A Positive Growth Experience
Progressive Toastmasters regularly hosts Speechcraft (SC) twice a year. We have found that the right time to do this is around October-November and March-April. What has worked for Progressive Toastmasters is Facebook advertising for Speechcraft. We also purchased a ‘square’ to sign a guest up quickly to the SC program and to renew memberships. If a SC participant comes in while a program is underway, we don’t turn them away. As we’re following Pathways, we have them start wherever they join in the workshop. Always allow a 4-week marketing campaign; but be prepared, people will only commit in the last week before the start date.
As Toastmasters International has not finalized the update to the Speechcraft manual to reflect Pathways, we modified the Speechcraft program slightly to make sure it incorporates the components of Pathways speech projects for Level 1. By doing this, a non-member participant [who decides to join Toastmasters] OR a new member [wishing to jump-start their learning] can continue their Toastmasters journey. We have found the 6-week program always works best😊; having tried the 4wk -- it was too tight; and, 8wk was too long.
What we have done is keep all aspects of the Speechcraft manual plus adding in two additional educational speeches so that we have 5 over the 6-week period. The slight changes we have made to the Speechcraft program are the participant speeches. As the SC participant or new member must start on Pathways right away, it makes sense for them to start Level 1 under their chosen Pathways.
Note – Level 1 speech projects are the SAME for ALL Pathways. We replaced the first three speeches of the Competent Communicator manual with the first three speech projects of Pathways: the Ice Breaker; followed by two Presentations & feedback + 1 Evaluation. We include an educational presentation on the Pathways logging in and explain how the program works. This modification to the SC program has been a positive experience for our participants as they learn how to log into Pathways right away to start their journey. Now the Speechcraft participant/new member only has to complete the Research/Presentation speech to finish Pathways Level I. A more positive experience overall for both the club’s DCP program and the new member.
In summary, adding two additional education sessions and starting into Pathways right at the start has been very beneficial for everyone. 😊
Shawn Salokannel, DTM
BCOMM, DTM, Cert Adult Educ., OMDP
Club President, Progressive Toastmasters
Never Stop Learning. Never Stop Growing