Welcome to Toastmasters. We’ve been a world leader in public speaking training for nearly 100 years. But as you develop your public speaking skills, you’re going to need something else – leadership training. If you’re a communicator, you’re going to be seen as a leader. Toastmasters has been revamping our education program to increase leadership training opportunities. This led to the introduction of Pathways, built with the new century in mind. We’ve upgraded to a new experience with more training by videos online, online tracking of your work, and exciting new challenges that we find today in social media. We’ve even got podcasting!
Once you receive your first email from Toastmasters confirming your membership, they give you
- your member number
- your password.
You need both of these to get on the Toastmasters website to access the Pathways software. Don’t worry if you don’t remember your password. Just start the logon process with your email and pick “Forgot my password” and they’ll send it again.
Once you log in, select Pathways from the top menu and go to Take the Assessment.
This won’t take long. In fact, if you take more than 5 minutes on this 25 question test, you’re overthinking your answers. If you’re an analyst, an engineer, or a scientist, I know this will hurt: take the assessment as quickly as you can without thinking too much about it.
The assessment questions seem silly – rather unimpressive. How do you decide if you’re “comfortable” or “very comfortable” speaking in front of a crowd? However, just go with it. Sometimes you need to go with your gut.
When you get to the end of the assessment, the choices offered are not binding. So if you’re not totally precise here, it’s not locking you into a selection.
I’ve taken the assessment several times. (Training people – you repeat yourself a lot.) Regardless of what I think about the assessment questions, I’ve got a lot of respect for it in the end, because…
The Assessments Are Pretty Accurate
Most people have found that the three recommended Pathways do reflect what they want to do in Toastmasters. Whether it’s public speaking or leadership skills development, the assessment makes good recommendations.
Whatever you think of the results, you can accept them or ignore them. I have agreed time and again with the results as I’ve seen people take the assessment. You might find a recommendation that wasn’t on your top three list.
Give the suggestions some thought. You may find a different pathway will take you where you want to go – in an unexpected way. Toastmasters has said that the most popular pathway is Innovative Planning. They didn’t expect that! So keep your options open and do the research on the Pathways. Then, if you don’t like what they offer… don’t worry about it.
Just select the button at the bottom of the page that says “Additional Paths.” The other available paths will be shown as you scroll down the screen.
What happens if you DON’T like what the assessment shows you? We’ll talk about that in our next episode.
If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know when you get there? – Leigh Ashton
If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else. – Yogi Berra