Welcome to the Toastmasters Pathways learning experience, an exciting, flexible and interactive way to develop your skills and help others in your club develop theirs. Pathways helps you learn communication and leadership skills that you need to succeed. These District 71 incentives will add some fun and recognition to your journeys
Due to COVID lock down most incentives are offered, or can be offered, as qualified expenses that can be claimed, by prior approval, from the District Finance Manager via the Concur Expenses System.
Pathways Club Achievement
Draw for 265 Eur qualified club expenses split across all clubs with 100% members adoption by 31st March 2020
Draw for 300 Eur qualified club expenses split across all clubs with 100% members adoption AND all officers with a Pathways Educational Award by 31st March 2020
Pathways Triple Crown
Draw for 50 Triple Crown pin badges split into three award periods
Pathways Mentoring Program
Draw for 20 Pathways T-shirts split into three award periods
District 71’s Trainers Bureau presents Liz Welch “Basecamp manager for VPE’s”
Members and guests at Hertfordshire Speakers Toastmasters Club were in celebratory mood on Monday 25th March. The club was celebrating the first anniversary of the rollout of Pathways to clubs across what was then Region 11 (now Region 10).
A birthday helium balloon swayed gently above the large birthday cake that was displayed on the table and which acted like a magnet to those curious to read the words written on it.
Club President, Jillian Haslam, opened the meeting with a proud smile as she shared the three accomplishments the club had achieved to date.
The most exciting news was that 100% of club members were enrolled on Pathways before the first anniversary. She praised the club’s members for the sterling effort they made to reach this impressive result. She also praised the club’s Pathways Champion – Elizabeth Jordan – for her role in helping members to adopt and enjoy Pathways.
1) Pathways Adoption
•100% of its members enrolled on pathways
•64% of its members have completed an Ice Breaker
•4 members have completed L1
•1 member has completed LDL5 and VCL3 and The Pathways Mentoring Program
Specially designed Pathways certificates by Philip Carey were presented to members who had completed their Icebreakers, Level 1’s, L5 and the Mentoring Program. Wojtek Zulja, Area 20 Director, John Allsop, Area Director-elect and Vinette Hoffman-Jackson, Pathways Ambassador presented the certificates.
2) A President’s Distinguished Club
The President of Hertfordshire Speakers was thrilled to announce that the club was President’s Distinguished with 9 awards completed in March, well before the end of the Toastmaster’s year. This was a proud moment for the club which has a track record of achieving President’s Distinguished status.
3) Contest Winners
The third success celebrated was having two members from Herts Speakers: Elizabeth Jordan and Surosh Pillay – representing Area20 at the Division H International Speech and Evaluation contests on Saturday 30th March at Cranfield University. They were invited to cut the cake, which was enjoyed by members and guests during the Networking Break.
The evening ended on a high note with words of thanks and congratulations from Area 20 Director, Wojtek Zulja who said: “Congratulations for the great achievement on the first anniversary of Pathways launch – I really liked your concept of celebration“.
March the 20th will see the first anniversary of the District 71 roll out of the revitalized educational program that is known as Pathways. This section starts by reviewing how we have got on and then moves towards looking to see what new things are happening and tips for moving forward:
How have we got on?
Pathways level 1 and onward
Pathways Benefits – a user summary
The New Engaging Humor Path
Easyspeak Pathways Progress Chart
Pathways Pin Badges Now in Store
Pathways Schematic Chart
Tips going forward
Revised HACKING PATHWAYS for New Members A guide to Basecamp
How have we got on?
By Daniel Sandars DTM, District 71 Public Relations Manager
In November Toastmasters International published Pathways enrolment statistics for all Districts. Worldwide 55% (39-69%) had enrolled in Pathways within which 69% (46-81%) of officers had and 50% (35-68%) of new members (joined after 1st July 2018) had. Within District 71 the figures were Members 44%, Officers 59% and new members 48%. Just published data (Feb 22) has 49% of members, 63% of Officers, and 57% of new members enrolled in Pathways in the District.
You may think that all new members after the roll-out are enrolled on Pathways, but that is not instantly true as it takes time for new members to understand and operate Basecamp (virtual learning environment), choose their paths, and enrol. In clubs that support their new members with electronic and printed level one materials that enrolment step may only occur at the end of their level 1.
Curiously, around one year before our rollout the three pilot District’s D27, D51, and D57, who were a testbed for Pathways development, fully rolled out and they have only reached 61% of Members, 74% of Officers, and 51% of New members enrolled. Clearly there are diminishing returns to the extent of enrolment over time whilst the legacy program runs until 30th June 2020.
One of the stronger patterns in the rollout data is that the more members a club has enrolled on Pathways the more likely new members were to have enrolled. Peer to peer support within the club seems to help new member orientation to Pathways. A key question clubs could thus pro-actively ask is how are we supporting new members and each other with Pathways?
The educational awards registered by our clubs since the first of July, which is the beginning of the current Toastmaster year, provide additional insight. To date we have 595 awards of which around a third are from the Pathways program. The relative rate at which Pathways Awards are being registered is accelerating from around one in ten awards last July to nearing half of awards registered in February
Excitingly, we now have three people who have been awarded all five levels of their paths, thus completing them and moving onto their second paths. Close behind that we have five who have been awarded four levels, six who have been awarded three levels, 25 who have been awarded two levels, and a whopping 134 who have been awarded the first level and are catching up. Well done all.
What paths are members taking?
District 71 Pathways Awards 1st July ’81-22 Feb ’19
Key PM Presentation mastery, IP Innovative Planning, EC Effective Coaching, DL Dynamic Leadership, VC Visionary Communication, PI persuasive Influence, LD Leadership Development, MS Motivational Strategies, SR Strategic relationships, TC Team Collaboration, and PWMENTORINGPGM Pathways Mentoring Program (which is not a Path, but one of the overarching leadership projects)
Presentation Mastery is clearly a favourite generating over a quarter of the awards. The top three paths alone generated over half of the awards to date. Innovative Planning, Effective Coaching, and Dynamic Leadership are leadership focussed and their popularity is at striking odds to the popular [mis] perception “that nobody joins Toastmasters for leadership, they join for speaking”
Which clubs have registered the most Pathways Awards?
Table 1 Clubs that have registered three or more Pathways Awards
Div H14 Huntingdonshire Speakers
Div E42 Heart of England Club
Div A23 Republic of Work Toastmasters Club
Div N51 A1 Speakers
Div S43 Aberdeen Toastmasters Club
Div N31 Warrington Toastmasters
Div H44 Bedford Speakers
Div D8 Clonmel Toastmasters
Div A3 Blarney Club
Div N15 Leeds City Toastmasters
Div G1 Ipswich Electrifiers Speakers’ Club
Div S33 Linlithgow Speakers Club
Div H32 West Herts Speakers Club
Div N48 Manchester Orators Toastmasters Club
Div N15 Strictly Speaking Harrogate
Div G1 Camulodunum Club
Div E6 East Midlands Speakers
Div C19 Dundalk Toastmasters Club
Div J2 Accentuators
Div D28 Maynooth Toastmasters
Div M26 Clondalkin Toastmasters
Div F12 Loughrea Toastmasters Club
Div S43 Inverness Toastmonsters
Div H20 Hertfordshire Speakers Club
Div G41 Cambridge City Communicators
Congratulations to all those involved.
Pathways level 1 and onward
Julie Kenny ACS ALB VPPR Ipswich Electrifiers
I’d been hearing about Pathways (then Revitalised Education Program) since my first district council meeting so by the time it came along I was keen to get my nose into it. I didn’t know what I’d think of it, but my curiosity meant that I just wanted to know as much as I could. Unlike a lot of members, the technical side didn’t worry me, I’ve spent many years with computer systems, using and developing, and I took my usual approach; I would defeat and master it by clicking everything and seeing what happened, if all else failed I would find and read the instructions. Overall that approach has worked with the Pathways Basecamp, but I have resorted to reading instructions and learnt that a there’s a few things I shouldn’t have clicked – beware, you cannot re-do an assessment.
The questions I really wanted answers to were about the projects. What would I be asked to do, were these things I wanted to do or could benefit from, and as a long-standing Toastmaster and committee member could I understand what the intention was behind these projects and the benefit to members and clubs; essentially, I tried to reverse engineer the program.
The first hurdle was choosing a path. The assessment gave me a list of choices which I found near impossible to prioritise, so I turned to the wealth of information others were sharing about the paths, primarily the Pathways catalogue. I went through the paths and projects to understand what was involved in each, picking up on things I really wanted to do and others I wanted to avoid. One colour coded spreadsheet later I had chosen Leadership Development; it has opportunities to organise small and larger events which I enjoy enough to want to be better at. What struck me most however is that although there is a lot of leadership in the paths there isn’t really a path that isn’t about speaking. Yes, you may work on a project to develop leadership skills but very few of those aren’t completed by giving an evaluated speech. I don’t think everyone has grasped that yet
Once chosen I wanted to get moving on my ice-breaker, mostly so that I could get to know the system by completing a project. I’m on my third CC so it’s not my first ice-breaker but it coincided with a fantastic opportunity; the Safe Haven team were asking for speeches at the pre-conference Anglo-Irish meeting and I got accepted. My ice-breaker was then my story so far, told to a group of Toastmasters but outside my comfort zone. Some of these I’d seen speak before and I was in huge awe of. I think it went OK, but I’ll admit I was very nervous.
Regards the project itself, the information and videos were good with tips on preparing, basic structure, timing and handling nerves. New members often put too much into their speech and overrun so I could see how this project helps, particularly when using the speech preparation worksheets. The challenge to me was not to rush ahead through the project screens, it does take you step by step with great hints and it’s easy to miss something. As an experienced member it’s good to know how newer members are being supported too.
The second project in level 1 is evaluation. I think this is the game changer for clubs in a good way. Essentially you give a speech and then repeat it or a version of it, before evaluating another Toastmaster. Possibly every club has seen members who either have no interest in their evaluations, argue with the evaluator during the evaluation itself and either won’t evaluate others or have bad habits when they do. The evaluation project outlines good practice and courtesy and asks for the member to actively listen to and use their evaluation. I was planning to speak about our club at a networking event, so the core of that presentation was my speech for this project. My improvement points made me realise that I tend to speak more ‘to my audience’ than ‘with my audience’. So, on the second version I reworked it with more questions and better opening. It was better the second time around and since then well received at the networking event. The final step where you do an evaluation and get feedback was insightful and more specific than the feedback I’d received for my CL.
Every path’s level one completes with a research project. Digging into the detail on this it’s also about speech structures. The challenge for me was not only to research but to keep track of that research and credit accordingly. The growth of the internet has made it easier and easier to plagiarize speeches and I suspect the question of originality is being raised more and more often so I’m glad to see this tackled head on. My speech was centred on Mary Lee Berners-Lee (an early computer coder and mother of Sir Tim Berners-Lee), I found the research hugely addictive and it will be a theme I return to. Keeping to time and getting the credits referenced I found challenging but I managed to do so. On reflection this project is also likely to help those who struggle for topics, once you explore something you have a passing interest in it’s easy to end up with ideas for more speeches than you planned.
So, level 1 completed, Fiona Watt our VPE is very good at approving and submitting awards so I’m looking at level 2. For leadership development my next project is Managing Time. In the CL this skill seemed to be more closely related to clock watching in a meeting. But I find my challenge is to track all the time it takes me to write and practise my next speech – a daunting prospect because I know I’m rarely honest with myself about that. Frankly it can only be a good thing.
Pathways Benefits – a user summary
By John Kendall DTM DL5
The District now has five members who have completed full paths and several others who are at a very advanced stage. I conducted a survey on a self-selected group of experienced Pathways users who are active on Facebook. The question posed was “What do you regard as the most important benefits that Pathways brings us?”
I have added the sub headings, edited whilst keeping the essence of the quotes.
The flexibility to choose specialization right at the start of your journey.
Members can choose printed or online materials and use what works best for them.
There is a wealth of materials and videos which I love.
To expand your mind! Learning how to plan your speeches with greater meaning and connectivity with your audiences.
Pathways provides a framework for a successful educational journey.
Opportunities to broaden communication styles e.g. blog and podcast. In line with social media.
There are choices aplenty, like fish in the Ocean. If you want to catch it, it is yours to do so, refrain and you will not get it.
Pathways is a treasure house rich with enormous wisdom. You have a lot of freedom you can enhance your talents.
So much support material for every project! For example, the elective project “vocal variety,” provides much help on exactly what vocal variety is, how to implement it, how to practise it, and an example video! I LOVED it! And this has been true for every project I’ve done!
You can, like me at 82, be walked through the process, very patiently (from TI phone call), and I have had zero problems with it since.
Excellent learning resources e.g. videos, assessments, etc.
Pathways is so practical with lots of examples and materials.
Adult modern learning, more practical and deep projects, experiential learning and reflecting our club meetings as were there 100 years already.
Pathways it is not restrictive, so you can go farther. Once we understand the ropes, personalise each path and even each project, get used to reflect, improve, we get a real adult blended learning.
For me on every project I find something to utilise in my everyday life and this helps me to not only grow as an individual but to see a growth in my business too!
As relatively new, the videos help me understand certain concepts and the before and after quizzes are awesome. They push me to check my progress.
Good for those that learn best using videos. Others it doesn’t suit can download the projects.
I like the levels with increasing challenges as you progress.
Each path & mentoring underscore theory with practice through short (1 month), medium (3 months) and long projects (6 months).
Potential for Change
You can provide that feedback when you complete the project.
I agree with the evaluations that we can enter after the completion of each project. Doing it will help towards the programme being updated & changed in the future
Some projects are very well done and provide great examples already. I have faith that others will be improved.
It should be easy to expand and enhance the entire programme as we move forward.
It will benefit from pruning some new & under used aspects.
It should be easy & efficient to update & distribute changes with electronic publishing. For instance, the videos obviate the need for huge quantities of written material
Demonstrated with the new 11th path in February on Humour & with its new projects.
Give and receive more effective evaluations (express feedback in both words and numbers)
In pathways you learn to evaluate early on and self-evaluate all the way through & be evaluated by others.
The before and after quizzes have meaning once you get to new material.
A thorough introduction to mentoring in increasing sized projects.
Really understanding pathways and mentoring will mould real leaders.
Paperless should be a big help when we get there.
The ability to complete more than two speeches per manual outside of a Toastmasters meeting. Good for those that learn best using videos. Others it doesn’t suit can download the projects. (Important to some)
Having the ability to choose additional options.
I needed a new experience. Pathways has inspired and challenged me to rejuvenate my journey.
Pathways gave new incentive and passion to me. Top of Form
Pathways integrates Communication and leadership skills like the real world.
Saving evaluations online to refer to at a future point of time – if you scan & load paper versions.
Breaking through those barriers and ‘doing it my way’. I set out with a plan in mind for my second and third Paths, once I had learned the ropes in Path number 1.
I could choose my goals, then select the relevant themes for the required projects, then choose my preferred electives to enable me to reach those goals.
Now that I have mastered skills in being a communicator, leader and mentor I now have a clear outline of how to help others in their journey.
As a self-directed learner and Pathways Guide, I learned quickly the navigational how-to in Base Camp and am now preparing a Learner Guide for those who are new to the system.
I believe vocal variety is so useful, it should be much closer to the front of the learning curve.
Some of our retired members, myself included are moving right along in Pathways. We oldies are perfectly capable of learning the technology.
However, we may need to help the less capable
I am dedicated to helping members get used to the navigation in Pathways, so they then focus on improving their speaking and leadership skills.
You could choose one path and do all the electives giving you access to lots of extra projects at no cost.
The New Engaging Humor Path
Toastmasters International launched Engaging Humor, the 11th path in the Pathways learning experience, helping members develop their funny bone to entertain an audience.
This path is designed to help you build your skills as a humorous and engaging public speaker. The projects on this path focus on understanding your sense of humor and how that sense of humor translates to engaging audience members. The projects contribute to developing an understanding of how to effectively use humor in a speech, including challenging situations and impromptu speeches. This path culminates in an extended humorous speech that will allow you to apply what you learned.
Engaging Humor is only offered online and is available to all members. Its projects, which include titles such as “Know Your Sense of Humor” and “The Power of Humor in an Impromptu Speech,” offer strategies on writing humorous speeches, using effective timing and pacing, crafting strong openings and even how to cope when your jokes bomb. (Tips: Don’t sulk, don’t be irritated with the audience, and take time later to analyze why some bits worked and some didn’t.)
As with the other 10 paths in the program, you advance through five levels that increase in complexity. The projects include interactive activities and videos, which feature insights from experts such as Darren LaCroix, Toastmasters’ 2002 World Champion of Public Speaking and longtime stand-up comedian Judy Carter, author of The Comedy Bible.
The humor path draws on many of the same concepts highlighted in the Humorously Speaking manual in Toastmasters’ traditional education program. The importance of understanding and developing your own style of humor is a key aspect. So is wringing comedy out of personal stories and anecdotes that will resonate with your audience. Engaging Humor features a Story Collection tool in Base Camp that enables you to gather your own trove of funny stories.
Please share and promote this exciting news to the members of your district as well as your local media. For more information about Pathways, visit www.toastmasters.org/Pathways.
Those clubs (roughly half (55%) of the District) that use the meeting management system Easy Speak now have new tools to help manage Pathways
If you are an easy-Speak user, you can access the new Pathways Chart from the Club Charts option in This Club on the main menu.
Above is a screen capture (anonymised) of a Pathways Chart from my club where the VPE can see progress being made by all members through each of the five levels in a path, at a glance.
This new service makes it super easy to verify completions of actual speech deliveries in your club. The green ticks indicate speeches completed at club meetings, dark green for earlier events and lighter green for more recent events. Each green tick is clickable for tracking back to the actual meeting where that speech was completed. Note: you may need to visit the meeting agenda to see which Pathways project it refers to.
Each member’s enrolled Paths are shown as clickable links in the final column. Each one will display a complete list of speeches and projects completed for that Path, showing titles, dates and Evaluators. Here is a glimpse of one of mine! (Note: I can now mark this Workbook Complete.)
Revised HACKING PATHWAYS for New Members – A guide to Basecamp
By John Kendall DTM
Pathways Learning Experience – has three score projects spread over eleven paths and five levels – accessed via an online system new to most people. Most people are happy with the projects & paths, but some want more options added. First new path added is Engaging Humour [See this issue for more on this path).
On your first log in enter your email address and choose the forgotten password option to set your password
Log in & your name should appear at the top. (If you click on it, it shows your profile and settings)
You now have access to extra things, such as the current issue of our magazine.
Navigate (i.e. find your way) to pathways learning experience – the collection of Toastmaster Projects.
You read, LEARN/DO & then speak, be evaluated & compare your skill levels at the start & finish.
Step 1 you are to choose your path in 3 ways
by answering a score of questions & trusting the algorithm
read the names & descriptions
by looking at the projects required at the highest levels & other research.
If you are less keen on using online learning until you know more, your Vice President of Education can send you the Navigator (the guide to all things toastmasters) as a PDF & first three projects as PDFs. You can then choose your path later, but it must be before you wish to go to Level 2. [PDF – Portable Document Format is a widely used electronic file that can either be printed or viewed on a computer or smart device]
Step 2. Do projects in a level?
Minimum – activate & launch project (expand to full size to see section menu at the bottom!)
Self-score your current skill level & press submit
Go to evaluation section & choose “print” to download a PDF. Leave Basecamp.
Use PDF for source of learning (print if prefer), prepare Speech.
Print the evaluation part of PDF, give speech, keep completed evaluation.
Go to basecamp, relaunch project, go the last section self-score skills & press submit.
You will be invited to evaluate the project – this is not required & gets no reaction, but your feedback helps update our program.
Some projects have educational videos, calculators and resources to use online. The printable PDF version of the project will have their equivalent including answers to the questions.
Step 3. Complete a level
Activate last (completion) project – this sends email to basecamp manager. Leave basecamp
It can help to send your own email to the three basecamp managers (BCM) and ask them to complete the level. In it make explicit, if you wish, that you also want the club to register your completed level Award at Toastmasters International for your official records (in the Club Central portal).
Wait. Remind BCMs, if you need to.
That is all. The rest is unnecessary. This is all you need to know.
You do not need to upload evaluations.
You do not have to give feedback (well you won’t get much from others)
Know how to find editable evaluation forms for others, but it is helpful.
Faster Access to pathways
I usually log in to Toastmasters.org
click on “welcome John” name at the top.
Those chose to go to pathways block & click on go to my transcript.
Find the line with the pile of books Icon = levels & projects & has your pathname
Click on the Curriculum on the Right-Hand Side, to access levels & projects
Home for Evaluation Forms
On the top of Left-Hand-Side (LHS) there is a menu button home.
It takes you to some images without function.
It has one useful button below on Right-Hand-Side (RHS) to take you to English evaluation forms in alphabetical order when you page down. In principle you should email a copy of evaluation form to your evaluator & print it for the meeting.
Also, at top of screen Right-Hand Side is a place to enter information about yourself.
Original Entry route
First blue rectangle is how you purchase a path.
Second is how you change club or switch to be BCM (irrelevant for most)
Note well the third blue rectangle – this navigator has interesting information on Toastmasters.
This is NOT the same as the navigator in Basecamp which is about basecamp.
Club Officer’s tips to Help Starters
Newcomers to toastmasters must learn lots of new stuff compared to just being handed a manual to read. They must learn to log on to TI, get to pathways, choose a path & learn about basecamp. It is unsurprising that many members fail to start quickly, especially as many new officers are completing traditional projects and don’t have a good feel for pathways yet. We need to make it easier.
One solution is to have a local expert – a pathways Champion or Mentor, ideally who has reached level 3 at least… who can spend time with each new starter.
In the meantime, without a champion, another approach is:
Step 1. Give beginners a PDF of Navigator, Projects 1-3 in level 1 (all Paths are identical at this point) to peruse.
Step 2. Have a store at the club of all the evaluation forms at level 1.
Step 3. During their progress through level one gradually take them through the steps of logging on to Toastmasters.org, choosing a path, then finding their way in basecamp.
Then they will be able to stand alone ready to do Level 2 on their own.
Remind them to store their evaluations & feedback somewhere in a format convenient to them.
Explain to them that undertaking all roles – Ah-Counter, Timer, Grammarian, and Evaluators as well as being Toastmaster of the Meeting, gives them opportunities to learn to listen, speak to a live audience and practise leadership skills.
Explain to them that between speeches they are expected to undertake a role.
Tips for Basecamp Managers
If you receive an email from a colleague
Log in & change mode to BCM.
Look for requests to approve a level – & click to approve.
Validation – This can be a challenge as Basecamp doesn’t provide you with evidence so one way is to use your meeting system such as Easyspeak to track progress, but in the limit ask to see the member’s speech evaluations if in any doubt. [The Easyspeak team have used released a Pathways progress chart see subsection in this issue]
Many Officers may miss the Competent Leader (CL) manual as a means of motivating volunteers to take meeting roles and become contest chairs. It is true that Leadership projects arise differently in Pathways. However, the Competent Leader manual was never the decisive argument given how infrequently they were brought to meetings and worked from! Tanya Barad’s advice “I tell people not to look at the check box exercise but to look at the outside life skills, leading a competition, give them the opportunity to speak in a different capacity. Build experience for the club. Someone must do it or everyone in the club loses out. Why do us experienced people still do evaluations after the 100th time? Not for CL but to improve, to get a speaking opportunity and to support the members in the club“] Daniel Sandars
It’s been a busy time of year leading up to Christmas with Club, Area and Division Contests, a visit from Toastmasters International CEO, Dan Rex, and Area Director Club Visits and their reports being produced. Many thanks for all the challenging work that has gone into these activities.
I urge club Presidents to share the Area Director’s Club Visit Reports with all their officers and identify those key areas for improvement.
Consider carrying out the Moments of Truth educational in your clubs to get members’ views on areas for improvement. You will find their feedback and potential support invaluable.
Identifying areas of improvement is the easy bit – doing something about it will be the real test for the leadership team and their members.
Common themes for potential improvement that have emerged from those reports include:
Information provided to guests
Inducting and engaging new members – bringing them quickly up to speed
Promoting/marketing the club
Running a Guest/Open Night to bring in new members
The Japanese practice something they call Kaizen – change for the better, continuous improvement – and is a measure of both the leadership of their organisations and the engagement of their employees.
I believe we need to get better at challenging the status quo – in the same way that we encourage our members to improve, we need to apply the same improvement principles to our clubs.
Let’s strive to make our clubs better each year and I’m sure we will see that reflected in member retention, increases in membership and more members achieving their personal goals.
The second Club Visit Reports, to be completed by May, will be a good indicator of the improvements that have been made.
I am still pushing for clubs to reach out into their communities with new Youth Leadership Programmes and Speechcraft. I have YLP and Speechcraft Kits, and promotional materials available so please get in touch.
Please also look at who in your club has still to enrol on Pathways. This information is available on your Club Roster on the TI website.
Appoint a Pathways Champion to help those who may be struggling to get to grips with the programme. There are now materials around to help understand each of the 10 Paths and the associated Projects at each level: http://bit.ly/2BjKc3R.
As well as all four contest semi-finals and finals, there will be educational workshops, the District Council meeting with the District Leader elections and some great speakers’ including Eldonna Lewis Fernandez and Marcus Hemsley.
The theme will be the 1940’s and we will be entertained by the D-Day Darlings and The Joe Ringer Band. The venue is the Holiday Inn Norwich North, right next to Norwich Airport. I’m sure it will be another great conference so Book Now!
I guess this will be the last newsletter before the Christmas break so can I please wish you a brilliant Christmas and New Year and hope that you get all you wish for in 2019.
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?
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.
Excellence 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?
Based upon an original book by Jan Carlzon 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). 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.
Have you ever wanted to know what lies ahead? Have you every felt frustrated an not being able to plan properly?
Welcome to Pathways! This unique learning experience will challenge and inspire you to reach new heights both personally and professionally. To assist you in selecting your Path, here’s an overview of the Paths available to you.
There are 11 paths available in Pathways:
Motivation Strategies: Build motivational leadership and communication skills
Presentation Mastery: Build public speaking skills
Leadership Development: Build communication and leadership skills
Innovative Planning: Build creative project management and communication skills
Visionary Communication: Build innovative communication and leadership skills
Strategic Relationships: Build networking, leadership and communication skills
Dynamic Leadership:Build strategic leadership and conflict resolution skills
Persuasive Influence: Build skills to lead in complex situations
Effective Coaching: Build interpersonal communication, leadership and coaching skills
Team Collaboration: Build collaborative leadership skills
Engaging Humor:Build skills as humorous and engaging speaker
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