Category Archives: toastmasters
Many beginner Toastmasters see their speech from their own point of view, both in how they talk and how they use the stage. With practice, speakers learn to see and hear (and deliver) their speech considering the audience’s point of view. Before explaining how that works, it is helpful to understand the terminology.
Stage Left & Stage Right
House Right & House Left
The term “House” or “Stage” is in reference to what you are looking at. So if you’re in the audience, you are looking at the stage. If you’re on stage, you’re looking at the house. (And if you’re one of my whitewater paddling friends, you already know River Left and River Right is the perspective as you look down river.) Here is a video explaining it:
Read the full article about it here.
Now how do you use this info? Most cultures read from left to right and observe the passage of time going from left to right. So for clarity to your audience your story should follow that flow. So if you are talking about an event that came first, you would stand or point to Stage Left. As you refer to events through time, you move across the stage to Stage Right. You may make several trips through time this way and your story may come to a conclusion in the present which you would come back to front and center to deliver final the message.
Joining Toastmasters and speaking in front of members of your club can be intimidating. So the thought of competing in front of strangers who are judging your performance can be downright terrifying. Many Toastmasters would never even consider competing. It is easy to forget that Toastmasters is a safe place to fail, not just in front of your friends in your own club, but in the company of Toastmasters everywhere in any Toastmasters setting. The value of competing is in stepping further outside your comfort zone, experiencing the success of speaking to perform, and meeting people from other clubs who have the same goals.
It is not that only the best speakers compete, but rather
those who compete become the best speakers.
The following video is a speech I delivered at Willows Voices Toastmasters on 2/1/2019 giving a bit of insight into my experience competing and a few tips on the evaluation contest. But whether you are competing in the Speech Evaluation, Table Topics, Humorous Speech, or International Speech, there is value in watching this short presentation.
Here are the links referenced in the video:
Judge’s Ballot for Evaluation Contest: http://bit.ly/evaluationballot
Toastmasters.org videos on judging contests: http://bit.ly/judgingspeeches
July 2018- June 2019 Contest Rulebook: http://bit.ly/2018-2019rulebook
People often assume that the contests are only for those who are good speakers. Au Contraire! It is not that only the best speakers compete, but rather those who compete become the best speakers.
Discovery! Leave it to the Toastmasters district headquartered in Silicon Valley to come up with a website that tells everything you could want to know about the new Pathways education program in Toastmasters. Thank you District 4 (San Francisco/Palo Alto)
Start Here. Go ahead, It will open in another window. I’ll wait here.
As you go through the information, everything about Pathways will become clear.
Of all the resources on that page, this one is the heart of it all. Once there, click on one of the paths and then surf through the tabs of each project level and under each level, click through the projects. It’s all there! Every project description. This will help you choose your path. When you click on this link, I expect you’ll get too caught up in it to return here, so enjoy. Bookmark that page or come back here and click on the Toastmasters Resources I will be adding to the menu. Other handy resources they have list are:
- Pathways Paths and Projects (webpage)
Description of all ten Paths and their related project options.
- Pathways Paths and Core Competencies (11 page pdf)
- Pathways Project Description Reference Guide (59 page pdf)
- Getting Started Using Pathways (2 page PDF)
- Pathways Fast Start (34 page pdf)
Along with Base Camp screenshots for getting started includes submitting Ice Breaker project for completion (page 22)
- The Navigator (pdf)
Provided in the “new member kit” to members who join after Pathways launch. Pathways description provided on page 9-14
- Getting Started Using Pathways Base Camp Manager (4 page PDF)
- Base Camp Manager Duties (44 page pdf)
Step-by-step instructions for VPEs to respond to member level completion requests and track member progress.
To learn from this amazing speaker and World Champion of Public Speaking for one.
If you know a CEO, manager, supervisor or friend who could benefit from learning better leadership or public speaking skills, you might ask them to consider coming to this event in Lynnwood, WA. Suggesting they attend may be like telling a friend they have bad breath: Once they get over the embarrassment, they will thank you for it.
This 1-day conference on leadership and public speaking is good enough that you won’t care how nice the weather is outside. Seriously. No, I’m not getting paid to say that. I’ve just attended in the past and I know how good the presenters are. It made a huge difference in my presentation at IBM Think Conference last month.
Have you signed up for the new Pathways program yet? Did you already choose a path and start preparing to do your Ice Breaker speech? You might even intend to be the first person to complete DTM under the new program, yes?
On the other hand, are you one who might be stuck trying to decide which pathway to select? Wondering — maybe fearing even — what projects await when you commit to a choice and unlock your first Pathway; uncertain if it is really the right one for you? No worries, I have what you are looking for. Read on.
Right about now you may feel as if you’ve been thrown into the movie “Divergent” and now you must choose what faction you will join, hmm?
Or like the young wizard Harry Potter, you don the sorting hat at Hogwarts School of Wizardry whispering “Gryffindore? Hufflepuff? Ravenclaw? Slytherin?”
Some Toastmasters may find solace that during the first 30 days after you have selected a Pathway, you can change your selection. But that doesn’t make it easier to decide which path to choose and it doesn’t help understand what each pathway contains. For that matter, having 30 days to switch doesn’t really help because you can’t see what all of the projects are that lie ahead. You can only see the projects of the current level you are on. The projects for the next level are not revealed until you complete the projects of the level your are on and unlock the next level (and your Vice President of Education has processed it.) This can be quite frustrating for those of us who thrive on seeing the “big picture”. As Morpheus explains it in The Matrix…
Not being one to accept artificial limitations imposed by others, I set out to discover what I could about each pathway in the new Pathways program. And for the sake of my fellow Toastmasters who demand to know more, I will share with you what I have discovered.
Within each pathway there are 5 levels. Applying the gaming metaphor to this (and yes, Pathways is definitely the gamification of the Toastmasters program), each level has several missions (projects) to complete before unlocking access to the next level. Each level has a mix of mandatory and elective missions to be completed. The details are as follows:
Level 1: 3 Required missions (projects) – These are the same for all paths
Level 2: 3 Required missions – These vary by path
Level 3: 1 Required mission and choose 2 electives
Level 4: 1 Required mission and choose 1 elective
Level 5: 2 Required missions and choose 1 elective
That is a total of 14 missions to complete to finish a pathway.
Complete 2 pathways to earn DTM.
Special thanks to Frank T. Storey, DTM from District 18.
Checkout his website for comprehensive more info. It even shows all 59 projects currently available. Scroll to the bottom of this page and view the .PDFs 1-4 posted. I would link them directly here, but he is constantly updating them.
The following table contains a list of the mission titles and which Pathway each applies to. Special thanks to Ann DeMarrais and Kenneth Karru-Olsen for their work compiling this list!
Hopefully this offers a bit of help in deciding which pathway to take. The differences between the various pathways does not appear to be as significant as I had expected. Yes, it would be nice to have more details of each project, but at least this is a start. I will post more details as I find it. I encourage you to share the link to this article and to post what you have learned about Pathways in the comments below.