Most people are not forward thinking about their speech projects – but if you are planner or an enterprising Toastmaster, planning out your individual Pathways projects weeks in advance will help you achieve your Toastmaster educational goals. Completing your Pathways project requirements while serving your club will also help your Vice President of Education achieve their Club Officer goals at the same time. How?
Next time you are the Table Topics Master, have a member evaluate your Pathways project – Active Listening. The purpose of this Level 2 project is to serve as Topics Master at a club meeting and demonstrate your ability to listen to what others say.
Did your club recently hold their semi-annual club election? New club officers: use the Level 3 Pathways project – Deliver Social Speeches – to compose a speech honouring the outgoing club officer(s). To complete this project, arrange for a club member evaluate you presenting two 3- to 4-minute speeches over two club meetings. Even better, ask your evaluator to plan ahead and use the evaluation of your speech to fulfil part of their Evaluation and Feedback project (Level 1).
Speaking of club officers: if you served as a Toastmaster leader for the last six months at any level (Club Officer, Area Director, Division Director, etc.), take a look at the Level 5 Project: Lead in Any Situation. The focus of this project is leadership and recognizing the need to adapt your style based on the situation and the people you lead. While serving in your Toastmaster role, ask your peers to complete a 360° evaluation. Present an 8- to 10-minute speech reflecting on your experience and/or the impact of the 360° evaluation on you as a leader.
If your club meeting is online or hybrid? If you are the meeting Zoom Master, leverage your role to complete one of your Level 4 projects: Manage Online Meetings. For this Pathways project, conduct a 20- to 25-minute online meeting with fellow Toastmasters while your evaluator is in attendance.
Other Pathways project examples include:
- facilitating club officer training (Level 3: Using Presentation Software, or Level 4: Question-and-Answer Session), and
- helping plan an Area or Division speech contest (Level 4: Manage Projects Successfully, or Level 5: Team Building).
If you are the Vice President of Public Relations or sit on a Public Relations Committee, lean into your leadership position and Build a Social Media Presence, Create a Podcast, Write a Compelling Blog, or formulate various Public Relations Strategies to promote awareness of Toastmasters (all Level 4 projects).
There are many opportunities to leverage Pathways in our traditional Toastmaster roles (i.e. Topics master) and annual Toastmasters events (such as speech contests), while improving your communication and leadership skills at the same time.
Pathways is meant to be fluid. Opportunities are available in every path, and can be completed out of order, even if credit cannot be fully earned until you finish all previous requirements.
Connect with your Vice President of Education to advance schedule your projects into the meeting agendas. Having projects pre-scheduled (deadlines), holds you accountable to finish your work within the required timeframe. And by taking control of your workload, it frees you to accomplish your goals.
To help leverage possible Pathways projects in your project planning, I highly recommend the Toastmasters Paths and Core Competencies guide, item 8077.
We are halfway into our Toastmasters year. Now is the time to plan out your projects for the next few months. If you need additional guidance understanding the project options, making sense of your chosen path and direction, or how to further leverage Pathways, please reach out to the Program Quality Director or the District Pathway Co-chairs; we are here for you!
Created by Nancy Movrin DTM Program Quality Director 2022 – 2023