Lessons learned from using Pathways since its inception – A Distinguished Toastmaster’s Perspective

Fellow Toastmasters, This blog post completes my elective project (“Writing a Compelling Blog”) for Level 4 of my “Team Collaboration” path. I might still post from time to time, either about Pathways, Toastmasters International’s new education program or other Toastmasters-related topics. However, you will not see new blog posts as frequently as in the last two weeks. In closing (for this project), allow me to ponder the pros and cons of Pathways. Please remember, this is my personal opinion and you are very welcome to disagree. Here is what I (mostly) like about the revitalized education program, known as Pathways: …

Feedback, badges and documents – A Distinguished Toastmaster’s Perspective

Fellow Toastmasters, this is a direct follow-up to my last blog post on May 8, 2021 titled “How can you use Base Camp to support OTHERS? – A Distinguished Toastmaster’s Perspective”. I will start by talking about feedback and badges (again). This time it is the feedback and badges you receive and collect. The third topic in this blog post is about how you can upload documents in Pathways, i.e. Base Camp, and why you should do so. Under “My Feedback” you can request (specific) feedback from club members. I find it a little bit limiting that this feature is …

How can you use Base Camp to support OTHERS? – A Distinguished Toastmaster’s Perspective

Fellow Toastmasters, the previous blog posts have all described how you can use Pathways and Base Camp to advance your own Toastmasters goals. Let’s switch gears. How can you help your fellow club members to achieve their goals? Serve as a speech evaluator during your club meetings. While you learn the useful skill of really listening and to give constructive feedback, the feedback you provide is invaluable to the speaker on their Toastmasters journey. I already described on May 2, 2021 how to access every possible evaluation form in Base Camp. Share feedback on a speech (or anything really) with …

Where to record your meeting roles? – A Distinguished Toastmaster’s Perspective

Fellow Toastmasters, do you wonder what happened to the leadership track from the Legacy Program? You can read my blog post from April 12th, 2021 for a refresher/reminiscer about the Legacy Program. It still exists. Toastmasters is “Where Leaders are Made”! Some aspects of it are dispersed throughout the different paths as electives, others are separated out into separate suggested programs (for example mentoring). Are you a club officer or Toastmaster of the Day and have trouble getting your members to fill meeting roles? Remind them that they get credit for it. As you progress in Pathways, you will get …

“Paths and Learning” in Base Camp – A Distinguished Toastmaster’s Perspective

Fellow Toastmasters (and most welcome guests, if you are still reading my blog even though we are now in the weeds of how to progress along the Pathways program, which only members can access and participate in), you may be surprised to already see another blog post online already, but today’s topic is the most important one in my opinion. I did not want to keep you waiting. Part 4 in my series of blog posts in which I try to demystify Pathways, Toastmasters International’s new education program, is all about how to navigate and complete your actual Pathways projects. …

How to navigate Base Camp? – A Distinguished Toastmaster’s Perspective

Welcome, fellow Toastmasters! This is Part 3 of my series of blog posts in which I try to demystify Pathways, Toastmasters International’s new education program. Today’s post deals with Base Camp. Base Camp, “your Pathways home base”- as Toastmasters International calls, or simply the digital platform on which you can access your Pathways projects. I already talked briefly about how to access Base Camp in the second part of this series. This is a screenshot of the Base Camp website:   Let’s talk about what is on this page: almost everything you need. The embedded video is probably the first …

How to choose your Path? – A Distinguished Toastmaster’s Perspective

You have committed to start your Toastmasters journey. Congratulations! Now what? Please log into your account on the Toastmasters International website. You will see a choice of tabs. Click on the one that says “Pathways” then “Choose a path”. (You could also select “Education” and then “Pathways learning experience” but I find the other approach more intuitive.) The next page that opens up looks like this: Don’t worry about the $20 fee that is indicated for choosing a path. When you just get started, your first path is free. If you belong to more than one Toastmasters club, all will …

A Distinguished Toastmaster’s Introduction to Pathways

Many Toastmasters (not only new members) are not yet very familiar with Pathways, Toastmasters International’s new education program. As stated on the Pathways website, the “Pathways learning experience [is] 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.” Over the next month I will post about different aspects of Pathways. Hopefully you find them helpful.   The premise and promise of Pathways sounds intriguing, you are probably tempted to find out more. But when you drill down and …

The Awkward Pause – Bad for Public Speaking, Good Leadership Tactic

Intelligent Minds Like Tim Cook and Jeff Bezos Embrace the Rule of Awkward Silence. You Should Too The rule of awkward silence has always been valuable. But in a world of instant gratification, it’s more useful than ever. By Justin Bariso, Author, EQ Applied@JustinJBariso • Inc., September 9, 2020   Tim Cook and Jeff Bezos run two of the most valuable companies in the world. From the outside, they seem to exhibit very different personalities. But within their companies, both men are known for a fascinating practice: As I’ve described previously, the rule of awkward silence is simple: When faced with a challenging question, …

A Toastmasters World Champion of Public Speaking and the value of mentors

Fellow Toastmasters and Guests, Did you attend the first ever virtual D27 District Conference? If not, you missed a real treat: Aaron Beverly, the 2019 Toastmasters World Champion of Public Speaking, gave a keynote speech. Here is a link to his winning competition speech “An Unbelievable Story” from last year: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmj1LBJu_Ss Far from basking in the glow of being a reigning champion and his own laurels, on Saturday, May 16, 2020, Aaron Beverly talked about the value of mentors. I won’t even try to summarize his beautifully crafted speech. I couldn’t do it justice. The important take-home message is his …