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More on Pathways – A second helping of info about the program

You no doubt read our first post about about Pathways, where we explained a bit about when it’s happening and what the immediate impact will be for existing members.

You didn’t? Then click here right now and get up to speed!

Here’s a bit more about the program.

Why is Pathways useful to you? An video introduction

To begin with, watch this 2 minute video (it’s different to the one I shared before so don’t ignore it!) which provides more information about how the Pathways educational program differs from the one you are currently following.

A bit more meat on the bones

Whereas the current educational program has 2 tracks, the Communication Track and the Leadership Track, the new program has 10! Why?

1. Toastmasters International recognises that Leadership and Communication are inextricably linked. To seperate them into 2 tracks as is done in the current program is somewhat artificial.

2. Leadership is a somewhat nebulous and broad term. The new program attempts to give more focus to what leadership means in practical terms by defining 9 specific “types” of leadership most relevant to the real world today. The new program therefore lays out 9 specific educational “Pathways” that lead towards mastering each one.

3. Toastmasters International are aware there are members who just want to give speeches and have no interest in any sort of leadership. Fair dos! The new program offers 1 educational “pathway” which focusses exclusively on doing speeches.

9+1 = 10 Pathways in total!

What are these Pathways?

Good question. Here they are!

  1. Motivational Strategies
  2. Presentation Mastery (this is the speeches only path)
  3. Leadership Development
  4. Innovative Planning
  5. Visionary Communication
  6. Strategic Relationships
  7. Dynamic Leadership
  8. Persuasive Influence
  9. Effective Coaching
  10. Team Collaboration

You can see from this list that someone who has a specific leadership skill they want to work on can now do so with laserbeam focus and get exactly what they need when compared to the existing program, which is not particularly structured towards the acquisition of specific leadership skills.

Example: say I want to be more persuasive at work and want Toastmasters to help me. Great, I can now clearly see how to do that: work on Pathway 8. Nice!

Don’t know which Pathway is best for you?

Not to worry, when Pathways rolls out you can log in to Toastmaster International and perform an online self-assessment questionnaire that will help you decide which Pathway is best for you. Pretty neat!

Once you’ve picked your Pathway of choice, what does progression look like?

Each path is made up of five levels of increasing complexity. The program is designed this way so you’re always building on what you learned in the previous level. All learning paths contain the following levels:

  • Level 1: Mastering Fundamentals
  • Level 2: Learning Your Style
  • Level 3: Increasing Knowledge
  • Level 4: Building Skills
  • Level 5: Demonstrating Expertise

To get from Level 1 to Level 5, you’ll need to complete 14 projects (as a reference, there are 10 projects required to complete the current Competent Leader program).

The end of “Bring Your Manuals™”?

You are probably quite aware that at the start of every Toastmasters meeting, members are asked if they have brought their educational manuals in. This is so the role performed can be evaluated and signed off by a fellow member, a requirement if it is to be registered towards an educational award. Alas! Even though those reminders are irritatingly regular, members do still forget, and that means progress towards acheivement of awards is delayed.

The new program takes account of the fact most of us have smartphones, tablets and laptops. The new program provides the option to members to perform speech evaluations directly online rather than into a physical and easily forgotten manual. Aha! For those who want to go paper-free, no need to bring your manuals ever again and put that snazzy technology to good use for once!

What’s also very convenient about this procedure is now all speech and meeting role evaluation notes are stored online, meaning you’ll never experience the pain of losing a manual with all your evaluation notes in them ever again!

A final word

Don’t forget that Roma Cox, Pathways Ambassador for our area, will be visiting us on 28th February to outline the program and answer any questions you may have. If you are interested in transferring to the new program immediately (newer members in particular might wish to do so) then make a special effort to come along to this session so you have the information you need to make up your mind.

Remember, existing members can continue on the existing educational program should they choose, and so do not need to immediately adopt Pathways when it launches on the 20th March.

Any questions, get in touch with the committee!



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