by Katheryn Blakeman
You probably joined Toastmasters for many reasons. One of them may have been to learn how to develop your leadership skills. A good way to start enhancing your leadership skills is to log into Pathways, Toastmasters’ new educational program. The Pathways program is designed to help you build the skills you need to communicate and lead effectively.
On the Pathways site you choose your “path” tailored based on your personal and professional goals. On the Pathways website, Toastmasters has an assessment that will help you determine which of 10 learning paths best meets your personal and professional goals.
Each path is divided into five levels that build in complexity. The levels will help you to develop and build on and apply what you have learned. A Pathways path has five levels of achievement. A typical Pathways path includes curriculum similar to the below items:
Level 1: Master the Fundamentals
- Develop or enhance your understanding of the fundamentals needed to be successful public speaker and evaluator. You will focus on speech writing, basic delivery of a speech, as well as receiving, applying and delivering feedback.
- Speeches, “Ice Breaker,” “Evaluation and Feedback” and then “Researching and Presenting.”
Level 2: Learning Your Style
- Develop and understand your personal styles and preferences.
- Two required projects and “Introduction to Toastmasters Mentoring.”
Level 3: Increasing Knowledge
- You will begin to increase your knowledge of skills specific to your path.
- One required project and a minimum of two elective projects and Serve as Topics master, Toastmaster and evaluator by the end of Level 3.
Level 4: Building Skills
- You will build the skills you need to succeed on your path.
- One required project + a minimum of one elective project
Level 5: Demonstrating Expertise
- In this final level you will be able to demonstrate the skills you have developed and learned.
- On required project + a minimum of one elective project and “Reflect on Your Path.”
Toastmasters has set up tools to help you along the way. One of them is Base Camp.
Base Camp is your online gateway to Pathways and it is also where you will find everything you need to progress on your journey. Here you can work on projects, track your progress, connect with members of your club and view badges and certificates you’ll earn along the way. Base Camp also features resources to help guide you, including videos, quizzes, interactive activities and more.
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Katheryn Blakeman, ACB/CL, is the vice president education for USPTO, which meets in Alexandria, Virginia, on the second and forth Thursdays at Noon; president of the Navy Federal Club, which meets in Vienna, Virginia on the second and forth Saturdays; and area governor for Area 64 in District 27.