Pathways Choices: Resources to Help

It’s time to choose a pathway.  Pathways choices seem more complex this time around.

Decisions in Pathways Choices

There’s been a bit of grousing in Toastmasters land these days.  As the days of the Competent Communicator wane, I see a lot of people mourning a loss that maybe they didn’t expect.

Since I’m still working on a last CC manual, I guess I’m not ready to mourn just yet since I don’t miss it.  But as I make my pathways choices, I’m a bit nostaglic, not for the Competent Communicator, but for the simplicity of the advanced manuals.

Is choosing a pathway that difficult?

Only in my mind. Continue reading “Pathways Choices: Resources to Help”

Repeating Speeches

I listened to an ice breaker this week from a man who just chose his next pathway.  His speech explained why he selected this path instead of repeating the speech he did with his first ice breaker.  Is repeating speeches  bad in Toastmasters? Continue reading “Repeating Speeches”

Career Building Speech Projects Level 3

When a prospective member comes through the door and puts their money down at the end of their first meeting, two thoughts come to my mind.  First, this is a kindred spirit, because that’s what I did, and second, their boss sent them.  Come on – we all have seen the members who are here for career building.  That’s fine!  We’re glad to see them!

The reasons a member joins is not very important to me.  Their “why” is their “why” and I’m a whole lot more concerned that we teach the “what” and let them take care of their “why.”

If I’m mentoring a new member and they want to jump to the career building speech projects, I don’t have the power to stop them.  But I will spend time with them showing how these two projects –  Prepare for an Interview and Making Connections with Networking, along with the Using Presentation Software project – are best saved for last, after essential speech skills are understood and practiced. Continue reading “Career Building Speech Projects Level 3”

Visual Aids for Your Speech Presentation: Level 3 Electives

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?

Continue reading “Visual Aids for Your Speech Presentation: Level 3 Electives”

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”

Level 3: 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 “Level 3: 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”

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 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”