Toastmasters Pathways Eportfolio

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Paths, Projects and Electives

Paths were selected for their relevance to my goals and practices as:

  1. Guide and Coach for Toastmasters in Pathways
  2. Online Mentor
  3. Professional Speaker and Trainer
  4. Online course developer

By February 2019, 15 months after Pathways was rolled out in Region 12, I had completed three Paths and the Pathways Mentor Program! During that period of time I immersed in the Online Classes for 14 projects in each Path and three projects for the Pathways Mentor Program. My learning escalated as I progressed and realised the difference it makes to match my Paths with my goals and to plan my projects strategically in advance. A total of 42+ speeches and numerous Educational sessions have been delivered as I stretched my public speaking and leadership skills with Pathways.

Details of my objectives, goals, experiences, lessons and outcomes of each Path are displayed below as part of my Reflective Practice and to make meaning of my Pathways journey.

What is next for me?

In 2019 I planned to design and implement a Pathways Distinguished Toastmaster project called ‘Strategic Directions for Online Clubs‘ and within this project I will aim to strategize the support structure for Online Clubs through the Online Alliance: Online Clubs Collaborative Network.

In 2020 when the corona virus Pandemic shook the world, a new vision for the Online Alliance began to emerge. In early March I began to make some changes to the Vision of that group (representing many executives and members of the 100% online Toastmasters clubs in the world. By mid March membership numbers were growing and more and more interest was being shown in running online club meetings, due the necessity imposed by governments and Toastmasters in holding in person meetings.

Effective Coaching

EC proficient badgeThe Effective Coaching path is designed to help you build your skills as a positive communicator and leader. The projects on this path focus on understanding and building consensus, contributing to the development of others by coaching, and establishing strong public speaking skills. Each project emphasizes the importance of effective interpersonal communication. This path culminates in a ‘High Performance Leadership‘ project of your design.

My HPL was achieved through the coordination of the Undistricted Pathways Guides project in 2018.  This HPL was managed by a Steering Committee and overseen by a Guidance Committee. The project involved 30+ online Toastmasters who were selected as Online Pathways Guides.

Electives were selected for their interest and relevance to my planned approach to providing coaching and mentoring, and included:
Connect with Storytelling; Using Descriptive Language; Write a Compelling Blog and Moderate a Panel Discussion

Outcomes: A greater understanding of how to build consensus in a recruitment process, and contributions towards the development of Online Pathways Guides for international clubs. I developed stronger Public Speaking skills for leading the Online Pathways Guides and implemented an online coaching program for the teams of Online Pathways Guides.

Lessons: the importance of collaboration with international teams and the value of building a wide personal learning network.

What would I do differently?

I would have preferred to start my Pathways program with a Path that did not have the High Performance Leadership project as the final requirement at Level 5.

Pathways Mentor Program

Pathways Mentor Program Completed badgeThe Pathways Mentor Program is designed to help you build and reinforce the skills needed to provide a positive mentoring experience for protégés. The program is comprised of three projects that must be completed sequentially. The projects cover a range of topics from understanding your role as a mentor through a comprehensive assignment that includes a mentoring commitment lasting six months.

I mentored several new members in two of my land based clubs as they prepared for their Icebreaker and other project speeches in Level 1 of their chosen Path.

I took on three longer mentoring projects with Toastmasters online – one to assist a member become confident with Pathways – another to assist the member to build and charter a new club – and a third to assist a VPE in providing Pathways guidance at club level.

Outcomes: I developed a greater understanding of effective online Mentoring and relationship building over a period of time, with international Toastmasters. Protege 1 went on to become a Club Coach; Protege 2 successfully chartered a new Online Club; and Protege 3 successfully completed a Path and provides assistance to club members in Pathways.

Lessons: The benefits of structuring a meaningful online mentoring process and the value of authentic sharing and building a strong relationship with proteges.

What would I do differently?

I would have ensured that I was being mentored whilst mentoring others.

Visionary Communication

VC proficient badge

This path helps you build your skills as a strategic communicator and leader. The projects on this path focus on developing your skills for sharing information with a group, planning communications and creating innovative solutions. Speech writing and speech delivery are emphasized in each project. This path culminates in the development and launch of a long-term personal or professional vision.

My long-term professional vision was to create a Business online using my instructional design skills combined with my passions for Family History and Digital Storytelling.

Electives selected for this Path included:
Connect with Storytelling; Deliver Social Speeches; Write a Compelling Blog and Prepare to Speak Professionally.

Outcomes: A greater understanding of strategies for effective sharing of information with a group, planning communications with groups and creating innovative solutions for my own professional vision. The ecourse Digital Storytelling Online was designed and developed for a launch date in March 2019.

Lessons: The importance of being creative with your visions, collaborative with your teams and to articulate your plans succinctly for yourself and others.

What would I do differently?

I would have been more disciplined in maintaining momentum in developing my vision.

Strategic Relationships

The Strategic Relationships Path helps you build your skills as a leader in communication. The projects on this path focus on understanding diversity, building personal and/or professional connections with a variety of people and developing a public relations strategy. Communicating well on a one to one basis, and also as a public speaker is emphasized in each project. The path culminates in a project to apply your skills as a leader in a volunteer organization.

My third Path was selected specifically for working strategically with the D73 Team Pathways. I took on the lead role for this volunteer group to provide support and resources for clubs in D73 and apply my skills as a leader. This role will continue until at least June 2020.

Electives selected for this Path included:
Delivery Social Speeches; Connect with your Audience; Manage Projects Successfully and Lead in a Volunteer Organisation.

Outcomes: A greater understanding of diversity among Toastmasters, building personal and/or professional connections with teams of Toastmasters across other Districts, and developing a learning support strategy and a public relations strategy for the D73 Team Pathways project.

Lessons: The benefit of having a clear purpose for projects, a reasonable span of time to focus on the project tasks, the absolute need for strong team connections and a succession plan for strategic directions.

What would I do differently?

I would have scoped the desired outcomes and projects with the team much earlier, instead of letting things evolve.

D73 Pathways Learner Guide

  1. Set your goals
  2. Choose a Path
  3. Manage your learning space easily
  4. Navigate your Transcript smartly
  5. Learn online effectively
  6. Complete Projects confidently

This resource is ready now! It is the result of my learning to apply my skills of Leading in your Volunteer Organisation a project from Strategic Relationships. It now includes a page of recorded webinars.

Team Collaboration

team collaboration badge

This path helps you build your skills as a collaborative leader. You will work through projects that focus on active listening, motivating others and collaborating with a team. Each project contributes to building interpersonal communication and public speaking skills. The Team Collaboration path culminates in a project focused on applying your leadership skills.

My fourth Path was selected specifically for continuing my strategic work with the D73 Team Pathways. This lead role aims to provide support and resources for clubs in D73 in achieving 100% adoption of Pathways. This role continues until June 2020.

Electives included:

  • Deliver Social Speeches
  • Using Presentation Software
  • Creating Effective Visual Aids
  • Manage Online Meetings
  • Question-and-Answer Session
  • Prepare to Speak Professionally

Outcomes included: 

I focussed on weaving the required and elective projects into my goals for that time: lead a team to provide support and resources for clubs in D73 for Pathways adoption. Speeches for the elective projects were delivered mainly at my land based clubs, which I focussed on during that tme.

Lessons Learned: these were mostly personal growth lessons that were memorable for me including:

Image may contain: ocean and water, possible text that says 'Japanese Wisdom: If it's not yours, don't take it. If it's not right, don't do it. If it's not true, don't say say it. If you don't know, shut up. SprtaatWoMes'

Recommended Resources

The Navigator 

Pathways Companion Guide

D73 Toastmasters Pathways

D69 Toastmasters Pathways

Pathways Discussion Forum

Pathways Guide Blog

Pathways Experience Blog

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