Where Will Pathways Take You?
Welcome to the Toastmasters Pathways learning experience, 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. It gives you:
- The opportunity to build up to 300 unique competencies
- 11 specialized learning paths to choose from
- Online content, so that you can learn anytime, anywhere
- Real-world, transferable skills
- Content available in Arabic, English, French, German, Japanese, Portuguese, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, and Traditional Chinese, with select paths available in Korean and Tamil
Brief Overview of Pathways
Step-by-Step Guide to Signing Up, Picking a Pathway, and Getting Started
How to Use the Base Camp Home Page
The Different Paths You Can Follow
Pathways allows you to choose from 11 different pathways so you can tailor your educational experience to your individual goals and skills.
Every path covers the same basic building blocks of public speaking and is equally challenging, so there is no wrong choice.
You can find official summaries for each of the pathways through the links below:
- Dynamic Leadership
- Effective Coaching
- Engaging Humor
- Innovative Planning
- Leadership Development
- Motivational Strategies
- Persuasive Influence
- Presentation Mastery
- Strategic Relationships
- Team Collaboration
- Visionary Communication
You can also find a detailed guide to the projects you will have to complete for each pathway here.
To help you decide which path is right for you, Toastmasters International created a quiz you can take that assesses your goals, strengths, weaknesses, and more and suggests a few paths that would be good for you. you can take the quiz here (You’ll have to first select how you want to receive your materials, then choose to take the assessment and click continue).
How a Pathway is Structured
Each Pathway is broken down into five levels and a concluding project. The levels each have two to four projects that have to be completed. Most projects will require you do complete one speech, though more advanced projects sometimes require two speeches and a few projects don’t require you to give any speeches. The projects start out easy in the first level and slowly get harder as you progress through the path and your skills improve.
You don’t have to do the levels or projects in order, however, the difficulty increases as you get higher up in the levels, so we strongly suggest you go through the projects in order and build up your skills so that you are better able to complete the harder projects.
Make sure that you complete the assess your skills questionnaire at the end of each project after you have completed the project. That is how Pathways knows to mark the level as complete. Also don’t forget to mark each level as complete once you finish them. After you mark a level as complete, the VP Education has to approve it before you receive your digital level completion certificate. Make sure to let them know you have completed a level so they can go in and approve it asap.
Level one is common to all the pathways. The main goals are to learn the fundamentals of public speaking and get you more experience in front of a crowd.
These will be both the easiest and most difficult speeches you will give as a Toastmaster. They are the easiest because the objectives of each project are the most basic, but they are also the hardest because public speaking is scary! Almost everyone is extremely nervous their first few times, and every other time thereafter to be honest. The nerves never go away, but with more exposure to speaking you get much better at managing your nervousness. Keep that in mind: The main goal is to get experience in front of a crowd.
So don’t worry too much about the quality of your first speeches, and try to get them done as soon as you can. If you can get yourself up in front of the group that is a bigger step than most people will ever take! Repeated exposure really does help. Focus on learning to be comfortable with being uncomfortable, it’s a skill you’ll find useful in every area of your life.
There are 3 projects that you have to complete in level one:
- The first project every Toastmaster completes is the Icebreaker. It is a 4-6min speech all about you. You can talk about your life, your goals, your hobbies, your work, why you joined Toastmasters, or anything. As long as it introduces you, it works for the Icebreaker. Toastmasters International allows anyone to see the content for this project, so even if you haven’t become a member yet you can get the full Icebreaker project experience here.
- The second project is called “Evaluation and Feedback”. This project requires you to deliver two speeches and give an evaluation. The speeches can be on any topic and delivered in any style you want. You will deliver the first speech, then incorporate the feedback you receive from that speech into your second speech. The second speech can be entirely new or an improved version of the first speech.
- The third project is called ”Researching and Presenting”. The speech requires you so research a topic and present your findings in an informational speech. Make sure you use good sources and cite them in your delivery.
After all the projects are complete, mark level one done in the “Level 1 Completion” box below the three projects. Once the VP Education approves your level completion you will have access to your digital certificate through the same button that will then say “View Certificate”.
The main goal of level two is to learn more about your style/skills and introduce you to Toastmasters Mentoring.
The level requires you to complete three projects.
- The first two projects are slightly different for each pathway, but often include projects such as “Understanding Your Leadership Style”, “Understanding Your Communication Style”, or “Know Your Sense of Humor”. These focus on teaching you about the different styles of communication or leadership and allow you to better understand your current skill levels.
- The third project is called “Introduction to Toastmasters Mentoring” and is common to every pathway. The monitor-me tee relationship is an important part of the Toastmasters experience, so this project asks you to discuss a time when you were a mentee and share the impact it hard on you. This project prepares you to become a mentor at the club if you choose to.
Level three is about increasing your knowledge. You’ll get to choose your first electives and pick up a wide array of skills.
The level requires you to complete three projects: one main project and two electives.
- The main project will be specific to your pathway. Get excited because this is where your pathway really starts to specialize so that you can focus more on the specific areas you are looking to improve.
- The two electives you complete will come from a list of 13 possible options. Which ones you pick are entirely up to you. The electives in level three generally focus on developing a specific communication skill such as “Connect with Storytelling” and “Effective Body Language” or on specific communication situations such as “Prepare for an Interview” and “Making Connections through Networking”.
The goal for level four is to build your skills. This level is where you have to start putting some work into the projects outside of preparing and delivering the speeches.
There are two projects in level four, one main project and one elective:
- The main project is specific to your pathway. They range from drafting a plan for a project, to complete back to back impromptu speeches, to leading a team of people through a small project.
- The elective list in level four focuses on developing your communication and leadership skills in more demanding settings than level three. You will only choose one, but some of the electives you could choose are: “Manage Online Meetings”, “Question-and-Answer Session”, “Building a Social Media Presence”, “Create a Podcast”, or “Manage Projects Successfully”.
Level five is all about demonstrating the expertise that you have developed. The projects here are the hardest you will encounter in Toastmasters and require a significant amount of time to complete.
There are two projects to complete: The main project and one level five elective:
- The main project will be the capstone of your pathway. Requiring you to use everything you have learned to complete.
- One common level 5 project is “Lead in Any Situation”, which requires you to take on a leadership position in Toastmasters, a volunteer organization, or your company for six months. Then you have to complete a 360° evaluation, getting feedback on your performance from everyone involved, and deliver an 8-10min speech about your experience as a leader.
- Another common level 5 project is “High Performance Leadership”, which requires you to lead a team of at least three people through a project, form a guidance committee, and deliver two speeches. The first speech will be at the beginning of your project and will detail your plan to complete the project. The second speech will be at the end of the project and will reflect on your experience as a leader. You will meet with your guidance committee at least five times throughout the duration of the project.
- The level five elective will also push your skills to the limit with options such as “Prepare to Speak Professionally”, “Moderate a Panel Discussion”, and “Ethical Leadership”.
Reflect on Your Path
The final project in your pathway happens after you complete level five and asks you to reflect on your journey and discuss your goals for the future. It is a 10-12min speech. Make sure to have some fun with it and talk about the great times and challenges you and your fellow toastmasters have faced.
Once you complete this project you can mark your Pathway as complete and receive your official Pathway completion certificate in the mail a well as a congratulatory email from the president of Toastmasters International.
It takes a long time to get here and a lot of hard work, so make sure you take the time to savour your accomplishment and take pride in putting it all over your LinkedIn.