Level 3 Not Your Average Speech Projects

When is a speech project in Toastmasters not a speech project?

When the speech projects asks more of you.

Three speech projects in Level 3 aren’t simple, and will take more time for you to complete.  It’s one of the frustrating things about the limited access to the speech project descriptions – you can’t know that Focus on the Positive requires two weeks of preparation before you give the speech until you open the training. Continue reading “Level 3 Not Your Average Speech Projects”

Building Your Speech Skills and Style

Speech Skills Build Your Speech Style

Once you know the basics:  how to use

  • descriptive language
  • storytelling
  • vocal variety
  • body language

then it’s time to start building your speech skills into stronger, more effective speeches.  These three speech projects in Level 3 help you do that by challenging you to channel your style. Continue reading “Building Your Speech Skills and Style”

Level 3: Essential Speech Skills

Level 3 has 2 components, and the biggest part of the project assignments are the essential Speech Skills electives in a level titled Increasing Knowledge.

Essential Speech Skills – finally!

Toastmasters’ reputation was built on public speaking skills.  That’s why many of us long-timers have struggled with Pathways.  Learning speech skills isn’t postponed till after 7 or 8 speeches have been completed.  Personally, I think that it’s a bit late to be introducing the speech skills and then making only 2 of them required is… odd.

As a new members, let me make this recommendation.  Don’t rush this level.  You have 12 or 13 speech projects to pick from.

Nothing could be more devastating to a speaker than failing to learn Continue reading “Level 3: Essential Speech Skills”

Level 2 Introduction to Toastmasters Mentoring

When you think of the relationships in your life, you’ll probably think about parents, siblings, maybe teachers or bosses that had a positive impact in your life.  There might also be people who had a negative impact – bullies or the mean old guy who lived down the street who shook his cane at you and told you to get off his lawn.

How many of those people were in your life because you wanted them?

We do get to make choices about some of the people in our lives – our friends, our spouses or significant others, and our mentors.

Picking mentors

I’ve been fortunate that my first mentor relationship was of my choosing.  Continue reading “Level 2 Introduction to Toastmasters Mentoring”

The Required Projects in Level 2

You don’t have to do the level projects in Pathways in order.  You can choose your sequence based on your interest and preferences.  But everyone’s Level 2 includes some required speech projects where the specialization of each pathway begins.

Some of the projects share the same required project.  Connect With Your Audience and Active Listening are in 5 of the 11 pathways, so if I were a betting woman, I’d say that about half of the Toastmasters are going to have to do these projects.

Level 2 Required Speech Projects

Continue reading “The Required Projects in Level 2”

Level 2 Communication Style Quiz Project

Have you ever taken an online test and gotten an answer you never expected?

Toastmasters Pathways Communication Styles Quiz Project might surprise you.

I once took one of those quizzes and deliberately answered the wrong answer on every question, but the “results” and I say that loosely were that I had answered every question perfectly, which made me a genius.

Yeah, right.

The Shocking Communication Styles Quiz

Sometimes the answers you get from online quizzes aren’t what you expect.  Take the Level 2 Communication Styles Quiz.  I got an answer that I might even say shocked me at the time. Continue reading “Level 2 Communication Style Quiz Project”

Level 2 Leadership Quiz

Do you like taking online quizzes?  Pathways thinks we must all love them since they give us so many to take.  The Leadership quiz or Communications quiz always shows up in Level 2 of Pathways.

This project is fairly simple:  take the quiz, give a speech.

This causes a lot of concern – if everyone in Toastmasters is taking the leadership quiz or the communications quiz, aren’t we going to get a lot of identical speeches?

Let’s take a look at the Leadership quiz and the assigned speech project and see what really happens. Continue reading “Level 2 Leadership Quiz”

Research and Organize Your Speech

Are you ready to research and organize your speech?  Good, because that’s the last project in Level 1.

Pathways provides you with a couple of PDFs to help you organize your material and your speech.  They outline 7 different types of speeches.  They explain that speeches have 3 distinct parts – the introduction, the body, and the conclusion.

How important is speech organization?

Making sure that your material is presented in a logical format is the difference between communication – and chaos.  That’s how important it is.

Just throwing all your information at your audience is not informative nor persuasive.  Your task as a speaker requires you to be proactive – to present your data and conclusions in a format that a listener can follow.  Your call to action will be obvious and motivating only if you organize your material first.

Pick your topic

Picking your topic for this speech is less comfortable than the previous speeches, when I recommended that you pick a topic you know and like.  Continue reading “Research and Organize Your Speech”

Evaluation Evaluations

Impromptu Evaluation Speaking

Since we communicate in the moment, often with no opportunity to plan our speech, you see why it’s critical to build those impromptu speaking skills.  It’s not just about meeting that rock star, or getting a chance to pitch the perfect idea in an elevator to the investor or your dreams.  It’s about finding your voice, whatever the situation, and being able to use it.

Are we talking Table Topics here?

Yes, obviously.  But we’re also talking about speech evaluations.  When you think about it, a speech evaluation is pretty much an impromptu speech that requires some logical and rational thought on the fly. Continue reading “Evaluation Evaluations”

Toastmasters Table Topics

Impromptu speaking – aka Table Topics.  It’s a key component of Toastmasters – we have Table Topics contests!  Why?  What’s the deal?

Did you ever have that conversation where you were the most clever, smartest – and wettest, because you were in the shower at the time?  You know – when you talked to that person who was going to be forced to reckon with your brilliance and concede that of course, you were right all along?

Have you ever had that kind of conversation when the other person was actually present with you – presumably outside of the bathroom? Me neither.  I’m never as eloquent as I am when I’m alone with shampoo in my hair.

Why am I talking about this?  I want to make the point that we don’t usually plan out our casual communications and even when we do, they don’t go the way we expect. Continue reading “Toastmasters Table Topics”