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Feb ’19 Special educational section: Pathways one year on

Special educational section: Pathways

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:

Reviews

  1. How have we got on?
  2. Pathways level 1 and onward
  3. Pathways Benefits – a user summary

New things

  1. The New Engaging Humor Path
  2. Easyspeak Pathways Progress Chart
  3. Pathways Pin Badges Now in Store
  4. Pathways Schematic Chart

Tips going forward

  1. 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

Club Pathways,
Awards, No.
Div H14 Huntingdonshire Speakers

9

Div E42 Heart of England Club

8

Div A23 Republic of Work Toastmasters Club

7

Div N51 A1 Speakers

5

Div S43 Aberdeen Toastmasters Club

5

Div N31 Warrington Toastmasters

4

Div H44 Bedford Speakers

4

Div D8 Clonmel Toastmasters

4

Div A3 Blarney Club

4

Div N15 Leeds City Toastmasters

4

Div G1 Ipswich Electrifiers Speakers’ Club

4

Div S33 Linlithgow Speakers Club

4

Div H32 West Herts Speakers Club

4

Div N48 Manchester Orators Toastmasters Club

3

Div N15 Strictly Speaking Harrogate

3

Div G1 Camulodunum Club

3

Div E6 East Midlands Speakers

3

Div C19 Dundalk Toastmasters Club

3

Div J2 Accentuators

3

Div D28 Maynooth Toastmasters

3

Div M26 Clondalkin Toastmasters

3

Div F12 Loughrea Toastmasters Club

3

Div S43 Inverness Toastmonsters

3

Div H20 Hertfordshire Speakers Club

3

Div G41 Cambridge City Communicators

3

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.

Choice

  • 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.

Support

  • 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. 

Design

  • 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.

Evaluations

  • 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.

Mentoring

  • A thorough introduction to mentoring in increasing sized projects.
  • Really understanding pathways and mentoring will mould real leaders.

Other Comments

  • 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.

Individual Benefit

  • 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.

Suggestions

  • 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.

Value

  • 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.

Additional Resources:

Easyspeak Pathways Progress Chart

By Daniel Sandars District 71 Public Relations Manager and Carole McCulloch

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.)

Easyspeak Pathways Chart

Pathways Pin badges

Path Pins in Silver and Level 5 Proficient Pins in Gold Now Instore (search shop on path name): https://www.toastmasters.org/shop

Pathways Schematic Chart

Only for the brave as this is a very busy chart, but invaluable for some members for strategic overview and planning.

This is a complete Schematic of Pathways educational programme following the addition of the Engaging Humor path.

With thanks to Masayo Arai D76 Pathways Guide, in collaboration with Aaron Leung from D89 and sometime D70 Pathways Advisor

For best results printing use A3 paper and check out the source below for updates

Source: https://musashiurawa.toastmastersclubs.org/pathways.html

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).

Start by logging in to www.toastmasters.org

  1. On your first log in enter your email address and choose the forgotten password option to set your password
  2. Log in & your name should appear at the top. (If you click on it, it shows your profile and settings)
  3. You now have access to extra things, such as the current issue of our magazine.
  4. 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

  1. by answering a score of questions & trusting the algorithm
  2. read the names & descriptions
  3. 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!)

  1. Self-score your current skill level & press submit
  2. Go to evaluation section & choose “print” to download a PDF. Leave Basecamp.
  3. Use PDF for source of learning (print if prefer), prepare Speech.
  4. Print the evaluation part of PDF, give speech, keep completed evaluation.
  5. 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

  1. Activate last (completion) project – this sends email to basecamp manager. Leave basecamp
  2. 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).
  3. 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.

Extra Information

Faster Access to pathways

I usually log in to Toastmasters.org

  1. click on “welcome John” name at the top.
  2. Those chose to go to pathways block & click on go to my transcript.
  3. Find the line with the pile of books Icon = levels & projects & has your pathname
  4. 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

  1. Log in & change mode to BCM.
  2. 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]

[Leadership Tip:

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

Feb ’19 News from guest Division F (North West Ireland)

Division S redirection link:

Guest Division F

By Division F Director Pat Croke DTM

Division F is geographically quite large with the furthest apart clubs Galway and Mid-Ulster 264 kilometres (160 Miles) from one another which is also a four-hour drive. The division has 20 clubs several of which are rural and are aligned to five Areas. Divisional contests can be challenging due to the distances involved. Understandably as judges must not be from a competing club it can be difficult to persuade somebody to drive four hours to the contest, judge the contest and then spend 4 hours driving home again particularly in the winter. However, all the clubs are in gorgeous locations with wildly different scenery and interesting history so staying overnight is not a hardship. This year we had the Division F Humorous Speech and Table Topics contests in our newest club Loughrea, County Galway in Area 12. The International Speech and Evaluation contests will take place in Ballybofey, County Donegal in Area 04 on Saturday April the 13th.

  1. Area 04 led by Area Director Ken McKenzie from the Foyle Speakers Club consists of four clubs: Talk on the Wilde Side, Talk Club, Foyle Speakers and Mid Ulster.
  2. Area 9 led by Area Director Thérèse Kinahan from the Athlone Club consists of five clubs: Athlone, Cavan, Longford, Mullingar and Tullamore.
  3. Area 12 led by Area Director Pat Coakley from the Galway Club consists of four clubs: Corrib, Galway, Loughrea and Tuam.
  4. Area 27 led by Area Director Paul Gannon from the Westport Club consists of three clubs Ballina, Castlebar and Westport.
  5. Area 38 led by Kevin McGill from the Carrick-on-Shannon Club consists of four clubs: Carrick-on-Shannon, Erne Speakers, Sligo and Sligo Public Speakers.

At the start of this year we had a realignment of clubs. The Loughrea Club chartered which meant that there were seven clubs in Area 12. It was decided to split Area 12 keeping the four Galway clubs in Area 12 and creating a new Area 27 for the three Mayo clubs. The old Area 12 was huge, and the new alignment is making Area Director visits and Area Competitions much easier.

This year is the first full year of Pathways and the Division’s main goal is to have at least one level 1 in each club and that person be an officer in next year in their club and be a pathways champion for their club. There is a clear co-correlation between the clubs that have embraced pathways in the division and club growth or decline. This makes sense since all new members joining after July have had to use Pathways as their educational program. Pathways appears complex when viewed in its totality. However, level one is very well thought out and easy to explain to new members. When they have completed level one they will have learnt what their existing skills are from doing an Icebreaker; learnt how to receive feedback and give a speech evaluation; learnt how to conduct research on a topic and use that to create a new speech. This is easier to explain than the old Competent Communicator and Leader programs. This is going to take a while to embed. The key is simplicity. Nobody in the past at their first meeting was told what exactly was involved in getting to a DTM and all the choices they would have to make along the way, given that at that stage they wouldn’t have known what a DTM was or why it was valued.

From Paul Gannon Area Director Area 27

Area 27 is the smallest area in the division with three clubs. Westport was chartered in 2003, Ballina was next and chartered in 2005, with our newest club, Castlebar, chartering in 2017. Toastmasters was not new to Castlebar as there was a club in Castlebar back in the 1980s and so it was wonderful to see some of the members in attendance from the original club on charter night.

For me as a local member it was a privilege to watch Toastmasters members from clubs in Galway, Ballina and Westport travel to Castlebar of their own volition, to demonstrate how a typical Toastmasters meeting is run. This was the spirit of Toastmasters in action, and Castlebar was extremely grateful to the members of the local clubs and to the Westport Club which sponsored the club and help them establish and charter.

As area director, this spirit continues to motivate me to give back as much as I have got from Toastmasters. It might be perceived as easy for me to be in regular contact with the officers in all three clubs in my area, as I have only three clubs to visit. However, the challenges faced in all three clubs are unique to them and keep me busy and engaged. It has been a privilege to serve as area director, and I have learned as much at club officer training as I have imparted.

Officers from Castlebar showing off their Banner. Donna Hyland, Tom Fahey, Alan Di Lucia, Maire Garvey, Leon Tunney-ware and Catriona Doyle.

Pat Coakley Area 12 Director

Area 12 incorporates four clubs in County Galway with 116 members and a combined 50 years club experience. This includes the Division’s most recent club, Loughrea, which chartered in the last year. As this would have entailed seven clubs in the Mayo-Galway area, this was divided into two.  Loughrea has grown to a vibrant club with membership now at a healthy twenty-eight.   Member numbers across the area cover a broad variety of ages and walks of life. Each club has its own distinctive flavour and style of meeting, but all are friendly and welcoming.

The area contest, hosted by Oranmore 10th November, showcased the skills of ten contestants in the Humorous and Table Topics contests.  It was a measure of the high standards here that the two winners, Rob Partridge and Gerry McNulty, progressed through the next level, and are to represent Division F at the District contests in May.

Loughrea Club hosted the Division contests 24th November with attendees travelling from across the midlands and north.

Area 12 did a Schools outreach with eight students at Coláiste an Chreagáin conducting the Youth Leadership Programme, led by Frances Geoghegan, assisted by Sarah Hearty and James Linnane.

Toastmaster’s highest achievement, Distinguished Toastmaster was attained by Division Director Pat Croke of the Galway Club. Three other members in the area are working to achieve the DTM award over the coming year.

In Front Left to Right Frances Geoghegan Galway, James Linnane Tuam and Sarah Hearty Galway with their students.

Thérèse Kinahan Area 9 Director

Area 9 covers four midland counties; Cavan, Longford, Offaly and Westmeath.

The oldest club in this region is Athlone. Members of this club were instrumental in starting the other clubs in the area as well as clubs in the west and north-west.

The current Area Director (AD) is from the Athlone Club and is the third consecutive AD from this club. Last year (2017-18), Athlone celebrated its 30th Anniversary, while also achieving President’s Distinguished. It’s an international club and during the past year has welcomed members from Ecuador, Brazil, Italy, India, Pakistan, Syria, Egypt, Portugal, Australia and South Africa.

The Assistant Area Director is currently serving as a coach to the Longford Club working with a past Area Director. Longford may be small, but the coaches have helped to increase membership and the standard of meetings is excellent.

Mullingar is the second largest town in Area 9 with a club which celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2017. This is a club with a strong core of experienced speakers and leaders. It continues to grow and to innovate. This club does PR very well, with articles in the newspapers after each meeting. Meetings are always fun.

Tullamore has not been a very large club during the past couple of years but has a steady membership. Tullamore hosted a joint meeting with Mullingar this month, as a return visit following the club’s visit to Mullingar club’s open night.

Our Northern Star is Cavan which shines so brightly and welcomes us all so warmly as they did for the January COT, with full attendance from their own club. Big thanks to Navan for all the work with Cavan which has seen this club grow and develop.

Doing the work of AD is only possible with the active support of club officers.

Club Leadership: Pathways Schematic Chart

This is a complete Schematic of Pathways educational programme following the addition of the Engaging Humor path.

Beware it is an overwhelmingly busy chart! Some more experienced members may find it useful to get a strategic oversight of the entire Pathways programme.

With thanks to Masayo Arai D76 Pathways Guide, in collaboration with Aaron Leung from D89 and also D70 Pathways Advisor

For best results printing use A3 paper and check out the source below for updates

Source: https://musashiurawa.toastmastersclubs.org/pathways.html

January Update District Conference, #Norwich2019

By Red Skelton DTM, Conference Team Member

What does Norwich, 1940s, May 2019, fun, educational and yourself all have in common? If you guessed the 2019 Norwich Conference you would be 100% correct. I am getting excited that we are only five (5) months away from what will be a fantastic and history making conference.

Fantastic? You bet. We will have two outstanding Key note speakers. Eldonna Lewis Fernandez, Accredited Speaker, Toastmasters International will be visiting us from the United States. Eldonna speaks all over the world and we are fortunate to have her come to Norwich for her Keynote and will also be presenting a workshop. Our own Marcus Hemsley is our second Keynote speaker from Norwich. Marcus is the Founder of a Strategic Digital Marketing company, Fountain. Marcus has worked with many well-known companies but also enjoys working with start-up companies as well. Fountain has been awarded two prominent awards in 2017; Growing Businesses Online Award for Europe, Middle East, and Africa. Four weeks later, Fountain was a Global Google award winner. He will be presenting both a keynote and a workshop, so we are very fortunate to have Marcus at our conference.

#Norwich2019
#Norwich2019

History Making? You bet. For the first time in our history, we will be holding eight (8) Semi Finals and four (4) finals Speech competitions at one conference. Please come along and support your Division Contestant in each of the Semi Finals and for those lucky enough to make it to the final, they will need your support to help them win!!

Please go to https://www.norwichconference2019.com for more information and to book your place. Looking forward to seeing old friends and making new. If you have any questions, please email info@norwichconference2019.com.

Stepping into a Leadership Role – Why not you?

By Elizabeth Nostedt, DTM; Region 10 Advisor, Past Region 11 Advisor, and Past District 59 Director

Within a brief time (if it hasn’t already happened by the time this goes to print), your District team will be asking YOU if you would like to step forward and take a leadership role at the District level – as an Area Director, Division Director or higher. You may have many different thoughts about this – like:

  • Am I ready for this?
  • Do I really want to do this?
  • I have so many other things happening now.
  • What do I have to do in this role X?
  • and so on.

Leadership roles are not obvious to all of us, but they can certainly help us grow as people. Let me tell you a few leadership stories from my career in Toastmasters and in a corporate setting.

As Area Director (AD) – this is the true test of serving others.

As Area Director, people may look up to you as the person that should know everything. But that is not necessary – because there are so many resources in Toastmasters to help you – like the District Leader manual. This is exactly what I learned – I did not have to be an expert. I knew how to read – and I learned to ask good questions. I could ask the person who was AD before me, and I could ask other District leaders. I could also say – “I don’t know the answers to that.” I further learned that when I conducted Club Officer Training and when I visited the clubs in Area – I learned so much about people. I learned about their wants and needs and dreams for being a leader. I learned that I was the servant leader to them.

I set the vision for the Area for the year. I believed that our clubs could be Presidents Distinguished and through the training sessions, we reviewed how to do it with the club leaders. They caught the vision and understood it. We achieved it.

As soon as that Leadership Vision was clear, then it was my role to help them implement it. It included further interpretation of what each goal meant and what actions were necessary.

The biggest learnings came from working with others as volunteers. Of course, all the club officers are volunteers! And as AD, we are volunteers. So, it is not like at work where we work with employees, that they are expected to do the work because they are employees and get paid to work. It meant that I reflected on if I needed help with something, how could I best ask for help, and would this appeal to the person I asked, so that they would help.

As CGD, PQD and District Director

These roles further expanded my learnings as a leader, because there were more committees and more work to be done THROUGH others. A vision, an inspirational idea, enthusiasm for the work, willingness to do the work myself – these were all ways to work through others to achieve our goals. I learned to coach others with great open-ended questions so that they often found the answers they were seeking.

Was it all easy? Definitely not! I can certainly say there were challenges – but they also meant large leadership/personal learning lessons. There were people who could not get along with each other, an area director who did not want to build a new club – because he/she knew better, keeping District conferences within budget, and so on – each challenge came with a new lesson to be learned.

Servant leaders are motivated by caring and the agenda they seek is mutual benefit.” -Stephen M.R. Covey

When working in a corporate setting

I have worked for many years in various corporate settings – from being an “ordinary” employee, to being a department manager and leader of a large group and to my current position as a Senior Project Manager on IT and Business projects. Each of these roles of leadership meant something new.

As an “ordinary” employee, I was the leader of my own work. I learned time management of my own time. Some of you may think that it is tough when a manager is telling you what to do, but what if you yourself are the slave driver!! This is comparable to you as an ordinary Toastmasters member who also must take responsibility and needs encouragement to reach the next level of growth and awards.

As a Department manager, then I saw the people who were motivated by what they were doing, and those who were not motivated. As I see it now, all motivation is “self-motivation” and it was my work to ensure that we could find the things that would keep all the employees motivated in some way. This is perhaps like you as an Area Director, where you can see the clubs that are motivated to reach DCP and others that simply do not care.

As a Senior Project Manager now, I am caught between what my Management Team wants me to deliver, and what my team members say they can deliver. That is another dilemma. This is perhaps like the Division Director role – caught between the Area director and the District Leadership Team.

In each role at work, and in each level at Toastmasters, I take the time to reflect what lessons I have learned, and there are so many. They have made me a better person and a better leader – and they were so worth doing because of how much I have grown.

Announcing Dan Rex in Ireland 16-17 November

Dan Rex

Dan Rex, CEO Toastmasters International, to visit

We are honoured to announce a brief visit by Dan Rex to Dublin in November.  Dan’s Itinerary includes: the presentation of a corporate Club Award; lunch with past International Director Ted Corcoran, who is recovering from major surgery, and members of the District Leadership Committee; and a visit to Division M’s Contests on Friday Night.

16 Nov Evening Dan Rex at D71, Division M contests.

DAN REX’s ONLY WORKSHOP IN IRELAND THIS YEAR!

Biography

As Chief Executive Officer, Daniel Rex leads the Toastmasters World Headquarters team in providing service, resources, and support to 352,000 members in 16,400 clubs in 141 countries.  He works closely with the International President and the Board of Directors to develop the future of Toastmasters and create and execute plans and strategies to reach those goals.

Rex has worked for Toastmasters for 27 years, and during that time he has led several departments at World Headquarters, giving him a unique perspective and an impressive depth of knowledge of the organization.  In 2008, he assumed the role of Executive Director, a title that was changed to Chief Executive Officer in 2013.  Rex’s previous positions include Deputy Executive Director, Director of Communications and Marketing, Marketing Division Manager, and Membership Manager.

Rex holds a BA degree in Modern Languages from Southern Utah University in Cedar City, Utah, and an MBA in International Management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale, Arizona.  He holds certificates from the Leadership for Senior Executives course through Harvard Business School, and the Executive Leadership Program through the University of California, Berkeley.  He completed the Strategic Leadership Programme through the University of Oxford.

In addition to his Toastmasters duties, Rex serves as a member of the Key Global Associations Committee (KGAC) of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE).

 

 

16 Nov Evening Dan Rex at D71, Division M contests.

D71, Division M finals of the Humorous & Table Topics speech contests.

Breaking News….

We are honoured to welcome Mr Dan Rex CEO Toastmasters International, who will attend and speak at our contest!

 

Dan Rex
Will we see you there?

A great night’s entertainment guaranteed.

  • 6:30pm Briefings for contestants & SAAs by Contest Chair, Mary Burnham.
  • And also 6:30 briefings for Judges, Timekeepers, Tallies by Chief Judge, Shaun Durnin.
  • Doors close at 7:25pm SHARP!
  • 7:30 pm start.
  • €10 entrance for ALL except contestants.

Don’t forget your TM club banner!

Venue

 

Talbot Hotel Stillorgan Talbot Hotel Stillorgan
Stillorgan Road, A94 V6K5 Dublin, Ireland
Map: https://her.is/2PjWvah

My Vision for 2018-19 – The Pursuit of Excellence

John Cox, District 71 – Program Quality Director

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So, let us discuss:

Goals versus Tactics

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Striving for quality and excellence must be our club mantra.

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

I look forward to working with you this year.

What is Happening with Contests?

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

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

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

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

Humorous Speech and Table Topics Contests

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

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

International Speech and Evaluation Contests

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

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

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

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

Therefore, exciting times are ahead!

Pathways Resources

The Pathways Paths and Projects Catalogue

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

Pathways Evaluation Forms

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


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

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