Getting Started with Toastmasters

How long it takes to get registered with Toastmasters International
Once you have paid your Membership Fee to your Club, it will take Toastmasters International a few days to send you your confirmation email that will include your login details. Once you have received your login details, you can login and choose your Pathway.

Pathways
Pathways helps you to learn communication and leadership skills. There are 11 Paths to choose from, they are: Dynamic Leadership, Leadership Development, Strategic Relationships, Effective Coaching, Motivational Strategies, Team Collaboration, Engaging Humour, Innovative Planning, Persuasive Influence, Presentation Mastery and Visionary Communication. Each of these Paths has five levels with a number of projects in each level that build on the skills learnt from the Level before. Level 1 teaches you to master fundamentals, level 2 focuses on learning your style, level 3 increased your knowledge, level 4 builds your skills and level 5 demonstrates your expertise. To complete the Path, you need to complete 14 projects across the 5 levels. As part of Pathways, you will need to fill some Leadership roles.

Projects
Pathways Projects include a questionnaire that relates to that Path and a speech, it is designed to help you write your speech and to teach you about the particular stage you are at. The speech needs to be delivered after you have filed in the questionnaire. Having completed the speech you return to the questionnaire and finish the last short section. After that you can move on to the next speech. for each level to be completed and for your Club’s VPE to be notified of the completion, you must also fill in the last project on that levels list, it is called ‘Level ? Completion’. You may then move on to the next level.

What is the ‘Icebreaker’ Speech
This is the first speech that you will make. The purpose of this speech is to ‘break the ice’ and introduce yourself to the club as well as learning the basic structure of public speaking. The idea is just to get you talking, this is the shortest of the speeches you will make and should be between 3-5 minutes long. The majority of the speeches you present will run between 5-7 minutes.

After this first ‘Icebreaker’ speech, you can pick any topic you want for each speech, you just need to keep each speeches objectives in mind. These can be found on both the Toastmasters International and Easyspeak Websites. 

How to Sign up for Roles
If you would like to take on a Role, contact either the Vice President of Education or the Assistant Vice President of Education (if your Club has one) and let them know that you are interested in taking on a Role for one of the meetings.

When you have signed up for a Role, you need to check the Objectives of that Role on Easyspeak or on Toastmasters International and then prepare for the Role you have taken on. When you are fulfilling a role, you will need to explain to the audience what the role is and then later in the meeting you will need to present the results of your role, e.g, inform the members how long people spoke for, ask quiz style questions or give feedback on speeches. If you have a role, you should make the most of the opportunity and use it as a chance to make a mini speech.

Introduction to Easyspeak
Easyspeak is the site that we use on a day to day basis. It is where we request to make speeches, see the agenda for meetings, keep a track on our personal progress and other routine tasks.22

Competitions
There are five different Competitions that you may like to take part in during the year.

International – contestants present 5-7 minute speech on any subject they choose.

Evaluation – Contestants observe a 5-7 minute test speech and then present a 2-3 minute evaluation of the test speech.

Table Topics – an impromptu speech, all contestants are assigned the same topic, which they are given by the contest chair when they enter the room to take part in the competition.

Humorous – contestants present a humorous speech that must be thematic in nature and not a monologue. 

Tall Tales – contestants present a speech on a topic that is highly exaggerated and improbable. 

How to earn achievements on Pathways
When you complete one of the five levels on your Pathway, or when you reach an important milestone, you will earn a Certificate on theToastmasters International Website, when you complete a Path you can request a printed version from Toastmasters World Headquarters. You will also earn Badges when you complete a level. When you complete a Path will receive the accolade of Proficient in that that Path. So you can be referred to as “Toastmaster Alex is now Presentation Mastery Proficient”. After this you can move onto the Pathways Mentor Programme, where you have the opportunity to help other by learning how to provide effective mentoring. When you have completed this, you will be a Credentialed Mentor. If you go further and complete more than one Pathway, you can become a Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM), which is the highest honour you can achieve in Pathways.

What you will learn with Pathways
Taking part in Pathways will allow you to practice and improve your communication and leadership skills, to do this you will give speeches based on assignments on Pathways and will develop transferable skills, including Communication, Leadership, Management, Strategic Planning and of course, Public Speaking. You can move through the levels at your own speed.

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