An exciting term for our club is coming to an end. Many of you would have expected that by ending this term we could just smoothly progress into a new one. This would have been an easy solution. However, Postmasters would not be Prostmasters and your incredible officers team would not be an incredible officers team if it had not prepared something extraordinary and truly exciting. At first we just thought of small improvements that could be done to our club. But we did not rest until we totally reinvented everything. After all the turmoil and hardship of this year we truly felt that accepting the status quo was not an option. And so we created something completely fabulous and innovative. For the first time in the history of Prostmasters we do now present a list of incredible new attributes attached to our club’s name; a list, that is so long and feature-rich that like no list created before:
I know it because my life was changed many times by people like you.
These people saw me, told me and changed me.
“Who am I?” I had never needed to ask this question to myself until the day I graduated from university. Until that day, I followed a path that was set for me. I studied, I fulfilled all the requirements for the next step, and the next step, and the next. Until that day, when there were no longer any directions. Now I needed to make choices. What would my work be? What would make me happy? Who was I?
I got my first job before I could answer these questions. It was awful. I couldn’t breathe. I fell into a depression. The next time, I made a better choice. Third time was an even better one, but soon that also lost its meaning. What else could I do? What would work for me? What was I really good at? I couldn’t come up with anything else than what I had done so far. What I had done so far only brought me that far…
So I asked my friends. They told me I always had high energy. I always created a friendly atmosphere. People enjoyed listening to me. I would approach people easily. They could picture me working in HR, as a lecturer in a university or a customer service representative.
What they told me brought up an old memory. Years ago I had worked with a coach and during one of our coaching sessions I had said to myself “You know what, I could do this and I could do this really well.” Somehow I had forgotten that. The acknowledgement of my strengths by my friends rekindled this fire. I put myself on the path of coaching. I got trained as a coach, achieved my coaching credentials and started my coaching business.
They saw me, they told me, and they changed me.
Years later I was chatting with Mihaela, who I had recently met through our joint connections and got very close quickly, when she told me every time she was talking with me she felt inspired. The questions I asked, my observations and thoughts energized her. “You should create a podcast” she said. “What?” I responded. How could I do that? I had no idea how to put together a podcast and what would I talk about? I doubted I could do it but she put the seed in my head. In the following weeks, through synchronicity or maybe selective perception, I got an email from Seth Godin about the newest workshop he was running about podcasting. I joined the course and launched my podcast before the workshop was over.
I owe my podcast to the acknowledgement of my strengths by my friend Mihaela.
She saw me, she told me, and she changed me.
After changing my career direction to coaching I had also started offering training. I was able to deliver my message and moderate the discussions but it was difficult to stand on stage and speak. I decided to take action and joined Toastmasters. I practiced speaking often, relaxed into my excitement on stage and started enjoying it. But the biggest gifts I got from Toastmasters were not about developing my speaking skills, they were about understanding who I was.
My first gift came after one of my speeches when my dedicated evaluator Darya added to her feedback an acknowledgement: “I love listening to you. You have such a beautiful voice.” What a surprise was that for me! My earliest memory about my voice was my father telling me I sounded funny. The recordings on tape confirmed that. I always talked with this “knowledge” that I had a funny voice, I was never outspoken, never loud. After Darya’s acknowledgement a new world opened to me. I started enjoying my voice. I got more confident speaking on my podcast and with others in conversations and voiced my thoughts in meetings.
I received the second gift after another speech I gave. Stefan, a fellow Toastmaster told me I had lots of different face expressions when I was telling a sad story but only one expression when I was talking about something happy. That had never occurred to me! There was no way I could see this in myself. But after reflection, I understood that it was true. I actually valued sadness more and therefore had varieties of face expressions for it whereas happiness was a fast, simple, quick thing, a passage between sad stories. That hit me! I did not want my life to be sadness-dominated. I started intentionally noticing the happy moments, creating more of these moments and worked on lightening up quickly when something disappointing or difficult happened. I picked up meditating and my life changed completely.
Darya acknowledged my strength, Stefan mirrored me back my expressions.
They saw me, they told me, and they changed me.
The stories I told you were stories of how some people changed my life.
I knew only a portion of who I was and sometimes I knew it wrong! They enriched my view with what they saw in me. They helped me see a stronger version of myself, which enabled me to make big changes in my life.
You have this enormous power of changing people’s lives! All you need is to really see the people you are with and tell them. Tell them what skills you see in them that touch you, that inspire you, that make a difference. Acknowledge them. Tell it to your team members, your managers, your peers, your friends, and your family members. See them and tell them. You will change them.
About Isil Uysal Calvelli, ACC
Speaker, Coach, ACC
Isil Uysal Calvelli helps people align who they are with what they do, so they can be fully themselves and make their unique contributions in this world. She does that through coaching, speaking and writing. She is the host of Unique Careers, Unique Lives Podcast and co-founder of BeCoach Academy. She holds an ACC (Associate Certified Coach) credential from the International Coach Federation.
What brought you to Toastmasters? To improve my communication skills, my current skills were not enough to go where I want to be. You can have all the knowledge there is, but it’s nothing without the actual experience to back it up. I don´t know a better place than Toastmasters to try things out, getting feedback and all of it in a light demeanor.
What keeps you in Toastmasters? Vibe, personal stories, getting even better.
What would you like to do as an officer for the club this year? Just keep it going, clean and organized. Let guests feel welcomed when we go back to offline.
What brought you to Toastmasters? Job interview after I graduated from University. During the assessment center one of the recruiters mentioned Toastmasters and I got very curious about it. I have been with Toastmasters since that very year – majority of the time with Munich Prostmasters, but also with ReDensburger Toastmasters Club while I lived in Regensburg, and even during my assignment in USA I have been visiting Toastmasters regularly!
What keeps you in Toastmasters? I am constantly looking for new challenges and opportunities of further growth and development and Toastmasters were able to provide these opportunities at any time. I am passionate about public speaking and impact that speaker creates on people – inspire, motivate and empower. Professionally part of my job is to facilitate trainings, present at various conferences in Europe, North America and Asia and speak in front of executives – all of it has benefitted from Toastmasters training.
What would you like to do as an officer for the club this year? I am a president of one of the best Toastmasters club worldwide – which I am exceptionally proud of! Together with my leadership team I will be working on sustaining the mission of our club and celebrating the power of our inspiring, inclusive and supportive community!
I came to toastmasters 10 years ago for the first time because I simply wanted to improve my speaking skills and overcome my painful shyness. Very quickly I discovered that Toastmasters offer so much more.
What keeps you in Toastmasters?
Wonderful people who help me discover my strength and be my better self. And of course, Toastmasters philosophy and educational program.
What would you like to do as an officer for the club this year?
I would like understand better the educational goals of each member, so that I can help find suitable pathways and mentors, schedule the speeches and other club meeting roles.
Honorary member and club founder Christopher Magyar
Long time ago one wise man decided to found a Toastmasters club in Munich, Germany. He didn’t just plant and grow up a club but created a beautiful and open-minded community. The name of that wise man is Christopher Magyar, our honorary member and club father.
Here are few testimonials from our senior members who had a pleasure to meet and enjoy Prostmasters meetings with Christopher.
“From the first day I first joined Toastmasters in Munich till he went home to the USA, Christopher was a role model.
I learned so much from listening to him on stage, talking to him personally, and sometimes over beers.
He was a constant source of knowledge and encouragement to me for all the time he was in Prostmasters.” – Mel Kelly
“I would like to add to that some of the value that he brought to Toastmasters, in Munich and in Europe:
– together with Denise he was instrumental in getting D59 – the first continental Europe district – founded. They did all the prep work (together with the Petillots in Paris – but that’s leading too far) to create a provisional district and then to get districted.
– he was involved in the creation of quite some clubs in and around Munich – not least of all the founding of Munich Prostmasters
– nobody knows how many people he has mentored over the course of the years, but everyone agrees they don’t want to feed them.
– he has delivered countless workshops on leadership, on creating clubs, on humor, on impromptu speaking… He trained people from all 6 continents as they were passing through Munich.
– he and Denise also created the first (analog) newsletter for Prostmasters – which was called “the ProstPost”” – Ineke Vermeulen
“When I think of Christopher, a few words come to my mind:
– the quiet force
– the listening leader
– leading by example
– focused and driven
– the constant gardener
He is extraordinarily knowledgeable in many fields and had the intrinsic drive to hone a new skill during his adult life (the piano) by committing to practice every day and becoming so proficient he performed on stage in concerts. He once committed to practice 1h /day, in 15min chunks if necessary, and he is proof that a little bit, regularly, goes a long way.
I admire his eternal positivity, his enthusiasm for toastmasters and all the time and devotion he brought to creating such a multitude of quality clubs in and around Munich. ” – Mikaela Gallon
Immaculate! The mark of the man. Be it the way he dressed, the words he chose or the various institutions he founded.
Minimalist yet essential! I knew him as a person who sometimes whispered a single sentence as feedback after I’d been on the stage. Those sentences have weathered the ravages of the years and I still remember and value them.
A talker of the walk
A walker of the talk
He believed in what he was doing and lived it. Being present at almost all meetings – at the various clubs he was a member in – Christopher had a soft presence. Ask and you would receive …. generously. And if you would casually walk by, not knowing who he was, he was also okay with that.
A master of various languages he used the skill to much advantage…. 😉
I got to know Christopher more than a few years after he had started our club. So I didn’t see the man who had formed the club – but I saw a man who, after all he had achieved, was willing to sit by the side and let others shine. He took pride in seeing and encouraging the success of others. And he was courageous enough not to rush in when things that were not working out too well. He understood enough to let stumbles happen – knowing that growth was not a straight line. He truly believed that a positive attitude and positive feedback went a long way in bringing out the best in people and institutions.
And given all that he has achieved …… who can argue 🙂” – Kumar Barua
Continue your journey of personal and professional development through Pathways, Toastmasters’ new education program! As the foundation of your Toastmasters experience, Pathways is designed to help you build the competencies you need to communicate and lead.
Take an assessment and get some recommendations from Toastmasters to choose between the following paths:
We recommend “Presentation Mastery” for members with no previous speaking or Toastmasters experience.
To use pathways you will need to be able to login into Toastmasters International.
If you have never logged into Toastmasters International, click on the link above and say Forgot Password.
When asked for the email address, provide the email address that you gave while registering your membership.