1%Daniyar Abenov and Zhanara Rakhmetova, interviewed by TM team
Daniyar Abenov and Zhanara Rakhmetova are founders of the “Odin Procent (1%)” podcast. They’re also active members of Almaty Toastmasters club.
Roots: Daniyar is from Khromtau (Aktobe region) and Zhanara is from Astana
Dream city: Barcelona
Favorite dinosaur: Raptor - Daniyar, Zhanara is not a fan of dinosaurs
CC project #:10 (to be completed)
Why are you a part of TM community?
Daniyar: To me Toastmasters is a pre-filtered group of people. People who are part of the Toastmasters are eager to learn and to develop, by definition. They want to leave a positive impact. They either studied, lived, worked or travelled abroad, so they have wide horizons. They made an effort to learn English, so they are not lazy and know the value of education. In a wider city- or country-scale, it’s statistically unlikely to come by such people. But if one took a spreadsheet with all the people in a given city and filtered it by all the points that I listed, I think Toastmasters community would be at the top in terms of the concentration. These are the types of people I want to associate with, and being part of the community gives an opportunity to get to know them better on a more personal level.
Zhanara: It’s the calibre of people that the Toastmasters community brings together and the opportunity to be a part of something bigger. It’s also a great way to learn something new and improve constantly not just through completing projects and various roles but via the people who come to Toastmasters.
Have you developed or earned any skills you in TM which helped you to start and manage podcast?
It has certainly helped to hone our communication skills even further. Also, the fact that a number of Toastmasters community members listen to our podcast has been a great confidence booster for what we do.
What kind of leadership model close to you and why?
Daniyar: Democracy - because we haven’t come up with anything better.
Zhanara: The kind of leadership that listens to others, promotes teamwork where everybody respects each other, and is not afraid to speak.
Speaking in front of audience and to the microphone. Does it same level of fear?
Daniyar: Scarier to speak in front of an audience than a mic.
Zhanara: When you’re speaking before the live audience you receive an instant feedback from the way the audience reacts to what you’re saying. You can tell from these reactions straight away if your listeners are connecting with you or not, whereas there is no such feedback when it’s just you and the mic. I think that makes speaking in front of the audience more unnerving, but also more exciting at the same time. That said, speaking into the mic can be a bit scary especially in the beginning. But in both cases the fear is manageable if you simply practice a lot.
Do you have your personal techniques to manage your voice and make self- confident that your audience will listen you for sure?
Daniyar: Be prepared and practice.
Zhanara: Practice, practice, practice.
Speaking about family, how is it to be co-hosts of podcasts and toastmasters when you’re husband and wife?
Daniyar: No disadvantages, only advantages. We work as a team and share interests which helps us to work together smoothly.
Zhanara: I am also Daniyar’s Toastmasters mentor :)
In addition to working as a team and having common interests, we divide responsibilities relating to podcast which I think helps to avoid unnecessary conflicts or misunderstandings. For example, I prepare the questions and write up things while Daniyar takes care of the technical side of things.
Who is your listener?
Progressive, open-minded, and curious people who want to be 1% better every day.
Is your podcast popular?
More than 45,000 downloads since the launch just over a year ago. People listen to our podcast in Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Japan, Ukraine, Germany, UAE, Kyrgyzstan, the UK, Canada, Brazil, and other parts of the world.
How do you measure success?
Daniyar: Achieving the goals that are truly yours and enjoying the process along the way.
Zhanara: In terms of the podcast, it is when someone tells you that the podcast has helped them improve their lives. Generally speaking, it is doing what you like.
Three things, that make you to maintain a podcast.
Daniyar: Meeting and building connections with new people; Sharing knowledge among a bigger audience; Learning new things.
Zhanara: Opportunity to meet interesting people; Opportunity to share useful information with others; Self-development in the process.
Best you can apply for leading podcast from TM!
Daniyar: I would encourage people in Kazakhstan to start their own podcast if they believe they have something interesting to share. Virtually anyone can do a podcast. It’s that easy. You just have to be enthusiastic and consistent.
Zhanara: Podcasts have transformed our lives in many ways and I would encourage others to start listening to them if they haven’t already done so. Listening to podcasts is so simple and easy, but the rewards are invaluable.