Have you ever watched a TED Talk? Or an Ignite speech? or a PechaKucha 0r a Pecha Kucha or a Pikachu – ok, that last one wasn’t the right pronunciation at all, but every time I talk to people about it, I hear this, I figure I should acknowledge it. All of these presentations include visual aids. Actually, they include a slide deck. Are visuals aids limited to the electronic?
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”
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”
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
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”
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”
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”
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”
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”
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?”