The most convincing and well-structured answer was given by the club’s rookie Michael Rybak who received the people’s votes for the Table Topics session.
The team who won the debates was also determined by the votes of all who were present. The majority voted for… Yes, career requires sacrifice. No suprise for the business community which the Chamber TM club claims to be. However, the battle was tough indeed, because, according to the judge’s feedback after the meeting, the Negative team presented stronger argumentation and more prepared defence for their point of view.
At the end, each participant has won a nomination from the judge.
All in all, both participants and spectators enjoyed the show a lot.
Here are some feedbacks from the teams:
Briefly: It was tough, breathtaking competition of two equal qualified teams.
In order to prepare for the debates we had to sacrifice our free time and energy, but our team’s pro-active attitude and efforts turned into such a sweet and remarkable victory.
Are you eager to participate in the debates next year? Start preparing now 🙂