Newsletter

July 2018: Prize Crossword

Guest edited by Elizabeth Jordan, DTM

Win Mini Notebook and Pen Set

Item 6850K

Instructions

  • Email completed crossword to Daniel Sandars by Friday 24th August 2018
  • All correct answers will be entered in a prize draw. Winners and Answers will be published in the August/September Edition

Crossword Grid July

Across

  • 3 Minimum number of DCP goals a club has to achieve to be recognised as President’s Distinguished (4)
  • 5 Birthday month of Toastmasters International (7)
  • 7 First name of the D71 PR Manager (6)
  • 10 Surname of the Toastmasters’ International President for 2017-2018 (10)
  • 13 City where the D71 Spring conference will be held in 2019 (7)
  • 15 Full name (first and surname) of a presenter of the Toastmasters Podcast (4,8) R
  • 16 Number of Paths available in the new Toastmasters Pathways learning experience (3)
  • 17 City where the D71 Spring conference (May 11th -13th 2018) was held (4)

Down

  • 1 Number of levels in each Path of the new Toastmasters Pathways learning experience (4)
  • 2 Nickname of the outgoing D71 District Director (3)
  • 4 Host city of 2018 Toastmasters International convention (7)
  • 6 Name of monthly magazine circulated by TMI at all its members ( 11)
  • 8 Name of the gateway to Pathways Paths and Projects (4,4)
  • 9 Name of Toastmasters new education learning experience (8)
  • 11 The State where Toastmasters relocated its Headquarters in March 2018 (8)
  • 12 Middle name of the founder of Toastmasters International (7)
  • 14 Surname of current D71 District Director (7)

Guest Division Section – M

Guest edited by Division M Director (Div. D) Teresa Redmond ACB ALB

On the shoulders of giants….

with Teresa Redmond

“WHY DIDN’T SOMEONE TELL ME ABOUT TOASTMASTERS 35 YEARS AGO?”

That was shouted at all those of you who knew, and kept Toastmasters (TM) a deep, dark secret all these years!

I discovered Toastmasters after a life-time in Science Education, accumulating all the evidence-based gems that the education world had to offer in furthering the art of teaching and learning for my students and their teachers. Imagine my surprise when, about three years ago, I discovered it all: the resources; the skills needed to build supportive learning environments; adult teaching and learning methods and programs vs ‘taught’ programs; the methodologies; the… everything needed to succour and develop the individual to be all, and do all that they can be and do?

You won’t be surprised when I tell you that at least one major focus of my Division Director goals for the year is, not only to spread the word of what Toastmasters is, does and can do for the individual, but also to attempt to further the education of us all. This applies both within the organisation to facilitate better servicing of the needs of our fellow club members and of course, in so doing, better ourselves, and… without! The pursuit of Excellence in our home clubs, area and division will be targeted, but of course those ‘on the ground’ doing the heavy lifting will be our wonderful team of Area Directors: Area 5 Mary Burnham ACG, ALS; Area 18 Bobby Buckley ACG, ALB; Area 26 Shalini Sinha CC; and Area 54 John P Kelly ACG, ALB.

Besides embracing Pathways this year, I hope to relentlessly promote Toastmaster Community Programs, such as Speechcraft and Youth Leadership, for their dual purpose in: education, but also giving value and purpose to our more experienced Toastmasters. Through their delivery of these programmes, they will continue to grow by sharing their expertise through Service in our communities. This measure in turn should feed into the challenge of retention of our experienced members and those who recognise that they have already attained their personal goals.

My personal goals for the Division Directorship will of course reach fruition through giving the best support I may to our Division M Area Directors. Respect and Integrity, I hope will be my constant companions and guiding values for the year.

As it is yet incredibly early in the Toastmaster year, our principal endeavour thus far has been the organisation and coordination of the Division based Club Officer Training 1 (Div. M COT1) which we ran on Sat 30th June from 8:30 hrs through to 13:00hrs.

Applying some of the principals of adult education, our COT structure, content and methodologies were based on

  • analysis and reflection on practice (Moments of Truth (MOT) Workshop, carried out in home-club groupings);
  • the pursuit of excellence through interrogation and analysis of best practice (breakout officer trainings facilitated by excellence practitioners);
  • the sharing of mutual experience (very little ‘presentation from the top / death by PowerPoint’ but lots of time allocated to discussion & mutual problem-solving);
  • analysis and reflection on our OWN practice to facilitate our learning (detailed evaluation sheets prepared and dedicated ‘fill-in’ time given at the end of the program will be used to inform our COT2 sessions and future Division based training).

To put science into practice we divided our session as shown in the agenda in Table 1

Table 1 Agenda for Div. M COT 1

TIME SESSION PERSON RESPONSIBLE

TIMING

8:30 – 09:30 Sign -in and general room set-up Mary Conlon, Jillian Gerraghty, Mary Burnham

08:30 – 09:30 Tech Help Desks: TMI Easyspeak and Basecamp Patricia O’Reilly, Ciara Halloran, Gareth Coughlan.

G

Y

R

09:30 – 09:45 Intro to Div. Dir and ADs (3 mins each) and Important dates Teresa Redmond and ADs

01:30

02:00

03:00

09:45 – 11:00 MOT workshop (All participants seated with home clubs) Teresa Redmond

Intro and instructions
10 mins to 09:55am

Personal filing of survey:
15 mins to 10:10am

Collate scores  ≤3
5 mins to 10:15am

Club Discussion ≤ 3:
30 mins to 10:45am

Conclude
15 mins to 11:00

11:00 – 11:15 GDPR Retention and membership Patricia O’Reilly,

12:00

13:50

15:00

11:15- 11:30 Coffee and biscuits T/C/Cookies

12:00

13:50

15:00

11:30 – 11:40 Intro to Trainers Trainers

07:00

08:30

10:00

11:40 – 13:00 Officer training Trainers

40 mins

60 mins

80 mins

13:00 – 14:00 Lunch (own expense)  
14:00 – 15:30 Div. M Council Meeting Div. Dir and ADs ADs and Div. Dir


Bobby Buckley, Div. M, Area 18 Director welcomes both John Doyle, Plainspeakers Naas and visitor from Div. D, Deirdre Walsh, Athy TM.


A busy President’s breakout training session facilitated by Ciara Halloran, outgoing DIV Director, and Bobby Buckley Div. M Area 18 Director

To give some ‘flavour’ to our Div. M COT1 endeavours, in addition to the photographs, We asked several of the team to give their impression of the day’s proceedings:

  • Area M5 Director Mary Burnham “DIVISION M COT1 TRAINING”
  • Pat Rooney “A First-Timer’s Encounter with Div. M COT1 and MOT”
  • Karen O’Donnell “COT Vice President of Public Relations (VPPR) breakout group”

L to R: Declan Keane VPPR; Patrick Quigley Treasurer; Kevin Kinahan President; Michael McErlean VPE.

The Tech Help Desk: Anne Byrne VPE Bray Toastmasters getting expert advice from Gareth Coughlan VPE Tallaght Toastmasters and Pathways Guide on the Pathways and Basecamp helpdesk; Menchu Hernández, Cogito Toastmasters and Antrás Vargkas, Allianz Toastmasters, listening avidly to advice from Patricia O’Reilly D71 Director on the TI helpdesk;

And to set COT in the wider context of Division M success:

  • Area M28 Director Shalini Sinha “Why Bother Achieving Presidents Distinguished? My Vision for the Year.”
  • Immediate Past Division M director Ciara Halloran “From Greeter to Distinguished!”

– read on to their subsections.

But, first… of course we must recognise – all is possible because we stand on the shoulders of the giants who have gone before us along the Toastmaster path. Many of these wonderful Toastmasters, known to me, have already been ‘roped-into’ my ever-growing contingent of personal mentors! You know who you are, and I won’t even try to name you all, but… one stands out for her most recent and generous offers of help at our COT1. That is our very own District 71 Leader, Patricia O’Reilly. Patricia not only agreed to give her short presentation on GDPR, but also offered to (wo)man the TI aspect of our Tech Desk (8:30-9:30am), and to co-facilitate the Treasurer officer-training break-out group.

Thank you, Toastmasters, for this opportunity to pursue excellence through integrity. and respect for all, but above all these, in my book, thanks for the honour to be called on to serve. I will try to do my best.

Club-based MOT session: members of Clondalkin Toastmasters deep in discussion on how to improve their overall club performance using the MOT handout. Although with President’s Distinguished this year and last, they mustn’t be doing too much wrong! L to R: Aoife Cousins, new TM member; Pat Rooney VPM; Antoinette Doran, VPPR; Mary Conlon, Secretary; Ann Gordon, Treasurer; Marie Grange, member of Clondalkin and Tallaght Toastmasters.

Bonus Content

1st Toastmasters training manual by Ralph Smedley.

Source:
http://bit.ly/2LaDrcz

Division M COT1 Training

with Mary Burnham ACG, ALS. Area M5 Director

The words ‘Officer Training’ used to fill me with dread in my early Toastmaster days as it meant giving up the best part of my Saturday, travelling to an unknown venue, and then facing the prospect of sitting in a stuffy hotel room having my head filled with ‘useful’ information!


Mary Burnham Area M5 Director, introducing herself to Division M COT1 attendees.

Many years later, in my new role as Area Director for Area 5, I’m delighted to report that officer training is a wonderful way to get to know other Toastmasters and to learn how best to fulfil each role on the committee. It was an early start, but the room was virtually full by 9.30am with committee members and quite a few extra Toastmasters who came along to join in the learning experience.

There was a good atmosphere in the room giving everyone a chance to meet and greet before getting down to business with introductions, a few short presentations, and then breaking out into individual training sessions for each committee post. My table was dedicated to the role of secretary where I summarised this crucial role as a way of recording each meeting, and of keeping members who are unable to attend informed and involved.

We requested qualitative and quantitative feedback (see below) from attendees which were mostly complimentary – particularly about our Div. D Teresa Redmond! – and gave us a good indication of how well the meeting fit their needs. There was also a high degree of satisfaction, marked out of 5, the overall rating being 4.5.

  • “Immensely helpful, learned lots of little important things that I didn’t know”
  • “Well organised with good engagement”
  • “Terrific opportunity to meet other clubs”
  • “The breakout group was great for swapping ideas”
  • “Well structured, personable, kept to time”
  • “Especially useful explanation of CC / CL versus Pathways”
  • “Good to meet others and for my club to do MOT. A worthwhile session”

But as we all know there are always improvements that could be made to ensure we stay ahead of the game:

  • “To limit the number of Toastmasters in any one group as it can occasionally be hard to hear or to get a word in edgeways”
  • “Some handouts on GDPR would be helpful plus a plan for the year and a discussion about the new way of conducting the contests”
  • “More information on Pathways would help”
  • “Structure better to make sure that trainers don’t miss out when it comes to their own learning”

There was a great buzz in the room and, after a busy morning, members left armed with useful information to help them in the running of their clubs, safe in the knowledge that they each had an Area Director on call to answer queries and to help them attain all the points necessary for President’s Distinguished.

A First-Timer’s Encounter with Div. M COT1 and MOT

with Pat Rooney CC, Clondalkin Toastmasters.

I’ve been a member of Toastmasters since January 2018, aside from enjoying it hugely, I’m amazed at how quickly, and seamlessly TM has become a part of my life. So, naturally, when I was invited to give a little back by way of taking on the role of VPM for the coming year, I was more than happy to accept.

While my membership of Toastmasters stretches back all of 6 months, my experience of being involved in various boards, groups, committees, etc. goes back about 40 years. It was with a slightly jaded and experienced eye, therefore, that I attended the Div. M, COT1 event hosted recently by Division Director, Teresa Redmond, at our Clondalkin Toastmasters base, The Maldron Hotel, Newlands Cross, Dublin.

Happily, my jaded eye stayed firmly in its socket; while my experienced eye was thoroughly pleased with what it saw. The event was meticulously well organised and featured presentations of a uniformly high quality, all under Teresa’s guiding hand. The woman’s energy is matched only by her enthusiasm; both are inspiring.

Pathways featured as a frequent topic of conversation, with a powerful sense that we have quite a way to go before members become fully conversant with its finer points.

Moments of Truth (MOT)

Some of the most valuable learning of the morning centred on the ‘MOT Handout’ exercise, which involved individual scoring, discussion, and collation of group scores. The results generated from the exercise will prove extremely valuable for our club committee and membership during the coming Toastmaster year. However, I think there is also a lesson to be drawn from the fact that the completion of all three functions within the allotted time proved to be an overly ambitious goal.

The value of this workshop will, I believe, only become truly apparent when the results of the MOT questionnaire are brought back to individual clubs for analysis and as a developmental resource for their committees.

Another useful feature of the workshop was the use of dedicated evaluation sheets to generate qualitative feedback on the various sessions. The resulting overall rating of 4.5/5 for all sessions was, I feel, an accurate reflection of the quality of the work done on the day.

Overall, we owe a debt of gratitude to everyone involved in organising and presenting this workshop.

COT Vice President of Public Relations (VPPR) breakout group

with Karen O’Donnell, DTM.

At 1 o’clock and clockwise: Karen O’Donnell, VPPR training facilitator; Colm McGlade DD, Div. J; Colin Byford, Greystones TM; Winifred Ryan, Rathfarnham TM; Dana Diaconescu, Bray TM; Konrad Jacubowski Dublin Sth TM; Antoinette Doran Clondalkin TM.

I was delighted to be asked to facilitate the VPPR breakout group for Division M. I had 6 very enthusiastic VPPRs and even Division J Director, Colm McGlade sat in to pick up PR tips for his new Division.

It was fantastic to have 90 minutes for this officer session. I broke the session down into 3 distinct areas to maximise the learning for these awesome club officers.

1.Training

As this is a Club Officer Training, it is vital that the officers require ‘training’ in the role they have agreed to take on.

  • Role of VPPR
  • Numerous ways of connecting with your target audience; and
  • PR Resources available to our VPPRs.

2.Integration of information

I had prepared various scenarios and asked the participants to get into pairs and work through solutions to the various scenarios. With 5 minutes to chat through each PR challenge, each pair then shared their solutions openly with the other VPPRs and we got through quite a few different scenarios. By carrying it out this way, there was a wide variety of suggestions and the training was well and truly integrated. What a super group of officers!

3.Q and A

The concluding section of our breakout group involved questions and answers. Many related questions I had faced from officers when I was both Division M Director and District PR Manager. I provided my contact details in case any of the officers wanted further clarification. Enthusiastic VPPRs did contact me in relation to mixed messages they had received from other Toastmasters. When replying, I could draw on personal experience and as always, would also direct officers to ‘Policies and Protocols’ something I learned from a wonderful Toastmaster, Luanne Kent!

What I felt worked well was the amount of time allocated for this section of the training. It was super to see Teresa take on board the feedback from previous COTs. The group that I worked with had time to integrate the learning with the case studies.

What we could improve on:

PR is a huge subject that most Toastmasters do not encounter during their daily lives. A lot of support is required and with Daniel Sandars as our District PR Manager, I am sure he will provide this support to our Divisions and Club VPPRs. Wishing all club officers an amazing year!

Why Bother Achieving Presidents Distinguished?

My Vision for the Year as Area M26 Director by Shalini Sinha ACB

My vision for Area 26 this year is that each club achieves Presidents Distinguished. I am sure every Area Director wants to reach for this goal but let me explain my desire. Simply, I believe this is the only goal I can hold that allows me to best serve the average member in a Toastmasters club.

I, like many, joined Toastmasters for my own reasons, but at the time had no idea Toastmasters had such a structured Educational Program. I was surprised to receive manuals (then) and see projects to work through step-by-step.

I faced a choice: stay paralysed with fear or start acting. I chose action.

Our educational awards recognise the action we take. The more action we take, the more skilled and confident we become. That is why we joined Toastmasters! To grow in skill and confidence. Achieving an educational award is useless as a goal, but it is deeply meaningful as a recognition that we achieved something else – became a better communicator and leader than we had been last year.

I have another secret. Achieving big goals is possible without working too hard and while having lots of fun along the way. This is what I want for each club member in Area 26 – to improve greatly in our skills without too much stress and with lots of fun. This is how we do this:

Achieving a goal requires 3 things: vision, a set of structures that make action automatic, and support.

What vision will you set for yourself this year? I would love you to aim to complete at least one educational goal this year. That is the only way to be sure you will become more skilled this year than you were last year.

Think about what one simple action you can do consistently to help you progress on achieving your goal. This will be the structure that will get you to where you want to be.

Finally, and most importantly, avail of lots of support. The two most profound benefits of Toastmasters in my life – things I’ve gained that I didn’t expect – have been good friends and a place to stretch, take risks and make mistakes. I want us to build strong relationships across Area 26 and help each of us to go farther than we have before.

Now, you see how I could hold no other goal that would serve you better, but to aim for achieving Presidents Distinguished in each of our clubs this year. I am with you and we are doing this together.

From Greeter to Distinguished!

By Ciara Halloran DTM, Immediate Past Division M Director, VPM PowerTalk Toastmasters, and Rathfarnham Toastmasters member

Having just completed my term of office as Division M Director on June 30, I have recently been asked for that elusive one nugget of wisdom to pass on to incoming Clubs Leaders enabling them to have an extraordinarily successful year!

Reflecting on this and determined to offer a useful insight even though there is no one silver bullet when it comes to the Distinguished Club Programme, I thought about not just the previous year but my many years in toastmasters as both club member and officer including my experiences in Dublin, Paris and Vancouver. Here is my suggestion to incoming club leaders.

You never get a second chance to make a first impression so boost your Club’s opportunity to create a warm welcome and friendly environment for guests and members through the introduction of the role of Greeter at your toastmaster meetings! The role of Greeter while not an official meeting role has been used successfully by many clubs in District 71 and further afield to set the right tone and start meetings on professional note. Having a dedicated toastmaster member act as Greeter each meeting to welcome members and meet guests when they arrive strengthens the likelihood of guests having a positive first impression, experiencing a warm friendly welcome and increases the chance of them joining as a new club member! Similarly, the role of Greeter is not just beneficial for guests but equally supports club member retention as everyone likes to be warmly welcomed and greeted in a friendly manner!

Here are some recommendations for successfully carrying out the role in your Club:

  • Rotate the role each meeting, it can be used to fulfil the task of Befriend a Guest in Project 7 Facilitation, Toastmasters Competent Leader Manual.
  • Greeter should arrive 15-20 mins before the start of the meeting so that they can greet guests and members before the start of the meeting.
  • Welcome everyone with a handshake and smile at the entrance to the meeting room.

For guests:

  • Have the guest sign-in or request to take their contact details so that the club can follow up with them after the meeting, follow Toastmasters General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR)
  • If using name badges, make a name badge for guest
  • Provide guest with agenda of the meeting and answer any questions they may have
  • Offer them a guest pack or information on club membership as appropriate
  • Introduce them to an existing member who can sit with them and explain the benefits of toastmaster including answering any questions they may have
  • Let the guest know if they will be asked to introduce themselves (usually at start of meeting) or comment on their experience to provide feedback to club at the end of the meeting
  • Make a note of all guests to pass on to Vice President of Membership (VPM) for follow-up at meeting break and after meeting
  • If club meeting agenda allows, have Greeter carry out the introduction of guests to the club by stating the name of each guest and whether it is their first, second or third visit to the Club at start of the meeting. If the guest is a toastmaster member of another club or a district leader the Greeter should mention this as part of the introduction.
  • Check-in with guests at break to see how they are doing.
  • At end of the meeting, be sure to offer a polite goodbye to guests and ask if they would like to attend the next meeting? Remind them you will pass on their contact details to VPM (or another club leader in VPM’s absence) who will contact them to follow up and inform them of the details for the next meeting.
  • If your club meets socially after the meeting be sure to invite your guests along and ideally escort or show them where to go to meet and socialise with your club members.

To complete the role:

  • Have guest or Vice President of Education complete the task evaluation for Befriend a Guest, Project 7 in Competent Leader manual if needed.
  • After meeting, remind VPM to follow up and pass on all contact details.
  • If you see guests again at another toastmasters meeting make a point of saying hello, letting them know you remember them from the previous meeting and are glad to see them again.

In the hotel industry, one of the main differences between 4-star service and 5-star (or above) is the dedicated level of service provided which often starts at the point of entry for example complimentary shuttle service, a valet, doorman and porter. Make your Club’s first impression a top star rating by creating the Greeter role at your meetings or delegating the role responsibilities above to a member of your club. This will not only support your club officers in growing and sustaining membership but may even help your club achieve Distinguished Club status by June 30th, 2019!

Public Relations

Public Relations: Do you want to write a national press article?

By Daniel Sandars, DTM; Public Relations Manager

District 71 retains a national Public Relations agent. The overall aim is to raise the profile of Toastmasters across the UK and Ireland. And the bonus is – it will also raise the profile of the author as you will be credited on all your articles e.g. Jo Smith of Toastmasters International. We have had a lot of coverage and previous authors have benefited a great deal from the additional exposure.

The article needs to be 1000+ words long and advice heavy. (no shorter than 950 words please)

Subject needs to reflect what we learn from Toastmasters i.e. subjects related to communication and leadership. Suggested topics for 2018/2019 include:

  • How to present when you’re the only man/woman in the room (i.e. your audience is made up entirely of the opposite gender)
  • How to sell at the end of your presentation
  • X ways to open and/or close your speech that will give it real impact
  • X of the best, unusual and most effective props to use when delivering a presentation
  • How to prepare for presenting a podcast
  • What to do when your presentation goes horribly wrong
  • How to deal with an audience of zombies – what can you do if they are giving you no feedback at all
  • How to add humour to your speech/presentation – even if you are not a comedian
  • How to give feedback when someone has done a truly dreadful job
  • How to judge a community event and not have to leave town afterwards

If it is solely a pitch/marketing the Toastmaster brand this will fall under the title of advertising and not go to press.

Websites taking our articles include training and personal development sites, business sites for small businesses, Executive Secretary, HR sites, career sites etc. We are regularly in top business websites in Northern Ireland and have featured in sites in Scotland and the north of England. Our authors have also been asked to write exclusive articles by specific publications/website. In addition, we had radio coverage as well as national newspaper coverage (in both the UK and Ireland) and national glossy magazine coverage.

From July 2017 to June 2018 we’ve had articles in publications with readership totalling 422million.

IN THE FIRST INSTANCE! Please, all expressions of interest to District 71 PR Manager, Daniel Sandars
daniel.pr_manager_d71@sandars.org.uk

#WeAreToastmasters in July – A random pick from our house hashtag

By Daniel Sandars, DTM; Public relations Manager


#wearetoastmasters great day at Area 6 division E Officer training. Thanks to everyone who attended and the presenters.

https://twitter.com/Area06E/status/1018475308981334018


Introducing our 2018/2019 executive committee team and my fellow officers for this new #Toastmasters year!! #leadership
#WeAreToastmasters

https://twitter.com/KrystalTraining/status/1015866071948103680


It will work but only if you believe it can.
#Believe
#ROWTOASTMASTERS
#WeAreToastmasters

https://www.facebook.com/ROWToastmasters/


Ajeet Maurya is attending Road to Chicago at London Business School with Aparna Pesala and Zsuzsanna Jakabfi.
#Toastmasters #WeAreToastmasters #WestHertsSpeakerClub

https://www.facebook.com/ajeet.maurya.12/posts/10157615612763532

Hashtag – a word or phrase preceded by a hash sign (#), used on social media websites and applications, especially Twitter, to identify messages on a specific topic. See hashtags at work on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hashtag/wearetoastmasters?source=feed_text

Special Educational Section: “Is your club making the most of Pathways?”

Guest edited by John Kendall, DTM

Pathways Learning Experiences

by John Kendall, DTM

Or as I prefer to call it THE Toastmaster Education Program, offers three opportunities

  1. New members get a chance to learn speaking, communication and leadership skills.
  2. Existing members get a chance to focus on aspects of learning more tailored to their personal needs.
  3. Club officers get a way to achieve a higher Distinguished Club Program status for their clubs.

Herein (in the following subsections) are several contributions from D71 members who achieved a Pathways award in the year ending June 2018.

  • Avril Stringer at Linlithgow Speakers achieved Level 1.
  • Darren Walton started on his own at Huntingdonshire Speakers in March and reached Level 1.
  • Vinette Hoffman Jackson started in March after being a Pathways ambassador and reached Level 1.
  • Jenny Chalmers, John Kendall, Elizabeth Jordan, Steve Campion & Sudha Mani all joined overseas clubs with online access, prior to UK launch. This allowed the keener members to start their pathways journey earlier & some to gain higher level awards.

Now every district has full access to pathways locally.

Only John has used the printed manual option.

All these people (except Sudha) were ACG or DTMs.

Pathways – Learning by Doing

by Elizabeth Jordan, DTM (Hertfordshire Speakers Club)

Friday 15th December 2017 is a memorable date in my Toastmaster’s calendar. It is the date I delivered my first Pathways speech, the Icebreaker, entitled ‘TSP’. I delivered my speech to members of my online club, Emperor Mandarin Toastmasters club, a club that was recommended to me because they had embraced Pathways with great enthusiasm and it gave me an opportunity to get started on Pathways three months before the roll-out in Region 11 on 20th March 2018.

I chose to start on the Leadership Development (LD) Path because I wanted to work on a mix of communication and leadership projects, especially planning and implementing small and large projects.

Tip#1: When deciding which path to take I would suggest:

  1. Reviewing all the paths in the Pathways catalogue http://bit.ly/2LCv1a2
  2. Seeking out members who have completed the path you are interested in and learn about their experience 3) Take the Pathways assessment.

One benefit of Pathways is the availability of a rich mix of learning resources in the form of videos, quizzes and reading materials as well as support materials such as templates, evaluation forms etc. With no members in my club on Pathways, I learnt by self-study from the excellent on-line resources available, I attended on-line panel discussions of experts and I sought help from early adopters like Julie Kertesz, Sudha Mani, Zaldy Co and others.

Tip#2: Invest time to learn how to navigate Base Camp and visit the Tutorials and resources page where you can get help on every aspect of working in Pathways.


One of the things I enjoy about Pathways is that the Toastmasters fundamentals are the same: speaking before club members, receiving a verbal evaluation and continuing to do Table Topics and all the things we enjoy as Toastmasters.

Tip#3. Remember to print out the Evaluation form and take it along for your Evaluator to complete.

You can print off the forms from the Speech Evaluations tab or from the project.


When you complete a level, I would suggest printing out the certificate as a reward and an incentive to continue to the next level.

My final two tips are for the club Presidents:

Tip #4) Club President appoints a Pathways Champion in the club to answer questions and to encourage members who choose to transition to Pathways.

Tip #5) Add a 5-7 mins Pathways slot on agenda for the Pathways Champion or Ambassador. This will help to embed Pathways in the club culture and allow members and guests to ask questions.

Having completed L1-L4 of Leadership Development Path by June 2018, I was able to offer the awards to three clubs, all of which achieved President’s Distinguished status. I am now working on the final level – L5 – and plan to complete my first Path in Pathways by Q4 2018.

Experience with Pathways Printed Manuals

By John Kendall, DTM

I joined an overseas club DTM Masters in District 27 with online access to Pathways, to help me be an authentic ambassador and guide. I initially found the online system challenging so I paid extra for printed manuals in another path. Printed Manuals have their pros and cons:

Pros

  • you can see at once all the speeches in Level 1 and Level 2 when the manuals arrive,
  • all the material you can download even how to score quizzes is there,
  • you can plan,
  • You can show others the manuals to explain Pathways,
  • Your evaluations are written into your manuals at the meeting and can show VPEs,
  • It is most like the previous experience – just another manual,
  • It saves you from thinking about which electives to choose, and
  • You do not need a computer or be online.

Cons

  • it costs you more and you must wait for manuals to arrive,
  • you do not get online access to videos, calculators,
  • must wait 3 weeks after finishing Level 2 to get the next manuals (Level 3 and Mentoring),
  • must wait again for last batch of manuals Level 4 and 5 manuals,
  • The electives in Levels 3,4 and 5 are prechosen,
  • It is different and can be more work for VPE to update your progress in basecamp, and
  • you do not get online badges (no real loss).

In conclusion, If I do a third path I will choose an online one, now I know how to use the online system.

However, I as a lone Pathways learner without local support found the printed manuals particularly useful to get a real understanding of the program. Fewer than 1% of members have chosen printed manuals worldwide to date.

Visionary Communication

by Darren Walton, DTM

I expect most people filled the questionnaire in and got presented with a suggestion of paths to choose, as I did. So, I chose Visionary Communication and I have found it to be valuable.

The first three projects were relatively straightforward, thankfully – nothing more than had been seen on the older Toastmaster’s educational program, but the fourth was something else.

The fourth was entitled Understanding Your Leadership Style and I learned that we all use all the styles of leadership that there are, however we use some more than others. I gave a presentation about this and took the other club members, who were present, through the same journey of realisation.

There seems to be some work that needs to be done on the web site – there are some things that aren’t intuitive – for example, the pop-up window that opens needs resizing so the menu at the bottom is shown and that window could be scripted to open at the right size. There are plenty of other examples, but I won’t go on.

I have always been my own sponsor, set my own goals and motivated myself to achieve in Toastmasters and I have continued within Toastmasters because the meetings are very therapeutic for me. It doesn’t matter what sort of day I’ve had; the meetings press the reset button for me.

My advice for anyone is to set goals to get things done by and meet them, even if it means you didn’t do your best because you do catch up eventually. It takes courage to be meaningfully imperfect but there is a lesson in everything we choose to do, and everything we choose not to do. Get outside your comfort zone and fly but listen to yourself and learn!

Overall the Pathways program appears to be useful. I particularly like the way that it mixes leadership with communication and am looking forward to discovering more.

Pathways Interview

with Jenny Chalmers DTM

What helped you choose your path? The only differences are one project L3, L4, and L5

I did the quiz and liked the suggestion of Effective Coaching; I think I had decided on it before I did the quiz! I really knew truly little about what was on offer before I started!

It is only as I have found out more that I realise the choice is something of an illusion. I compared two paths and found that there were only three or four projects that are unique to a path, everything else can be taken in any path so I now see that it’s important to look at the unique features of a path.

I am taking more care in choosing my second path.

Who supported you?  No one in your home club has done it or achieved this award. Why do it? – you are DTM!

I joined a club in North America to join the program before Pathways rolled out here. Pathways was relatively new at the time and fellow club members, apart from those who had joined for the same reason, were not particularly helpful. I did it because I wanted a new challenge after my DTM and I wanted to become a Pathways Guide.

Any advice for others?

Take time to choose your path. Use all the resources available and really think about what you want to get out of it.

Any comments for other clubs, other officers, or new members?

Choose carefully and most importantly get started so that you get experience and can help others.

My Experience with Pathways as an Early Adopter

By Sudha Mani

The Pathways – A New Revitalised Educational Program was rolled out in our district on 20th March 2018. This is my story and experience.

I am basically inquisitive and love to know what is under the hood before anyone does and have always been an early adopter. Wishing to experience Pathways early a chain of contacts led me to Julie Kertez (Witty Storytellers Online) who introduced me to Zaldy Co who was VPE of an online attendance club in the Philippines where Pathways had rolled out. The club is Mandarin Toastmasters.

On 2nd Nov 2017, I called Zaldy and paid my dues and immediately started on the program and took the assessment. Luckily, I got the same paths I picked up before the assessment. As Julie had already shared her Pathways Paths Guide. I had marked which paths I would go for initially along with electives; they were 1. Innovative Planning 2. Persuasive Influence 3. Dynamic Leadership.

I looked at the paths and the required projects. Innovative planning had HPL (High-Performance Leadership) project. I knew it will be difficult because I didn’t know much about what are the projects which could be considered for HPL. I was Area Director and pursuing towards DTM with the then-current Educational program. So, I chose Dynamic Leadership. Oh boy, it was good. I loved elective projects from Level 3 onward. Some of them, I have done in the past as part of my work. I paid few thousands for some of the electives like “managing successful projects”, “Negotiation”, “creating a podcast” and couple more, and I see the same courses or projects, with the same content in Pathways for a fraction of the cost (included in membership fee). This reiterated that I am on the right path. I completed my first path Dynamic Leadership by the end of January 2018; 3 months since I started. First three levels of second path Innovative Planning by the end of February 2018. Then I got busy with Pathways Ambassador and Area Director roles.

Now let me tell you about six revelations after I completed a path and level 4 in the second path.

  1. The result from the assessment is just a guide. You don’t have to go with the result. In my case, I read the descriptions of all the paths, picked my first 3 and then took the assessment. I got the order wrong, but I got what I chose in the first place.
  2. When I chose my paths, the second thing I wondered was how am I going to do 2 icebreakers. So, I booked my Icebreaker for the first path. When the time came for me to do the second path, I had another incident I could speak about. Or you could speak about what you want to get out by doing that path. That’s what I did with my 3rd path.
  3. Selecting electives: You get to choose electives from level 3 of the paths. The projects in the elective list are almost the same for all the paths. Yes, you can repeat your electives. What I did was, I chose the electives before just like paths by reading the descriptions once electives become accessible after finishing the level 2. I changed my mind and did different ones because they were more appropriate for me then.
  4. After completing, 3 levels in a path I found out that preparation for Level 4 and 5 must be from the start of the path. You can use the icebreaker in each path be your “What do I want to achieve”; that way others can help you when you reach level 4 and 5.
  5. Level 4 and 5 projects, you can do outside Toastmaster’s remit. You can ask in your organisation whether you could attempt the project on a voluntary basis. This way you not only gain experience; you have more of a chance of getting that promotion or job switch.
  6. This is about choosing the path; after completing the first path… I started with innovative planning. What I didn’t realise was the HPL (High-Performance Leadership) project is a required project. This is the challenge. I wish I had planned this well.

Pathways Learning Experiences – Summary

By John Kendall, DTM

In 2017-2018 Pathways became a reality. Only a few of us had a chance to really benefit from it and only two clubs gained from it in DCP terms.

Take outs for Members

In general, existing experienced toastmasters e.g. with CC will find Pathways straightforward and will achieve Level 3 quickly. It is at Level 3 and above that the exciting new opportunities and challenges begin. People like the new evaluation style.

These are my key tips for members embarking on Pathways

  • Tip – Open Screen Windows to full size to see all the content more easily.
  • Tip – Always add post project self-ratings and submit them before completing the project
  • Tip – You can download and print the project file (PDF) under the section “evaluation”
  • TIP – Keep a copy of your evaluation safe for later. (no longer in your manual)
  • Tip – If you don’t understand something ask another.

Now there are plenty of real users around to provide help and advice. So now we can really make the most of it.

We can of course still use the traditional program alongside to complete our chosen awards until 30th June 2020- not least to gain CL and ALB

WARNING – pathways is seriously addictive. Once you have a level only three more speeches to get the next, so why not?

Take outs for Clubs

In Distinguished Club Program (DCP) terms – Cornerstone Communicators Advanced Toastmaster (CCAT) was the only club to achieve P1 (four different people with Level 1), P2 (two Level 2s) and P4 (two Level 3s). Hertfordshire and Cornerstone both achieved P5 (one Level 4)

Cornerstone Communicators has members with home clubs and doesn’t usually get CC awards (Goals one and two). The fact that Pathways offered alternative ways of earning education goals that enabled CCAT to achieve President Distinguished status for the first time.

Club officers in planning their DCP program for the coming year can look to new members, who have not joined yet, achieving one or two levels in the year. Whereas, 10 speeches took you to CC, in Pathways 10 speeches gets you to Level 3. Thus, inexperienced members of the club, starting Pathways, for the first time will now also be contributing to those goals within their first year.

However, in this new year there should be more members using Pathways, learning new things, getting awards more quickly and most clubs achieving DCP goals because of it. So, I see 2018/19 as a year for many more awards than last year thanks to Pathways and more clubs doing their best in terms of DCP status.


Bonus pathways content

Talk Show for Talkers Podcast

(supported by District 71)

Shows that are tagged #Pathways. Worth a listen generally, even if the Pathways content features in just part of the show.

My Vision for 2018-19 – The Pursuit of Excellence

John Cox, District 71 – Program Quality Director

photo of John Cox, D71 Club Growth DirectorExcellence is one of our Toastmasters Values, – but what does excellence look like? How do we measure it? In sport, excellence is measured in terms of world-class performance – it is obvious and easier to define. Excellence also comes in many disguises and it changes over time, what was excellent this year can become the norm in subsequent years.

Quality is another one of those ill-defined words and it is said that quality is in the “eye of the beholder.” Is this a quality article??? Is ours a Quality Club? How can we measure and target quality improvements?

The best vehicle we have for measuring Club Quality is Moments of Truth https://www.toastmasters.org/~/media/E017290D7ED0458C8C278A364689F7AF.ashx.

Based upon an original book by Jan Carlzon[1] the President of Scandinavian Airlines “a Moment of Truth is an episode when a member or guest comes in contact with any aspect of the Toastmasters Experience and forms an impression of a club’s quality and service”

Measurement is fraught with danger – measuring the wrong things can deliver the wrong results and there can be a tendency to corrupt the reporting of numbers particularly if rewards are linked to them.

Einstein said, “Not everything that counts can be counted…and not everything that’s counted truly counts.”

When it comes to goal setting there is much confusion surrounding the terminology we use, particularly with goals, targets, objectives, strategies, tactics etc. However, does it matter? Yes, it does. What you measure and aim for is generally, what you get, and it might fall far short of your real desired outcome.

For example, do you want to gain a qualification, or do you really want to increase your income? The two are weakly related. Achieving the first does not naturally guarantee the second. Ask the thousands of graduates who have recently left University.

So, let us discuss:

Goals versus Tactics

I’ve spent nearly 50 years advising organisations on improving performance – whether that be improving their bottom line, increasing revenues or just getting more out of their resources.

One of the key things that I have discovered is that many people confuse goals with tactics. They target an activity, a tactic, or an initiative, forgetting what the real goal is. They get enthusiastic and totally wrapped-up in an initiative losing sight of what they are really trying to achieve.

Harvard Business School Professor Emeritus John P. Kotter revealed that 70 percent of transformational change initiatives fail (Harvard Business Review, 1995)[2]. Later studies have produced comparable results. A 2014 Deloitte study (http://bit.ly/2NILABE) of more than 5,000 initiatives over the past 15 years calculated an aggregate success rate of only 4.5 percent.

Many organisations adopt and apply their attention entirely on the latest flavour of the month, particularly if there is an accolade or award to be achieved at the end of it – for example, a customer, quality, technology or process-based change initiative – and lose sight of the fact that what they really wanted to do was deliver more and better services to their customers, increase revenue and profitability.

Too often, the focus of attention becomes the tactic and not the goal.

What is clear is that individuals and the organisations that focus on the end goal achieve far better results than the ones who focus on the initiative (tactic) or achieving the accolade or award.

We should always ask, – Why? Why are we doing something, what is our goal? In Japan, they have a phrase that roughly translates that if you have not asked Why 5 Times you will not get to the heart of an issue or the root cause of a problem.

Personally, whilst I was glad to have achieved the occasional business and personal award I never lost sight of the fact that employee and client satisfaction and the resulting revenues/fee income/profitability were my ultimate goals. Competitions, Awards and learning were merely tactics that helped me move toward my goal.

So, what does this have to do with Toastmasters? Do we tend to be wrapped up in all the learning, achieving awards and becoming Distinguished? Maybe, just maybe, we forget that personally our goal is to win more clients/customers, gain promotion at work, earn more money and improve our quality of life. In addition, as for our clubs, is it to satisfy our members and guests, to grow and retain our memberships, and to make our club the best it can possibly be – better this year than last?

It is too easy to become quantity focused, because it is easier to measure, and not quality focused. My experience of working in Japan and with Japanese companies taught me that if you focus on quality, quantity would follow. Conversely, if you focus on quantity, quality will suffer.

If we focus on increasing the quality of our leadership, the quality of our club meetings, the quality of how we promote our clubs and how we satisfy our visitors and our members, our clubs will grow, our members will achieve their goals and we will retain more of our members.

Striving for quality and excellence must be our club mantra.

Carrying out Moments of Truth in your club will certainly help.

I look forward to working with you this year.

What is Happening with Contests?

Two significant things have happened this year that will impact on our next round of Speech Contests:

1. The District Council voting at the Spring Conference in Cork that, in the light of the TI Board Decision to have only one District Conference a year, all four speech contests will now be held starting at the May 2019 Spring Conference in Norwich.

2. With the growth of our District, we now have 12 Divisions, meaning that we will need to run 8 speech semi-finals and 4 finals starting with the May 2019 Spring Conference in Norwich.

But how does this affect our clubs? Well the good news is that it’s business as usual.

Humorous Speech and Table Topics Contests

Clubs will still hold their Humorous Speech and Table Topics Contests around September. Area Contests will follow in October and Division Contests must be completed by 30th November.

Division Winners will need to be available for the Friday semi-finals of the Spring conference in May 2019.

International Speech and Evaluation Contests

Clubs will hold their International Speech and Evaluation Contests around February/March 2019.

Area and Division Contests will be in April in readiness for the District semi-finals and finals in May 2019. Division Winners will again need to be available for the Friday semi-finals of the Spring conference in May.

One other major change is that following the District Finals, the International Speech Contest winner will proceed to a Region Quarterfinal. This will be conducted by a video that will have been recorded at the District Finals.

The latest Speech Contest Rulebook (https://www.toastmasters.org/leadership-central/speech-contests) sets out the requirements for the video recording that the Norwich Conference team will need to follow.

Therefore, exciting times are ahead!

Pathways Resources

The Pathways Paths and Projects Catalogue

– 66 pages that describe every Path and all the associated Projects can now be found at http://d71toastmasters.org/club-leadership-Pathways-paths-and-projects-catalogue/

Pathways Evaluation Forms

The complete set of forms your officers will ever need can now be found via http://d71toastmasters.org/club-leadership-Pathways-forms-for-evaluators/


[1] Carlzon, J. (1987) Moments of Truth, Cambridge MA: Ballinger. 135 pages

[2] Kotter, J. P. (1995) Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail. Harvard Business Review, 73, 59-67.

Meet the Club Growth Director

Gerard Mannix, Club Growth Director – District 71Gerard Mannix

I live in the south-west of Ireland, 12 miles from Killarney. My journey in Toastmasters began nine years ago. Reflecting on this, there may have been some autonomic reason for my leadership roles in Toastmasters. My family background is three generations in Irish politics yet, I do not do politics. Another reason, I am the eldest of thirteen children, so I must have been the sergeant-at-arms in the homestead.

My introduction to Toastmasters happened by coincidence. As I was attending another function at the Toastmaster hotel I was approached by the Guest Greeter. I attended the next meeting and the rest is history. This goes to show the role a “good” guest greeter can share in marketing a Toastmasters club. Word of mouth can often be the most vital tool for growth.

What Is the Plan for Club Growth In 2018/19

Firstly, I need to recognise the entry for the first full year of the advent of the Pathways learning experience. This will invigorate the member experience at club level, I am certain. However, the challenge for the District Executive Committee is to leverage the refreshing that Pathways brings to our District, to build a relevant and accessible path to life for the member beyond the club.

The District has three vital goals in the Distinguished District Program.

  1. Increase in membership.
  2. Increase in clubs.
  3. Distinguished clubs.

Certainly, the District Leadership Team cannot achieve these goals alone. We seek the assistance and dedication of our members, our clubs, Area and Division Directors.

The foundation of marketing Toastmasters is quality club meetings. A gathering where the guest is made to feel welcome, good energy exchanged, engaging, fun and educational. Resulting from this clubs and membership will grow, educational awards will be achieved and members will be keen to renew their membership. When the club leadership team works well together energy abounds-new members join and there is outreaching to support and establish new clubs.

I invite any member who has a suggestion of a location or workplace with potential for a new club please contact me on Gerard Mannix

I will be suggesting the use of the “Blueprint for Club and membership growth” toolkit. I will be extremely focused to help struggling clubs, and clubs with less than 20 members, to grow membership. Club coaches shall be appointed where appropriate and effective guidelines given to these coaches. Incentives will be available to encourage membership payments, membership growth and club growth.

I, as District 71 Club Growth Director, and the District Leadership Team are here to support you to achieve your goals and make this a successful year for you.

Smedley Award Time

1st August to 30th September 2018

The Smedley Award runs for a two-month duration (http://bit.ly/2LJOU2d). If you or your club can actively work to enrol five new members during this period, you will achieve a Smedley Award!!! Do not miss out on an opportunity to add another ribbon to your club banner. A banner full of ribbons is always an amazing talking point for guests and members alike. More importantly, you will setup your club for success. That would mean one Distinguished Club Program goal for membership-building being achieved. This would mean more members at club meetings, taking on roles and making progress. Most of all, it would mean five new members having access to the life-changing benefits of Toastmasters.

Whether it’s for their career, improving self-confidence, enjoyment, to meet new people or to tackle a long-standing goal, there are a multitude of reasons why some might join YOUR club.

Growing your membership is easy, just make your guests feel welcome, follow-up with them and ensure that a mentor is available for them right after they join.

Hi! Hello!

We are heading into fees renewal period, remember to start chasing payment early on. This is also the perfect time to call members who have not attended meetings for some time. Invite them to come back to the club, set up a speech slot for them and reignite their interest and enthusiasm.

This is also the time also to register new clubs. Area Directors and Division Directors check on their clubs to ensure they are in good standing.

Remember there is no longer a grace period.