Level 1: 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 “Level 1: 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”

Tracking Your Club Meeting Roles

Being a toastmaster means more than giving speeches and the occasional evaluation.  These meetings don’t happen by themselves, you know.  Club meeting roles are important.

Club Meeting Roles

If you’ve attended a meeting, you know there’s a Toastmaster of the day – a ringleader or MC who manages part or all of the meeting.

There’s a table topics leader who poses the prompt for the impromptu speeches – and who may call for votes to be sent in to pick a winner.

The general evaluator might lead the 2nd portion of the meeting – the evaluation section.  This person may call up the speech evaluators, the grammarian and ah-counter and the timer to give reports on how well the club meeting was handled.  This is handled in different ways within clubs – be aware of how your club manages these reports.

All of these roles are important for you to take – even if you don’t think you’re ready to do it. Continue reading “Tracking Your Club Meeting Roles”

Pathways Evaluations

I’ve said for a while that the evaluations you receive and give at a Toastmasters meeting are Toastmasters’ secret sauce.  Immediate feedback has always been recognized as the best way to learn. That reinforcement of your good skills and a look at what could be done to improve make you better faster than everything else.

The evaluation has 2 parts.  The verbal evaluation is the speech that’s given during the club meeting.  The written evaluation is a form you’ll download from the Pathways website for the evaluator to take notes on and return to you after the meeting.

As the speaker, you need to provide the evaluation form from the project.  On the surface, this evaluation form looks fairly standardized.  They are.  There aren’t significant changes from one project evaluation form to another.  What is different? Continue reading “Pathways Evaluations”

What’s Up with Level 1, Project 2?

Ever been lost?  Completely without your bearings?  That uncomfortable moment when nothing looks like you think it should?

Based on what I’m hearing from a lot of Toastmasters, that’s how they feel about Project 2.

Project 2 is complicated.

For Advanced Toastmasters, we’re confused.

For new Toastmasters, we’re confused.

Why is it so confusing? Continue reading “What’s Up with Level 1, Project 2?”

Don’t Forget Your Post-Test

Every project has several steps.  You’ll start with a pretest to determine where you stand.

The tests in particular need to be full screen.  So make sure you open the pop-up window all the way – some of the test instructions won’t show up in the small window.

Pathways pretests aren’t programmed the same way as the rest of the site.  In general, you just press the arrow on the right side of the screen to move to the next page.  However, on the tests, you select your answer for each question, but when you get to the last question, you have look at the bottom of the window to see a button that says “submit.” Continue reading “Don’t Forget Your Post-Test”

Ice Breaker: Everyone’s Level 1, Project 1

Level 1 sounds… basic.  Like boot camp.  Where you start.

Level 1 Confusion

This is your first introduction to the education program and to be honest, I found it very confusing at the start.  I didn’t understand how the projects worked and was often struggling with them.  At the rollout of Pathways, nobody had any experience understanding the flow of Level 1.

There are 4 projects in Level 1,  but one of the projects, Evaluation and Feedback, has several distinct parts to it – 2 speeches PLUS an evaluation.

So you have more work than you’d think.

You start with the Ice Breaker speech project.  In Project 2, you give a different speech from your Ice Breaker.  You’ll give it 2 times – the second time, you try to use the points of growth that your evaluator gave you to improve it.  Then you serve as someone else’s evaluator. Finally, you have another speech that requires some research and organization.  We’ll cover each of these projects in future podcasts – so stay tuned!

Where you start in Toastmasters is with the Ice Breaker Speech.

Continue reading “Ice Breaker: Everyone’s Level 1, Project 1”

11 Pathways to Choose

You can find the list of the new Pathways options on the Toastmasters.org website.  They are usually listed in alphabetical order: Continue reading “11 Pathways to Choose”

Don’t Like the Results of Your Assessment?

In the last podcast, I talked about the Pathways assessment.  I mentioned you’re not stuck with their recommendations if you don’t like the results of your assessment.

There are plenty of reasons not to like the choices they offer you.  A 25 question assessment is only so good.  It doesn’t read your mind or know your future.

While I see the assessment produce good results most of the time, there’s no reason that you have to blindly accept them. Continue reading “Don’t Like the Results of Your Assessment?”