Club Quality is always a win-win for any club. A virtuous circle of members needs being met leading to a dynamic and more engaged club leading a club that can be a pleasure to lead to thrive. I am offering some additional incentives from District 71 this year
The Distinguished Club Program is a 10-goal metric that uses indicators of club quality.
Distinguished Club Program (DCP) Prizes
7 DCP goals by 30 Nov, 20 lots $25 prizes
10 DCP goals by 30 April, 20 lots of $25 prizes
Distinguished if undistinguished in last 2 years, 10 lots of EUR 41 prizes
In the event of under subscription the eligible clubs have Winners take all!
Club Excellence Prize
Highest members with new awards/ base members by 31st May 25 lots EUR 25 prizes
The data are monitored through the District dashboard and the prizes will be distributed by random draw to clubs meeting the criteria. The prizes will be in to form of Concur expense allowances for eligible expenses, such as Toastmasters store items for end of session recognition and celebration
Congratulations on your election to serve as a club officer for 2020-2021! We are thrilled to be working together.
Effective training for club officers is one of the most critical parts of delivering our mission to our members. Without properly trained officers, clubs cannot meet members’ needs or introduce the benefits of Toastmasters to others. Club officer training is also vital means to leadership development.
This year how District 71 delivers training has changed as we prevail over the challenges of the novel Coronavirus. This year we are offered for, the first time, a District wide Club Officer Training (COT) on the 4th of July and then to provide flexibility and choice a set of officer training sessions will be held that are coordinated by our twelve Division Directors and their Areas.
Upcoming Club Officer Training
09:15-13:00 Thursday August 13th, led by Paul O’Mahony, Division A Director and Sean Dwan, Division B Director;Email Paul
Saturday August 15th, led by Rob Partridge, Division F Director, Email Rob
What to expect
Club Officers deliver the Toastmasters International Club Mission: “We provide a supportive and positive learning experience in which members are empowered to develop communication and leadership skills, resulting in greater self-confidence and personal growth”
We will help you deliver that by addressing three key questions:
What is my role?
Why is my role important?
How can I do my role well -what are the best practices?
We are including generous facilitation activities and brainstorming because in the year ahead members, officers, and their clubs face uncertainty around roles and functions and need innovative thinking and idea.
February Update on Distinguished Club and Pathways Incentives
John Cox District 71 Program Quality Director
Distinguished Club Incentives
We are doing well.
As at the middle of February 56 of our clubs had achieved 5 DCP goals or better.
The following Clubs – that were not Distinguished last year – have already potentially achieved Distinguished or better status this year, providing they end the year with 20 + members or a net growth of 5 members. $30 worth of TI shop items are up for grabs. Many more clubs could join them. The results are changing daily so if you think your club should be on the list please let me know.
Div C16 IBM Blue Toastmasters
Div E39 Walsall Speakers
Div E42 Godiva Speakers
Div F12 Loughrea Toastmasters Club
Div N31 Chester Corporate Speakers
Div N48 Salford Speakers Toastmasters (President’s Distinguished)
Div N31 Castle Communicators (Select Distinguished)
Pathways is also progressing well.
Several clubs below are well on their way to achieving four Pathways Level 1s and two Level 2s, or 4 CCs. The first 30 clubs to achieve these goals will win $20 worth of Pathways ribbons.
Congratulations to Chester Corporate Speakers, Salford Speakers and Capital Communicators (CCs) who have already achieved 4 CC awards – their ribbons have been posted to them.
Div A3 Blarney Club 4 Level 1s
Div A11 West Cork 3 CCs
Div A23 Republic of Works TM Club 6 Level 1s
Div A49 VMWARE Toastmasters 3 CCs
Div D8 Clonmel Toastmasters 4 Level 1s
Div E39 Shropshire Speakers 3 CCs
Div E42 Godiva Speakers 3 CCs
Div H32 West Herts Speakers 4 Level 1s
Div H44 North Bucks Speakers 3 CCs
Div J2 Dublin Club 3 CCs
Div J2 Accentuators 3 CCs
Div N31 Chester Corporate Speakers 4 CCs
Div N48 Manchester Orators TM Club 3 CCs
Div N48 Salford Speakers TM 4 CCs
Div N51 A1 Speakers 4 Level 1s
Div S30 Capital Communicators 4 CCs
Please keep pursuing those education awards and getting the recognition you deserve.
Pathways is here but is your club making the most of it NOW?
John Kendall DTM (North Herts Speakers), Past Pathways Ambassador and Guide
Around our districts there are hotspots of Pathways activity, but there are others that have yet to fully grasp it.
What distinguishes clubs making the most of pathways from the others?
Some of the factors are:
Champions – who know more about the projects or how basecamp works,
Senior members e.g. New DTMs, setting the example of starting a path,
Most of the officers starting a path,
Some members making fast progress in pathways,
Giving new members are good start.
The learning load for a new member was high enough when they had manuals and loads of people to ask about things. Now they are told how to login and most people in the club can’t help them and before they can start they have to choose a path from 10 without really knowing the consequences.
Toastmasters works best by doing things in small steps – a salami approach. So how do we make it easier for a newcomer to do their Icebreaker? If we had lots of experienced members in the club, we could mentor them about paths and teach them how to use choose a path and how to cope with the basecamp implementation.
Now we don’t have enough pathways experienced members in most clubs – so until we do, we can make the steps to start smaller.
VPE (Vice President of Education) gives all new members electronic copy (PDFs) for all level one projects, as they are the same in all paths, and while they are doing these – introduce gradually to the paths – and basecamp.
By the time they have finished the third project they will have to choose their path and learn basecamp to go on to level 2.
This will speed the process & time it takes for new members to get their first award.
Remember our core values, Integrity, Excellence, Respect & Service. Are we, being good clubs members doing all we can to maximise the benefits of pathways for new members?
District Officers will know that Pathways gives the opportunity for new members to contribute to Distinguished Club Programme goals in their first year and the mix of traditional and pathway goals allows club to achieve a higher performance than usual. Are your club officers including new members in their plans?
Of course, pathways are not just for new members, it is for all of us. We all joined Toastmasters International to learn new skills, not for CC or DTM awards. Pathways is simply a way we can choose our new learnings. When we do the icebreaker at the start we bring all or current knowledge with us and build on it as we progress.
It is said only babies with a full nappy look forward to changes. That is not true of Toastmasters is it? We are all here to learn new things, aren’t we?
What Will Your Club and Your Members Achieve in 2018-19?
I don’t know about you, but I have often been confused by the variety of terms we use – training, education, development, learning, coaching, mentoring, knowledge, skills, etc.
It is also recognised that a lot of education and training is wasted and doesn’t necessarily get applied in the workplace or in life.
I still wonder what the value of algebra is and why at school they didn’t teach me how to hang wallpaper!
For several years I was a National Training Awards Judge (and my business was a National Training Award winner). Organisations were recognised not for the training they carried out but how that training had been applied and the results achieved. We looked at soft results – greater confidence, teamwork, communications, innovation etc. but importantly, hard results – customer and employee satisfaction, more sales, better product/service quality, greater profitability, etc.
So, what has this got to do with Toastmasters?
Can we see the impact of member achievement reflected in the growth, performance and quality of our clubs?
We run education and training programmes, leading to various awards which are recognised by certificates, ribbons, pins/badges. Less than 10% of our members achieve their CC (Competent Communicator) award but I’m sure that many, many more of our members have gained other benefits – greater confidence and learning – that has impacted on our clubs and their lives in many ways.
We don’t easily recognise or record how that confidence and learning has been applied.
So, I’m keen this year to find ways to encourage and support clubs to put some of that learning into practice and to help recognise some of the other 90% of our members.
You will see that my job title embraces Club Quality, so I’d like to add a final reminder about utilising Moments of Truth to take a snapshot of how your club is performing and to also take a long hard look at member retention. Dues renewal time is another of those moments of truth when we are reminded of members we have not seen for a while and those who are at risk of not renewing their membership. Give them a call and invite them back. Remember that 69% of non-renewing members said that something could have been done to convince them to renew.
Below you will find details of the Program Quality incentives on offer. I wish you a wonderful year.
Youth Leadership and Speechcraft programmes are a wonderful way to put all that Toastmasters experience into practice, helping youngsters and other members of our communities to gain the benefits of our Toastmasters programmes. It will also help to raise the profile of Toastmasters and gain new members and clubs. District can support clubs running brand new outreach programmes through the provision of advice and guidance, marketing and promotional materials, and Programme Kits worth over $30. Contact me for more information.
Pathways and Competent Communicator (CC) Growth
We want to encourage more members to achieve their CC and Pathways Levels so for the first 30 clubs that achieve all four CC’s or four Pathways Level 1’s and two Level 2’s we’ll present them with $20 worth of TI shop items.
First Clubs to Achieve President’s Distinguished
We want to encourage more clubs to achieve President’s Distinguished status in the Distinguished Club Program (DCP). So, the first 20 clubs to achieve Presidents Distinguished status, that were not President’s Distinguished last year, will receive $30 value of TI (Toastmasters International) shop items.
First Clubs to Achieve Distinguished
We want to encourage more clubs to achieve Distinguished status in the DCP. So, the first 20 clubs to achieve Distinguished status, that were not Distinguished last year, will receive $30 value of TI shop items.
Corporate Clubs Incentive
We want to encourage more of our Corporate clubs to participate in our officer training programme and club contests. We will award a $30 gift voucher to the corporate clubs that get 5 or more of their officers to the next (2019) club officer training and 2 or more contestants in the 2019 Area contests.
Program Quality News
By Daniel Sandars
We have completed the first quarter of the year so how are we doing?
The Club Coaching program doesn’t often receive a lot of publicity, yet it is important. Therefore we have invited experienced Club coaches to contribute to this section. Gerard Mannix opens the section with his experience and a description of how Club Coaching works followed by Daniel Sandars who describes District 71’s Club Coaching program over the last year. We than have three Club Coaches, Brenda Lannon, Joey O’Leary, and Phillip O’Brien, describe their hands on experiences. Finally Patricia Loughnane provides an excellent summary with her tips on successful Club Coaching
A CLUB COACH
By GERARD MANNIX DTM-CLUB GROWTH DIRECTOR
MY EXPERIENCE: As the saying goes, the only way to feel the water temperature is to get the toes wet-I had a Club Coach experience two years ago. I undertook this without any training just an intuitive sense of what was required. The result was successful, and the club was distinguished. Initially, I was ‘solo’ meeting with the club officers. I felt it was a ‘them and me’ situation resulting in a mediocre communication. I requested the Club Growth Director to appoint a second coach. This accomplished, it made an incredible difference. We were thereafter working as a cohesive group. Whether it was my own inadequacies, a gender balance with the second coach on board or the unique environment of the club, the rest is history, but I do feel the presence of two coaches has a definite benefit.
Club Coach Programme Regulations:
A club coach may only be assigned by the district director or the club growth director.
A club must have at least one but not more than 12 members when a coach is appointed, and the coach cannot be a member of that club until their appointment request has been processed.
Up to two coaches may be appointed to a club. The appointment lasts to June 30 of the current programme year if the club becomes Distinguished or better.
A Club Coach’s task:
Build a rapport with club leaders and members
Observe and analyse the club environment, facilitate discussion keeping it positive, honest and objective, then assist the club in generating solutions
Help the club develop a plan with goals for improvement
Enable the club to achieve goals
Instil enthusiasm, fidelity, and a sense of responsibility for the club’s future
Actively participate in the club and set a good example
Emphasize that only through teamwork will the club be restored
Review day, time and location of meeting
Keep the area director, club growth director and district director informed of the progress
Encourage the club to conduct ‘Moments of Truth’
Benefits for a Club Coach:
Develop team-building skills
Expand leadership skills
Develop diplomacy skills
Club Coach Recognition:
Each club coach receives a pin upon assignment
After successfully completing the assignment, each club coach receives a certificate and credit towards the Advanced Leader Silver Award
District publicly acknowledges appointments and successes
[Region 10 Advisor Elizabeth Nostedt has published slides from her recent webinar “How to get clubs over 20 members – Club Coaches”http://bit.ly/2C3NMRA]
Some people wonder why we would bother saving a club. Why not just let it close? Saving clubs is necessary for the health of the district. We need clubs for the district to be in good standing, just as clubs also need members to be in good standing. Without clubs, the TM organisation, an International organisation, would fade away. We need to remember that members are the backbone of the Toastmasters experience and we need to retain clubs to retain members. We cannot have one without the other. And finally, we lose a part of history with each club we lose and as it is my role, I take it seriously.
GOOD WISHES TO ALL CLUB COACHES AND THANK YOU FOR YOUR LABOURS
The Club Coaching Program in District 71 – An Overview
Daniel Sandars DTM, Public Relations Manager
Last year 13 Toastmasters helped eight clubs return to Distinguished status and were awarded their club coach leadership achievements at the end of the recent Toastmaster’s year.
Thus, attaining one of three requirements for an Advanced Leaders Silver award. Their length of a
ppointments has ranged from 89 days to 601 days with an average of 421 days. Some of the length of service is down to Coaches choosing to extend their terms as an insurance measure for the Club
What is Distinguished status for a club? All clubs are set ten management goals within the Distinguished Clubs Program (DCP). The first six goals relate to the educational awards earned by the club’s members, the next two goals relate to the number of new members during the year, the ninth goal is based on officers attending training twice a year and the final goal is for administration by submitting the club officer list and at least one set of renewals on time. A club earning five or more goals is said to be Distinguished with the higher accolade of Select Distinguished for seven or eight goals and President’s Distinguished for nine or ten goals. However, to qualify a club needs to have 20 or more members or a net growth of five members at the end of the year of 30th of June.
It is possible to have a closer look at the DCP performance of the Clubs that have been coached thanks to Toastmaster Mike Raffety who has published various statistical tools and reports. For DCP history see http://bit.ly/2N8dUN5 . I’ve run the report for the eight clubs that were coached last year (see below). It is worth noting that paid membership counts are for the 30th of June (American syntax ‘6/30’) and may hide horror stories for the September and March renewals which are when the appointment of a Club Coach was triggered.
In four of the clubs, Bantry, Mid-Ulster, IFSC, and Kiltegan it is clear they have been struggling for a protracted period, which in the case of Bantry stretches back eight years. The impact of the Club Coaching is equally clear with a net growth of five new members between 16-17 and 17-18, but also a decisive increase in the number of DCP goals obtained -almost double what was previously obtained
The picture is less clear for the final four clubs because the detail is hidden by annual summaries. Fortunately, another Toastmaster statistician George Marshall publishes tools that allow a Club’s DCP history to be followed month by month – see TMTools http://bit.ly/2Oi9nwe. In the case of West Limerick in October 2016 membership slumped from 21 to 8, spending five months below 12 members. October 2016 also saw Athy drop from 20 to 11 members for three months, Cork East from 20 members to 9 then remaining below 12 for four months. For Voicematters – Vodafone it was October 17 when membership fell from 24 to 9 and remained below 12 for six months.
Currently, the district has nine clubs being helped by ten Toastmasters. Two of whom are helping two clubs! Currently, prior to September 2018 renewals there are 12 eligible clubs without a Coach with memberships ranging from 2-12 with an average of 8 members. Including the clubs that do have Coaches they account one in ten (10.1%) of the District’s clubs
In summary, Club Coaching can help mount a big turn around and many Club coaches go on to give back more than just the minimum. Where we have opportunity for improvement is in the timeliness of brokerage and matchmaking that might see clubs reaching out sooner for help to be paired up with Coaches coming forward more numerously.
Coaching Corporate to Community Club IFSC Toastmasters
By Brenda Lannon ACB ALS, District 71 Administration Manager
My name is Brenda Lannon and I’m a member of Toastmasters since September 2010. I have achieved my ACB and ALS. I have also served on many club committees as well as serving at District level as Area and Division Director. I am currently the Administration Manager for the District.
I was asked to be a club coach for Citibank Toastmasters in June 2017. This club was a corporate club that had ceased to be a corporate club. A decision was made to reform the club as a community club. I saw the role of club coach as an opportunity to develop and build on my leadership skills, my team working skills and to help grow the club into a strong, vibrant club. I wanted to pass on some of the skills and experiences I had gained in my 7 years as a Toastmaster.
There was a strong committee who were enthusiastic Toastmasters, all were current or past District leaders and were very willing to work together as a team to grow the club.
A plan was put in place at the start of the year to:
Rename the club IFSC toastmasters – this better reflected the locality in which the meetings took place.
Regularise club meetings (plan dates and venue for meetings.)
Ensure quality meetings were held.
Ensure that new members to the club were given speaking opportunities and were encouraged to commence the educational programs and take on meeting roles.
Encourage experienced toastmasters to come to the meetings to take on roles during the meetings.
The club was renamed IFSC Toastmasters and we used social media (Facebook page and meetup) to promote meetings.
The club was previously a Corporate Club and was therefore without a venue when the club ceased as a corporate club. Initially, meetings were held between two venues – a room on a college campus which was free from a cost point of view, but the college was unable to guarantee the same room for each meeting. The second possible venue was a meeting room in a nearby hotel with the associated costs. This created instability and uncertainty and made it more difficult to attract new members.
No definite meeting day – the club initially had no definite meeting day. The meetings varied from being held every two weeks to every three weeks. There was no certainty. The venue and dates were fixed for a room in a nearby hotel and definite dates were set for meetings. As the year progressed, there was an increase in guests coming to the meetings which brought an increase in membership. Excellent quality meetings were held. Experienced toastmasters were asked to come to the meetings to assist with taking on roles at meetings. Guests were invited along and were warmly welcomed to the meetings, given opportunities to take on speaking roles and were given positive constructive evaluations.
In June 2018, the club membership had a net growth of 5 members and the club was awarded the Distinguished Club award. This was a very proud moment for me as club coach but also the hard-working members of the committee who never gave up and persisted in their efforts to re-establish and re-energize the club.
The club is still facing challenges but the commitment of the committee members and other toastmasters within the club will see the club progressing, building on its strong points and working towards minimising its weaknesses.
Being a club coach last year was a very rewarding experience and I would encourage any member to take on the role of club coach. It is an opportunity to give something back while developing leadership and communication skills at the same time.
Coaching Community Club Bantry (D71 area A11)
By Joey O’Leary, ACS, ALS
Joey was appointed Coach at Bantry in May 2017. As shown in the previous section Bantry finished outside of the Distinguished club programme for the previous eight years. Last year after a net growth of five new members Bantry returned as a distinguished club with five goals.
She describes her Coaching experience…
“Becoming a coach for a club can and has been rewarding. Being a coach has been an excellent way to give back to Toastmasters.
Ideally, Bantry should not have had to struggle on for so long alone. However, you may need to make changes to the club as Coach and club members may not be open to them. It was tough trying to get an open meeting as some members were quite happy to continue the way they were.
Some welcome you whilst others question you. Honestly you need to be either deaf or thick skinned. It is just as well that I am both. The most important thing as coach is to put the needs of the club first. The key was working with the members that wanted to see their club improve.
Whilst a coach I saw many of the skills we learnt in Toastmasters being used. Would I coach again? Yes!”
Coaching Community Club Kinsale & District (D71 area A11)
By Phillip O’Brien
My name is Phillip O’Brien and I joined Toastmasters in 2014. I attended a few meetings of the Bandon Club in west Cork as a guest and joined up. I’ve progressed relatively quickly to ACG, ALB. I had worked closely with the president of my home club last year as Vice President Education through identifying where members were at regarding educational goals and working with the Vice Presidents Public Relations and Membership to advertise and promote the club. Working together the club achieved 10 DCP points from not being distinguished at all the year before.
During my year as Area Director I learned more about the bigger picture of Toastmasters and because of all the many, varied and wonderful experiences I’d had as a Toastmaster I felt that I would like to try and give back on a level outside of my own club. Kinsale Toastmasters, next door to Bandon, in 2017/2018, was a ‘struggling club’. As Area Director I wrote to the Club Growth Director for the District, John Cox and was appointed as Club Coach for Kinsale in April 2018. The biggest challenge is to use public relations tools effectively to attract new members.
DCP History: 1223085 – Kinsale & District (D71 area A11)
Data as of Fri Sep 28 10:10:17 2018
I think initially the reception I had was one of cautious curiosity. The members in the club are warm and welcoming but anything outside of the club or contest level wasn’t really seen as that relevant. However, I was welcomed in as the coach.
Some of the main issue to look at and work on from initial assessment were (a) to have the club in good standing for Area/Division contests (b) to encourage earlier payment of dues (c) to “get the easy things done” and (d) to explore how to attract new members.
My plan was to join the club and stand for election as Vice President of Education, so I could assist with the educational side of things and specially to support and promote Pathways as the club had very little introduction to Pathways. I also planned to work with the Committee to explore options for the meeting location which is somewhat out of the way in the town and not easy to find.
So far, the club has registered its officers, had 90%+ pay dues on time so is in good standing and has had five officers attend the first round of Club Officer Training. One education award has been registered so far. Several members have given speeches from Pathways.
The club will celebrate its tenth anniversary in May 2019 and we aim to be a Distinguished club by then. We should also have a member achieving her DTM.
So far, the journey has been exciting, challenging, it has allowed me to develop motivational skills and it has helped the club and members to engage more in what Toastmasters has to offer and has raised the profile of the club a little in the Division.
I look forward to continuing the journey while my term as coach lasts.
My tips for Coaching
By Patricia Loughnane DTM, Pathways Ambassador and Guide, Thurles Toastmasters President 2018-2019.
Contact the club beforehand to establish a rapport. Often Club Officers miss out on Training, so some procedures may need to be explained.
Meet with the Committee ASAP to discuss what they think is missing. Is it lack of organisation? Administration difficulties etc?
PR strategy-publicise club meetings. Look at Social Media presence-update.
Open Night or event that members of the public/target audience would be interested in.
Speech Craft in a local business or incorporated before a meeting with the participants given the option of staying to meet Club members and maybe even joining.
It may take the full 2 years to get the Club to acquire the DCP points, but it is worth it and the Club will have taken charge, revitalised itself with your help which is to your mutual advantage: Vibrant club and you get a goal on your Pathway to DTM.
Or as I prefer to call it THE Toastmaster Education Program, offers three opportunities
New members get a chance to learn speaking, communication and leadership skills.
Existing members get a chance to focus on aspects of learning more tailored to their personal needs.
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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